No faith without amanah – Tarawih Reflections 22

No faith without amanah - Tarawih Reflections 22

The story of the key to the Kaaba

‘Allah commands you to return trusts to those entitled to them, and when you judge between people, judge with justice.’ [4:58]

Scholars of tafseer have commented that this ayah was revealed after the Conquest of Makkah, when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called ‘Uthman bin Talha (may Allah be pleased with him), the guardian of the key of the Kaaba, to bring him the key.

The Prophet’s ﷺ family used to be responsible for giving water to the pilgrims who came for Hajj, and his uncle Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) was excited that having the key to the Kaaba would be an additional honour to add to this.

Uthman bin Talha didn’t want to hand over the key to the Prophet ﷺ and said ‘This is an amanah’. When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ eventually got it, he went in to remove all the idols and prayed two rakahs inside the Kaaba.

Then Jibril came down and revealed this ayah to him:

‘Allah commands you to return trusts to those entitled to them, and when you judge between people, judge with justice.’ [4:58]

Promptly the Prophet ﷺ called upon Uthman and gave him back the key.

There is no imaan without amanah

The Prophet ﷺ talked about amanah in a number of different hadiths, including,

‘There is no imaan for one who cannot be trusted with an amanah.’ [Ahmad]

I.e. if you cannot be trusted, you have no imaan. This is a very important point to be aware of.

Among the signs of the Day of Judgement is that amanah will be eroded – you won’t be able to trust anybody.

Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) foretold to us two hadiths. I have seen one (being fulfilled), and I am waiting for the other. He (ﷺ) told us, “Amanah (the trust) descended in the innermost (root) of the hearts of men (that is, it was in their heart innately, by Fitrah, or pure human nature). Then the Quran was revealed and they learnt from the Quran and they learned from the Sunnah.” Then the (Prophet (ﷺ)) told us about the removal of Amanah. He said, “The man would have some sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart. [Bukhari and Muslim]

We are beginning to see this today, although we still have many people who are trustworthy. The concept of amanah is a crucial principle, and Allah indicates to us how to fulfill it responsibly.

Types of amanah

Scholars have divided amanah into different categories.

The first is the amanah that Allah has given us, such as our body. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ listed our body, our family, our guest and our own self as having rights over us. All of these are amanahs from Allah.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، ‏:‏ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعَثَ إِلَى عُثْمَانَ بْنِ مَظْعُونٍ فَجَاءَهُ فَقَالَ ‏:‏ ‏”‏ يَا عُثْمَانُ أَرَغِبْتَ عَنْ سُنَّتِي ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏:‏ لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَلَكِنْ سُنَّتَكَ أَطْلُبُ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏:‏ ‏”‏ فَإِنِّي أَنَامُ وَأُصَلِّي، وَأَصُومُ وَأُفْطِرُ، وَأَنْكِحُ النِّسَاءَ، فَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَا عُثْمَانُ، فَإِنَّ لأَهْلِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ لِضَيْفِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، وَإِنَّ لِنَفْسِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، فَصُمْ وَأَفْطِرْ، وَصَلِّ وَنَمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) called ‘Uthman bin Maz’un. When he came to him, he said: ‘Uthman, did you dislike my practice ? He said: No, by Allah, rather I seek your practice. He said: I sleep and sometimes I pray [at night], I fast and sometimes I don’t fast, and I marry women. Fear Allah, ‘Uthman, your wife has a right on you, your guest has a right on you, your self has a right on you ; you should keep fast and (sometimes) leave fast, and pray and sleep. (Abu Dawoud)

We could also consider salah as an amanah, which we have to deliver as Allah has entrusted us – i.e. on time and with the right etiquettes. Zakat and fasting are similarly amanahs, and our number one obligation is to fulfil these trusts between us and Allah.

The second type is amanah between us and other people. This can take different forms between different people – your parents, your spouse, friends, etc. – depending on the level of closeness between you.

Breaking a trust is a sign of hypocrisy

One of the pillars of belief is to be entrusted with amanah. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that one of the signs of nifaq, hypocrisy, is that ‘when entrusted, he betrays that trust.’

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

عن أبي هريرة ، رضي الله عنه ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ “آية المنافق ثلاث‏:‏ إذا حدث كذب، وإذا وعد أخلف، وإذا أؤتمن خان‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

“There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

There are many people who will pray in the first row of the mosque, but will just neglect their amanahs without a second thought. We need to make sure we are not among these people: we need to protect the amanahs between us and Allah, and between us and other people.

Even if other people betray our trusts, this is not an excuse. We can take that up in the court of Allah, but we still need to deliver what has been entrusted to us.

We ask Allah to make us people of amanah and people of imaan. Ameen

Based on the reflections of Shaykh Haytham Tamim

Transcribed by Hana Khan

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.