Prophet Mohammed Stories - 4. The Trustworthy of Mecca
Our leaders tell us that our political system is in need of change for honest leaders we can trust. Sociologists see that our social system also requires change. Social relations are in jeopardy, calling for intensive care. Strong social relations demand trust. There can be no security or unity in society if its members are suspicious of one another. Developing trust is a real challenge in these times. People are afraid of being deceived or conned. In order to change this condition we must work hard to become trustworthy. Trust is to be earned.
Allah sent us the best model for this virtue. Our inspiration, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the most trustworthy man in history. He earned his name, (Al-Amin) The Trustworthy as a young boy, by the people of Mecca. In his fair dealings, he became recognized for being trustworthy. He was always entrusted to take charge of other people�s merchandise. He was entrusted to trade on behalf of those who could not travel themselves. He was so trustworthy, he impressed a wealthy, widowed, noble, businesswoman so much, she actually proposed marriage to him, despite being 15 years his elder. Muhammad (SAW) worked very hard for Khadija, managing all of her caravans. His time was spent traveling across deserts and through oases to distant lands and foreign cities. He never overpriced his goods, nor skimped on weights. He usually gave other merchants the benefit of the doubt.
In business transactions, honesty, trustworthiness, and fair dealings are an obligation to Allah. Cheating, concealing the defects of merchandise, or taking advantage of someone�s ignorance is sinful. Allah states in the Qur�an:
And if one of you deposits something on trust with another, let the trustee discharge his trust, and fear his Sustainer. (Al Baqara: 283)
Give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a straight balance. That is the most fitting and most advantageous in the final determination. (Al Israa: 35)
O you who believe! Whenever you give or take credit for a stated term, set it down in writing. And call upon two of you as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, The other could remind her. (Al Baqara: 282)
As explained in the previous article, honesty and trust go hand in hand. The opposite, according to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is also true, he said, �The worst lie is to distrust another.� Distrust is a root cause for distress in social relations, opening the door to many evils. A good person thinks of others as good while an evil person suspects others of being the same as he is. Suspicion destroys friendships and unity. Another side to distrust is the fact that it does not allow people to accept the reasons given by the person suspected. The blessed Prophet (SAW) said �Anyone who does not accept the explanation of defense given by his brother is a great tyrant�. Always remember to look for and appreciate the virtues of others and overlook their shortcomings�. By avoiding suspicion and overlooking each other�s shortcomings, people can learn to trust again. To trust and be trusted is essential in mending social relations.
Betraying a trust is a grave sin. Disclosing secrets is another breach of trust which destroys family ties. Protecting the trusts Allah gave us is also a serious matter. The deeper meaning of trustworthiness is to preserve all of the blessings that were granted to us by Allah. One�s fortunes and family members are trusts that should be paid back. So, this is a serious matter deserving our immediate attention.
Let�s not contribute to this crisis of mistrust which plagues the world but be a part of the solution using the inspiration of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The concept of trust seems so basic, we often take it for granted. Yet, it is the key to social change. Do we always return the trusts be they big or small in due time? Trust is a measure of faith. How deep is our faith? Remember, the more people trust a person for his money, lives, and honor, the deeper the faith of that person is! Are we able to trust and be trusted?
Allah says,� and you reckon it was a simple thing and in the reckoning of Allah it is a tremendous thing.� (Al Nur:15)