Saturday, August 22, 2015

'Bai'ah' as 'Amaanah': Do Your Duty

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: 

“Render back trusts to the one who entrusted it to you, and do not betray the one who betrays you.” (Abu Dawud)

Amaanah is honesty. Honesty is the respect of rights and commitments. It is also to assume one’s responsibilities. Responsibilities are a charge that Allah (twa) has entrusted to us. By fulfilling our responsibilities we render back trusts to the one who is entitled to it.

Faith is an Amaanah. The practice of religious obligations such as Prayers (Salat), Fasting (Sawm), Mandatory Tax (Zakaat) Pilgrimage (Hajj) or even the Wudhu and Ghusl, is an Amaanah.

To carefully learn the tenets of the Muslim faith and the laws of Islam is an Amaanah. To teach the Religion (Islam) is an Amaanah. To give sincere and dedicated advice is an Amaanah. Enjoining good and preventing evil, the Haraam (anything that is illegal) and injustices is an Amaanah.

The opposite of Amaanah is Khiyaanah which is only betrayal, cheating, deception, falsehood and deceit. Thus, lying, fraud, deceit and deception are part of Khiyaanah. Amaanah is the characteristic of good, sincere and accomplished believer (Mumin). As for Khiyaanah, it is that of the hypocrite (Munafiq).

The Amaanah which is summarized in the rights and assurance of responsibilities is even more important than charity and forms of supererogatory spending (for cause of Allah) or charity (Sadaqaat). Allah (twa) ordered to first pay off the debts of the deceased, which is a return of the Amaanah to those concerned. Second, beneficiaries of the bequest are to receive their shares, and at last there is the division of the inheritance between the heirs.

Respect for the Amaanah is a character of the Prophets (as). 

When our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (saws) had sent his letter to the Byzantine Emperor (Heraclius) and to invite his people to Islam, the latter wished to have accurate information about our beloved Prophet. He was in the land of Palestine; so he called the Arab traders who were there. Among them was Abu Sufyan which was still a disbeliever (Kaafir). It was him that the emperor questioned because he was an important dignitary of the tribe of Quraysh, the people of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (saws).

The emperor asked Abu Sufyan many details and Abu Sufyan answered without lies for fear that the Arabs present spread the news that he was a liar. The Emperor then said to Abu Sufyan: 

“I asked you if he is ever treacherous and you said no! And so are the prophets, they do not act treacherously. 

And I asked you to decline the things that he commands you to practice, and you told me that he orders you to worship Allah and not associate anything with Him, he forbids you to worship what your parents and ancestors adored, that he orders you prayer, charity, chastity, fidelity to commitments and to return the Amaanah (trust) to those concerned. And it is verily the characteristics of prophets. 

If what you said is true, then soon his power will spread to where I put my feet, that is, here. I knew he was going to appear but I did not think it was going to be among you (i.e. the Arabs). If I could hope to get to him, I would have met him. And if he were to be in my presence, I would have washed his feet!” (Bukhari)

The Amaanah is a responsibility and a charge, but it is man who has chosen to take it. Allah (twa) says in the Qur'an:

“We proposed the Amaanah (Trust) to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, and they refused to carry it and they feared, but man bore it. Surely, he is unjust, ignorant.” (33: 73)

The unjust and ignorant man is one who does not assume his duties and responsibilities; and this is the case for most men. What a paradox! The weak, fragile and small man bears the burden of Amaanah with its consequences, while the heavens, the earth and mountains which are so huge, robust and immense have refused and feared! But the man who takes its responsibility in the right way, who is worthy of it and who meets the criteria of faith and morality will have gained by choosing to bear the charge of Amaanah, eternal happiness, and that is why he (this kind of man) is far better than the rest of creation.

By being worthy of Amaanah, he becomes superior (to all creation), he accesses the heights that will enable him to win the love and approval of Allah, and thanks to what he has as principles and values, through the good mastering of his ego and passions, through his goodwill and thanks to his brave and honest soul, he is such a soul who refuses baseness and filth of sin, immorality and injustice (and is worthy of Amaanah)!

Between good and evil, faith and disbelief, justice and injustice, morality and immorality, loyalty and betrayal etc., the choice is easy as long as the soul is honest and virtuous. The difficulty in choice and the heaviness of responsibility which feels like a yoke is when the soul drags behind it ties to a temporary world it loves whereas the material world in question is neither true (to it) nor eternal for it!

Allah (twa) exhorts man and reminds him that his good choice, the one that shall earn him the top merit in heaven and eternal happiness depends only on his goodwill, his intention and his patience in the face of temptations and thorny trials that life on earth offers him. Indeed, Allah (twa) says in the Holy Qur'an:

“And none are made to receive it (eternal bliss) but those who are patient, and none are made to receive it but those who have a mighty good fortune. And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (41: 36-37)

Man is like this! It is difficult for him to make the right choice and he will need to display patience, perseverance and endurance, because he sees with his eyes and feel with his senses. But when he chooses transcendence, and let his soul soar high in the sky, higher than the smallness of this ephemeral world and all that it entails, looking with awareness and trusting in his belief, he will then see things according to their true values, and he shall contemplate bliss in retribution, and he will feel softness and bliss through (real) faith. And thus the more he shall act according to his (spiritually advanced) soul, the more he shall be a (true) man!

Hazrat Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) said: “Oh people! Do not let yourselves be impressed by a man from his word! But the one who keeps the Amaanah (keep trust/is honest) and forbids himself from dirtying the honour of the people, then he is a (true) man.” 

A man has to choose according to the criteria of Islam, to choose the good intentions, good deeds for this is what Amaanah entails. It is the same for transactions, but also for friends and for those to whom we entrust responsibilities. When responsibilities of the management of people, goods, positions, functions and institutions shall cease to be based on probity and piety combined with jurisdiction, but according to personal interests, then this shall be a Khiyaanah, treason. 

Allah (twa) says: 

“O believers, do not betray Allah and the Messenger, and do not betray your Amaanah (commitments/trusts) conscientiously. (8: 28)

Bai'ah as Amaanah: a Sign for our times

And the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (saws) said, “If the trust is betrayed and neglected, then expect the coming of the Hour”.  The man (a Bedouin) who asked the initial question further asked: “And how it can be wasted or betrayed?”  The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) replied: “When the matter is entrusted to those who are unqualified to implement its duties, then wait for the Hour.”

Unfortunately, nowadays the Amaanah formerly entrusted to leaders who have promised to preserve it has been lost and therefore Allah has raised His Chosen Messenger in this century to restore the Amaanah and to bring out the value of its brilliance in the hearts of the real truth seekers who are thirsty for this light.

The Amaanah which Allah has entrusted in the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, we must take care of it, and commitments must be done with sincerity.

The Amaanah you owe to Allah is also to respect the bai’ah (allegiance) that you took in the hand of Allah and His Chosen Messenger in this era to spread the Tawheed (Oneness of God) until the end of the world by sacrificing everything in the way of Allah. By sacrificing all, it is Allah that you will receive, as possession of this Treasure requires you to completely erase your own existence and letting the identity of Allah fill your soul so that your actions are promoted by the divine will, for His infinite pleasure. Insha-Allah. Ameen.

-Friday Sermon of August 21, 2015 delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.