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The Honesty and Sincerity of the Prophet

Auther : Shaykh Hishaam Muhammad Sa‘eed Barghash
8150 2011/06/01 2024/05/20
Article translated to : العربية Español

Indeed, he was the most trustworthy of the trustees of the earth. If we were to enumerate the incidents that attest to his trustworthiness alone, apart from any other of his sublime characteristics, we would fill pages upon pages.

This attribute was one of the main noble manners of our beloved Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from his tender age and before the revelation came to him. He was, among his people, famous for his ultimate honesty and was called Al-Ameen (the trustworthy). People would say, “Al-Ameen is coming, Al-Ameen is going.”  [Seerat Ibn Hishaam]

In the story of the rebuilding of the Ka‘bah, when strife had broken out among the chiefs of the Quraysh, each vying for the honor of placing the black stone in its position, people said, “appoint the first man to enter the house from its entrance to be a mediator between us." The Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was the first to enter the house. On seeing him, all the people on the scene cried with one voice, "Al-Ameen has come!”  [Ahmad, Al- Bayhaqi and Al-Haakim]

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was always described as the trustworthy for he was an ideal and the best example of honesty. It was very rare to find someone like him at that time in which all types of evil had become common among the members of the pre-Islamic society.

Rather, the honesty of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, reached the extent that allowed them to put their money, valuables, and savings in his hand for safekeeping. So everyone in Makkah at that time kept some kind of valuable item with the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, because of his honesty and trustworthiness.

It was amazing that their trust in him remained beyond any doubt, as it always had been - even after the hostility they displayed towards him because he invited them to believe in Allah the Almighty alone.

What great honesty! What a great and refined attribute!

While they persevered to kill him, he persevered to give them back their wealth and savings that he had kept for them. He left ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, in Makkah after his migration to return the trusts of the people that were in his possession. [Al-Bayhaqi in As-Sunan Al-KubraSeerat Ibn HishaamAr-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom]

Therefore, there is no wonder that the enemies of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, testified to his honesty before his companions did. For example, Abu Sufyaan, the leader of Makkah at that time, when he, before embracing Islam, stood before Heraclius, had more reason to defame him because of his hostility and hatred; however, he could not hide his sublime morality when Heraclius asked him, "what does he (i.e. the Prophet) order you to do?" Abu Sufyaan replied, "He orders us to establish the prayer, to speak the truth, to be chaste, to keep promises and to pay back trusts." [Al-Bukhaari]

Also, Ja‘far Ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, in his story with the Negus, the king of Abyssinia, when he asked him to explain the teachings of their religion, part of Ja‘far’s reply was, “…until Allah sent to us a Messenger, of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware.” [Ahmad]

Thus, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was known for his honesty among all people, those who knew him or heard of him, whether friends or foes.

There is no wonder that the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had this noble attribute of honesty for he was the trustee of the revelation of Allah the Almighty, and indeed, he performed his role in the most perfect manner possible.

There is also no wonder that we find that the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, paid the utmost attention to trust in all its different forms and linking it to faith. The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is no eemaan (faith) for the one who cannot be trusted and there is no religion for the one who does not keep his promise.” [Ahmad and Ibn Hibbaan; Al-Albaani: saheeh (authentic)]

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not only encourage trust in general and emphasize it, but also stressed it in various incidents and situations that necessitate giving it special care and stress.

He, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, strongly stressed that whoever is entrusted with the affairs of the Muslims must observe honesty and that neglecting such a trust is a serious matter and a grave sin. The Messenger, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is no person whom Allah has placed in charge of others, who dies whilst he is insincere towards his people, but Allah will forbid him paradise.”  [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

He, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said as a warning to the one who seeks trust and does not fulfill it in the best way: 

“Authority is a trust, and on the day of judgment it is a cause of humiliation and regret except for one who fulfills its obligations and (properly) discharges the duties attendant thereon.” [Muslim]

He, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said: 

“whoever we appoint to do a task and who takes anything as small as a needle or what is more than that, then this will be a ghulool (stealing) and he shall bring forth on the day of resurrection that which he took.” [Muslim]

To the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, trust, whether in the public or the private matters of the Muslims, was of great importance.

The Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, had a unique answer to the question of rendering back wealth in a manner that mankind had not known the like of. He, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: 

“Render back the trust to the one who entrusted it to you, and do not betray those who betray you.” [At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawood; Al-Albaani: saheeh (authentic)]

What a great noble trait that could not come from anyone except the trustworthy Prophet Muhammad, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam! For him, trust was not an area of mutual interest that is given to the one who abides by it. Rather, it was an inherent manner that is not subject to bargaining.

For him, trust was of different types and forms and many of those who believe that trust is confined to wealth only could never observe or comprehend this.

This includes trust between husband and wife. in this regard, the trustworthy Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: 

“One of the greatest trusts before Allah on the day of resurrection will be a man who was intimate with his wife and she with him, then he spread her secret.” What is meant by “one of the greatest trusts” here is “one of the greatest betrayals of trust.” [Muslim]

It also includes trust in exchanged secrets. in this regard, the trustworthy Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

 “If a man tells you something (a secret) then turns away, it is a trust.” [Abu Dawood and At-Tirmithi; Al-Albaani: hasan]

This also includes the trust of giving advice and consultation. In this regard, the trustworthy Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The consultant is entrusted.” [At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah; Al-Albaani: saheeh (authentic)] this means that he must give the right advice as he sees it; otherwise he would be betraying a trust.

There are still many other forms of trust that can easily attest to the perfection of the trustworthiness of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that he was truly the trustworthy Messenger of Allah the Almighty regarding his revelation. He never committed betrayal or deception, not only in his words, but in his glances and gestures as well.

He was the one who said to the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, when they asked him to gesture with his eye to them regarding killing a captive: 

“It is not befitting of a Prophet to have deception of the eyes.” [Abu Dawood and An-Nasaa’i; Al-Albaani: saheeh (authentic)]

How far are those who claim that they truly love the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from this noble refined manner that is hardly found among Muslims at the present time? This is exactly what the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said when he spoke about the gradual loss of honesty:

“A man will go to sleep, during which, honesty will be taken away from his heart and only its trace will remain in his heart like the trace of a dark spot; then man will (again) go to sleep, during which honesty will decrease further still, so that its trace will resemble the trace of a blister due to an ember being dropped on one's foot which would make it swell, and one would see it swollen but there would be nothing inside. People will be carrying out their trade but hardly will there be a trustworthy person. it will be said, 'in such-and-such a tribe there is an honest man.’” [al-bukhaari and muslim]

Allah the Almighty the most truthful says: 

{and indeed, you are of a great moral character} [Quran 68:4]

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