Amanah is an Arabic word. Its meaning is to deposit or safe-keeping. Generally to keep something (of value) to someone as a deposit for safely is called Trust (Amanah). One who properly protects and duly returns the valuables of others is called Trustworthy. The antonym of trust is misappropriation, to damage, to break etc. To misappropriate the deposited thing without returning to its owner properly is called khiyanat. Almighty Allah the Most High says in the Holy Quran: You return the Amanah to their owners. (Sura: An-Nisa, Ayat: 58)
Ibn Hibban records on the authority of Ubadah bin as-Samit that the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: “Guarantee me six and I will guarantee you Paradise: be truthful when you speak; fulfill your promises; carry out what you are entrusted with; safeguard your private parts; lower your gaze; and restrain your hands.”Narrated from Abu-Hurayrah, the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said, “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies; when he makes an oath he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.” The version of Muslim has the additional wording, “Even if he fasts, prays and thinks that he is a Muslim.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Amanah is the mannerism of the Prophets and Messengers. In Sura ash-Shuara Allah, Exalted is He, informs us that Nuhu, Hud, Salih, Luţ and Shuayb all said, “I am to you a trustworthy Messenger.” The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him was known amongst his people, both before and after his being entrusted with the Message, as al-Amin (the Trustworthy One). al-Miswarah bin Makhramah said, ‘I asked Abu Jahl, my uncle, “Uncle, did you ever accuse Muhammad of lying before he came with his message?” He replied, “Son of my sister, by Allah, while he was yet young, Muhammad would be called al-Amin (the Trustworthy One) by us. Even when his hair started turning white, he would still not lie.” I asked, “Uncle of mine, so why don’t you follow him?” He replied, “Son of my sister, we and Banu Hashim were always competing with each other for nobility, they fed people and so we did too, they gave others drink and so we did too, they granted protection and so we did too. We have kept pace with each other like two race-horses, then they said, ‘A Prophet has arisen from us’, how could we possibly compete in this?” (Adh-Dhahabi, As-Sirah.)
Almighty Allah instructed us to put our trust in Him, because Allah Himself is the One Who fulfills His promises. He commanded us to fulfill our own promises, too. He says in Surah An-Nisa’: “Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; …” (Surah an Nisa, Ayat: 58)
Finally, in the Islamic philosophy of life Amanah (trust) is extremely important. Breaking trust is absolutely forbidden. Man can protect Amanah by discharging respective duties properly. We shall try to protect trust by performing our duties and responsibilities.
The writer is a teacher at Gurukul Education Family and Founder of Scholastic Online