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Definition of Amaanah in Islamic terminology


What is the meaning of 'Amaanah' according to Islam? Is it a kind of blessings? Are women considered an 'Amaanah' in Islam?


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

In Islamic terminology, the term Amaanah (trust) is used to refer to all the religious obligations; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man (undertook to) bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.} [Quran 33:72]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The word Amaanah mentioned in the verse is a general term and encompasses all the religious duties of Islam according to the soundest opinion of scholars, and this is the view of the majority of scholars."

It also encompasses the trusts that a person deposits under the care of another; a Muslim is obliged to guard the trust, and it is prohibited for him to dishonor this commitment and betray the trust. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Fulfill the trust for the one who entrusted you, and do not cheat the one who cheated you." [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]

We did not understand exactly what you mean by your question: "Is it a kind of blessings?" In any case, fulfilling the trust yields great rewards, and betraying it is an evident sin. Therefore, the Quran enjoins the fulfillment of the trust and forbids betraying it; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.} [Quran 4:58]

Women are "Amaanah". Men are entrusted with the women under their care; a husband is entrusted with his wife, and a father is entrusted with his daughter. Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Fear Allah concerning women! Verily, you have taken them upon the security of Allah..." [Muslim] In another hadeeth, Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, reported that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards (those under your care); the man is a guardian in his family and he is responsible for his wards..." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

One of the most important things that the guardian should care for is the religiosity of the ones under his care; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are (appointed) angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.} [Quran 66:6]

As-Sa‘di  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his commentary on the verse:

"It means: O parents! Your children are a trust placed with you, and Allah has enjoined you to take care of them and strive in preserving their religious and worldly interests. You should teach them, discipline them, protect them from corruption and evils, and command them to obey Allah and to fear Him at all times ... Children are a trust with their parents, and they (parents) either honor this trust (and earn the promised rewards) or betray it and accordingly incur the punishment and become subject to the relevant warnings."

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 138308.

Allah knows best.

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