Definition of Amaanah (trust)
Fatwa No: 367336

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. What does trust, or Amaanah, mean? For example, if parents trust their child in that he will not do something, but he does anyway, did he break the trust? Is that person a hypocrite? Or does Amaanah, or trust, mean that we are entrusted with someone else's property or something else and have to take care of it? Today, almost every child breaks their parents' trust and does sins in secret? Are all these people hypocrites?

Answer

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, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

If the parents place their confidence in their child and trust him not to do something but he violates their trust and does it in their absence, this is considered a breach of trust and cheating. Amaanah means the trust that people have in a person, and the protection of what they entrust him to keep, and guarding whatever a person is entrusted with of himself, his honor, and his obedience to Allah. An-Nihaayah fi Ghareeb Al-Hadeeth wa Al-Athar (71/1) reads, “Amaanah applies to guarding the person's obedience (to Allah), his worship, what people entrust him with (deposits), and honoring the protection covenants granted to others. There is a reported hadeeth regarding each of these examples.

As to how trust is related to hypocrisy, then whoever violates the trust, this is considered hypocrisy in deeds, and not in beliefs. The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “Four traits, whoever possesses them is a hypocrite, and whoever possesses some of them has an element of hypocrisy until he leaves it: the one who, when he is entrusted, betrays the trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he disputes, he transgresses.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

In another hadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he is entrusted, he betrays the trust.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Al-Baghawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

Abu Sulaymaan Al-Khattaabi commented on the hadeeth ‘The signs of a hypocrite are three,’ saying, ‘This hadeeth is intended to be a warning for a Muslim not to get used to these traits lest they lead him to hypocrisy. It does not mean that when a Muslim displays one of these traits or does one of these deeds without being used to doing it is declared a hypocrite. When this hadeeth was related to Al-Hasan, he remarked: 'Verily, the children of Jacob lied, broke their promise, and breached the trust.’

There are two kinds of hypocrisy:

1- Hypocrisy in Belief (major hypocrisy): it is when a person displays belief and conceals disbelief, like the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam.

2- Hypocrisy in Deeds (minor hypocrisy): this type includes secretly neglecting the religious obligations and openly adhering to them; such people are called hypocrites. However, it is a minor hypocrisy (that does not take the doer out of the fold of Islam). The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, ‘Defaming a Muslim is evildoing, and fighting him is disbelief.’ Disbelief, here, rather means that it is a contradiction of faith.” [Sharh As-Sunnah, 1/76]

For more benefit, please refer to fawa 1854.

Allah knows best.

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