Imam Al-Nawawi's Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 25
Discharging the Trusts

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due.'' (4:58)

"Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e., afraid of Allah's torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results)". (33:72)

199. Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Another narration adds the words: 'Even if he observes fasts, performs Salat and asserts that he is a Muslim".

Commentary: A hypocrite is the one who professes Islam before the Muslims but conceals hatred and animosity against them. This double-dealing is worse than Kufr. This is the reason the Noble Qur'an has declared about them that they will be in the lowest depths of the Hell. The hypocrites referred to here lived at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and he was informed about them through Wahy (Revelation). It is very difficult to identify the class of hypocrites in this age. It is almost impossible to know the hypocrisy of Faith. The practical hypocrisy is, however, now very common among the Muslims. It can be identified on the strength of the traits which have been stated in the Ahadith about them. These traits are very common among many of the present-day Muslims. Their conduct bears the marks of hypocrisy. This practical hypocrisy is, however, not Kufr as is the case with the hypocrisy of Faith.

200. Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) foretold to us two Ahadith. I have seen one (being fulfilled), and I am waiting for the other. He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) told us, "Amanah (the trust) descended in the innermost (root) of the hearts of men (that is, it was in their heart innately, by Fitrah, or pure human nature). Then the Qur'an was revealed and they learnt from the Quran and they learned from the Sunnah.'' Then the (Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) told us about the removal of Amanah. He said, "The man would have some sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart leaving the impression of a faint mark. He would again sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart leaving an impression of a blister, as if you rolled down an ember on your foot and it was vesicled. He would see a swelling having nothing in it.'' He (the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) then took up a pebble and rolled it over his foot and said, "The people would enter into transactions with one another and hardly a person would be left who would return (things) entrusted to him (and there would look like an honest person) till it would be said: `In such and such tribe there is a trustworthy man.' And they would also say about a person: `How prudent he is! How handsome he is and how intelligent he is!' whereas in his heart there would be no grain of Faith.'' Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman (May Allah bepleased with him) added: I had a time when I did not care with whom amongst you I did business, I entered into a transaction, for if he were a Muslim, his Faith would compel him to discharge his obligation to me; and if he were a Christian or a Jew, his guardian (surety) would compel him to discharge his obligation to me. But today I would not enter into a transaction except with so-and-so.
[Al-Bukh ri and Muslim].

Commentary: The word `Amanah' (trust) is a very comprehensive term which includes everything like adherence to Islamic injunctions, fairness in dealing, giving everybody his due, etc. According to this Hadith, with decline in moral values the true sense of Amanah will gradually go on diminishing and eventually a stage will come which has been elucidated in the text of this Hadith.

201. Hudhaifah and Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with them) reported that they heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, "Allah will assemble mankind, and the believers will stand till Jannah will be brought near them. They will then go to Adam (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and say, `O our father, ask (Allah (SWT), that Jannah may be opened for us, but he will reply: `There was nothing that put you out of Jannah except your father's sin. I am not the one to do that, go to my son Ibrahim (Abraham), the beloved man of Allah.' Then Ibrahim (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) when approached, will say: `I am not the one to do that, for I was only a friend; and that is not a lofty status but ask Musa (Moses) to whom Allah spoke.' They will then go to Musa (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) but he will say: `I am not the one to do that; go to `Isa (Jesus), Allah's Word and spirit.' `Isa (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) will say: `I am not the one to do that.' So they will come to me; and I will stand and be given permission. Amanah and ties of relationship will be sent forth and will stand on the sides of the Sirat (that is, the Bridge set over Hell-fire) right and left, and the first of you will pass like lightning.'' I said (that is Abu Hurairah (May Allah bepleased with him)" :I ransom you with my father and mother, what is like the movement of lightning?'' The Messenger of Allah replied, "Have you not seen how the lightning goes and returns in the twinkling of an eye? Next (group will pass) like the passing of the breeze, next like the passing of a bird, and the next with the speed of a running man, according to the quality of their deeds. (During all this time) your Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) will remain standing on the Bridge saying: `O my Rubb, keep (them) safe, keep (them) safe,' till men's deeds are so weak that a man comes who will be able only to crawl. On both sides of the Bridge pronged flesh hooks, placed under command will be hung and will seize those about whom they receive command, some people being lacerated and escaping and others being thrown violently into Hell.'' Abu Hurairah added: By Him in Whose Hand Abu Hurairah's soul is, the pit of Jahannam (Hell) is seventy years in depth.
[Muslim].

Commentary: This Hadith mentions the horrors of the Day of Resurrection which are evident from the fact that even Prophets will be fearful of Allah and making supplication to Him. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) alone will be requesting Allah for bestowing His Mercy on humans. This Hadith also describes the grace of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) who will then intercede for all.

202. Abu Khubaib `Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with them) reported: When Az-Zubair, got ready to fight in the battle of Al-Jamal, he called me and said: "My son, whoever is killed today will be either a wrongdoer or a wronged one. I expect that I shall be the the wronged one today. I am much worried about my debt. Do you think that anything will be left over from our property after the payment of my debt? My son, sell our property and pay off my debt.'' Az-Zubair then willed one-third of that portion to his sons; namely `Abdullah's sons. He said, "One-third of the one-third. If any property is left after the payment of debts, one-third (of the one-third of what is left is to be given to your sons.'' (Hisham, a subnarrator added: "Some of the sons of `Abdullah were equal in age to the sons of Az-Zubair, e.g., Khubaib and Abbad. `Abdullah had nine sons and nine daughters at that time)". (The narrator `Abdullah added:) He kept on instructing me about his debts and then said: "My son, should you find yourself unable to pay any portion of my debt then beseech my Master for His help.'' By Allah, I did not understand what he meant and asked: "Father, who is your Master?'' He said: "Allah.'' By Allah! Whenever I faced a difficulty in discharging any portion of his debt; I would pray: "O Master of Zubair, discharge his debt,'' and He discharged it. Zubair was martyred. He left no money, but he left certain lands, one of them in Al-Ghabah, eleven houses in Al-Madinah, two in Basrah, one in Kufah and one in Egypt. The cause of his indebtedness was that a person would come to him asking him to keep some money of his in trust for him. Zubair would refuse to accept it as a trust, fearing it might be lost, but would take it as a loan. He never accepted a governorship, or revenue office, or any public office. He fought along with Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman (May Allah be pleased with them).

`Abdullah added: I prepared a statement of his debts and they amounted to two million and two hundred thousand! Hakim bin Hizam met me and asked me: "Nephew, how much is due from my brother as debt?'' I kept it as secret and said: "A hundred thousand.'' Hakim said: "By Allah! I do not think your assets are sufficient for the payment of these debts.'' I said: "What would you think if the amount were two million and two hundred thousand?'' He said: "I do not think that you would be able to clear off the debts. If you find it difficult let me know.''

Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) had purchased the land in Al-Ghabah for a hundred and seventy thousand. `Abdullah sold it for a million and six hundred thousand, and declared that whosoever had a claim against Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) should see him in Al-Ghabah. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah bepleased with him) came to him and said: "Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) owed me four hundred thousand, but I would remit the debt if you wish.'' `Abdullah (May Allah bepleased with him) said: "No.'' Ibn Ja`far said: ``If you would desire for postponement I would postpone the recovery of it.'' `Abdullah said: "No.'' Ibn Ja`far then said: "In that case, measure out a plot for me.'' `Abdullah marked out a plot. Thus he sold the land and discharged his father's debt. There remained out of the land four and a half shares. He then visited Mu`awiyah who had with him at the time `Amr bin `Uthman, Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair and Ibn Zam`ah (May Allah bepleased with them). Mu`awiyah (May Allah bepleased with him) said: "What price did you put on the land in Al-Ghabah?'' He said: "One hundred thousand for a each share. Mu`awiyah inquired: "How much of it is left?'' `Abdullah said: "Four and a half shares.'' Al-Mundhir bin Az-Zubair said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand". `Amr bin `Uthman said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand". Ibn Zam`ah said: "I will buy one share for a hundred thousand.'' Then Mu`awiyah asked: "How much of it is now left?'' `Abdullah said: "One and a half share. Mu`awiyah said: "I will take it for one hundred and fifty thousand.'' Later `Abdullah bin Ja`far sold his share to Mu`awiyah for six hundred thousand.

When `Abdullah bin Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) finished the debts, the heirs of Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) asked him to distribute the inheritance among them. He said: "I will not do that until I announce during four successive Hajj seasons: `Let he who has a claim against Az-Zubair come forward and we shall discharge it.''' He made this declaration on four Hajj seasons and then distributed the inheritance among the heirs of Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) according to his will. Az-Zubair (May Allah bepleased with him) had four wives. Each of them received a million and two hundred thousand. Thus Az-Zubair's total property was amounted to fifty million and two hundred thousand.
[Al-Bukhari]