Islam pays great attention to keeping promises. The Holy Quran and the Infallibles regard one’s loyalty to promises to be a crucial aspect of faith. Similarly breaking promises is considered as an act of disbelief.
This principle is not limited to the Muslim communities; rather all Muslims are responsible to be faithful to their promises to all communities, even to the pagans. The issue of “loyalty to treaties” is a widely debated topic amongst international layers, for they believe international agreements are essential to creating mutual relationships between the nations.
Likewise, the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) made certain contracts with the pagans, the Christians of Najran, other people of the book, and Arab tribes.
We can find an instance of advice about keeping promise, given by the saints, in the letter of command of Amir-al-Mu’minin to his governor-Malek Ashtar Nakha’i in Egypt.
Although Amir-al-Mu’minin has written this letter to Malek Ashtar but in fact it has been written to all the people in any places and any times. In the promise of Malek Ashtar a brief description of brilliant views and beliefs of Imam Ali (PBUH) has been addressed so deeply and accurately that it can be said that all the duties of a person either as a slave for Allah or an individual in a society or a governor who is responsible for executing the rules of Islam or a person who is living concerning these rules has been explained clearly.
Now that the importance of these recommendations became more highlighted, it would be nice to think through a part this letter on keeping promise on the anniversary of his martyrdom.
“At the same time be very careful, never break your promise with your enemy, never forsake the protection or support that you have offered to him, never go back upon your words, and never violate the terms of the treaty. You must even risk your life to fulfill the promises given and the terms settled because of all the obligations laid by Almighty Allah upon man (in respect to other men) there is none so important as to keep one’s promises when made.
Though people may differ in their religions and ideologies and may have divergent views upon various problems of State, yet they all agree that promises when made must be fulfilled. Even the heathens take care to keep the promises made among themselves because they have seen and realized the evil effects of breaking promises. Therefore, take very particular care of promises made, never go back upon the words given, never go into the offensive without previously challenging and giving an ultimatum. Deception and fraud even against your enemy is a deception against Allah and none but a wretched sinner would dare do that.
Allah has given promises and treaties the high rank of being messengers of peace and prosperity and through His Kindness and Mercy has made them a common desire (of keeping promises) in the minds of all men and a common requirement for all human beings. He has made them such a shelter and asylum that everybody desires to be under their protection.
Therefore, there should be no mental reservation, no fraud, no deception and no underlying meanings in between the lines when you make a promise or conclude a treaty. Do not use such words and phrases in your promises and treaties as have possibilities of being translated in more than one way or as may have various interpretations and many explanations, let there be no ambiguity in them, and let them be clear, precise and to the point. And when once a treaty has been finally concluded, do not try to take advantage of any ambiguous word or phrase in it. If you find yourself in a critical situation on account of the treaty made in the cause of Allah, then try to face the situation and bear the consequences bravely and do not try to back out of the terms that account, because to face such perplexing situations as may gain His Rewards and Blessings is better than to break your promises on that account and earn that about which you feel nervous and for which you will have to answer Allah and which may bring down His Wrath upon you in this world and damnation in the next.”
(A part of the promise of Malek Ashtar, Nahj-al-Balagha, letter No. 53)
“Selected form: the rule of governing in the view of Imam Ali (PBUH) authored by the great Ayat-al-Allah Fadil Lankarani”
On behalf of Roshd website, we give our condolences for the anniversary of the martyrdom of symbol of justice, courage and source of kindness and chivalry, Amir-al-Mu’minin, Imam Ali-ibn-Abitaleb (PBUH) to you and all Muslims. We further greet the arrival of the best nights of the year, nights given special attention by Allah (SWT) and the night of Qadr. May Allah give us the opportunity to worship Him sincerely on these nights.
We further invite our dear friends to read the revised and improved article of Night of Qadr which is located in the Beliefs section of the site. This article has been revised from the previous year offering a new and interesting view about the Night of Qadr.
It studies the various aspects and events which take place in this night and present a deep relation between this night and the necessity of a living representative: Caliph of Allah at all ages. It also suggests ways people may benefit greatly from these nights. (To read the article click here)