Mutual Trust and Performing Duties
Mutual trust is an essential element for the survival of a healthy and united society. A society is considered happy and tranquil if the relations between its members are based on trust. Thus, if people violate the borders of their duties and become disloyal to other’s rights, they then start to descend on the slope of social destruction.
There are various laws which rule mankind’s different affairs. Every man has his share of these laws which he is compelled by reason, nature and religion to follow. The purpose of these laws is to manifest the lights of trust and harmony in man’s life. Without these laws man would ignore or become careless about his debt to Allah and society.
Man, as a social being, has no choice but to interact with his atmosphere; hence, creating countless social relationships. As a result of these relationships a chain of rights and duties stem. These rights and duties safeguard society from dissention, and pave the way for solving any possible problems which naturally occur with any relationship.
Regardless of the difficulty and inevitable sacrifices which come with social duties, they must be fulfilled in order to grant man comfort and happiness. Yes, it is in mans nature to seek happiness and wish to do so without bearing any hardships, but he must realize that happiness cannot happen be simply performing his duties towards the children of his kind. It was once said that:
“Happiness is the reward for performing one’s duties.”
Not only is the happiness of a society more important than individual happiness, but individual happiness is totally reliant on social tranquility. It is also clear that treason of social rights violates the spirit of social justice and create disorder in the social system. It is every man’s responsibility to respect the lives and freedom of others.
Those who accustom themselves to the serious fulfillment of their duties and take their obligations to Allah and society seriously, add to the happiness of others and help them succeed in their affairs. They also acquire the trust of others and triumph in the field of life.
Dr. S. Smiles says:
“Duties are man’s debts. He who intends to upkeep himself from discreditable and immoral values in the eyes of others must pay off his debt. Yet, such actions can only be performed by continuous and serious struggle. Undertaking one’s duties is the principal matter which occupies man from the first day he enters this world until the day on which he departs it.
“Consequently, the more power and capabilities one possesses, the more he is required to perform his duties; for man is like a clerk whose duty is to serve children of his kind. This duty is based on the love of justice and is not only an ideological obligation but, also a basic necessity of man’s life. Yet, both traits manifest their affects in his words and actions.
“The sense of responsibility is a great talent of nations; and a nation has hope of success if its members enjoy the noble sense of responsibility with conceit, arrogance and selfishness. This type of action deserves only condolences, for nature will deem it unfit to continue to survive sooner or later.”
Treachery and its Faults
No one doubts that there are many factors which greatly influence the spread of corruption. When a thorough investigation is carried out regarding the factors which cause immorality and social lowliness, it becomes evident that the most influential factor of all is the prevalence of treason on men’s minds and reasons. We also discover that the danger which is inflicted on society from treachery and its devastating effects on social spirituality, exceed all other factors.
Treachery makes man’s spirit gloomy and leads his thoughts and affections to misguidance and total loss. This threat arises from the prevalence of lusts, when evil thoughts dictate acceptance of lowliness, and humiliation instead of receiving inspirations from reason and faith.
Everyone needs others to trust in him. A worker or a merchant can make some material gains through various types of treachery, and perhaps he may be able to conceal his plots and fabrication for a short period of time, but one day the matter will be uncovered causing him to loose his credibility which is his main capital. He also will tarnish the dignity of his social class by such actions. The treacherous people live in constant fear. They fear anxiety and instability and are usually pessimists.
It is a given fact that public tranquility and order depend on public security. Since the insecurity and deadly anxiety which batters the social environment is caused by treachery, it threatens the essence of social life. Indeed, where there is no security from treason there can be no freedom, brotherhood, or humanity.
Treason is not limited to certain affairs, but comprehends all of man’s actions. When we examine words, and/or deeds we discover precise and vivid limits to it, and if anyone slightly strays from such borders he abandons trustworthiness and enters the field of treachery and falsehood.
It is reported that a great man gave the following advise to his son:
“Son, be poor and deprived while people become rich and wealthy from treachery and betrayal. Live without fame and position and let people reach high positions by insistence and struggle. Bear with pain, exhaustion, and deprivation and let people reach their goals and hopes by bragging and solicitation. Refrain from association with the prominent to whom people compete to be close to. Adopt the garment of piety and morals until your hairs turn gray, but never let gloomy shame tarnish you. Then thank your Lord and submit to Him with an innocent heart and an optimistic conscience.”
Honesty is man’s capital in life. People trust and rely on the honest which allows him (the honest) to lead a clean and honorable life. When we rely on the honest, we observe honesty in every sector of life and may reach many conclusions and have many learning experiences; hence advancing in life feeling secure and happy.
Religion Condemns Treason
“Be not unfaithful to Allah and the apostle, nor be unfaithful to your trusts while you know.” (8:27)
“Surely Allah commands you to Allah, the Almighty, referred to the laws which He legislated for His creatures as “The Trust”. He, Glory be to Him, also warned against treachery in many instances in the Holy Qur’an: make over trusts to their owners.” (4:58 )
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “The worst from of treachery is betraying the intimate and faithful (friend), and breach of promises.”1
He is also quoted as saying: “The worst of people is he who believes not in trust and refrains not from treachery.”2
And: “Avoid treason for it is the worst of sins; surely the treacherous will be tortured in the fire for their treason.”3
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) advised one of his a companions:
“Never say farewell to us without advising us of two traits: Adhere to uttering the truth, and convey trusts to both the righteous and sinful for they (the two traits) are the key to sustenance.4
Islam calls all people to a stable and happy life under the rule of performing assigned duties according to its exalted commands. It also stressed the importance of conveying trusts.
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“Adhere to conveyance of trusts. For, by Him Who sent Muhammad (S) as a righteous Prophet, even if the one who killed my Father entrusted me with the sword he used kill him. I would give it back to him.5
There is no consideration in Islam for the treacherous. Under certain circumstances it even legislates the amputation of the hand of he who embezzles the property of Muslims. Islam severely implements the penal law against the treacherous so as to protect the social rights and preserve public safety. This procedure places the sense of responsibility in society, and helps bring about a righteous community.
Every wrong done has its bad consequences in this world and the hereafter, in addition to being a factor in the downfall of humanity.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“He who does evil shall be punished for it in this world.” 6
According to Dr. Rose Keen:
“Every error I made in my life will stand in my way and deprive me of happiness, it will distract my understanding and realization. The opposite is also true; every attempt, truth, or righteous act accompanies and motivates me to reach all goals and hopes.”
The Mechanical Theory which says that:
“Action and reaction are equal” applies to behavioral psychology too. Good and bad actions have equal opposite affects on individuals and those who surround or imitate them.
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“Conveyance of trusts is the title of the true believers.” 7
Faith is the spirit’s defensive weapon. It is one of the more important factors which can reach deep to the soul, it organizes man’s deeds and conduct with precise order. Faith also re-establishes the sense of individual and social responsibility, warns man against the influence of social corruption, and guides society to righteousness and truth.
Faith prevents corruption and treachery. It holds parents responsible for paving the way for their children to live happy lives by carefully examining their children’s early habits, implementing faith in their hearts and supporting praiseworthy traits in them.
Imam Zain al-Abideen (a.s.) said:
“You are responsible for him to whom you are granted guardianship; his manners, guidance to his Lord, Glory be to Him, and helping him to obey (his Lord).”
Dr. Raymund Peach said:
“It is not sufficient to generally adhere to the rules of religion. For only constant and precise attention to every detail regarding the children’s behavioral conduct and emotions in relation to religion can be enough to implement faith in their hearts. Implement the fundamentals of religion and its exalted holdings in their pure and kind hearts which are ready to receive your advise and admonition. Do that without the added restriction to religion. This will protect their faith and confidence and guard them from straying and destruction.”
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said:
“Surely in men of reason there is a need for moral as much as crops need rain.” 8
Dr. C. Robbin said:
“Some may dispute the fact that manners like walking and talking are natural actions. In other words, they are among the initial matters which we learn in life.
“It should be known that reason does not help man to learn good manners; rather, manners rule man before he realizes the importance of them, prior to any signs of mental maturity. In other words, manners are not dependant on reason but are advantageous to them. I therefore, feel bad when I hear a mother saying about her son’s behavior: ‘He will grow to learn the right thing.’
If children do not get used to good manners (behavior) at a young age they will be unable to acquire them by reason and understanding. Yes, we can say that manners are the practical reason which guides us and opens the gates to the shortest way to righteousness. This practical reason protects us from idleness in the same way that it opposes extravagant lusts and cravings, reason guards us against enmity, hatred and resentment. In other words, it makes us sociable and warns us against ignoring others and selfishness.
“Well-mannered individuals are never lonely; they can represent societies and help awaken people to the truth.” 9
Despite all attempts being made to legislate strict laws to reduce crimes of treachery and the educational programs to make people aware of their consequences, and despite the many judicial and administrative establishments that fight treachery, treacherous acts are constantly increasing in number and are becoming a horrifying fact.