Faithfulness and Breach
By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr
Faithfulness is the fulfillment of the deposited rights. It is the opposite of breach and one of the noblest traits and most dignified qualities that achieve admiration and success.
The opposite of faithfulness is breach, which stands for the seizure and usurpation of rights. It is one of the meanest qualities and nastiest manners that cause indignity, failure, and disappointment.
Therefore, reports and traditions urged faithfulness and warned against breach: “Allah commands you to return that which had been entrusted to you to the rightful owners. Be just when passing judgment among people. Allah's advice is the most noble. (4:58)”
“Believers, do not be dishonest to Allah and the Messengers or knowingly abuse your trust. (8:27)”
The Prophet (S) said: “My umma will be kept in goodness so long as they do not breach the trusts of each other, keep on fulfilling their trusts, and defray the zakat; otherwise, they will be inflicted with famine and harsh years of draught1.”
“The fulfillment of the trusts brings sustenance, while treachery causes poverty2.”
“He who breaches the trust is not one of us.”
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Do not be deceived by their very much offering of prayers and observance of fasting. In fact, prayers and fasting have become habits that they feel desolate if they omit them. You should test them by their truthfulness and fulfillment of trusts3.”
“Abide by God-fearing and fulfillment of the trusts of them who deposit things with you. If the killer of Ali Ibn Abi Talib deposits with me a trust, I will surely keep it for him4.”
Advantages of Faithfulness and Disadvantages of Breach
Faithfulness plays a great role in the lives of nations. It is the system of their deeds, the support of their affairs, the title of their nobility, and the way to their moral and material development. The faithful individuals win the others’ admiration, trust, love, and confidence. Besides, such individuals will win shares in people’s fortunes and profits.
This fact is applicable to all nations whose lives cannot advance without the surroundings of confidence. Through faithfulness, the Arabs could control the reins of economy and keys of industry and commerce that brought abundant profits. Unfortunately, Muslims, thereafter, neglected faithfulness; therefore, they failed and were disappointed.
Thus, breach of trusts is one of the major reasons of failure. It is a serious factor causing mutual mistrust, enmity, and fear. Such factor results in social corruption, loose of ties, waste of interests, and dissipation of energies.
Forms of Breach
There are many forms of breach that vary in the scope of its cruelty, crimes, and results. The evilest form is treason that is committed by the thinkers and writers who violate the sacred facts of science by means of distortion and misrepresentation. The divulgement of Muslims’ secrets is another form of breach. A third one is the breach of the deposits. To confiscate such deposits is surely a double crime of breach, larceny, and usurpation. There are many other repulsive forms of breach that injure both the individuals and communities, such as trickery, cheating, deficient measurements, fraud, and dishonesty.
1. Quoted from as-Saduq’s Thawab ul-A’mal.
2. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 10 page 112 (as quoted from al- Kafi).
3. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 3 page 82 (as quoted from al-Kafi).
4. Quoted from al-Wafi; part 10 page 112 (as quoted from al- Kafi and Tahdhib).