Meaning of trustworthiness

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What does trustworthiness mean for the mission of Prophethood?

The second attribute of Prophethood is amana, an Arabic word which means ‘trustworthiness’. It is derived from the same root as the word mu’min, believer. Being a believer implies being ‘a trustworthy person‘. The Prophets, upon them all be peace, were foremost in belief and therefore at the summit of trustworthiness. To stress this principle, God summarizes the stories of five Prophets using the same words:

The people of Noah denied the Messengers. When their brother Noah said to them: ‘Will you not fear God and avoid evil? I am a trustworthy Messenger to you?’ (al-Shu‘ara’, 26.105–107)

In summary of the other stories, the names Hud, Lot, Shu‘ayb and Salih replace the name Noah. These are just a few of the many verses emphasizing the trustworthiness of the Prophets.

It should be noted that mu’min, trustworthy, is one of the Divine Names. God is the ultimate Mu’min, because He is the source of security and reliability. We put our trust in, confide in, and rely upon, Him. He distinguished the Prophets by their trustworthiness. Our connection to Him is through the Prophets and is based entirely on their trustworthiness and reliability.

As trustworthiness is a most important attribute of Prophethood, it is also an essential quality of the Archangel Gabriel. The Qur’an describes Gabriel as one obeyed and trustworthy (al-Takwir, 81.21). We received the Qur’an through two trustworthy Messengers, Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad. Gabriel conveyed it to Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and the latter communicated it to us.

 

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