How about the Prophet's trustworthiness in his relations with creatures?
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was trustworthy and
encouraged trust-worthiness. Once, during the last ten days of the month of
Ramadan, his wife Safiyya visited him while he confined himself in mosque
for constant prayer. As he escorted her home, two of his Companions happened
to pass by. The Messenger stopped them and, unveiling the face of his wife
Safiyya, said to them, Look, this is my wife, Safiyya!
They said: ‘God forbid any evil thought about you, O Messenger of God!’
The Messenger had wanted to warn them against any evil suspicion about him,
which might cause them to lose their faith and thereby condemn them to
eternal Hellfire. He gave them and us a lesson, saying, Satan continuously
circulates within man in his blood vessels.3
God’s Messenger was the embodiment of trustworthiness. The Makkans called
him ‘the Trustworthy One.’ Even after the declaration of his Prophethood,
they continued to entrust their precious goods to him although they regarded
him as an enemy.
He warned his people against lying, breaking one’s word and breach of
trust. Like breaching a trust and breaking one’s word, lying was also, in
his words, ‘a sign of hypocrisy’.4 He was so meticulous in this matter that
once he saw a woman call her child saying, ‘Come on, I’ll give you
something!‘ He asked her whether she would really give the child something.
When the woman replied that she would give him a date, God’s Messenger
warned: If you were not to give something, that would be a lie!
He was not only against deceiving humans, but even warned people against
deceiving animals. Once, annoyed at seeing one of his Companions call his
horse using deception, he said:
You should give up deceiving animals. You should be
trustworthy even in your treatment of them!5
Once, on the way home from a military campaign, a few Companions took the
chicks of a bird from the nest to pet them. The mother-bird returned after a
short while and on finding the chicks gone, began to fly around in distress.
When God’s Messenger was informed of this, he was so grieved that he ordered
the chicks to be returned immediately. By this he demonstrated that it was
not befitting for those who should be representatives of trustworthiness to
hurt any living creatures.6
His Companions, those of the generation of Islam who imbibed his Message,
were each an embodiment of trustworthiness. By virtue of this and other
laudable virtues, cities and states were submitted to the Message they
conveyed. During the caliphate of ‘Umar, the embodiment of justice, Abu
‘Ubayda was the commander of the Muslim armies in Syria. When the emperor of
Byzantium set out to recapture Hims with a large army, Abu ‘Ubayda decided
to evacuate the city since there were only a handful of soldiers in his
company. He gathered the people of Hims in the city quarter and announced:
We collected the protection tax from you because we had to defend you.
Now we are too weak to de-fend you against the assault of the emperor of
Byzantium. In this case, we return the tax we collected.7
All the taxes collected were returned to the non-Muslim people of Hims.
Pleased with the Muslim administration, Christian priests and Jewish rabbis
flocked to the churches and synagogues and prayed for God to grant the
Muslims victory against the armies of the Byzantine emperor.
Such was the attitude of Muslim conquerors and administrators in the
lands they ruled. Muslims stayed in Spain for eight centuries. If there were
left in that land Christians in sufficient numbers and with sufficient power
to recapture it after eight centuries, this was due to the religious
tolerance of the Muslim administration. Muslim rulers, whether in Europe or
Asia or Africa, did not interfere with the religion, language or native
culture of the conquered peoples. If they had done so, there would have been
no Christians or Jews left to recapture Spain or the Balkan countries or
Palestine to carry out genocides therein, or to destroy peoples, cultures
and languages almost all over the world.
Islam emphasizes trustworthiness and security between people to the
extent of condemning and forbidding suspicion and backbiting. The Qur’an
O you who believe! Avoid much of suspicion for suspicion in some cases is
a grave sin. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you
like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would abhor it. And fear God,
verily God is the Acceptor of repentance, the Most Merciful. (al-Hujurat,
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was so sensitive on
this point that when once ‘A’isha said of a woman, ‘How long the neck of
that woman is!’, he commented:
You have backbitten against her and thereby eaten of her flesh!8
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, always prayed to God as
O God! I seek refuge in You from hunger, for how bad a companion it is! I
also seek refuge in You from betrayal, for what an evil confidant it is!9
The following is also one of his severe admonitions against betrayal and
When God gathers together on the Day of Judgement all the people
preceding and to come, a banner will be raised on behalf of every man of
disloyalty and it will be announced: This is because of the disloyalty of so
The heart of God’s Messenger was utterly closed to all kinds of evil, but
open to all sorts of good. He lived in a climate of security, faithfulness
and trustworthiness. He never cheated, lied, betrayed, spoke behind anyone’s
back or slandered anyone. He never harboured evil suspicion of any-one. In
return, people relied on him, and confided in him. His enemies spoke all
kinds of slander against him but no one ever accused him of lying and
disloyalty. Those who turned their backs on him were deceived and dragged
along into wrong ways.
3. Bukhari, I‘tiqaf, 8; I. Ma’ja, Siyam, 65.
4. Abu Dawud, Adab, 80; I. Hanbal, 3.447.
5. Bukhari, Iman, 24; Muslim, Iman, 107.
6. Abu Davud, Jihad, 112, Adab, 164; I. Hanbal, 1.404.
7. Abu Dawud, Adab, 164; I. Hanbal, 1.404.
8. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 7.359; al-Targhib ve l–Tarhib, 4.285.
9. Abu Dawud, Witr, 32; Nasa’i, Isti‘adha, 19,20; Ibn Ma’ja, At‘ima, 53.
10. Muslim, Jihad, 9.