Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
21 December 2012 / 7 Safar 1434
Instilling Trustworthiness and Integrity in One’s Self- Lessons from the Prophets
Dear blessed Jemaah,
Let us seize this opportunity to increase our taqwa toward Allah s.w.t by observing all His commandments and avoiding what He has prohibited upon us. May our honesty and sincerity in heeding His commands and leaving behind His prohibitions earn us Allah’s pleasure, and may we be among His servants who are filled with taqwa.
Dear Friday jemaah,
Since the past few Fridays, we have been discussing the importance of several noble qualities that should be inculcated in every Muslims. Hence today, I will share another positive attribute that is no less important in our lives. This honourable trait is trustworthiness or honesty, also referred to as integrity.
Indeed there is no better way for us to learn the value of integrity or honesty, if not by reflecting upon how this attribute was demonstrated by the Prophets, as found in the Quran.
There are actually numerous examples of how Allah’s Messengers displayed integrity in their lives. Among them, Allah s.w.t mentioned how Prophet Musa a.s. was honest and truthful toward the family of Prophet Syua’ib a.s. as stated in the Quran, in surah Al-Qasas verse 26:
Which means: “One of the women said, ‘O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy.’ ”
This verse actually carries a profound meaning, whereby it does not only prove the strength and trustworthiness of Prophet Musa a.s., as acknowledged by the Quran, but also highlights his leadership in performing his tasks with perfection and a high level of integrity.
The honesty and trustworthiness of Prophet Musa a.s. pleased Prophet Syua’ib a.s., such that Prophet Syua’ib offered Prophet Musa a.s. to marry his daughter, at the same time hoping that Prophet Musa a.s. can continue to manage his herds for 8-10 years. This story was mentioned by Allah s.w.t. in surah Al-Qasas, verse 27:
Which means: “He said, ‘Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favour] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allah wills, from among the righteous.’”
In fact in another verse from the same surah, Allah s.w.t. mentioned how Prophet Musa assumed the responsibility for 10 years to repay the help and kindness of Prophet Syua’ib a.s.
It is evident that Prophet Musa a.s. was not just honest and trustworthy, but he also strongly upheld the quality of ‘Al-Wafaa’, which is someone who holds true to his promise. This was the same attribute discussed in last week’s sermon.
Dear blessed jemaah, ,
Another story of a Muslim who exemplified integrity in his actions can be seen in the story of Prophet Yusuf a.s. He was a Rasul who is known for his foresight and wisdom in economic and financial planning when Egypt was facing 7 years of drought and 7 years of flourishing harvest.
The Quran tells the story of how Prophet Yusuf a.s. went to the King of Egypt and offered himself to take on the role of Treasurer, because he was confident of his honesty, trustworthiness and capabilities in fulfilling the task. Allah s.w.t said in surah Yusuf verse 55:
Which means: “[Yusuf] said, ‘Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.’ ”
Let us pay attention as to how Prophet Yusuf a.s. impressed upon the aspect of trustworthiness in bearing the responsibility. The Prophet was willing to serve not because he was driven by the desire for status and designation, but to protect the benefits to the people, or ‘maslahah’, and to ensure that the economy was well-managed. This is definitely an important aspect that we need to observe in the context of our working life today.
Another example that I would like to share with you, my dear brothers, is a lesson from the chosen one. The best example of mankind, a man whom we love deeply, our honourable Prophet, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Rasulullah has proven himself as a servant of Allah who is of high integrity, respected by the name ‘Al-Amin’, which means ‘extremely trustworthy’, trusted by all within his community, long before he was appointed as Rasul.
Imam Al-Tabari in his book of tafsir mentioned the event where Abu Jahal and Al-Walid Bin Al-Mughirah discussed the personality of Rasulullah s.a.w., Abu Jahal said: “Verily he (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) from then, until today is as such…Since he was in his youth we had conferred him with the title of Al-Sadiq Al-Amin.”
In fact, even after he was appointed as a Rasul, the people of Musyrikin Quraisy still kept their trust in Rasulullah s.a.w., they looked to him to safekeep their personal belongings, because they realised that even if they did not believe in his prophethood, they still knew that Rasullah s.a.w. was a trustworthy and honest person.
It is evident from the stories of Prophet Musa a.s., Prophet Yusuf a.s. and the history of Rasulullah s.a.w. which I have just shared with you, that honesty and trustworthiness are attributes and elements that are important in shouldering any responsibility. Skills and expertise alone are not enough in our work if we lack honesty. Without honesty, the task cannot be performed well. What more if one were to take away the rights of others, things that do not belong to him or to misuse the authority entrusted upon him.
From the examples highlighted in the Quran and from the history of Rasullah s.a.w., it is obvious that honesty and trustworthiness are attributes that must be deeply entrenched within us. Let it be that whenever the Singapore Muslim Community is mentioned, people will not only think of our courteous ways, but that we are remembered for our good manners in terms of our honesty and sincerity.
At the same time, a person who is trustworthy and honest is not only true to others, but is also truthful to himself. He will also have to carry out his responsibilities toward Allah the Almighty and the Exalted.
Dear blessed jemaah,
This trait of high integrity should be in every Muslim. The benefits of it are not just felt by the individual himself, but shared with his family and the society, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
May Allah s.w.t. give us the strength and determination to perform our responsibilities as Muslims who fulfill the rights of Allah and the people around him, and thus attain success in this life and the hereafter. Amin ya Rabbal Alamin.