Promise and Trust in Islam

In Islam, morality is a matter of truth and moral virtues. Moral virtues like honesty, patience, compassion, promise, and trust in Islam have great values that are true and beneficial for all people. However, Morality in Islam, as indeed other religions, is conceived as objective and absolute. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was always true to his word. He didn’t like liars and he never told a lie. In Mecca long before the declaration of Prophethood, the people called him by the title of “al-Sadiq” (the truthful) and “al-Amin” (the trustworthy).  He fulfilled all of his promises from his childhood until his death. He never betrayed anyone, and he never lied in his life. He was the best example of a human to all of mankind. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) informed us to fulfill Amanah (Trust) even if the other party is not trustworthy.

Importance of Promise and Trust in Islam in the light of the Holy Quran and Ahadith

 In a Hadith, Prophet (SAW) described:

“Discharge the settlement to those who entrusted you, and don’t betray even the one who broke his promise.”[1]  

Allah has instructed us to fulfill our pledges, our promises, and our commitments. If we make a promise it is incumbent to fulfill it. In Surah al- Mu’minun (The Believers), Allah says the following about the good qualities of the believers:

“Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; and those who strictly guard their prayers. These are indeed the inheritors who shall inherit Paradise”.[2]

The Qur’anic word “Al-Amanah” which can be translated to English as “Trust” or “Integrity” is very important in our daily life. Trust creates a surrounding in which people live with peace and harmony. If we do not trust one another and we do not act justly, we will create a condition of anarchy, confusion, misunderstanding, and disturbance in society. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has taught us that whoever does not fulfill his promises does not have faith and does not have religion. In a Hadith, he said:

  “There is no faith for the one who has no trust, and there is no religion for the one that does not fulfill his promises.”[3]   

Prophet (SAW) said that whoever does not fulfill his commitments, pledges and promises is considered to be a hypocrite (Munafiq). Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported: Messenger of Allah explained:

 “There are four qualities that if a person possesses them all, he is a real hypocrite, and if he possesses some of them, then he has a share of hypocritical qualities until he abandons them. If he is entrusted, he deceives. If he speaks, he lies. If he makes a promise, he breaks it, and if he argues, he goes out of bounds.”[4]  

This Hadith gives a stern warning against the breaking of promises. This Hadith is general and for everyone. It applies to all promises and pledges, regardless of whether the person with whom the promise was made is a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Another Hadith reports that Prophet (SAW) illustrated:

“When someone hears a discussion from a person who does not want his name to be released, it is considered to be a private conversation. It is a trust, even if he did not ask to be kept private”.[5]

Moreover, he (SAW) demonstrated how to live an honest and happy life:

 “If you have these four qualities, there is nothing against you in the world which may cause you harm: Guarding of trust; truthfulness in speech; beauty in conduct; and moderation in food.”[6]

Human society cannot function without the institution of promises and assurances of their fulfillment. In many places Allah has incited the Muslims to keep their promises and to be trustworthy; such as, He says:

“O you who believe, fulfill (all) obligations.”[7]

At another place, Allah says:

“And fulfill the promise; Surely every promise shall be questioned about.”[8]

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (R.A) quoted the Messenger of Allah as saying:

 “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should keep their promise when they make it.”[9]

Honesty is an essential feature of the Muslim character. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warned us of the dangers inherent in dishonesty, and the benefits of living in an honest way. He said:

“Always be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. If you are always truthful and seek truthfulness, God records you as such. Never lie, for lying leads to shamefulness and shamefulness leads to Hell. If you insist on lying and seek deceit, God records you as such”.[10]

 As we all know that honesty is the best policy and it is one of the prominent qualities of a Muslim, it created a peaceful society and made people proceed on the path to progress. Surely Allah commands us to make over trusts to their owners. As he says in the Holy Qur’an:

 “O you who believe! Be not unfaithful to Allah and the Apostle, nor be unfaithful to your trusts while you know.”[11]

The Prophet of Islam clarified:

“The person who has no covenant has no faith”.[12]

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) described:

“Love the children. Treat them with kindness and if you make a promise to them, fulfill it without fail. The children think that you are the provider of sustenance for them.”[13]

Similarly, Hazrat Ali says:

“Whenever you make a promise to the children, definitely keep it.”[14]

Also, Hazrat Ali has said to Malik Ashtar:

“Breaking promises makes others unhappy as also Allah will be unhappy.”[15]

Regarding the sin of breaking the trust, Prophet (SAW) said:

“The Almighty says: I am the third in the midst of the two partners as long as one does not commit treachery with another. When he commits treachery with him, I go out from the midst of the two”.[16]

There are a number of Quranic verses and Ahadith regarding the importance of promise and trust in Islam. Here, we have mentioned only a few of them. May Allah guide us and give us the understanding to differentiate right from wrong and to follow the right path.


The overall study concluded the importance of promise and trust in Islam. To keep a promise is essential because if someone keeps a promise, it forms an attachment with the other person if that same person does not fulfill the promise, it breaks the bond of trust in their relationship. There is a strong connection between trust and promise; if we are trustworthy and honest then we must fulfill our promises and if we are not fulfilling our promises it means we are not honest and trustworthy. Trustworthiness and fulfillment of promises are beneficial in this life and in the hereafter as well.


[1] Ahmad and Abu Dawud.

[2] Al-Qur’an, 23: 8-11.

[3] Masnad Ahmad,3/135; Baihaqi as quoted in Mishqat

[4] Sahîh al­Bukhârî (33) and Sahîh Muslim (59)

[5] Ahmad.

[6] Mishkat.

[7] Al- Qur’an, 5:1.

[8] Al- Qur’an, 16:24.

[9] Bihbodi, Sahih al Kafi, vol.1, p.117.

[10] .Bukhari, Adab, 69; Muslim, Birr, 105; Abu Dawud, Adab, 80.

[11] Al-Qur’an, 8:27.

[12]  Bihar al­Anwar, Vol. 75, Page 96

[13] Wasail, vol.15, page 101, Bihar Vol 104, Page 92.

[14] Mustadrak, vol.2, page 106

[15]  Bihar al­Anwar, Vol. 77, Page 96.

[16] Sunan Abu Dawud and Mishkat.

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