The act of safekeep is defined as the act of keeping something safe, to protect something and to care for something.
This follows on from the reminder we had a few weeks back on the importance of integrity as a Muslim. The imam reminded us of the importance of safekeeping by referencing the 58th ayat of Sura An-Nisa which is translated to say:
Allah orders you all to hand back trusts to their owners, and when you judge between people you judge with justice. Indeed, the best is the exhortation with which Allah exhorts you. Allah is the Hearer, the Seer.
Dear brothers and sisters, the ayat speaks about treating people with justice. It is about having honesty and sincerity in all dealings with other people and it’s about understanding that all our conducts in life are witnessed by Allah SWT and we will be answerable to them one day.
If we expand upon this point further, it’s about understanding and respecting the rights of people. From our children to our neighbours, we have rights over others and others have rights over us.
Integrity comes from knowing these rights and living within the limits of these rights. It is to avoid transgressing the rights of others. The imam relayed a hadith in relation to this which is translated to say:
“Rights will certainly be restored to those entitled to them on the Day of Resurrection, (to the point that) even the hornless sheep will lay claim upon the horned one.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we can interpret from this hadith, the preciseness of accountability on our rights and the rights of others on us. We should therefore be mindful of what the rights of others are on us so that we are not of the transgressors of rights.
One of the areas that we have been reminded of when it comes to respecting the rights of others is in the workplace. The imam reminded us of a number of different hadith in respect to this part of our lives. The first one is translated to say:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this points towards people of authority and we need to be careful that if we are placed in positions of authority, either in our homes or in the workplace, that we do not fall into this category as corruption is commonplace these days. As Muslims, we need to set the standard and the example for others to be inspired by and to look up to.
One practical way to avoid transgressing is to be mindful of one’s own weakness and strengths. Different people are tested in different ways, from matters of the flesh to intoxicants, the temptation of one is different from the temptations for the other.
Some of us are weak when it comes to position of authority or power. Just like with other temptations and reminders given in the past, one of the best methods to avoiding falling into the trap is to not be around the temptation. And the temptation of power or authority is no exception as the imam mentioned the following hadith which is translated to say:
Abu Dharr told that he asked God’s Messenger to make him a governor, but he struck him on his shoulder with his hand and said, “You are weak, Abu Dharr, and it is a trust which will be a cause of shame and regret on the day of resurrection except for him who undertakes it as it ought to be undertaken and fulfils his duty in it.” In another version he said to him, “I see that you are weak, Abu Dharr, and I wish for you what I wish for myself. Do not accept rule over two people and do not become guardian of an orphan’s property.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we can ponder over this hadith and see that the best prevention sometimes is avoidance of the temptation altogether. This only comes from knowing oneself and being able to really look within and understand where we are strong and where we are weak. Remember, there is no shame in acknowledging one’s weakness if it means that sin is avoided.
As the imam reminded us in the following hadith, it is better to avoid the responsibility than to fall foul of it. The hadith is translated to say:
“I am the opponent of three on the Day of Resurrection, and if I am someone’s opponent I will defeat him: A man who makes promises in My Name, then proves treacherous; a man who sells a free man and consumes his price; and a man who hires a worker, makes use to him, then does not give him his wages.”
Dear brothers and sisters, integrity, trust and safekeeping makes the personality by which a Muslim should be recognized. Our physical appearance can be easily copied by others but it is our day-to-day conduct, our behaviours and our manners that really sets us apart and it is what will be questioned of us when we return to Allah SWT.
Let’s use today’s reminder to make sure that we are of those who are with our Prophet SAWS on the Day of Resurrection and not of the opponents of him.