Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Ahzab, ayat 72:
Truly, We did offer “Al Amanah” (which translates to the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment).
But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).
Dear brothers and sisters, there is so much to digest from this single ayat and this khutba could never do it justice but in order to give an idea of how important and heavy this “trust” (amanat) is, Allah says that the heavens and the earth, in spite of their glory and greatness, and the mountains, in spite of their size and firmness, could not have the power and courage to bear it. But man, the weak and frail man, has borne this heavy burden on his tiny self.
In order to give an idea of the extraordinary importance of the matter, try to imagine a scene as if the earth and the heavens and the mountains like the Himalayas were present before Allah SWT on one side and a 5 to 6 foot man, on the other.
Then Allah SWT is saying at this point to His creation that he wants to invest someone of His creation with the power that it may acknowledge His Supremacy and obey His commands of its own free will.
He wants it to also have the power to deny Him, even rebel against Him. After giving the creation this freedom Allah SWT will conceal Himself as if He did not exist at all.
And to exercise this freedom, Allah SWT shall give His creation vast powers, great capabilities, and shall give it dominion over countless of His other creations so that it may raise any storm that it may.
And then finally Allah SWT will call His creation to account. The one who will have misused the freedom granted by Him, will be made to suffer a most terrible punishment; and the one who will have adopted His obedience in spite of all chances and opportunities for disobedience, will be raised to such high ranks as no creation of His has ever been able to attain.
And Allah SWT offers this to the mightiest of his creation by asking which of them is ready to undergo this test?
Dear brothers and sisters, now imagine that for a second, a test such as this is resulting in one huge creation after the other submitting that it should be excused from the severe test.
And then, at last, this frail creation, in comparison to the mountains and the earth, declares that it is ready to undergo this test. That it will brave all the dangers inherent in the freedom and independence only in the hope that it will be blessed with the highest office in Allah SWT’s kingdom if it passes the test.
Dear brothers and sisters, by imagining this scene through one’s mind’s eye can we judge exactly what delicate position we hold in the universe.
Allah in this verse has called mankind unjust and ignorant, who lives a carefree life in the place of test, and has no feeling at all of how great a responsibility he is shouldering, and what consequences he will encounter of the right or wrong decisions that he makes in choosing and adopting an attitude for himself in the life of the world.
He is ignorant because the fool holds himself as responsible to no one; he is unjust because he is preparing for his doom and is also preparing the doom of many others along with him.
Dear brothers and sisters, be under no illusion, we have had a great trust placed upon each and every single one of us by Allah SWT.
To perform worship and to perform our duties as Muslims to the best of our ability is the trust placed on us by Allah SWT. But alongside that we are entrusted to be just to one another in business, family affairs and in all walks of life.
We are entrusted by Allah SWT to carry on the message delivered via the Prophet SAWS in our manners, our behaviour and our talk especially considering the ignorance being spread of Islam in current affairs and media.
Dear brothers and sisters, one cannot over-emphasise the weight of expectation and responsibility placed on us via this trust. But Allah SWT’s wisdom prevails over all and we should remind ourselves that this is a trust we can honour with the right actions in this life.
And what better way to honour this trust than by to imitate the words and actions of our beloved Prophet Muhammed SAWS – the best of all creation?
May Allah SWT enable us to honour this Trust. May Allah SWT exclude us from the unjust and the ignorant and may Allah SWT reward us for honouring this Trust.
Ameen wa Alhamdullilahi Rabil-alameen.