Verse of Trusts
References of Ethics
Qur'an • Nahj al-balagha • Misbah al-shari'a wa miftah al-haqiqa • Makarim al-Akhlaq • Al-Mahajja al-bayda' fi tahdhib al-ahya' • Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir • Jami' al-sa'adat • Mi'raj al-sa'ada • Al-Muraqabat
- This article is about Al-Amanat Verse. For other article named Al-Amana Verse, see Al-Amana Verse.
Al-Amānāt Verse (Arabic: آیة الأَمَانَات) or Verse of Trusts, is the verse fifty eight of Qur'an 4 (Sura al-Nisa'). In the first part of the verse, God commends people to return trusts to those who are due, and in the second, He commends the observation of justice in jurisdictions. The verse is said to imply the requirement of judicial institutes in communities.
Al-Tabrisi said about the occasion of the revelation of this verse that after the Conquest of Mecca, the Prophet (s) borrowed the Ka'ba's key from 'Uthman b. Talha. Al-'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, the Prophet's uncle, asked him to give him the key, but he rejected 'Abbas's request and returned the key to 'Uthman while reciting the verse.
Text and Translation
|“|| إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا
"Indeed Allah commands you to deliver the trusts to their [rightful] owners, and to judge with fairness when you judge between people. Excellent indeed is what Allah advises you. Indeed Allah is all-hearing, all-seeing."
|— Qur'an 4: 58|
The verse consists of two main parts. In the first, God commends people to return trusts to those who are due. According to 'Allama Tabataba'i, the "Trust" (amana) in this verse has a broad meaning, including both material trusts and spiritual ones such as knowledge and wisdom, and so all kinds of trust need to be given to those who are due. According to Tafsir-i Nimuna, this verse explicitly makes it obligatory for any Muslim to return trusts to those who are due, whether or not the other side is a Muslim. According to the second part of the verse, God commends people to justly judge and rule people.
According to a hadith, Imam al-Baqir (a) takes the verse to be addressed to rulers of a community. Thus, they must trust the right ruler or Imam after them with the leadership of the community, and they ought not to deny the position from the next ruler.
Occasion of Revelation
In his Majma' al-bayan, al-Tabrisi says about the occasion of the revelation of the Verse of Trusts that, after the Conquest of Mecca, the Prophet (s) summoned 'Uthman b. Talha and borrowed the Ka'ba's key from him in order to cleanse the Ka'ba from any idols. At the time, 'Abbas, the Prophet's uncle, asked the Prophet to give him the key and appoint him as the key-holder of the Ka'ba. However, his request was rejected by the Prophet (s). He returned the key to 'Uthman while reciting the Qur'an 4:58.
Requirement of Judicial Institutes in the Community
Every community needs a judicial institution in order to protect its social order. It is rationally self-evident that a community requires a judicial institution. This is indicated in a variety of Qur'anic verses, such as Qur'an 4:59, 65, and 105, Qur'an 5:42, and Qur'an 38:26. The verse fifty eight of Sura al-Nisa' is also said to imply the requirement of judicial institutes within a community.
- But if you judge, judge between them with justice. Indeed Allah loves the just.
- So judge between people with justice, and do not follow your desires, or they will lead you astray from the way of Allah.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from آیه امانات in Farsi WikiShia.