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Praise be to Allah the Lord of the universe, may His peace and blessings be upon our noble prophet, his household, his companions and all those who follow their path till the Day of resurrection. 

Among the unique practices and qualities endorsed by Islam that characterized the era of Arab paganism before the advent of Islam is fulfilling covenants and not breaching them.  

The verses of the Holy Qur’an and the hadeeths of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) indicate that fulfilling promises and covenants is obligatory, and they point to abhorrence of the sin of the one who breaks them or fails to fulfil them. Failing to fulfil them may go so far as to constitute kufr, as happened to the Children of Israel and others when they broke the covenant with their Lord and abandoned their pledge to Allah to believe in Him and follow His Messengers. Allah, may He be exalted, says:

 

وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْئُولًا

 

“And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily! the covenant, will be questioned about” [Q17:34]

 

وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ أَوْفُوا

 

 “and fulfill the Covenant of Allâh” [Q6:152] 

 

And He says, praising His believing slaves:

 

الَّذِينَ يُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَلَا يَنقُضُونَ الْمِيثَاقَ

 

“Those who fulfil the Covenant of Allâh and break not the Mîthâq (bond, treaty, covenant)” [Q13:20]. 

 

Islam considers breaching and violating an agreement as a characteristic of the depraved and those who do that will receive their punishment. That is why that Muhammad ibn Ka‘b Al-Qurathi  said, "Three traits afflict the one who has them: scheming, being unjust and breaching a covenant”; he then recited the verses where Allah The Almighty Says :

 

وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ

{But the evil plot does not encompass except its own people.} [Q35:43]

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا بَغْيُكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُم

 

{O mankind, your injustice is only against yourselves.} [Q10:23]

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ

{ Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul.}[Q48:10]”

Many texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah clearly indicate that it is obligatory to fulfil promises and covenants, and it is strictly prohibited to break them and act in a traitorous manner. Allah says:

وَمَا وَجَدْنَا لِأَكْثَرِهِم من عَهْدٍ ۖ وَإِن وَجَدْنَا أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَفَاسِقِينَ

 

The Prophet(peace be upon him) also warned against violating covenants: "A person who has the following four [characteristics] is a pure hypocrite and he who possesses one of them has a trait of hypocrisy until he abandons it: when he talks, he lies; when he is party to a covenant, he proves to be treacherous; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he disagrees with others, he disputes violently." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] In fact, he, peace be upon him depicted a person who has this dispraised trait as one who has lost his or her nobility and religion, when he said: "A person who is not trustworthy has no faith and whoever breaches his pledge has no religion." [Ahmad] These traditions of the prophet(peace be upon him) show that betrayal or treachery is the opposite of trustworthiness and loyalty. If trustworthiness and loyalty are the qualities of faith and piety, then betrayal and treachery are the qualities of hypocrisy and evil . 

 

However, Islam regards Fulfilling promises as one of the attributes of the pious and it one of the greatest means of attaining taqwa (piety, consciousness of Allah) .  It is  also a means of expiating bad deeds and gaining admittance to Paradise.

بَلَىٰ مَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَىٰ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ

"Nay,those that keep their plighted faith and act aright,-verily Allah loves those who act aright."[Q3:76]. 

وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

 “and fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) so that I fulfill (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me)” [Q2:40]. Ibn Jareer said: His covenant with them is that if they do that, He will admit them to Paradise.

In conclusion, it was narrated in some Ahadith that, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will set up a banner for the betrayer on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said: This is the betrayer of So and so.”

We ask Allah to make us among those who fulfil promises and covenants and to grant us refuge from treachery and breaking of promises, and to help us to do good in word and deed.  

 

 

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