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Broken Promises

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    Broken Promises

    And take not your oaths, to practice deception between yourselves, with the result that someone's foot may slip after it was firmly planted, and you may have to taste the evil (consequences) of having hindered (men) from the Path of Allah, and a Mighty Wrath descend on you. (16:94)

    Although the last century has passed into history, its horrors do not seem to recede. One of the most horrific ills continue to prevail in today's 'civilized' world is to break promises, oaths and covenants. Islam is emphatic on the seriousness of this sickness.

    It is a painful fact that we see the sickness of breaking promises at all levels - individuals, communities, institutions and nations.

    Promises between two individuals could be as simple as I will see you tomorrow or as serious as I will marry you. The context may vary but the principle does not. It is even more frightening when individuals make promises with due consent and then deliberately and arbitrarily break it. We are all surrounded by new age communications and are in a mad rush for fleeting instant gratification and profits. These modern marvels do not provide any opportunity to breathe freely or give anything a deeper thought. And hence, we seem to have forgotten the rudiments of humane behavior in spite of being schooled by ivy league schools.

    Regardless of their faith, Communities interact with each other based on mutual respect, faith and goodwill. And whenever these principles are compromised then we see chaos and social disorder. There are a myriad examples to learn from; from Dubai to Djibouti, London to Luxemburg and everything in between. Truce and Treaty, Accord and Pact do not mean a thing if the covenants of mutual respect and faith in each other are not regarded.

    There is no verse in the Quran which is as long and detailed as 2:282 laying out the principles for "transactions". Long before the prevalent civilized world invented 'agreements' and 'contracts', Islam commanded to 'scribe' as soon as both parties agree with each other. Once an agreement is in place, everyone is expected and asked to honor their commitments. In case of grievances, the Quran prescribed mediation. But once the grievances are redressed by the process of mediation, then the Quran commands us to place absolute trust in the Creator and fulfill all promises made therein, even if at a loss. Else, there is nothing but His Mighty Wrath in this temporal world and the eternal Hereafter.

    Nations and Tribes are created to help each other know better and not to despise each other. Amidst us lies in ruins, the genocidal diplomacy in Albania, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, to name few. People are butchered, raped and heaped over each other with no regard for human dignity. Every human life, even the most dignity-deprived one, deserves to be respected, remembered and preserved. And, that is an imperative for the cerebral social politicians and the greedy business leaders.

    If we are to win the battles of horrific ills in our societies, we must fight them with the one asset that we have; ourselves. We must do this as a gesture of repentance toward those who were promised by us to trust our words and agreements. This is a struggle that we cannot lose, for in the very making of it we will discover, if nothing else, ourselves.

    O Allah, make us of those who fulfill their promises and not of those who break them.

    (Just passing it along - I don't know who wrote it)