4. Fulfilment Of Promise

As a natural instinct, man feels committed to discharge his obligations towards others and fulfilment of promises. It is therefore obligatory on the followers of every school of thought to fulfil their commitments and condemn non-fulfilment of promises and breach to trust.

Man is bound to discharge obligations in social life because reliability makes man dependable. In other words, it is one of the noble deeds to honour commitments in every walk of life. Any commitment between two parties must be honoured, no matter whether the contract is small or free of legal bindings.

The Qur'an regards fulfilment of promises as a part of belief and one of the qualities of the believers;

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ 

The believers are successful, those who humble themselves in their prayers, who refrain from vain talk . . . those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants. (23:1-8)

Another Qur'anic verse says;

وَالْمُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِهِمْ إِذَا عَاهَدُوا

. . . ( Righteous are) those who fulfil the contracts which they have made . . . (2:177)

The Holy Prophet (S) on one occasion said:

من عامل الناس فلم يظلمهم وحدثهم فلم يكذبهم ووعدهم فلم يُخلفهم فهو ممن كملت مرؤته وظهرت عدالته ووجبت أخوته

One who dealt with people and did not do injustice to them; and talked with them and did not tell lies to them; and made a covenant with them and did not break it, such a person is a perfect gentleman; and his probity is known (and accepted) and his brotherhood is worth seeking1.

The fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) said:

ثلاث لم يجعل الله عز وجل لإحد فيهن رخصة: اداء الأمانة إلى البر والفاجر والوفاء بالعهد للبر والفاجر وبر الوالدين برين كانا أو فاجرين.

There are three things in which Allah has not given any option to anyone (i.e., they are compulsory, nobody can avoid them)

(a) Returning back the trust, whether the principle be pious or debauched;

(b) fulfilling the promise, whether it was made to a good man or evil; and

(c) being good to the parents, whether the parents be pious or not2.

Fulfilment of promises creates reliability and helps organise different facets of life. Indifference and breach of trust leads to disorganisation and even obstruction in functions. Anyone who deviates from the right path, breaks a promise and dishonours his commitments, only creates hatred and enmity in the hearts of others. Breach of trust results in disorganization of society and if allowed to continue leads the nation to doom and destruction.

Unfortunate are the persons who not only dishonour their obligations but adopt the habit of breach of trust and cheating as an inherent part of life. Their actions are a violation of all the moral and ethical codes of life and are injurious to society.

  • 1. Biharu '1-Anwar, vol. 75.
  • 2. al-Usul al-Kafi`, vol. 2.