Yousuf Saleh 7th February 2014

All Praise is due to Allah (swt) who is the Sustainer of all the Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon Muhammad (saws), his family, his companions and all those who follow him in righteousness until the day of resurrection.

Respected brothers and sisters at home, since the last two Jumu’ah we have been talking about ‘ALAMANAH’. Today we will be continuing this subject. Once before Hijrah, the Prophet (saw) came with some of his Companions in order to enter the Kabah. 'Uthman ibn Talhah had not embraced Islam until that time. He stopped the Prophet (saw) from going in, and he showed an attitude which was very rude.

The Prophet (saw) showed great restraint, tolerated his harsh words, then said: '0 'Uthman, a day will come when you would perhaps see this key to the Baytullah in my hands when I shall have the power and choice to give it to anyone I choose.' 'Uthman ibn Talhah said: 'If this happens, the Quraysh will then be all uprooted and disgraced.' He said: 'No, the Quraysh will then be all established and very honourable indeed.'

When came the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (saw) called Uthman ibn Talhah and asked for the key to Baytullah, he had to give the key to the Prophet (saw) on this day. It is said that on the day of the conquest of Makkah the keeper of the keys, Usman bin Talhah, refused to hand them over to Hazrat Ali (KW), who then forcibly took them from him. Hazrat Abbas (RA) requested the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to entrust the keys to him. It was at that time that Allah sent down the following verse: “Allah does command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they belong…” (4:58.) The Prophet (saw) instructed Hazrat Ali (KW) to hand back the keys to Usman bin Talhah.

Upon finding out the reason for this, Usman bin Talhah immediately embraced Islam. It is reported that the Archangel Jibreel (AS) appeared and said that the keys would forever remain with the family of Usman bin Talhah. Since then the keys have been kept by the Shebah family, as Usman bin Talhah, before his death, had given them to his paternal cousin. Presently Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Qadir al-Shebi is the custodian of the keys. Hazrat 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra), says: 'That day, when the Prophet (saw) came out of the Baytullah, he was reciting the Aayah, Verse 58 of ch-4; Surely, Allah commands you to fulfil trust obligations towards those entitled to them’, I had never heard him reciting this verse before this.' Obviously, this verse was revealed to him inside the Ka'bah exactly at that time. So, Obeying the Divine command in the verse, the Prophet (saw) called 'Uthman ibn Talhah again and made him the trustee of the key.

And He has returned the key to none else but Uthman. although, that was a time when His very own persons 'Abbas and 'Ali (ra) , had both requested that, since Baytullah's offices of water supply and safeguarding services were in their respective charge, this service of the Key-Bearer of the Ka'bah may be entrusted to them. But, the Prophet (saw) preferred to follow the instructiongiven in this verse, bypassed their request and returned the key to 'Uthman ibn Talhah. (Tafsir Mazhari)

This was the background in which this verse was revealed. At this point let us bear in mind an important rule on which there is a consensus. The rule is that even if a Qur'anic verse is revealed in a particular background, the rule laid down by it in general terms, must be taken as of universal application and must not be restricted to that particular event. Respected brothers and sisters at home, the organizations of authority and government are trusts from Allah (swt). This verse tells us that organizations and positions of management whatever they may be are all handed over to the recipients as trust from Allah (swt). Those who receive it are its Amin (trustees). This covers all executives and everyone else in authority that have the powers of appointments and removals.

It is not permissible for them that they give any office or job or responsibility to anyone who is not deserving of it. Instead of doing that, it is incumbent on those in authority that they must make a serious search for the most deserving person for every job, everyOffice and every post. Cursed is he who appoints somebody undeserving to any responsibility. In case, it is not possible to find the most perfect person for an office someone with the most desirable qualifications and capabilities, someone who combines in himself all required conditions, then, preference may be given to the one who is superior-most in terms of his capabilities and trustworthiness from among the many of those available.

In a hadith mentioned in (Jam’ul-Fawa'id, p 325) the Prophet (saw) said: If a person, who has been charged with some responsibility relating to the general body of Muslims, gives an office to someone simply on the basis of friendship or connection of some sort, without finding out the capability or merit of the person concerned, the curse of Allah (swt) falls on him. Not accepted from him is any act of worship which he has been obligated with. In some narrations it is reported that whoever entrusts a person with an office of responsibility, although he knows that there is another person more suited and more deserving for that office, then, he has committed a breach of trust against Allah, against His Prophet and against all Muslims. Respected brothers and sisters at home, the chaos and corruption seen in many systems of authority these days is a sad consequence of ignoring this Qur’anic teaching, as Responsibilities are distributed on the basis of connections, recommendations and bribes. The result is that undeserving and unjust people assume offices they are not fit to occupy, doing nothing but harassing millions of God's own people, and in the process, destroying the structure of theQuranic system.

Therefore, the Prophet (saw) said: "When the responsibility of affairs is placed under the chargeof those who are not deserving of and fit for it, then, wait for the Day of Doom (that is, there is no solution for this chaos)."

I ask Allah SWT to guide us to the straight path. May Allah make us like His pious servants who lived up to the sacred trusts committed to them.

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