Hawzah News Agency - Man is bound to behave reasonably so as to be considered a human being. The success of human societies is totally dependent upon the unity of its members. Therefore, it is of special importance that every person conduct his life according to the fundamentals of truth and righteousness, and wholeheartedly endeavors to refrain from any action that may cause dissention or disunity.
Furthermore, if the sanctity of oaths and promises stem from one's faith and morality they are more likely to be observed.
Islam so greatly condemns the violation of promises that it has made it illegal and unethical for its followers to violate their oaths even if they were made with tyrants and desolates. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said:
“There are three affairs for which Allah gave no license (permission to violate): Conveyance of trust to both the righteous and the fallacious; Fulfillment of promises to both the righteous and the fallacious; And kindness to the parents whether they are righteous or sinful.”1
The Holy Qur’an describes the believers in the following way:
“And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenants." (23: 8)
Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (S) counted breach of promises among the signs of hypocrisy. He said: “There are four traits that if one possess he is considered a hypocrite. If one of them is found in a person he has the characteristics of hypocrite unless he abandon it: (The four characteristics are) He who lies when he speaks; He who breaks his promises; He who betrays when he makes a vow; and He who erupts when he quarrels (with someone).”2
Imam 'Ali (a.s.) wrote the following to Malik Al Ashtar:
“Refrain from bragging to your subjects about your kindness (to them), and from preferring yourself (as governor) to your subjects, or to promise them and follow your promises with betrayal: for bragging thwarts kindness, preference conceals the light of righteousness, and betrayal deserves Allah’s and people’s resentment. Allah. Glory be to Him, said: it is a great resentment to Allah that you say that which you do not do:”3
Imam 'Ali (a.s.) said:
“Fulfillment (of promises) is twin to truthfulness, and I know of no shield better than (truthfulness).” 4
Islam gives special importance to the raising of children. It has clarified to parents their moral duties towards their children through strict and comprehensive commands. Unless parents perform their duties in accordance to these moral principles, they cannot teach their children to adherence to moral excellence.
This is because actions speak louder than words. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (S) prohibited men from breaking promises to their children. He said:
“And a man shall not make a promise to his child and not fulfill it.’’5
Dr. Alindi said:
“A sixteen old boy who robbed a car every day was brought to me for treatment. I discovered that when the boy was seven or eight years old, his father had forced him to give his toy to an aristocrat’s daughter, for whom his father worked. That toy, to the boy, represented an ultimate dream for he had worked hard to get it. The boy’s father promised to buy a substitute toy but had unintentionally forgot. The hopeless boy sought revenge by stealing a piece of candy from his father’s pocket. A day later the boy broke into a house and stole some items.
“It was not difficult to treat the boy when he was brought to me. It is possible that the boy would have come to be a dangerous criminal if he was not properly treated. But now his chances of becoming a reasonable and self-confident individual are much greater.’6
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) emphasizes the way one should behave with his friends. He said:
“If you adopt an intimate friend, be his servant and grant him authentic faith and truesincerity.”7
Only people who possess excellent qualities and good morals are eligible for love and relationships.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
"The happiest among people is he who associates with kind people; he who does not oppress people when he deals with them; he who when he speaks does not lie; and he who when lie promises does not betray. He is of those whose valor is perfected, whose justness is manifest, and whose brotherhood is essential."
According to Dr. Smiles:
“When you associate with spiritual people who possess noble traits, you feel an invincible power calling your souls and manners to excellence and majesty. Friendship with those who hold strong reason, noble traits, and more experience is a very valuable matter for such a relationship gives an opportunity to achieve high spirits, teach us new ways of appropriate behavior and direct our views about others to the righteous paths.”
Associating with kind people teaches us goodness and kindness, for good manners are like a light which lights that which is around it and all that is near it. In conclusion, all men should know their responsibilities towards vows and promises.
1. al-Kafi v.2, p. 162
2. Bihar al-Anwar v. 15, p. 234
3. Mustadrak al- Wasa’il v.2, p.85
4. Ghurar al-Hikam p. 228
5. Nahj al -Fasahah p. 201.
6. Ma Wa Farzandane Ma.
7. Ghurar al-Hikam p. 223.
Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, Youth and Morals, Published by Createspace Independent Pub, 2014.