What 3 Personal Commitments Should a Muslim Fulfill?

07 August, 2020
Q What personal commitments are consistent with Islam? Are there any obligations to fulfill?

Answer

Short Answer:

  • Personal commitments, from an Islamic perspective, can be categorized into three main categories; commitments towards Allah, commitments towards one’s self and commitments towards the rest of the creation.

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Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.

Pivotally, Islam respects all types of commitments as long as they are lawful and do not involve any wrongdoing whatsoever.

As a matter of principle, the Noble Quran and the authentic Sunnah state the following:

“O You who have attained faith! Be true to your covenants!” Quran 5:1

“Fulfill your pledges, for you will surely be held accountable for them.” Quran 17:34

“Fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah , over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.”  Quran 16:91

‘Amr bin ‘Auf al-Muzani (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:

“Muslims must abide by their conditions (which they have made), except for a condition that makes unlawful something that is lawful, or makes lawful something that is unlawful.” [at-Tirmidhi reported it and graded it Sahih (authentic)].

With that in mind, personal commitments, from an Islamic perspective,  can be categorized into three main categories; commitments towards Allah, commitments towards one’s self and commitments towards the rest of the creation.

Commitments towards Allah

Concerning the first category, Mu’adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “O Mu’adh, do you know what is the right of Allah upon the people, and what is the Right of the people upon Allah?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know better”. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah’s Right upon the people is that they should worship Him Alone and associate nothing with Him; and the people’s right upon Allah is that He should not punish who does not associate a thing with Him.” He (Mu’adh) added: I said to the Messenger of Allah: “Shall I give the glad tidings to people?” He (PBUH) said, “Do not tell them this good news for they will depend on it alone”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Hence, we can better understand the subsequent verse from the Noble Quran:

We surely sent a messenger to every community, saying, “Worship Allah and shun false gods.” Quran 16:36

Commitments towards one’s self and commitments towards the rest of the creation

Regarding the second and third categories, it was narrated that ‘Abdullah said:

“The Messenger of Allah entered my apartment and said: I have been told that you stand all night (in prayer) and fast all day.’ I said: ‘Yes (I do).’ He said: ‘Do not do that. Sleep and stand (in prayer); fast and break your fast. For your eyes have a right over you, your body has a right over you, your body has a right over you, your wife has a right over you, your guest has a right over you, and your friend has a right over you.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Editor’s Note:

This hadith summarizes in a nutshell the importance of balance in our life. Islam does not call to monasticism. It is not meant for us to burn out in worship. On the contrary, a Muslim should alternate between praying and sleeping, fasting and breaking the fast, etc. We are encouraged to be social beings as well; marrying and accompanying guests and friends.

In another report, the Companion Salman told the companion Abud-Darda’:

“You owe a duty to your lord (Allah), you owe a duty to your body; you owe a duty to your family; so you should fulfill the due rights of everyone. Abud-Darda’ came to the Prophet (PBUH) and reported the whole story. Prophet (PBUH) said, “Salman is right”. [Al- Bukhari]

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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About Hossam Ed-Deen Allam
Hosam Ed-Deen Allam holds an MA of Diplomacy and Religion with Distinction from the Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion at Lancaster University in the UK. His main research area concerns Faith-based Diplomacy, Conflict Transformation, De-sectarianisation, and Peacebuilding. In parallel, Allam works as a member of Al-Azhar Fatwa Global Centre in addition to serving as a lecturer of the sources of Islamic jurisprudence at the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Hossam Ed-Deen is a Graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo from the Faculty of Shari’ah and Law in English. He has served as a lecturer of Islamic jurisprudence and its principles at the renowned Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo and has served as a religious leader in a number of communities in North America including NYC. Through his years of community work, he has provided training and guidance to government departments along with developing educational projects and community centers.