Every bit of existence has a connection to TRUST. For humans, trust always precedes or co-exists with our actions. Trust is “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.” Common, in our everyday conversations, are phrases such as “truth be told…” before establishing a fact. Interestingly, whether the fact is genuinely true does not guarantee the listener will believe the fact, no matter how it is presented. What will make the listener accept it to be the truth is TRUST, either trust in themselves (the power to judge, accept or reject intellectually) or trust in the speaker. This leads us to another commonly adopted maxim; “do not trust anyone”. The inference from the adage is to admit the imperfection of man, his ability to err or deceive by choice for various reasons.
Thus, we understand why acceptance of a fact to be the truth is influenced and is relative to various conditions human beings find themselves in. When we don’t have the power to discern, we just trust. A baby does not have a mature or developed brain that will enable it to determine the truth and falsehood clearly. Its truth is the trust in the environment, the parents and the caregivers and all the people around him. When these conditions change or any of it is missing, insecurity sets in for the baby. Even in our civic world, it’s all about trust. Our trust in the government or the system will inform our assumption and confidence in every aspect of the system. When we go to the airport to board a flight, we do not think about the competency of the pilot; we just trust the system. Trust in a system of security gives us the confidence to move freely without fear of being harmed. And whenever any of these trusts fail us, our perception changes and the trust level reduces, eventually leading to doubt, fear, and disorderliness, among others. For instance, when a plane crashes, it reduces the trust in the system until they can prove the crash was beyond the scope of management. Intriguingly, trust is usually limited to human beings. For instance, it was not the ability of the aeroplane that we trusted but the trust in the soundness of the science of flight or the pilot making the function manifest and unless we are forced or in certain conditions, we do not engage in things we do not have trust in.
Even though our state of innocence (fitrah) is wired to believe the Truth (Al Haqq), which is also one of the names of Allah, the power of discernment gives us the freedom to accept or reject information presented to us, be it truth or falsehood and we do so consciously or subconsciously. The information at our disposal determines the strength of discernment. The intellect judges by these pieces of information or experiences based on what we see, hear or feel. Since we are bound by space and time, there are things we may never see with our eyes or hear with our ears or taste with our mouth or feel by the reaction of our skin or body. Trusting that our ability to know the truth is limited to certain conditions leads us to believe in the unseen realm. Also, it leads to the belief that there must be an Absolute TRUTH, free of every form of imperfection. To save us from the stress of having to determine the soundness of these thoughts, Allah sends His Messengers (May He be Pleased with them All) to show us the TRUTH by manifesting truth in them and bringing the understanding to our level through metaphors by which we can relate. He shows us signs through His Messengers and nature to enlighten our minds. Informing us that the first step to knowing the TRUTH is to believe, but mere belief may not lead to certainty until you have trust. Hence, Abu Bakr became as-Siddiq (the trustworthy) because his trust level in Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made him worthy of trust. He gave preference to anything that came from the Prophet (SAW) after trusting him. Logical proof did not matter to Abu Bakr when he was told the Prophet (SAW) travelled to Jerusalem in one night and even ascended to heaven to meet his Lord. This level of trust earned Abu Bakr the highest status amongst the Companions.
In one narration,”Umar was angered by Abu Bakr one day and left him in anger. Abu Bakr followed him, asking his forgiveness, but Umar refused and shut the door in Abu Bakr’s face. Abu Bakr then went to the Prophet (SAW) and took hold of his garment until his knee showed. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Your companion has been arguing!” Abu Bakr greeted him and said: “There was a dispute between `Umar and me, then I felt remorse and asked him to forgive me but he would not, so I came to you.” The Prophet (SAW) said, repeating three times: “Allah forgives you, O Abu Bakr! Allah forgives you, O Abu Bakr! Allah forgives you, O Abu Bakr!” Then Umar felt remorse and sought for Abu Bakr at his house without finding him. He came to the Prophet (SAW) and greeted him, but the Prophet’s face changed with displeasure. Seeing this, Abu Bakr sat up on his knees in fear before the Prophet (SAW) saying twice: “O Messenger of Allah! I am the one who transgressed. O Messenger of Allah! I am the one who transgressed.” The Prophet (SAW) said to the people: “Allah sent me to you, and you all said: ‘You are lying!’ But Abu Bakr said: ‘He told the truth.’ Abu Bakr gave me solace with his person and property. Will you leave my companion alone once and for all? Will you leave my companion alone once and for all?!” After this, Abu Bakr has never harmed again.” Umar said in a narration “Were the Iman of Abu Bakr to be weighed on one side of a scale, and the faith of the people around the whole world on the other side, the faith of Abu Bakr would outweigh the faith of all the people around the world.”
This clearly informs us that our level of trust is our level of worth and our level of trust becomes the vehicle to traverse all life situations, whether in hardship or felicity.
Human beings, either collectively or individually, are always in one of the four states; blessing (nimah), difficulty (baliya), obedience (taha), and disobedience (ma’siah) and our response in those situations is a testament to our trust in the absolute truth, Allah.
In our tradition, when you are in a state of blessing (N’imah) your response should be gratitude (Shukr), and in difficulty (Baliya) is patience (Sabr) responding to what Allah has decreed by persevering in a manner that is pleasing to Him, and in state of obedience (taha) the response should be the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr) or things that lead to the remembrance of him, and in the state of disobedience (ma’siah) is turning to Allah in regret (Tawbah) from what is offensive to Allah. Suppose our responses in those situations are different. In that case, we are automatically wrong, and the quick thing to do after turning to Allah is to empower our spiritual intelligence, which will reinforce our trust in Allah. One of those ways to increase our spiritual intelligence is by having good companions who have mastered their responses in the four states; in essence, they are the righteous ones. Learn or read about these pious people. Get close to the Book of Allah by reading, listening, knowing and reflecting on its meanings as they are the message of truth to be trusted and finally, embodying the message in the best possible way. As it is said, the Prophet was a walking Qur’an.
We pray for success and blessings as we traverse all the states in every situation.