B i s m i l l a a h i r   R a h m a a n i r    R a h e e m



The Terms of Commitment
Edited by Adil Salahi


THE Qur'an outlines the terms of the pledge women give when they adopt
Islam, or when they commit themselves to follow Islamic teachings. These
are given in the following verse: "Prophet! When believing women come
and pledge to you that they will not associate any partner with God, nor
steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor lie about who
fathered their children, nor disobey you in anything reasonable, then
accept their pledge of allegiance and pray to God to forgive them. God
is most forgiving, ever merciful." (60: 12) The Hadith we quoted last
week, speaking of the pledge given to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by
the new Muslims of Madinah, states exactly the same six terms. We note
that the Qur'anic verse specifically mentions Muslim women, while those
who gave the pledge outlined in the Hadith were 12 men. The pledge given
a year later by a larger number of Muslims from Madinah added a
commitment to fight for the cause of Islam. Scholars agree that these
six terms remain complete for women, while men are required to defend
Islam and the Muslim community when attacked by an enemy.

The first item in this pledge is "not to associate any partner with
God." This is the basic commitment of every Muslim. Indeed, a Muslim
declares his belief in God's oneness in a variety of ways and
situations. The call to prayer, which is made five times every day,
includes this declaration twice. In every prayer offered, whether
obligatory or voluntary, a Muslim makes this declaration at the
beginning and at the end. Indeed, the belief in God's oneness is the
central point of Islam, without which a person cannot be a Muslim.
Hence, the pledge to Islam must begin with it. 

The pledge then mentions two major sins: Theft and adultery. Placing
these two in between the association of partners with God and killing
one's children shows the seriousness with which Islam views these two
actions. Both are grave sins, no doubt. They represent aggression on the
rights of individuals and society. When people who commit these are only
lightly punished or are able to escape punishment altogether, security
and peace within the community are undermined.

Although human beings are naturally inclined to take care of their
children and look after them, giving much of their time and effort to
their education and upbringing, some people do kill their children. This
may be an outright infanticide, or the result of negligence and even
abuse. There may be different reasons that cause parents to kill their
own children, such as trying to conceal the fact that the child is
illegitimate, or because the child is of poor health or has special
needs, or because of the parents' poverty. The child is almost always
defenseless against an adult. Hence, this crime is mentioned in the
pledge to highlight its enormity and to ensure that it does not exist in
Muslim society. 

"Lying about the fatherhood of their children" is mentioned next. This
is particularly directed at women who claim that their children belong
to their husbands when they are certain that they belong to others. This
situation involves more than one crime. The woman in such a case is
guilty of adultery in the first place, and then she lies claiming that
her pregnancy was by her husband. A third wrong results from this
situation as the deceived husband brings up the child as one of his own.
This is further compounded when the begotten child inherits her husband
along with his other children.

The last item in the pledge is not to disobey the Prophet in anything
reasonable. All Muslims are required to obey the Prophet in whatever he
commands them. However, the terms of the pledge state that obedience is
'in anything reasonable'. The Prophet never asked his followers to do
any unreasonable thing. Islam does not impose any hardship on its
followers. On the contrary, it is a basic rule of Islam that hardship
necessitates easing restrictions. Thus, if the fulfillment of any
Islamic duty is attended by hardship, conditions are relaxed so that the
duty is fulfilled in an easy and reasonable manner. For example when
fasting in Ramadan becomes more difficult because of illness or
traveling, a Muslim is allowed not to fast provided he compensates for
the days he misses sometime later, when he has recovered good health or
returned from travel.



With Kind Regards

Mohammad Usman



The sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad <http://muhammad.net/>
(peace be upon him) 'Acquiring (religious) knowledge in company for an
hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.' 

< Al-Tirmidhi;Narrated: Abdullah ibn Abbas (r) >




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