By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
“A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is the rain.” – Arab proverb. Keep in mind that for the Arabs, living in harsh desert lands, rain is the bringer of life and Allah’s blessing, providing bounty and relief. The proverb is saying that a cloud is like a promise, offering hope of needed sustenance but not really giving it. If you want to be real, bring the rain.
Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite: whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; and whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” [Agreed upon] It is added in a variant of Muslim, “Even if he fasts and prays and claims that he is a Muslim.”
Deceivers and hypocrites are clouds that pass over again and again but bring no rain, leaving only drought and hunger in their wake.
Now, before anyone sends me a message saying, “Only Allah can bring rain!” – I don’t mean it literally. I’m speaking metaphorically, in keeping with the proverb.
Andrew Carnegie, the famous industrialist, observed, “As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
If you want to make a real difference in the world, if you want to better your situation and your family’s lives, if you want people to take you seriously, then don’t only talk. Do. Bring it.
Do that consistently and people will take your word like a Himalayan mountain. You will move ahead in life like an orca – the most powerful swimmer in the sea – cutting through the waves. And you will have one of the characteristics of a true believer, as the keeping of promises is one of the most important aspects of Imaan (faith). (I should point out that the exception would be a promise to do something evil – such a promise should be broken, since there is no virtue in doing haram, and therefore no virtue in keeping the promise).
“O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.” (Quran 5:1)
Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful) ‘Ali (RA), in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar, wrote:
“If you conclude an agreement between yourself and your enemy or enter into a pledge with him, then fulfil your agreement and discharge your pledge faithfully. Place yourself as a shield against whatever you have pledged, because among the obligations of Allah there is nothing on which people are more firmly united despite the difference of their ideas and variation of their views than respect for fulfilling pledges.”
Words are important. They are a starting point, and they have the power to heal or hurt. But even more important are actions. Fulfill your promises. Practice what you preach. Do. Bring it.