Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
Peace and blessings be upon you all
Sorry for the long delay in writing posts. Half a year, I believe? Last year, i recall being very active on my blog, writing articles after articles but this year was a hiccup for a couple of reasons, one of them being the increased workload of 3rd year MBBS and preparations for USMLE. However, one shouldn’t give up on their hobbies and passions alongside their studies and work to keep them grounded and not lose an a important part of themselves that they love and cherish.
Now coming to the title of my article: Trust. A firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something, according to Google dictionary.
A word that is light on the tongue but heavy on the heart.
A bond whose foundation is built with time but can disintegrate in an instant.
A link through which relations between people strengthens, which turns a fragile superficial relationship into something deep, lifelong and meaningful.
However to me, it is a leap of faith; courage is needed to make the jump, and you’ll either collide horribly to the cliff or scramble to safety onto the other side.
Elements of Trust
Think about it, what makes you decide you can trust someone? If we go about this in verbal conversation, is it the mindset and opinions they have? Is it how he/she responds to your viewpoints, whether he agrees or disagrees? If he disagrees, does he respond respectfully to show that he listened but there’s another way to look at this, or did his face show an unconscious judgmental expression? Do you ask others what he says about you when you’re not around? Did you try telling him a secret that was personal but not too private to see if he could honor it or not? After how long of conversing did you decide to trust him?
If we go about this with actions, is it how the person treats you? How much time he/she spends with you? How much comfortable you feel around him? Is he there to help you when you’re in need? Does he keep his promises and behaves honestly, whether with you or others? Is he the same way with you as he is with others? Are any negative incidents in the past determinant of whether the person is worthy of your trust or not? Is it required that they have your trust first before you decide to trust them?
On the other hand, what if it’s not about the person you’re choosing to trust or not, but it’s about you? Perhaps its the personality type that makes one able to trust others or not. For example, an extroverted and relatively more confident person would share more details about themselves without fear of judgment, as compared to an introverted person who would prefer to share only those aspects of themselves they’re comfortable with and would attract less evident attention. Furthermore, a person who’s had their trust broken before is less likely to trust that person or someone else again.
My Ability To Trust
Trusting someone is a big deal. It’s letting someone into your little world and allowing him or her to explore it as much as they want. That’s what friendship entails, right? Knowing about each other and supporting each other? However, what if you could make friends while hiding your little world from them? Can a friendship like that thrive if they don’t know your every detail and secret, any passion or goal you have that you’re afraid to share, or a secret you fear can create a rift between you and them?
If you’re wondering where this is coming from then yes, I relate to what I just wrote. I’m someone who’s lived through life (I’m just 22 but still, I’ve seen a lot) and has come to the conclusion that I cannot trust a lot of people with my little world, and that does include family and friends. I’m the type of person that will tell a lot of things about me which I’m comfortable telling to everyone, not just family and close friends but everyone. However, there are certain things that I tell absolutely no one.
When I was little, I was very open and shared everything with everyone I knew but that was because I didn’t have much to hide. As I grew up, I made friends but for one reason or another, many of them cut off their ties with me. Some people were specifically against me and some were against the friends’ group I belonged to, hence slowly the thought of “Why should I share personal details about myself if they’ll just leave the next day? Will they go around sharing what I told them in confidence and use it against me?” started coming up. Others, after getting to know me, would give me names that I found offensive, as well as some who broke their promise and lied, which turned me off from them and made me leave them. Hence I learnt to be very selective in what I tell people.
Another reason why I’m less likely to trust people is my understanding of who my friends and family are, how they will react to any secret I’d like to share with them and whether they’ll understand me or not. Everyone has secrets, most often derived from personal experiences that are often private which can be pleasant or awful but nonetheless turn out to be troublesome if told to the wrong person, and in some circumstances, at the wrong time. I tried sharing a very personal secret with a few close people to see if they would understand and be supportive enough and it backfired; some didn’t understand it and some made fun of me, poking at it from time to time. However, one close friend was very supportive when I told her and I trusted her because she trusted me with a secret of her own which was similar to my secret. Nonetheless, from then on, I decided that my secrets are safe in the haven of my mind when they are nourished, pampered and protected. Hell, I don’t even trust people to reach at a meet up on time!
However that being said, I’d be too self-entitled and arrogant if I believed everyone is selfish and a hypocrite. Not everyone is that way. There are a lot people who do good and perhaps from my vantage point do appear trustworthy. There are a lot of people who are hardworking, dedicated and disciplined so it could be my poor judgment making conclusions but still in the end, the choice of trusting people lies with me, not others. I have to be brave to take the leap, not others because appearances can be misleading.
I feel like trust is the last resort people go to when getting someone to do something for them. When there is no evidence to support their choice and when all else fails that there is no way forward that is possible, they ask you to trust them. For e.g. if an family member is accused of murder yet is adamant that they didn’t do it despite all the evidence piled up against them, they tell you to trust them. Is it that easy with a crime so serious? On the other hand being a family member who you’ve known since you were born, wouldn’t you know them enough to trust them? In another example, in the movie Arrival when Dr. Louise had a vision to call the Chinese commander as soldiers were circling her, she needed Ian Donnelly to buy her time to make the phone call, she told him to trust her because she couldn’t explain why she had to do what she had to do. In spite of all the soldiers surrounding them and the high chance of being tried for treason, he risked it all the trust her and buy her time. That is how strong trust can be when you trust the right person who you’ve known for some time with it, but it is a last resort.
On the other hand, in Islam, trust in Allah is not a last resort. It is the foundation of our faith. Hazrat Musa (A.S) had firm belief and trust in Allah, enough to enter the castle to face the Pharaoh unarmed and outnumbered, and to guide all the slaves to the sea not knowing how Allah would save them from a huge army. He didn’t know that the sea would part enough for them to cross it, but he knew that Allah would aid him. Furthermore, the treaty of Hudaibiya, which appeared to give the Quraish more privileges than the Muslims, was considered a great victory by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and Allah, hence the Muslims trusted them. Hence, it is shown that trust in Allah may appear to be a last resort when all your efforts have been used and sometimes failed, but this trust blesses all the efforts you put in and this trust becomes a guide to eventual victory. Hence, when my world feels like its crashing down, I would never lose my trust in Allah, Who has safeguarded my trust, to Whom I don’t need to explain my predicament, only my pain and Duas, Who understands me and guides me through it.
To summarize my mind vomit (or is it word vomit?) and to give you all, and perhaps me, an understanding of what trust means, I believe that Allah is the One True Being Who everyone can trust without it backfiring, harming and humiliating you in any way.
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) is the best example for people to follow and trust but because he was a person, like us, it should remind us that there can be good people that are worthy of our trust so we must search and when we meet such people, try to give them a chance to be worthy of your trust. Don’t share everything, but a bit by bit of what you’re comfortable telling. There could be some secrets you trust that some people know and others that others may know, which is alright. What’s not alright is isolating yourself from people altogether. As much as you may like it, your purpose in life isn’t to live alone on an island but to coexist with harmony. Pain will be there, but you can be smart about it and form strong bonds that will lighten up your lives.
Furthermore, as Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was a beacon of trust, we should be so as well. We have maligned the character of a Muslim in Pakistan and abroad for too long, through lying, cheating, cursing, being unjust in law and business dealings. Now is the time to be ambassadors of Islam in such an eloquent manner that when anyone, Muslim or not, finds out you are a Muslim, they immediately choose to trust you with their wealth, belongings, secrets or anything, the same way the Quraish trusted Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) with their belongings. I can’t proclaim no one is worthy of trust and be not worthy of it myself either; that would be hypocrisy.
So there is my self-talk I thought you all might learn something from. What is your take on trust? How easily can you trust someone? What helps you decide to trust someone? Let me know in the comments. Until then, be brave and protect your soft, lovely heart.