Hadith on Treachery: Upholding Treaties and Agreements

📖Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1580
Narrated Abu Al-Faid: “I heard Sulaim bin ‘Amir saying: ‘There was a treaty between Mu’awiyah and the people of Rome. He was making an expedition into their lands so that when the period of the treaty was expires he would attack them. So when a man upon an animal’ – or – ‘upon a horse said: “Allahu Akbar! Fulfillment not betrayal!” – and it turned out to be ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah – Mu’awiyah asked him about that. He said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever has a treaty between himself and a people, then let him not violate the treaty nor try to change it until its time has passed, or , in retribution for a similar offense.'” He said: “So Mu’awiyah returned with the people.”

  • This hadith narrated in Jami` at-Tirmidhi, indicates the importance of upholding treaties and agreements made between individuals or groups. The story relates to a treaty between Mu’awiyah, the ruler of the Muslims, and the people of Rome. Mu’awiyah intended to attack the Romans once the treaty period had expired. However, when ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah heard someone saying “Allahu Akbar! Fulfillment not betrayal!” he reminded Mu’awiyah about the obligation to honor the treaty. ‘Amr bin ‘Abasah then cited the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) statement, that a treaty should not be violated or changed until its time has passed, or in retribution for a similar offense. Upon hearing this, Mu’awiyah decided to honor the treaty and returned with his people, showing the importance of honoring agreements and avoiding treachery.