The folllowing are a few ettiquettes concerning promises which have been extracted from Aadaabul Mu’aasharaat by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alayh
(1) Fulfill a promise made. Do not act in conflict with a promise without any valid reason.
(2) Do not make promises in haste.
(3) Do not make promises to unlawful things. It is not permissible to fulfill such an unlawful promise.
(4) Do not make promises if you have no intention of fulfilling it.
(5) If a child is enticed with something, it will also be a promise which should be honored. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Aamir (Radiallahu anhu) narrates that one day, (while he was a child), his mother called him saying that she had something to give him. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who happened to be present asked:“What do you intend to give him?” Aamir’s mother replied: “I intend to give him some dates.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam commented: “Verily, if you do not give him anything, a lie will be recorded against you.”
MALFOOZAAT OF MOULANA ASHRAF ALI THANWI (RAHMATULLAHI ALAYH) PERTAINING TO PROMISES
(1) The mudarris (Deeni teacher) of the Maktab in Jalalabad became ill. The principal of the Maktab requested me to send someone for a few days to teach in the place of the muddaris. To avoid any pressure being excercised on anyone, I informed the principal to come over for a few days. If anyone voluntarily agrees to go, he has my consent.
The principal convinced one Thaakir (a person who passes his time in Thikrullaah) to take the place of the mudarris for a few days. The Thaakir agreed, but said that he would first obtain my consent. The principle meanwhile had left. The following day the Thaakir came to me and informed me of his reason for having decided not to go. I told him that he should have explained his reason to the principal. This Thaakir had made a promise to go on condition I consented. Now by refusing to go, the principal will labour under the impression that although the Thaakir wanted to come, I had prevented him from doing so. “Do you want an accusation to be leveled against me? This act is extremely improper. Now go to Jalalabad and explain to the principal that I have given you permission, but you are unable to be present because of a certain reason. It is indeed very bad to cause suspicion against others.”
(2) Someone requested some surmah from Hadhrat. He did not promise that he would give it, instead he said: “Send a child and I shall give it to him.” A child was sent after Zhur and Hadhrat gave the surmah. Hadhrat commented:
“By acting according to principles and in s methodical way, everything proceeds well. People describe this system as strictness. If I had said: I shall bring the surmah, and then forgotten about it, but was later reminded about it, then it would have been violation of a promise as well as a delay in fulfilling the request. But in this method which I had adopted the work was done with ease.”