Allah (swt) says in the Quranic verse 4:58,
‘Surely Allah doth Command you to render back your Trusts to those whom they are due; and when ye judge between people, ye judge with justice’.
This verse is specifically related to Hazrat Usman bin Talha (ra) who was the key-bearer of Ka’aba. After the conquest of Mecca when Prophet Mohammad (saw) came to Ka’ba shareef he completed the circumambulation. After this he summoned Hazrat Usman bin Talha (ra) (who had accepted Islam after the treaty of Hudaibia) and after returning to him the keys of Kaa’ba Shareef he said unto him, ‘O Usman! These are your keys. Take it. This is a day of goodness and upholding promises’. Incidently, before Prophet (saw)’s migration when Hazrat Usman bin Talha (ra) had nor embraced Islam, Prophet Mohammad (saw) wihed to enter Ka’aba. When he asked Hazrat Talha for the keys he not only refused to give the keys to the Prophet (saw) but also spoke to him disrespectfully. Prophet Mohammad (saw), who was quite optimistic about the victory of Islam in near future, spoke to him calmly and said ‘O Usman! A day will come when I hope you will find me having this key and the power of givi’.ng this key to anyone I wish’. Hence, after Prophet Mohammad (saw) actually handed over the keys to Hazrat usman (ra) after Prophet (saw) has conquered Mecca, he reminded Hazrat Usman of his earlier words. Hazrat Usman remembered that incident and (ra) said, ‘Yes, I witness that you are surely the Messenger of Allah’.
Though this verse was related to the above mentioned incident, specifically, yet the ruling mentioned in it is universally applicable. This verse addresses both the rulers as well as the subjects. The people are enjoined to hand over the possessions to those who have a right over it. This verse refers to those possessions which people keep in the custody of others for safety. The custodians are not expected to usurp other’s possessions. They should return it to the owners whenever they ask for it.
This verse also commands that the titles and posts should be conferred upon only those who rightfully deserve them. Posts given on the basis of political and family ties, hierarchy, close relationships or quota system are against the rulings of this Quranic verse. This verse categorically commands the rulers to behave in a just way. Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘A ruler who is unjust deserves the Fire of Hell’. (Saheeh Muslim).
We should also make it a point to follow the Quranic ruling of returning the possession, which is in our custody, to its rightful owners so that justice can prevail. If there is any encroachment on anyone’s property or dishonesty on the part of a custodian, then we should not hesitate to approach the Islamic courts of justice. The competent lawyers, attorneys and judges who serve in such courts are well-versed with the Islamic laws, based on the Holy Quran and the ahadith.