The word, promise, as a noun, indicates a serious verbal or formal written declaration that a person will or will not say, do, give, or take something; and as a verb, the word means to personally commit oneself to or not to say, do, give, or take something. An exchange of promises is internationally based upon a principle, which is known as pacta sunt servanda (in Latin) that means “agreements must be kept” and that is arguably the oldest principle of international contract law. To elaborate further on it, a promise is a manifestation of an intent which is communicated by a party or a group that is known as a promisor, to another party or another group that is called a promisee. A promise has various types, which, for examples, are a solemn promise, such as a vow or oath, an affirmation, a legal contract, an agreement, a pact, a resolution, and an election promise or a political pledge or commitment. Most promises are transactional between two parties or groups. Another promise type is called a fairy-tale promise or a rash or blind promise, which is often distinctive and recurring theme that is commonly found in medieval and folk literature or in fairy tales that are traditional stories told and retold through the generations. These fairy tales often involve a character making a promise to offer an undying love to another character if an impossible wish is granted, or in some cases, they involve a character promising another character anything that is asked for in exchange for an escape from a life-threatening situation. Such fairy tales, for examples, are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Frog Prince, Pinocchio, Thumbelina, and The Beauty and the Beast. A fairy-tale promise is often forceful and later regrettable; and it is also difficult when it is made, and it may be impossible to keep in real life. Also, there is another type of promise that involves not only two parties but also a third party that is included in the promissory agreement, which third party is a guarantor, assurer or controller who provides a committed assurance that the promise will be honored and who is expected to compensate the promisee for a loss in case there is a breach of the promise and the promisor is unable to compensate for the breach. Such promise type that has a guarantee or control obviously reduces the risk of achieving the expected or targeted results if the guarantor or controller is reliable. But when there is no guarantor or controller, the promisee must obviously rely on the trust or faith that the promisee may have to repose in the promisor. Moreover, there is yet another type of promise that is based on a religious faith and that hence uses God as a third party (who is believed to be a witness or guarantor and/or a provider) during the declaration of the promise—verbal or written. This may be called a God-willing type promise. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths), the term, “God-willing” or “If God wills” is called “im yirtzeh hashem” (in Hebrew), “Deo volente” (in Latin), and “Inshallah” (in Arabic), respectively, while in Hinduism, the term is called “Hari Ichha” or “Bhagwan ki Ichha” (in Sanskrit/Hindi). As examples, “If God wills” or “If God pleases” is found in the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions, which examples are as follows: In Judaism, the Hebrew Bible (Torah), the Hebrews 6:3 verse states: “And this will we do, if God permits”, and In Christianity, the Bible (the New Testament), the James 4:13–15 verses state: 4:13 “Now listen, if you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,.4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” and 4:15 “Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” And in Islam, the Quran chapter 18 (Surah Al-Kashf), verse.69 states: “He said: If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter”.; and also, the Quran chapter 2 (Surah Al-Baqarah), verse 70 states: “They said: Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what she is, for surely to us the cows are all alike, and if Allah please we shall surely be guided aright.”. All the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths place a great emphasis on keeping promises or covenants after making them. In Judaism, the Devarim chapter 23, verse 24 states “What has come out of your lips you must keep and carry out (or “do”); as you have vowed to Hashem your G-d a gift, that you have spoken with your mouth.”, In another translation, it simply states: “You shall observe and carry out what emerges from your lips…” (Deuteronomy chapter 23, verse 24). Here G-d implies God. And in Christianity, the Numbers chapter 30, verse 2 (ESV) states: “If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth”; and the Psalm chapter 89, verse 34 (ESV) states: “I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.” Also, the Ecclesiastes chapter 5, verses :4-5 (ESV) state: “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” In Islam, the Quran chapter 17 (Surah Isra), verse 34 states: “And draw not near to the property of the orphan except in a goodly way till he attains his maturity and fulfill the promise; surely (every) promise shall be questioned about”; and the Quran chapter 23 (Surah Al-Mu’minun), verse 1 states: “Successful indeed are the believers”, and referring to this verse, the verse 8 states: “And those who are keepers of their trusts and their covenant”. Also, the Quran chapter 16 (Surah An-Nahl), verse 91 states: “And fulfil the covenant which you have made with Allah and do not break your oaths after having firmly made them, and after having made Allah your witness. Surely Allah knows all that you do”, the verse 94 states: “Do not make your oaths a means of deceiving one another or else your foot may slip after having been firm, and you may suffer evil consequences because of hindering people from the way of Allah. A mighty chastisement awaits you.”, and the verse 95 states: “Do not barter away the covenant of Allah for a paltry gain. Verily that which is with Allah is far better for you, if you only knew.” Additionally, unlike Judaism or Christianity, Islam via the Quran chapter 18 (Surah Al-Kashf) in verses 23-24 particularly enjoins Muslims to add “Inshallah” (God-willing or If God wills) when stating a promise or making a resolution, which verses are as follows: the verse 23 states: “And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,”, and the verse 24 states: “Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” (Inshallah) And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.” This aspect makes all promises (at least verbal ones) to be made by Muslims God-willing type promises or Inshallah-type promises or resolutions, which are found to be prevalent in Islamic countries. From a secular viewpoint, philosophically, there have been various scholarly attempts to establish certain rules for promises considering consequences resulting from keeping or breaking promises. For examples, philosopher Immanuel Kant was of the viewpoint that promises should always be kept, while various other philosophers such as some moral pluralists believe that in certain circumstances, breaking one’s promise may be more beneficial than the cost of keeping it and that promises should be broken whenever the promise breach would result in benefits for the promisor. In his 2008 book, “How to Make Good Decisions and Be Right All the Time”, which sets out a history of moral philosophy and presents new ideas in ethics, Iain King attempted to harmonize various viewpoints by proposing that promises should be kept ‘unless they are worth less to others than a new option is to you,’ and that “this requires a relevant, unforeseen and reasonably unforeseeable change in the situation more important than the promise itself arising after the promise is made”. However, ethically speaking, in this case, the promisee must be informed of an expected breach of the promise well in advance so as to minimize any potential damages and be compensated for any consequences because of the breach. Politically, during a democratic election, politicians often resort to certain campaign tactics by making election or campaign promises or laying out a popular party platform that would guarantee to attract more voters and that would help the candidates of a political party which is trying to win an election. In doing so, a verbal political contract between the public and politicians is established. Also, in the same manner, societally, an ideological commitment is made by a society to the citizens and vice versa, leading to a social contract in a return for peace, pluralism, progressiveness and/or prosperity. Psychologically, promises are generally positive but when they are conditional and negative, the negative promises are interpreted as threats, both of which (the positive and negative promises) are dominated by the promisor while they may vary in valence of the potential action to be taken by the promisor. To elaborate further, positive promises are frequently intended to persuade a person to do something by withholding a potential reward, but negative promises (threats) are often made to influence a person’s action or reaction while withholding a potential punishment. Moreover, the scale and credibility of promises and threats greatly affect the likelihood of compliance by the promisor. Further, psychologically speaking, there is a dual–positive and negative–effect that is created by promises which mainly comprise an activity and a content along with a promised due date as they provide an assurance that something is guaranteed to be said or done while they also cause an anxiety due to a fact that the guarantee cannot be often verified; and hence, the promisee is left with a reliance on a blind faith, or the promisee has to repose a hope in the promisor. For a promisee, the anxiety is worsened when the promisor uses a mutual acquaintance as a reference or guarantor that is not physically present, or invokes God as a witness or adds a conditional qualifier such as “If God wills” or “God-willing” while the promise is being made if the promisee is a secularist who asserts a separation of the worldly and divinely matters or the material and spiritual aspects of life. Also, to a secularist, adding an unverifiable or belief-based condition, such as “If God wills” or “God-willing”, alludes virtually to an abdication of a personal commitment on the promisor’s part, essentially negating the essence of the promise that is a contract, as mentioned above, normally between two parties or groups who are physically present, and the promisor is expected to deliver on the promise. Moreover, the qualifier may cause a distrust/disappointment if the delivery on the promise does not occur while justifying the non-delivery by alluding to the non-will of the imaginary being (i.e., God), However, a religiously-minded promisee who trusts in God and who believes in destiny and submits to the God’s will (whatever may be) would have no qualms about the promise that includes the conditional qualifier, “If God wills” or “God-willing”. Such a promise, as indicated above, is a God-willing type promise. As discussed above, in Islam, the Arabic compound word, “Inshallah”, which means “If God wills” or “God-willing” is enjoined (by the Quran 18:23-24) to be added to a promise (or resolution) statement; and as such, the use of “Inshallah” is found to be very prevalent in Islamic countries as Muslims are commanded by the religion to add “Inshallah” when making a promise. For examples, a borrower of $100 would say to the lender, “I will pay you back $100 tomorrow, Inshallah”, or a lawyer would tell his client, “Inshallah, I will prepare and submit your petition to the judge next week.” But sometime when such God-willing type promise is broken probably due to a lack of trying or competency or scruples, the promisor may freely and easily get out of the predicament of the promise breach by simply saying to the promisee that it seems like keeping my promise was not the God’s will, shifting, in the words, the blame of personal non-compliance to God, which is sadly an abuse of the God-willing type promise and also it shows insensitivity toward the unsuspecting promisee. Most importantly, such a promise breach is against Islam as Muslims are enjoined to follow not only the verses in the Quran 18:23-24, but also the other verses in the Quran 17:34, the Quran 23:8, and the Quran 16:91 & 16:94-95 for keeping promises. So, Muslims are expected to practice all these Quranic verses simultaneously with regards to making and keeping promises, in addition to reciting, revering and/or admiring these Quranic verses. Breach of promises also occurs often by non-Muslims, such as Jews or Christians, especially in the West. But in this modernity where all the “revealed” religions and the modern sciences or modern moralities/ethics clash or are hotly debated, most non-Muslims do not use the qualifier, “God-willing” or “If God wills”, while making promises. From an extensive experience with them in the West, most non-Muslims seem to consider a promise as a personal commitment; and hence, they become personally responsible for the promise they make or show accountability for any breach. Also, they try to inform the promisee well in advance of the promised due date if they cannot keep the promise for some reason, while they offer an alternative or a compensation due to a promise breach. To sum it up, respect your own word as you are your word.