Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)
By Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain (a.s)Among the most important works in the world of Islam is the ‘Treatise on Rights’ by the greatest Ima`m, Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. In it the Imam has mentioned all the methods necessary for man’s conduct, developing his life, and building his civilization on foundations which lead to tranquillity and protection from anxiety, disorder, and the like. The wise Imam carefully and inclusively considered man, studied all the dimensions of his life, his relationships with his Creator, his soul, his family, his society, his government, his teacher, and so on. He wrote for man these rights and duties and made it incumbent on him to conform to them. Hence man is able to establish an Islamic society which believes in social justice and has strong ties such as mutual confidence, love, and other means necessary for social development and progress. I (the author) think that the great Ima`m legislated man’s rights, his social links, his moral origins, and his educational foundations in a manner which is different from that of politicians and social scientists. Any how, the Ima`m, peace be on him, wrote this brilliant treatise and presented it to some of his companions. Then it was narrated by the great religious scholar, the trustworthy Muslim, Tha`bit b. Abi Saffiya, better known as Abu Hamza al-Thuma`li, the student of the Ima`m, peace be on him. Then it was reported on his authority by the very truthful traditionalist, Hujjat al-Isla`m, Mohammed b. Ya’qu`b al-Kulayni, and al-Hasan b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Shu’ba al-Harra`ni in (his book) ‘Tuhaf al-‘Uqu`l’. I (the author) have narrated it on his (al-Hasan’s) authority as follows:
A Brief Introduction to RightsBefore the Ima`m, peace be on him, explained the rights, he wrote a brief introduction to them, saying: “Know (may Allah have mercy upon You) that Allah has rights against you and that these encompass you in every movement through which you move, every rest through which you rest, every way station in which you reside, every limb which you employ, and every instrument which you put to work. Some of these rights are greater and some less. “The greatest of Allah’s rights against you is the right which He has made incumbent upon you for Himself and which is the root of all rights, then those which He has made incumbent upon you in yourself, from your crown to your feet, in keeping with the diversity of your organs. He has given your tongue a right against you, your hearing a right against you, your sight a right against you, your hand a right against you, your leg a right against you, your stomach a right against you, and your private part a right against you. These are the seven organs through which acts (af’a`l) take place. “Then He gave your acts rights against you: He gave your ritual prayer a right against you, fasting a right against you, your charity a right against you, your offering a right against you, and your acts a right against you. “Then these rights extend out from you to others who have rights against you. The most incumbent of them against you are the rights toward your Ima`ms, then the rights toward your subjects (ra’iyya), then the rights toward your womb [relatives] (rahim). “From these rights branch out other rights. The rights of your Ima`ms are three: The most incumbent upon you is the right of him who trains you through authority, then of him who trains you through knowledge, then of him who trains through property. “The rights of your subjects are three: The most incumbent upon you is the right of those who are your subjects through authority, then the right of those who are your subjects through knowledge(for the man of ignorance is the subject of man of knowledge(then the right of those who are subjects through property, such as wives and what is owned by your right hand. “The rights of your womb relatives are many; they are connected to you in the measure of the connection of the womb relations. The most incumbent upon you is the right of your mother, then the right of your father, then the right of your child, then the right of your brother, then the next nearest, then the next nearest(the most worth, then the next most worthy. “Then there is the right of your master who favors you (by freeing you from slavery), then the right of the slave whose favors reach you (by the fact that your free him), then the right of him who does a kindly act toward you, then the right of the mu’azzin who calls you to the ritual prayer, then the right of the Ima`m who leads the prayer, then the right of your sitting companion, then the right of your neighbor, then the right of your companion, then the right of your partner, then the right of your property, then the right of him who has a debt he must pay back to you, then the right of him to whom you owe a debt, then the right of your associate, then the right of your adversary who has a claim against you, then the right of your adversary against whom you have a claim, then the right of him who asks you for advice, then the right of him who asks your counsel, then the right of him who counsels you, then the right of him who is older than you, then the right of him who is younger than you, then the right of him who asks from you, then the right of him from whom you ask, then the right of him who does something evil to you through word or deed, or him who makes you happy through word or deed, intentionally or unintentionally, then the right of the people of your creed, then the right of the people under your protection, than all the rights in the measure of the causes of the states and the occurrence of events. “Therefore happy is he whom Allah aids in the rights which He has made incumbent upon him and whom He gives success therein and points in the proper direction!” These brilliant paragraphs of the Ima`m’s words contain a brief display of the original rights which he, peace be on him, legislated for the Muslims.
Rights in Detail
Rights of Allah
Rights of Self
Rights of Tongue
The tongue is the most important limb in man's body and is the most dangerous of them in his life. Man should confess men's rights and possessions, hence the jurists said: "Man's confessing against himself is permissible." Man is honored or abused through his words. People respect him when he does good and look down upon him when he does evil, hence the Ima`m, peace be on him, summoned him to:
A. Consider his tongue too noble for obscenity, lest he should be low and insulted.
C. Accustom it to good words and what profits people and does not harm them.
D. Force it to speak politely and say good words which are raised to Allah.
E. Silence it except for accomplishing a need of the religious and worldly affairs.
G. Prevent it from any meddling in which there is nothing to be gained.
These are some affairs to which the Muslim person should accustom his tongue. It is certain that they raise his importance and strengthen his position.
Rights of Hearing
The ear plays an important role in forming man's character and conduct, for it carries various words to his mind, hence he should use it as means to carry noble moral traits and good qualities.
Rights of Sight
Rights of the two Legs
Rights of Hand
Rights of Stomach
A. He should not eat unlawful food, for it results in bad qualities such as the cruelty of the heart and negligence which deviates him from the straight path.
B. He should be moderate in having lawful foods and drinks.
C. He should not eat more than his fill, lest he should be afflicted by indigestion which causes laziness, turning away from kindness and generosity and noble moral traits. Besides it stops all the mental abilities and leads to bodily diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, and plumpness.
Rights of Private Part
The sexual life in Islam depends on chastity, virtue, and refraining from committing fornication. As for the protective ways which prevent man from committing this crime, they are as the Ima`m mentioned:
A. Prevent your eye from looking at the unlawful, for sight plays an important role in falling into the unlawful; in some traditions it has been mentioned: "The fornication of the eye."
B. Increase remembering death, for it puts an end to the agitation of sexual desire.
C. Threaten your soul with Allah, the Almighty, and frighten it with His punishment, for this plays an important role in destroying the crime of fornication.
Rights of Fasting
As for fasting, it is among the most important beliefs in Islam. It has been mentioned in the tradition that it is protection from the Fire. Many psychological, moral, economic, social, and health profits result from it. Among them is that it strengthens the activity of will through which man achieves his important objectives in life. The Muslim researchers have mentioned the profits which result from fasting and written books about them.
Any how, in his words, the Ima`m has mentioned what the fasting should do during their fast. He has mentioned that they should not confine their fasting to refraining from food and drink; rather they should withhold their tongues from telling lies and falsehood, their ears from backbiting, their private parts from the unlawful, and their stomachs from the forbidden, that they may save themselves from Allah's chastisement and punishment.
Rights of Sadaqa
There is no strength save in Allah." The Ima`m, peace be on him, underlined the importance of alms and regarded it as a storing away for the alms-giver with Allah. One gives alms for himself, for he will find it present with Allah on the day when neither property nor children profit him. Also the Ima`m, peace be on him, stressed the importance of giving alms in secret, and that it should be free from reminding someone of it, for it is, in fact, belongs to him, so how does he remind the others of it? As secret alms was important, the Ima`m maintained a hundred families in Medina (Yathrib), while they did not recognize him who maintained them. We mentioned this in the previous chapters.
Rights of Hady
In this paragraph, the Ima`m, peace be on him, has mentioned the rights of al-hady or the animals which the pilgrims to the Sacred House of Allah sacrifice at Mina`, in Mecca. The Ima`m highlighted that one should desire Allah through al-hady; he should not mix it with any corrupt intention such as dissimulation and seeking reputation, for Allah, the Exalted, does not accept such a sacrifice. Then the Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned that one could approach Allah through doing easy works, not difficult ones, for He did not legislate any difficult obligation.
Rights of Ima`ms
In these words the Ima`m, peace be on him, had highlighted the political affairs before he spoke about the rights. He mentioned the rights of the Ima`ms and rulers against subjects. He thought that kings, rulers, and governors were tried through their subjects. This is because of authority, which is among the most important factors of trial and seduction. As for the rights of kings and rulers against their subjects, they are:
A. They should be loyal to the legal authority and give it more counsel, that it may offer them more services such as construction, spreading security and welfare, and developing the country in all fields. It is natural that when the authority leads a life full of anxieties, disorders, and discords, it will be unable to carry out its duties.
B. They should not quarrel with the authority, for such quarrel brings about an inclusive destruction.
C. They should be mild toward the authority and respect it in a manner which does not oppose the religion.
D. They should not oppose and disobey the authority, for such an opposition and disobedience bring about serious damages for government and people.
These are some rights of the authority against its subjects, which are necessary for the unity between people and their government.
Rights of Teacher
You should not sit with him in enmity or show hostility toward him in friendship. If you do all of this, Allah's angels will give witness for you that you went straight to him and learned his knowledge for Allah's sake, not for the sake of the people. And there is neither force nor strength save in Allah."
Surely, the teacher is the maker of thought and civilization and does favor for all mankind, and especially as it concerns the learner, hence the Ima`m, peace be on him, praised his position and asked the learner to:
A. Magnify and honor him with all kinds of magnification and honoring, for he does him great favor.
B. Respect his sessions and to be polite during them.
C. Listen carefully to his lectures, and attend to them with devotion.
D. Empty his intellect to understand his lessons. It is natural that the student who does not devote himself to his teacher does not make of his attending his teacher's sessions.
E. Leave pleasures and desires, for they are two basic conditions for learning sciences, especially the religious sciences, for he who devotes himself to pleasures learns nothing of sciences.
F. To immortalize his teacher's message through spreading his knowledge.
Rights of Owner
It is certain that if the Ima`ms from among the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) , peace be on them, had undertaken the leadership of the community after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, they would have abolish slavery, and there would have been no trace of it in the world of existence. In the previous chapters, we mentioned that Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, always released slaves to abolish slavery and to rescue man from bondage. Also the Ima`ms, peace be on them, treated their slaves with kindness, mercy, and affection.
Any how, the Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned the owner's rights against his slaves; he made it incumbent on them to obey him, , unless obeying him would displease Allah.
Rights of Subjects
The Ima`m, peace be on him, carefully considered the governments standing in his time and found them standing on force and oppression. The people did not elect them, hence they yielded to oppression and abasement, and hence the Ima`m advised those rulers to act with justice toward them and to be like a compassionate father toward them. Besides he advised them to thank Allah for His favors.
Rights of Learners
The great Ima`m, peace be on him, urged the religious scholars to spread knowledge among learners and to make it a right against them. Allah, the Exalted, has provided the religious scholars with knowledge and wisdom, namely, He has made them caretakers over knowledge. If they spread it among the learners, they will carry out their duties and deliver their message; otherwise they will be traitors and oppressors, and they will expose themselves to Allah's vengeance and wrath.
Rights of Wife (Mamlu`ka)
Rights of Slave (Mamlu`k)
Depending on Islam, the great Ima`m, peace be on him, regarded the slave as a free man, for Allah created him, created for him hearing and sight, provided him with provision, just as He did toward the fee man, hence the owner has no right to show haughtiness toward him or to tire him. Rather it is incumbent on the owner to treat his slave kindly; he should feed him from what he eats, clothe him from what he wears, and regards him as one of the members of his family. With this Islam could maintain slaves' rights and repelled from them any defect or enmity.
Rights of Mother
What great mother's rights are! How numerous her favors toward her child are! It is she who makes her child's life. Had it for her pity and affection, he would not have lived. She takes care of him with her own soul when he is formed, bears the burdens of pregnancy, and the dangers of giving birth. After giving birth to him, she melts herself for him, spares no effort to safeguard him, passes the night awake for him, continues serving him sincerely, and looks after him with love and affection until he grows up and makes his way in life. When he separates or goes away from her, she feels that life separates from her. Mohammed b. al-Walid composed the following concerning the parents' feelings toward their child:
The mother becomes exited and perplexed out of love for
him, and the tears flow from his father's eyes.
They suffer the distresses of death out of his separation
and disclose their hidden yearning for him.
If the child knew the distress his parents face when he
separates from them, he will lament for the mother from
whose womb he is drawn, weep for the old man who
wanders in his horizons, change his disdainful manner
into his affection, and repay them through his agreeable
Rights of Father
As for the father's right against his child, it is very great, for he is his origin. Were it not for the father, the child would not have come to the world, hence the child should take care of his father's rights and undertake his affairs, especially during his old age.
Rights of Child
The child is a natural extension to his father's life and duration to his existence. He is part of his father; rather he is his whole. In his will to his son (the pure Ima`m, al-Hasan, peace be on him(Ima`m 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said: "I have found you part of me; rather I have found you my whole to the extent that if anything befalls you, it befalls me; if death comes to you, it comes to me, hence your affairs concern me just as my affairs concern me."
Islamic education holds father responsible for educating his child and makes it incumbent on him to plant the highest moral traits in him, to accustom him to the most excellent habits, to turn him aside from vices, to establish for him proofs for the existence of the Great Creator, Who has power over all things. If the father does this, he fulfills his duties toward his child and society, for the righteous person is an adobe in building society. If he does not do this, Allah will question and punish him.
Rights of Brother
As for the brother, he is his brother's hand, his might, and his strength. He is his support during afflictions and hardships. The Ima`m, peace be on him, has mentioned the rights of the brother as follows:
A. You should not take you brother as a weapon with which you disobey Allah.
B. You should not ask him for help to wrong the people and to aggress against them without any right.
C. You should not neglect to help him against himself; you should guide him to the way of good and show him the path to guidance.
D. You should help him against his enemy, Satan; you should warn your brother against him, frighten your brother with Allah's punishment, lest Satan should delude him and turn him away from the straight path.
E. You should not neglect to give him good counsel concerning the affairs of this world and the next. If he obeys Allah, well and good, but if not, you should honor Allah more than him.
Rights of Master (Mawla`)
He has brought you out of the prison of subjugation, given you ownership of yourself, and given you leisure to worship your Lord. You should know that he is the closest of Allah's creatures to you in your life and your death and that aiding him with your life and what he needs from you is incumbent upon you." The master has great rights against his slave whom he releases from slavery, for he unties from him fetters, saves him from the abasement of bondage, makes him taste the exaltation and comfort of freedom; he does him favors. Hence the slave should thank his master for his favors through supporting and helping him.
Rights of Slave (Mawla`)
The Ima`m, peace be on him, summons the master to take care of his slaves' rights, for Allah charges him with them and appoints him as a protector over them, hence it is incumbent on him to take care of their rights, and to treat them kindly. If he does this, Allah will repay him through protecting him from the Fire.
Rights of Sa`hib al-Ma'ru`f
Islam has objectively adopted the summons to kindly acts. It urges men to thank the good-doer and to encourage him to continue this high quality which aims at spreading solidarity among the members of society.
The Ima`m, peace be on him, urges the Muslims to thank the good-doer through proclaiming his kindly acts among men and supplicating Allah to repay him.
Rights of Mu'azzin
As for the mu'azzin, he has rights against the Muslims, for he reminds them of the times of the ritual prayers, which are the most important obligations in Islam, hence they should show thanks and respect toward him.
Rights of Ima`m in Congregational Prayer
As for the Ima`m in the congregational prayers, he has great rights against those who perform the ritual prayers behind him, for abundant repayment results from the congregational prayers. The traditions support each other about the certain permissible performing of the prayers. They state that the more the performers of the congregational prayers are, the more their repayment and wages are. It is well known that the performers of the congregational prayers obtain great wages because of the Ima`m who takes on the role of mediator between them and Allah, the Exalted, as well as he recites on their behalf al-Fa`tiha and another sura.
Rights of Sitting Companion
A. You should mildly treat your sitting companion through honoring and respecting him.
B. You should show fairness toward him while vying with him in discourse; you should not show vainglory and haughtiness toward him.
C. You should make him understand your words.
D. You should not exaggerate his affairs.
E. You should not stand up from sitting with him without his permission.
If the Muslims put these morals into effect in their life, love and affection will spread among them.
Rights of Neighbor
Islam takes great care of neighbor and urges the Muslims to take care of him. Ima`m 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said: "Allah's Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, advised us (to take care of neighbor) to the extent that we though that he would appoint him as inheritor." Besides the authentic traditions of the Ima`ms of guidance, peace be on him, urge the Muslims to take care of the neighbor's affairs. Through this moral quality the Muslims can establish social solidarity and avoid differences and discords. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, has displayed the neighbor's rights as follows:
A. You should guard your neighbor when he is absent; you should guard his property and family, and prevent the detested things from reaching him.
B. You should honor him when he is present.
C. You should support and help him when his absent and present.
D. You should not pursue anything of him that is shameful.
E. You should conceal his evil deeds and not spread them among the people.
F. You should not abandon him when an affliction befalls him; rather you should help him in solving it.
G. You should not envy him when Allah does him a favor.
H. You should release his stumbles and pardon his slips.
I. You should show forbearance toward him when he does an evil deed; do not return like for like.
J. You should repel him who abuses him or remembers him with evil.
K. You should not believe him who informs against him, lest he should stir up enmity between him and you.
L. Associate with him in a noble manner.
These rights(which the Ima`m, peace be on him, declared(bring about the unity of the Muslims, spread love and affection among them.
Rights of Companion
The Ima`m, peace be on him, has showed the companion's rights as follows:
A. Companionship should stand on bounty fairness.
B. The companions should safeguard each other.
C. Companionship should stand on affection, love, and brotherhood.
D. The companions should counsel each other.
E. They should help each other to obey Allah, the Exalted, and to refrain from disobeying Him.
F. Companionship should stand on mercy and favor, not on torture and vengeance.
Rights of Partner
The financial association in Islam is based on developing property and spreading honesty between the two partners, who have no right to dispose of property unless they permit each other. They should exchange views with each other concerning the affairs of the mutual property, such as sale and transport. They both should preserve property and not betray or neglect it. If one of them neglects it, he should be punished and fined.
Rights of Property
As for the right of property (ma`l) in Islam, it is that the Muslim should take it only from lawful ways such as lawful earnings. If he takes it from unlawful ways such as usury, he commits sins as well as Allah will punish him.
Through these measures Islam has based its economy on the most modern methods which do not let a group of people heap up property and deprive the others of it. Hence, the Ima`m, peace be on him, summons the Muslims to spend their properties on lawful things such as hospitals, schools, and libraries. The Muslims sometimes do not spend their properties on such things and store them for their inheritors. They will commit sins when their inheritors spend their properties on things leading to disobeying Allah, for they help them commit such acts of disobedience. Besides they will gain nothing except remorse and loss when their inheritors spend their properties on acts of obedience to Allah.
Rights of al-Graham
The Ima`m, peace be on him, displayed the rights of the creditor against the debtor. It is incumbent on the debtor to pay back his debt when he is rich. He has no right to delay it, for such a delay is a kind of injustice and is forbidden in Islam. If the debtor is in straitened circumstances, he should satisfy the creditor with good words, apologize to him for the delay, and tell him about his incapability of paying him back. As for the treatment with obscene words, it locks the door to kind acts and is one of the ignoble qualities which Allah detests.
Rights of Associate
The Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned the rights of (al-khlit), who is a partner in a mutual property, as follows:
A. You should not mislead him when you sell the property to him.
B. You should not cheat the property when you sell it to him.
C. You should not accuse his claims of lying.
D. You should not make him heedless in any of the affairs of the sold thing; rather you should give him knowledge of it.
E. You should not deceive him in the dealings between him and you.
F. You should do your best to be honest to him when he entrusts his affairs to you. If you cheat him, then such cheating is a kind of usury which Allah detests.
Rights of Adversary
In this paragraph the Ima`m, peace be on him, speaks about the rights of the adversary who has a claim against you. If what he claims against you is true, you give witness to it against yourself. You should not wrong him, for Allah observes him and judges among His servants with the truth. If what he claims against you is false, you should act with kindness toward him, preach to him, and remind him of the hereafter. You should not treat him with rudeness, that he may refrain from his error and falsehood.
The Rights of al-Mudda'a` 'alayh
The Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned the rights of the adversary against whom you have a claim (al-Mudda'a` 'alayh). If your claim against him is true, the Ima`m advises you to refrain from obscene words toward him, to treat him with good words, to prevent from gossip which is useless and does not help you take your right; rather it may take away your argument and loses your right.
Rights of al-Mustashir
Rights of al-Mushir
As for the right of him whom you ask for advice (al-Mushir) , it is that you should not make accusations against his opinion and abstain from his advice. If you make accusations against his opinions, you are not forced to put them into practice. Any how, you should thank him for them.
Rights of al-Mustansih
As for the right of him who asks your counsel (al-Mustansih), it is that you should guide him to correctness and lead him to the truth and guidance. You should counsel him with good words. You have not right to give a counsel which he does not understand, for your counsel will be in vain.
Rights of al-Na`sih
Then attach no more importance to his affair. And there is no strength save in Allah."
As for the right of your counselor (al-Na`sih), it is that you should act gently toward him, honor and magnify him, turn your ear and mind to him, that you may understand and consider carefully his counsel. If his counsel is right, you should thank Allah for it. If it is not right, you should not make accusation against it, for he does his best to counsel you, but he makes mistake, hence there is no harm in it.
Rights of al-Kabir
Islam has legislated social morals to build original society. Among them is that you should respect the old one when he has excellence and precedence in Islam. The Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned these social morals as follows:
A. You should leave off confronting him in a dispute.
B. When you walk along with him on a path, you should not go ahead of him.
C. You should not precede him in a path.
D. If the old one has no knowledge of a certain matter, you should show his ignorance of it.
E. If he shows enmity toward you, you should show forbearance and honor toward him because of his old age and his precedence in Islam.
Rights of al-Saghir
The Ima`m, peace be on him, declares the rights of him who is younger than you as follows:
A. You should show mercy and compassion toward him; you should not treat him with force and rudeness, for they deviate him from the right path and create psychological complexes in him.
B. You should educate and teach him and open for him doors to knowledge.
C. You should treat him gently to attract him.
D. You should help him with his needs.
E. You should cover his faults to help him give them up.
G. You should be kind to him and leave disputing with him, that you may guide him to the straight path.
These affairs, which the Ima`m has declared, set right youngsters and educate them.
Rights of al-Sa`'il
you overcome yourself concerning his affair and give to him in spite what has occurred in yourself in respect with him, surely these acts need determination.
The Ima`m urged the Muslims to be kind to the asker, to help him, and to accomplish his need, that they might achieve social solidarity in Islam and to send away poverty and famine from them. This is in the case when you are sure of the truthfulness of the asker. If you doubt the poor man and accuse him of lying in showing poverty, this accusation may be of the trickery of Satan who intends to deprive you of the immense repayment which Allah, the Exalted, has prepared for the alms-givers. If you oppose this imagination and give the poor man, surely these acts need determination.
Rights of al-Mass'u`l
The Ima`m, peace be on him, presented the rights of him from whom you ask(al-Mass'u`l). The first of his rights is that you show gratitude toward him and supplicate for him when he honors and gives to you, that you have a good opinion of him when he withholds you. Besides he who withholds the asker, in case of being capable of giving to him, he deprives himself of his property, for Allah has prepared abundant repayment for those who give alms.
Rights of al-Sa`r
He who hastens to make you happy is among the good people, hence you should thank him for this, remember his favor and kindness to you, repay him for his kind act, that you may encourage him to do such a laudable deed.
Rights of him who does Evil Judgments
The Ima`m, peace be on him, mentioned judges. If they intentionally wrong you through a word or an act, you should forgive them according to the Islamic noble moral traits which urge you to pardon him who does evil to you. If they unintentionally do evil to you, you should not blame them for this.
Rights of the people of Creed
Muslims have general rights, hence every Muslim should conform to them. They are as the Ima`m, peace be on him, has stated:
A. Every Muslim should show safety, affection, and brotherhood toward all the Muslims.
B. He should be merciful to them; he should not show haughtiness toward them.
C. He should be kind toward their evildoer; he should not show rudeness toward him, that he may set him right.
D. He should do his best to unify them.
E. He should thank their good-doer for his kind act and encourage him to do such acts which will profit society.
F. He should help them when an enemy attacks them.
G. He should stand their old men in the place of his father, their youths in the place of his brothers, and their youngsters in the place of his children. It is certain that if the Muslims put these rights into effect, they will be one hand, their words will not differ, their unity will not disperse, and the nations of the world will not colonize their homelands.
Rights of Ahl al-Dhimma
These are fifty rights encompassing you. You should not leave them. You should conform to them and put them into practice and ask Allah, Great be His Praise, to help you in this. There is no strength and no force save in Allah, and praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
Islam takes great care of Ahl al-Dhimma, the Jews and the Christians, who are under the protection of Islam. It treats them as it treats other Muslims in giving them to enjoy freedom, welfare, security, and tranquillity. The Ima`m, peace be on him, stated their rights as follow:
A. You should accept the laws Allah has legislated for them.
B. You should fulfill the rights Allah has assigned for them.
C. You should judge among them according to what Allah has revealed.
E. It is unlawful for you to wrong them and aggress against them without any right.
With this we will end our speech about the Treatise on Rights, which is the richest Islamic book, and which, though brief, has shown important methods to make the Muslims happy and to set them right.