Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Human Rights in Islam

Human Rights in Islam

The wet-nurse
Meet her with respect. If she is in need of money and you are able to help her, then help her.

The Step-mother
Since she is an associate of your father, and we have been commanded to be kind and friendly to our parents' associates, the step-mother, therefore, also has certain rights over you as mentioned previously.

The elder brother
In the light of the Hadith, the elder brother is similar to one's father. From this we can deduce that the younger brother is similar to one's children. Based on this, they will have rights similar to those of parents and children. The elder sister and the younger sister should also be treated in the same manner.

If any of your blood relatives is in need and is unable to earn, help him out with his expenses according to your financial position. Go and meet them occasionally. Do not cut-off relations with them. In fact, even if they cause you harm, it will be best for you to exercise patience.

The In-laws
In the Quran, Allah Ta'ala has mentioned the in-laws together with one's lineage. We learn from this that the father-in-law, mother-in-law, wife's brother, sister's husband, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, the previous children of the wife, the previous children of the husband - all of these have certain rights. Therefore, you have to be more considerate to them as opposed to others.

The Rights of Muslims
1.       Overlook the faults of a Muslim.
2.       When he cries, have mercy on him.
3.       Conceal his shortcomings.
4.       Accept his excuses.
5.       Remove his difficulties.
6.       Always be good to him.
7.       Gaining his love is an accomplishment.
8.       Fulfil his promises.
9.       When he falls ill, visit him.
10.   When he passes away, make dua for him.
11.   Accept his invitation.
12.   Accept his gifts.
13.   When he shows kindness to you, show kindness to him in return.
14.   Be grateful for his favours upon you.
15.   Help and assist him at the time of need.
16.   Safeguard his family and children.
17.   Assist him in his work.
18.   Listen to his advice.
19.   Accept his intercession.
20.   Do not make him feel despondent over his ambitions.
21.   When he sneezes and says "Alhamdulillah", say "Yarhamukallah" in reply.
22.   If you find a lost item of his, return it to him.
23.   Reply to his greeting.
24.   When you converse with him, speak with humility and in a good manner.
25.   Be kind and friendly to him.
26.   When he takes an oath with regard to you, confident that you will fulfil it, then you must fulfil it. (For example, Zayd takes an oath that Amr never goes to the bazaar and he is confident that Amr will fulfil this oath of his, then Amr must ensure that he does not act contrary to it.)
27.   If anyone oppresses him, go to his assistance. If he oppresses someone, prevent him.
28.   Be friendly to him and do not antagonize him.
29.   Do not disgrace him.
30.   Whatever you like for yourself, like for him as well.
31.   When you meet him, make salam to him. If a man shakes the hand of a man, and a woman shakes the hand of a woman, it will be even better.
32.   If a quarrel takes place between the two of you, do not cut-off speaking to him for more than three days.
33.   Do not have evil thoughts of him.
34.   Do not be jealous of him nor should you hate him.
35.   Direct him towards good deeds and stop him from evil deeds.
36.   Have mercy on the young and respect the elderly.
37.   If there is a conflict between two Muslims, try and reconcile them.
38.   Do not speak ill of him.
39.   Do not cause him any loss; neither in his wealth nor in his honour.
40.   If he is sitting, do not make him get up and take his place.

Rights of the Neighbour
1.       Deal with him in a nice and friendly manner.
2.       Protect the honour of his wife and children.
3.       Occasionally you should send gifts to his house. Especially if he is poor. In such a case you should definitely send some food to him.
4.       Do not cause him any harm. Do not quarrel with him over trivial matters.

Rights of the Traveling Companion
Just as a person has a neighbour at home, he also has a neighbour when travelling. That is, a travelling companion with whom you embark on a journey or coincidentally joins you during the course of the journey. The rights of such a person are similar to those of a neighbour.

His rights can be summed up as follows:  give preference to his comfort over your own comfort. Some people display a lot of selfishness with regard to other travellers when travelling by train or other modes of public transportation. This is a very evil habit.

Rights of the Weak and Old
Those people who are in need, such as orphans, widows, the weak, the poor, the sick, the cripple, travellers, beggars, etc. have additional rights. They are:

1.       You should help them financially.
2.       You should undertake their tasks with your own hands and legs.
3.       You should console and comfort them.
4.       You should not refuse to fulfill their needs and wants.

Rights of Human beings
1.       Do not cause financial or physical harm to innocent people.
2.       Do not argue with anyone without any valid Shar'i reason.
3.       If you find someone in problem, in poverty, or sick, help him, feed him, treat his sickness.
4.       When meting out punishment, do not transgress the limits in the different methods of punishment that have been laid down in the ShariAh.

Rights of Animals
Do not encage an animal which you will not be taking any benefit from. Removing nestlings from their nests, causing harm to their parents, etc. is a sign of extreme mercilessness.

An animal that is suitable for consumption should not be killed merely for amusement.

You should make proper arrangements with regard to food, drink, providing rest, and taking care for the animal that you utilise for your work. Do not impose any work on it that is beyond its capacity, nor should you beat it more than necessary.

The animal that is to be slaughtered or killed on account of it being harmful should be slaughtered or killed quickly. Do not cause it any agitation. Do not take its life after having starved it.

Additional points
If there is any shortcoming in fulfilling the rights of a person, fulfil that which can be fulfilled or else, ask for forgiveness. For example, you are still owing someone some money or you cheated someone, etc. (In such a case you should try and pay the debt, but if you cannot do so, then seek forgiveness from the person). As for the right which can only be forgiven, seek forgiveness for it, e.g. you spoke ill of a person or beat him (In such a case, it is obvious that you cannot pay him anything. Instead, you will have to seek his forgiveness).

If, due to some reason, you cannot fulfil their rights nor can you seek their forgiveness, then you should continue making dua for these people. It is possible that on the day of judgement Allah Ta'ala will try and influence them to forgive you. However, later if you are in a position to fulfil their rights or seek their forgiveness, then do not hesitate in doing so.

As for the rights that are due to you and there is a hope of their being fulfilled, then be lenient when asking for them. As for those where there is no hope of their being fulfilled or, they are such that they cannot be fulfilled, such as ghibah, then although there is the hope of your receiving rewards in return for them on the day of judgement, however, more reward has been mentioned with regard to forgiving them in this world. It will be much better if you forgive them completely or absolve them completely. This is especially when the person earnestly seeks forgiveness from you.

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