Imam Zayn al-'Abidin's `Treatise on Rights' is the only work attributed to him other than supplications or relatively short sayings and letters. The `Treatise on Rights' elaborates on a well-known saying of the Prophet, which has been transmitted in a rather large number of versions, because he repeated it in many different contexts.
Imam Zayn al-'Abidin's `Treatise on Rights' is the only work attributed to him other than supplications or relatively short sayings and letters. The fact that it was a written document from the first may support the suggestion that at least some of the supplications were originally written compositions.
The `Treatise on Rights' elaborates on a well-known saying of the Prophet, which has been transmitted in a rather large number of versions, no doubt because he repeated it in many different contexts. A typical version can be rendered as follows: `Surely your Lord has a right against you, your self has a right against you, and your wife has a right against you.'
Other versions of the hadith add guest, body, eye, and friend to those who have rights. In some of the versions, another clause is added: ‘So give to everyone who possesses a right (kull dhi haqq) his right’.1 Another hadith tells us that `God has given to everyone who possesses a right his right.'2
Shi'ite sources provide many relevant hadith. For example, the Prophet said:
God has made seven rights incumbent upon the person of faith (al-mu'min) toward the person of faith: To respect him in his person, love him in his breast, share with him in his property, consider backbiting against him unlawful, visit him in his illness, escort his coffin, and say nothing but good about him after his death.3
Zayn al-'Abidin's `Treatise on Rights' seems to have been written at the request of a disciple, since, in one of its two versions, it is prefaced by the words: `This is the treatise of 'Ali ibn al-Husayn to one of his companions.' In it the Imam explains in more or less exhaustive fashion what is meant by `everyone who possesses a right' as mentioned in the above hadith. Throughout he provides specific examples, basing himself upon the Qur'an, the sunna, and the actions and sayings of the earlier Imams.
Though in the present context the word haqq translates best as `right', it has a number of closely related meanings which should be kept in mind, such as suitableness, justice, truth, reality, correctness, properness, appropriateness, necessity, incumbency, obligation, due, and duty.
A glance at the `Treatise on Rights' will quickly show that the word `rights' might better have been translated as duties, obligations, or responsibilities, since the treatise is not directly concerned with the rights of the individual, but rather with the rights of others which the individual must observe. Nevertheless, I think it is important to preserve the term `rights', if only to show that in considering human rights primarily in terms of responsibilities, Islam diverges profoundly from most modern Western views, though it has deep kinships with other religious traditions of East and West.
Islam views the individual in his total context, which means that it considers first his relationship with God, then his relationship with God's creatures. What is important for the individual in his relationship with God is that he attain to salvation, or in other words, that he follow God's guidance, which is based upon mercy and directed toward his own best interest.
In short, Islam devalues the individual's perspective, since human beings on their own can see no further than their immediate interests during life. But this devaluation of individualism is not a devaluation of the individual; on the contrary, it raises him to the ultimate pinnacle of importance, since everything is directed toward his happiness in the next world.
Islam merely recognizes the ignorance of human beings and their inability to perceive their own ultimate good without divine guidance. Then it sets about to undermine and destroy individual ignorance, a process which involves deflating the ego and eliminating all self-centred desires. As a result, the human self or soul (nafs) has few `rights', but many duties and responsibilities. Or rather, the soul has only one true right - the right to salvation.
The individual's right to salvation follows naturally upon God's right, which is to be worshiped without any partner (i.e., tawhid). The way to salvation is to obey God, and hence it is the soul's right to be employed in obedience toward Him. By His very nature since `His mercy precedes His wrath' - God displays compassion and guidance, and through obedience the servant opens himself up to the full range of this compassion.
In other words, partaking of God's mercy and compassion depends upon following His guidance, and following His guidance means following the Shari'a as revealed through the Qur'an and the sunna. Hence the Imam speaks of `being employed in obedience' as the self's key right, since only that can bring about its deliverance.
As soon as this wide context for attaining to the right of the self is envisaged, dozens of duties become obligatory upon the individual. The Imam makes clear that the primary duties are toward the various organs and activities of the self, since these determine man's relationship to God. The organs have `rights' because they share in the individual's destiny; the `resurrection of the body' is taken for granted (cf. Supplication 31.22).
Activities have rights because they shape the destiny of the soul. And other human beings have rights because they form the context within which activity occurs. Human actions can only be correct if the rights of all of God's creatures are observed. This, in short, is the theme of the `Treatise on Rights', a theme which is reinforced by many of the supplications of the Sahifa, number 24 being a prime example.
The treatise has been transmitted in two versions, one in Al-Khisal and Al-Amali, both by Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 581/991), and the other in Tuhaf al-`uqul, by his contemporary Ibn Shu'ba. Perhaps one half of the text of the two versions is identical, but Ibn Shu'ba's version adds a good deal of material that shows it to be a later recension, perhaps by the Imam himself, or more likely by a later author trying to clarify the meaning. The translation follows the earlier version, with a minor addition from the second version which seems to be demanded by the context.4
Know - God have mercy upon you - that God 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.
بسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إعْلَمْ رَحِمَكَ اللهُ أَنَّ للهِ عَلَيْكَ حُقُوقًا مُحِيطَةً بكَ فِي كلِّ حَرَكَةٍ تَحَرَّكْتَهَا، أَوْ سَكَنَةٍ سَكَنْتَهَا، أَوْ مَنْزِلَةٍ نَزَلْتَهَا، أَوْ جَارِحَةٍ قَلَّبْتَهَا وَآلَةٍ تَصَرَّفْتَ بهَا، بَعْضُهَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ بَعْضٍ.
The greatest of God'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 foot, in keeping with the diversity of your organs.
وَأَكْبَرُ حُقُوقِ اللهِ عَلَيْكَ مَا أَوْجَبَهُ لِنَفْسِهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى مِنْ حَقِّهِ الَّذِي هُوَ أَصْلُ الْحُقُوقِ وَمِنْهُ تَفَرَّعَ. ثُمَّ أَوْجَبَهُ عَلَيْكَ لِنَفْسِكَ مِنْ قَرْنِكَ إلَى قَدَمِكَ عَلَى اِختِلافِ جَوَارِحِكَ.
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'al) take place.
فَجَعَلَ ِلِلِسَانِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِسَمْعِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وِ لِبَصَرِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِيَدِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِرِجْلِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِبَطْنِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِفَرْجِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا، فَهَذِهِ الْجَوَارِحُ السَّبْعُ الَّتِي بهَا تَكُونُ الأَفْعَالُ.
Then He gave your acts rights against you: He gave your ritual prayer a right against you, your fasting a right against you, your charity a right against you, your offering a right against you, and your acts a right against you.
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لأَفْعَالِكَ عَلَيْكَ حُقُوقًا فَجَعَلَ لِصَلاتِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِصَوْمِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِصَدَقَتِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلِهَدْيِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا وَلأَفعَالِكَ عَلَيْكَ حَقًّا.
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 leaders (a'imma), then the rights toward your subjects (ra'iyya), then the rights toward your womb [relatives] (rahim).
ثُمَّ تَخرُجُ الْحُقُوقُ مِنْكَ إلَى غَيْرِكَ مِنْ ذَوِي الْحُقُوقِ الْوَاجِبةِ عَلَيكَ. وَأَوْجَبُهَا عَلَيْكَ حُقُوقُ أَئِمَّتِكَ ثُمَّ حُقُوقُ رَعِيَّتِكَ ثُمَّ حُقُوقُ رَحِمِكَ.
From these rights branch out other rights. The rights of your leaders 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 you through property.
فَهَذِهِ حُقُوقٌ يَتَشَعَّبُ مِنْهَا حُقُوقٌ: فَحُقُوقُ أَئِمَّتِكَ ثَلاثَةٌ أَوْجَبُهَا عَلَيْكَ حَقُّ سَائِسِكَ بالسُّلْطَانِ ثُمَّ سَائِسِكَ بالْعِلْمِ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ سَائِسِكَ بالْمُلْكِ.
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 the man of knowledge - then the right of those who are your subjects through property, such as wives and what is owned by the right hand.
وَحُقُوقُ رَعِيَّتِكَ ثلاثَةٌ أَوْجَبُهَا عَلَيْكَ حَقُّ رَعِيَّتِكَ بالسُّلْطَان، ثُمَّ حَقُّ رعِيَّتِكَ بالْعِلْمِ، فَإنَّ الْجَاهِلَ رَعِيَّةُ الْعَالِمِ، وَحَقُّ رَعِيَّتِكَ بالْمُلْكِ مِنَ الأَزْوَاجِ وَمَا مَلَكْتَ مِنَ الأَيْمَانِ.
The rights of your womb relatives are many; they are connected to you in the measure of the connection of the womb relationship. 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 worthy, then the next most worthy.
وَحُقُوقُ رَحِمِكَ كَثِيرَةٌ مُتَّصِلَةٌ بقَدْرِ اتِّصَالِ الرَّحِمِ فِي الْقَرَابَةِ فَأَوْجَبُهَا عَلَيْكَ حَقُّ أُمِّكَ ثُمَّ حَقُّ أَبيكَ ثُمَّ حَقُّ وَلَدِكَ ثُمَّ حَقُّ أَخِيكَ ثُمَّ الأَقْرَبُ فَالأَقْرَبُ وَالأَوَّلى فَالأَوَّلى.
Then there is the right of your master who favours you [by freeing you from slavery], then the right of the slave whose favours reach you [by the fact that you free him], then the right of him who does a kindly act toward you, then the right of the mu’adhdhin who calls you to the ritual prayer, then the right of the imam who leads the prayer, then the right of your sitting companion, then the right of your neighbour, 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.
ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَوْلاكَ الْمُنْعِمِ عَلَيْكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَوْلاكَ الْجَارِيَةُ نِعْمَتُكَ عَلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ ذِي الْمَعْرُوفِ لَدَيْكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مُؤَذِّنُكَ بالصَّلاةِ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ إمَامِكَ فِي صَلاتِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ جَلِيسِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ جَارِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ صَاحِبكَ،
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 whom you ask 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.
ثُمَّ حَقُّ شَرِيكِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَالِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ غَرِيمِكَ الَّذِي تُطَالِبُهُ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ غَرِيمِكَ الَّذِي يُطَالِبُكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ خَلِيطِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ خَصْمِكَ الْمُدَّعِي عَلَيْكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ خَصْمِكَ الَّذِي تَدَّعِي عَلَيْهِ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مُسْتَشِيرِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ الْمُشِيرِ عَلَيْكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مُسْتَنْصِحِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ النَّاصِحِ لَكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَنْ هُوَ أَكْبَرُ مِنْكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَنْ هُوَ أَصْغَرُ مِنْكَ،
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, then all rights in the measure of the causes of the states and the occurrence of events.
ثُمَّ حَقُّ سَائِلِكَ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَن سَأَلْتَهُ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ مَن جَرَى لَكَ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ مَسَاءَةٌ بقَوْلٍ أَو فِعْلٍ أَوْ مَسَرَّةٍ بذَلِكَ بقَوْلٍ أَوْ فِعْلٍ عَنْ تَعَمُّدٍ مِنْهُ أَوْ غَيْرِ تَعَمُّدٍ مِنْهُ، ثُمَّ حَقُّ أَهْلِ مِلَّتِكَ عَامَّةً ثُمَّ حَقُّ أَهْلِ الذِّمَّةِ، ثُمَّ الْحُقُوقُ الْجَارِيَةُ بقَدْرِ عِلَل الأَحْوَالِ وَتَصَرُّفِ الأَسْبَاب.
Therefore happy is he whom God aids in the rights which He has made incumbent upon him and whom He gives success therein and points in the proper direction!
فَطُوبَى لِمَنْ أَعَانَهُ اللهُ عَلَى قَضَاءِ مَا أَوْجَبَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ حُقُوقِهِ وَوَفَّقَهُ وَسَدَّدَهُ.
The greatest right of God against you is that you worship Him without associating anything with Him. When you do that with sincerity (ikhlas), He has made it binding upon Himself to give you sufficiency in the affair of this world and the next.
1 . حق الله الأكبر
فأَمَّا حَقُّ اللهِ الأَكْبَرُ فَإنَّكَ تَعْبُدُهُ لا تُشْرِكُ بهِ شَيْئاً، فَإذَا فَعَلْتَ ذَلِكَ بإخلاصٍ جَعَلَ لَكَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ أَنْ يَكفِيَكَ أَمْرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَيَحْفَظَ لَكَ مَا تُحِبُّ مِنْهَما.
The right of your self (nafs) against you is that you employ it in obeying God; then you deliver to your tongue its right, to your hearing its right, to your sight its right, to your hand its right, to your leg its right, to your stomach its right, to your private part its right, and you seek help from God in all that.
2. حق النفس
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ نَفْسِكَ عَلَيْكَ فَأَنْ تَسْتَوْفِيَهَا فِي طَاعَةِ اللهِ فَتُؤَدّي إلَى لِسَانِكَ حَقَّهُ وَإلَى سَمْعِك حَقَّهُ وَإلَى بَصَرِكَ حَقّهُ وَإلَى يَدِكَ حَقَّهَا وَإلَى رِجْلِك حَقَّهَا وَإلَى بَطْنِكَ حَقَّهُ وَإلَى فَرْجِكَ حَقَّهُ وَتَسْتَعِينَ باللهِ عَلَى ذَلِك.
The right of the tongue is that you consider it too noble for obscenity, accustom it to good, refrain from any meddling in which there is nothing to be gained, express kindness to the people, and speak well concerning them.
3. حق اللسان
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ اللّسَان فَإكْرَامُهُ عَنِ الْخَنَى وتَعْوِيدُهُ الْخَيْرِ وَ تَرك الْفُضُول الَّتي لا فائِدَةِ لَها و البِرُّ بالنَّاسِ و حُسْن القَولِ فيهم.
The right of hearing is to keep it pure from listening to backbiting (ghiba) and listening to that to which it is unlawful to listen.
4. حق السمع
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ السَّمْعِ فَتَنْزِيهُهُ عَنْ سَماع الغيبةِ و سَماعِها لا يحِلّ سَماعه.
The right of sight is that you lower it before everything which is unlawful to you and that you take heed whenever you look at anything. 1
5. حق البصر
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ بَصَرِكَ أن تُغْمِضَهُ عَمَّا لا يَحِلُّ لَكَ و تَعْتَبِر بالنَّظَرِ بِهِ.
The right of your hand is that you stretch it not toward that which is unlawful to you.
6. حق اليد
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ يَدِكَ فَأَنْ لا تَبْسُطَهَا إلَى مَا لا يَحِلُّ لَكَ.
The right of your two legs is that you walk not with them toward that which is unlawful to you. You have no escape from standing upon the narrow bridge (al-sirat [over hell]), so you should see to it that your legs do not slip and cause you to fall into the Fire.
7. حق الرجلين
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ رِجْلَيْكَ فَأَنْ لا تَمْشِي بهِمَا إلَى مَا لا يَحِلُّ لَكَ فيهما، تقف على الصراط فانظر أن لا تزل بك فتتردى في النار.
The right of your stomach is that you make it not into a container for that which is unlawful to you and you eat no more than your fill (shib').
8. حق البطن
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ بَطْنِكَ فَأَنْ لا تَجْعَلَهُ وِعَاءً لِلْحَرَامِ وَلا تَزيد على الشَّبْعَ.
The right of your private part (farj) is that you protect it from fornication and guard it against being looked upon.
9. حق الفرج
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ فَرْجِكَ انْ تُحْصِنَهُ عَن الْزِّنا و تَحْفِظَهَ مِن أنْ يُنْظَر الَيْهِ. .
The right of your ritual prayer (salat) is that you know that it is an arrival before God and that through it you are standing before Him. When you know that, then you will stand in the station of him who is lowly, vile, beseeching, trembling, hopeful, fearful, and abased, and you will magnify Him who is before you through stillness and dignity. You will approach the prayer with your heart and you will perform it according to its bounds and its rights.
ثم حقوق الأفعال
10 .حق الصلاة
فَأَمَّا حَقُّ الصَّلاةِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أنّهَا وِفَادَةٌ إلَى اللهِ وَأَنَّكَ فيها قَائِمٌ بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللهِ، فَإذَا عَلِمْتَ ذَلِكَ قُمْتَ مَقَامَ الذَّلِيلِ الْحَقيرِ الرَّاغِب الرَّاهِب الرَّاجِي الْخَائِفِ الْمِسْتَكِينِ الْمُتَضَرِّعِ الْمُعَظِّمِ لِمَنْ كانَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بالسُّكُونِ و الوقارِ و تقبل عليها بِقَلبِكَ و تقيمها بِحُدُودِها و حُقوقِها.
The right of the hajj is that you know it is an arrival before your Lord and a flight to Him from your sins; through it your repentance is accepted and you perform an obligation made incumbent upon you by God.
11. حق الحج
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ الحَجّ أَنْ تَعْلَمَ أَنّه وِفادةٌ إلى رَبّكَ، و فِرارٌ إليه من ذُنوبكَ و بهِ قبولُ تَوبتِكَ وقَضاءُ الفَرضِ الَّذي أوجَبَه الله عَليك.
The right of fasting is that you know it is a veil which God has set up over your tongue, your hearing, your sight, your stomach, and your private part to protect you from the Fire. If you abandon the fast, you will have torn God's protective covering away from yourself.
12. حق الصوم
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ الصَّوْمِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أَنَّهُ حِجَابٌ ضَرَبَهُ اللهُ عَلَى لِسَانِكَ وَسَمْعِكَ وبَصَرِكَ وَفَرْجِكَ وبَطْنِكَ لِيَسْتركَ بهِ مِن النَّارِ. فان تركتَ الصومَ خرقتَ ستر الله عليك.
The right of charity (sadaqa) is that you know it is a storing away with your Lord and a deposit for which you will have no need for witnesses. If you deposit it in secret, you will be more confident of it than if you deposit it in public.1 You should know that it repels afflictions and illnesses from you in this world and it will repel the Fire from you in the next world.
. 13حق الصدقة
وَأَمَّا حَقُّ الصَّدَقَةِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أنَّها ذُخرُكَ عِنْدَ رَبكَ وَوَديعَتُكَ الَّتِي لا تَحْتَاجُ إلَى الإشْهَادِ عَليها، و كُنْتَ بمَا تَسْتَودِعُهُ سِرًّا أَوْثقَ مِنْكَ بمَا تَسْتَوْدِعُهُ عَلانِيَةً، و تعلم أنَّها تَدْفَعُ البلايا و الأسقام عنك في الدنيا، وتَدفَعُ عنك النار في الآخرة.
The right of the offering (hady)2 is that through it you desire God and you not desire His creation; through it you desire only the exposure of your soul to God's mercy and the deliverance of your spirit on the day you encounter Him..
14. حق الهدي
وحق الهدي أن تريد به الله عز وجل ولا تريد به خلقه ولا تريد به إلا التعرض لرحمة الله ونجاة روحك يوم تلقاه.
The right of the possessor of authority (sultan) is that you know that God has made you a trial (fitna) for him. God is testing him through the authority He has given him over you. You should not expose yourself to his displeasure, for thereby you cast yourself by your own hands into destruction1 and become his partner in his sin when he brings evil down upon you. 2
ثم حقوق الأئمَّة
15 حق السلطان
فأَمَّا حَقُّ السُّلْطَانِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أنّكَ جُعِلْتَ لَهُ فِتنَةً وأنَّهُ مُبْتَلىً فِيكَ بمَا جَعَلَهُ اللهُ لَهُ عَلَيْكَ مِنَ السُّلْطَانِ وأن عليك أن لا تتعرض لسخطه، فتلقي بيديك إلى التهلكة، وتكون شريكا له فيما يأتي إليك من سوء.
The right of the one who trains you (sa'is) through knowledge is magnifying him, respecting his sessions, listening well to him, and attending to him with devotion. You should not raise your voice toward him. You should never answer anyone who asks him about something, in order that he may be the one who answers. You should not speak to anyone in his session nor speak ill of anyone with him. If anyone ever speaks ill of him in your presence, you should defend him. You should conceal his faults and make manifest his virtues. You should not sit with him in enmity or show hostility toward him in friendship. If you do all of this, God's angels will give witness for you that you went straight to him and learned his knowledge for God's sake, not for the sake of the people.
16. حق سائسك بالعلم
وأَمَّا حَقُّ سَائِسِكَ بالعِلْمِ التَّعْظِيمُ لَهُ والتَّوْقِيرُ لِمَجْلِسِهِ وَحُسْنُ الاسْتِمَاعِ إليهِ وَالإقْبَالُ عَلَيْه وأن لا ترفع عليه صوتك، ولا تجيب أحدا يسأله عن شئ حتى يكون هو الذي يجيب، ولا تحدث في مجلسه أحدا ولا تغتاب عنده أحدا وأن تدفع عنه إذا ذكر عندك بسوء وأن تستر عيوبه وتظهر مناقبه ولا تجالس له عدوا ولا تعادي له وليا فإذا فعلت ذلك شهدت لك ملائكة الله بأنك قصدته، وتعلمت علمه لله جل اسمه لا للناس.
The right of him who trains you through property is that you should obey him and not disobey him, unless obeying him would displease God, for there can be no obedience to a creature when it is disobedience to God.
17. حق السائس بالملك
وأمَّا حَقُّ سَائِسِكَ بالمِلْكِ فأن تطيعه ولا تعصيه إلا فيما يسخط الله عز وجل فانه لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق.
The right of your subjects through authority is that you should know that they have been made subjects through their weakness and your strength. Hence it is incumbent upon you to act with justice toward them and to be like a compassionate father toward them. You should forgive them their ignorance and not hurry them to punishment and you should thank God for the power over them which He has given to you.
ثم حقوق الرعية
18. حق الرعية بالسلطان
فأَمَّا حُقُوقُ رَعِيَّتِكَ بالسُّلْطَانِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أنهم صاروا رعيتك لضعفهم قوتك فيجب أن تعدل فيهم وتكون لهم كالوالد الرحيم، وتغفر لهم جهلهم، ولا تعاجلهم بالعقوبة، وتشكر الله عز وجل على ما آتاك من القوة عليهم.
The right of your subjects through knowledge is that you should know that God made you a caretaker over them only through the knowledge He has given you and His storehouses which He has opened up to you. If you do well in teaching the people, not treating them roughly or annoying them, then God will increase His bounty toward you. But if you withhold your knowledge from people or treat them roughly when they seek knowledge from you, then it will be God's right to deprive you of knowledge and its splendour and to make you fall from your place in people's hearts.
19. حق الرعية بالعلم
وأمَّا حَقُّ رَعِيَّتِكَ بالعِلْمِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أن الله عز وجل إنما جعلك قيما لهم فيما آتاك من العلم وفتح لك من خزائنه فان أحسنت في تعليم الناس، ولم تخرق بهم، ولم تضجر عليهم، زادك الله من فضله، وإن أنت منعت الناس علمك أو خرقت بهم عند طلبهم العلم منك كان حقا على الله عز وجل أن يسلبك العلم وبهاءه ويسقط من القلوب محلك.
The right of your wife (zawja) is that you know that God has made her a repose and a comfort for you; you should know that she is God's favour toward you, so you should honour her and treat her gently. Though her right toward you is more incumbent, you must treat her with compassion, since she is your prisoner (asir) whom you feed and clothe. If she is ignorant, you should pardon her.
20. حق الزوجة
وأما حق الزوجة فأن تعلم أن الله عز وجل جعلها لك سكنا وأنسا فتعلم أن ذلك نعمة من الله عليك فتكرمها وترفق بها، وإن كان حقك عليها أوجب فان لها عليك أن ترحمها لأنها أسيرك وتطعمها وتكسوها وإذا جهلت عفوت عنها.
The right of your slave (mamluk) is that you should know that he is the creature of your Lord, the son of your father and mother, and your flesh and blood. You own him, but you did- not make him; God made him. You did not create any one of his limbs, nor do you provide him with his sustenance; on the contrary, God gives you the sufficiency for that.
Then He subjugated him to you, entrusted him to you, and deposited him with you so that you may be safeguarded by the good you give to him. So act well toward him, just as God has acted well toward you. If you dislike him, replace him, but do not torment a creature of God. And there is no strength save in God.1
21. حق الرعية بملك اليمين
وأما حق مملوكك فأن تعلم أنه خلق ربك وابن أبيك وأمك ولحمك ودمك تملكه،لا أنت صنعته من دون الله ولا خلقت شيئا من جوارحه، ولا أخرجت له رزقا ولكن الله عز وجل كفاك ذلك ثم سخره لك وائتمنك عليه واستودعك إياه، ليحفظ لك ما تأتيه من خير إليه فأحسن إليه كما أحسن الله إليك، وإن كرهته استبدلت به، ولم تعذب خلق الله عز وجل ولا قوة إلا بالله.
Then, at the end of the month of Ramadan, he would call them together and list their misdeeds, asking them to pray to God to forgive him, just as he had forgiven them. Then he would free them with generous gifts. If he owned a slave at the beginning or middle of the year, he would free him on the eve of the Feast of Fast-breaking and then buy another slave. (A’yan al-shi’a, IV, 193-4).
Once the Imam called his slave twice, but he did not respond. When he answered the third time, he said: ‘Did you not hear my voice?’ The slave answered: ‘Yes, I did.’ The Imam asked: ‘Then why did you not answer me?’ He replied: ‘Because I am safe from you.’ The Imam said: ‘Praise belongs to God, who made my slave safe from me!’ (A’yan al-shi’a, IV, 200; Bihar, XLVI, 56). Once a slave girl poured water for the Imam while he was making the ablution for prayer. Suddenly the pot dropped from her hand and struck him in the face, cutting him. He turned towards her and the slave girl said: ‘God says: Those who restrain their rage.’ He said: ‘I have restrained my rage.’ She said: ‘And pardon the people.’ He said: ‘God has pardoned you.’ She said: ‘And God loves the good-doers’ (3:134). He said: ‘Go. You are a free woman.’ (Bihar, XLVI, 68; cf.96).
The right of your mother is that you know that she carried you where no one carries anyone, she gave to you of the fruit of her heart that which no one gives to anyone, and she protected you with all her organs. She did not care if she went hungry as long as you ate, if she was thirsty as long as you drank, if she was naked as long as you were clothed, if she was in the sun as long as you were in the shade. She gave up sleep for your sake, she protected you from heat and cold, all in order that you might belong to her. You will not be able to show her gratitude, unless through God's help and giving success.1
22. حق الأم
و أما حَقُّ أُمِّكَ، فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أَنَّهَا حَمَلَتكَ حَيْثُ لا يحتمل أحدٌ أحداَ، وأعْطَتْكَ مِن ثَمْرَةِ قَلبِها ما لا يُعطي أحدٌ أحداَ، ووَقَتْكَ بِجَمِيعِ جَوارحِها، ولَمْ تبال أن تجوع وتطعمك، وتعطش وتسقيك، وتعرى وتكسوك، وتضحى وتظلك، وتهجر النوم لأجلك، ووَقَتْكَ الحَرَّ والبَردَ، لتكون لها، فانك لا تُطيق شُكرها إلّا بِعَونِ اللهِ وتَوفيقه.
The right of your father is that you know that he is your root. Without him, you would not be. Whenever you see anything in yourself which pleases you, know that your father is the root of its blessing upon you. So praise God and thank Him in that measure. And there is no strength save in God.
23. حق الأب
وَأمَّا حَقُّ أَبيكَ فان تَعْلَمَ أنَّهُ أَصْلُكَ، وَأَنَّهُ لَوْلاهُ لَمْ تَكُنْ. فَمَهْمَا رَأيْتَ فِي نفْسِكَ مِمَّا يُعْجِبُكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ أَبَاكَ أَصْلُ النِّعْمَةِ عَلَيْكَ فِيهِ وَاحْمَدِ اللَّهَ وَاشْكُرْهُ عَلَى قَدْرِ ذَلِكَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إلاّ باللهِ.
The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct (husn al-adab), pointing him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So act toward him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.
24. حق الولد
وَأمَّا حَقُّ وَلَدِكَ فَان تَعْلَمَ أنَّهُ مِنْكَ وَمُضَافٌ إلَيكَ فِي عَاجِلِ الدُنْيَا بخَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ، وَأَنَّكَ مَسْئولٌ عَمَّا ولِّيتَهُ بِهِ مِنْ حُسْنِ الأَدَب وَالدّلالَةِ عَلَى رَبهِ وَالْمَعُونةِ لَهُ عَلَى طَاعَتِهِ فَاعْمَلْ فِي أَمْرِهِ عَمَلَ من يعلم أنه مثاب على الإحسان إليه مُعاقِب على الإساءةِ إليه.
The right of your brother is that you know that he is your hand, your might, and your strength. Take him not as a weapon with which to disobey God, nor as equipment with which to wrong God's creatures. Do not neglect to help him against his enemy or to give him good counsel. If he obeys God, well and good, but if not, you should honour God more than him. And there is no strength save in God.
25. حق الأخ
وَأَمّا حَقُّ أَخِيكَ فَأن تَعْلَمَ أَنّهُ يَدُكَ وَعِزُّكَ وَقُوَّتُكَ ، فَلا تَتَّخِذْهُ سِلاحًا علَى مَعصيةِ اللَّهِ ولا عُدَّةً لِلظُّلْمِ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ، ولا تَدَعْ نُصْرتَهُ عَلَى عَدُوِّهِ، والنَّصِيحَة لَهُ فَاِنْ أطاعَ اللهَ وإلا فلْيَكُنِ الله أكرم عليك منه ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of your master (mawla) who has favoured you [by freeing you from slavery] is that you know that he has spent his property for you and brought you out of the abasement and estrangement of bondage to the exaltation and comfort of freedom. He has freed you from the captivity of possession and loosened the bonds of slavehood from you.
He has brought you out of prison, given you ownership of yourself, and given you leisure to worship your Lord. You should know that he is the closest of God'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. And there is no strength save in God.
26. حق المنعم على مولاه
وأما حق مولاك المنعم عليك فأن تعلم أنه أنفق فيك ماله وأخرجك من ذل الرق ووحشته إلى عز الحرية وانسها، فأطلقك من أسر الملكة، وفك عنك قيد العبودية، وأخرجك من السجن، وملكك نفسك، وفرغك لعبادة ربك وتعلم أنه أولى الخلق بك في حياتك وموتك، وأن نصرته عليك واجبة بنفسك، وما احتاج إليه منك، ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of the slave (mawla) whom you have favoured [by freeing him] is that you know that God has made your freeing him a means of access to Him and a veil against the Fire. Your immediate reward is to inherit from him- if he does not have any maternal relatives- as a compensation for the property you have spent for him, and your ultimate reward is the Garden.
27. حق المولى الذي أنعمت عليه
وأما حق مولاك الذي أنعمت عليه فأن تعلم أن الله عز وجل جعل عتقك له وسيلة إليه وحجابا لك من النار، وأن ثوابك في العاجل ميراثه، إذا لم يكن له رحم مكافأة بما أنفقت من مالك، وفى الأجل الجنة.
The right of him who does a kindly act (dhu l-ma'ruf) toward you is that you thank him and mention his kindness; you reward him with beautiful words and you supplicate for him sincerely in that which is between you and God. If you do that, you have thanked him secretly and openly. Then, if you are able to repay him one day, you repay him.
28. حق ذي المعروف
وَأمّا حَقُّ ذِي المَعْرُوفِ عَلَيكَ فَأَنْ تَشْكُرَهُ وتَذْكُرَ مَعْرُوفَهُ وتَنْشُرَ لَهُ الْمَقَالَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ، وَتُخلِصَ لَهُ الدُّعَاءَ فِيمَا بَينَكَ وبَيْنَ اللَّهِ عز وجل ، فَإنّكَ إذَا فَعَلْتَ ذَلِكَ كُنْتَ قَدْ شَكَرْتَهُ سِرًّا وَعَلانِيَةً. ثُمَّ إنْ قدرت على مكافأته يوماً كافأته.
The right of the mu’adhdhin is that you know that he is reminding you of your Lord, calling you to your good fortune, and helping you to accomplish what God has made obligatory upon you. So thank him for that just as you thank one who does good to you.
29. حق المؤذن
وَأمّا حَقُّ الْمُؤَذِّنِ فَأَنْ تَعْلَمَ أنّهُ مُذَكِّرُ لَكَ برَبكَ وداعٍ لك إلى حَظِّكَ وعَونُكَ على قضاء فرض الله عليك، فَاشْكُرْهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ شُكْرَكَ لِلْمُحْسِنِ إلَيكَ.
The right of your imam in your ritual prayer is that you know that he has taken on the role of mediator between you and your Lord. He speaks for you, but you do not speak for him; he supplicates for you, but you do not supplicate for him. He has spared you the terror of standing before God. If he performs the prayer imperfectly, that belongs to him and not to you; but if he performs it perfectly, you are his partner, and he has no excellence over you. So protect yourself through him, protect your prayer through his prayer, and thank him in that measure.
30. حق الإمام في الصلاة
وحق إمامك في صلاتك فأن تعلم أنه تقلد السفارة فيما بينك وبين ربك عز وجل وتكلم عنك ولم تتكلم عنه ودعا لك ولم تدع له وكفاك هول المقام بين يدي الله عز وجل، فإن كان نقص كان به دونك، وإن كان تماما كنت شريكه، ولم يكن له عليك فضل، فوقى نفسك بنفسه وصلاتك بصلاته فتشكر له على قدر ذلك.
The right of your sitting companion (jalis) is that you treat him mildly, show fairness toward him while vying with him in discourse, and do not stand up from sitting with him without his permission. But it is permissible for him who sits with you to leave without asking your permission. You should forget his slips and remember his good qualities, and you should tell nothing about him but good.
31. حق الجليس
وأما حق جليسك فأن تلين له جانبك، وتنصفه في مجاراة اللفظ، ولا تقوم من مجلسك إلا بإذنه، ومن يجلس إليك يجوز له القيام عنك بغير إذنه، وتنسى زلاته وتحفظ خيراته، ولا تسمعه إلا خيرا.
The right of your neighbour (jar) is that you guard him when he is absent, honour him when he is present, and aid him when he is wronged. You do not pursue anything of his that is shameful; if you know of any evil from him, you conceal it. If you know that he will accept your counsel, you counsel him in that which is between him and you. You do not forsake him in difficulty, you release him from his stumble, you forgive his sin, and you associate with him generously. And there is no strength save in God.
32. حق الجار
وأما حق جارك فحفظه غائبا وإكرامه شاهدا ونصرته إذا كان مظلوما، ولا تتبع له عورة، فإن علمت عليه سوءا سترته عليه، وإن علمت أنه يقبل نصيحتك نصحته فيما بينك وبينه، ولا تسلمه عند شديدة، وتقيل عثرته، وتغفر ذنبه، وَتُعَاشِرَهُ مُعَاشَرَةً كَرِيمَةً. وَلا قُوَّةَ إلا باللهِ.
The right of the companion (sahib) is that you act as his companion with bounty and in fairness. You honour him as he honours you and you do not let him be the first to act with generosity. If he is the first, you repay him. You wish for him as he wishes for you and you restrain him from any act of disobedience he might attempt. Be a mercy for him, not a chastisement. And there is no strength save in God.
33. حق الصاحب
وأما حق الصاحب فأن تصحبه بالتفضل والإنصاف، وتكرمه كما يكرمك ولا تدعه يسبق إلى مكرمة، فان سبق كافأته، وتودّه كما يودك، وتزجره عما يهم به من معصية، وكن عليه رحمة ولا تكن عليه عذابا ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of the partner (sharik) is that if he should be absent, you suffice him in his affairs, and if he should be present, you show regard for him. You make no decision without his decision and you do nothing on the basis of your own opinion, but you exchange views with him. You guard his property for him, and you do not betray him in that of his affair which is difficult or of little importance, for God's hand is above the hands of two partners as long as they do not betray each other. And there is no strength save in God.
34. حق الشريك
وأما حق الشريك فإنْ غابَ كَفَيتَهُ، وإن حضر رعيتَهُ، ولا تحكم دون حكمه، ولا تعمل برأيك دون مناظرته، وتحفظ عليه ماله، ولا تخونه فيما عز أو هان من أمره فإن يد الله تبارك وتعالى على أيدي الشريكين ما لم يتخاونا ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of your property (mal) is that you take it only from what is lawful and you spend it only in what is proper. Through it you should not prefer above yourself those who will not praise you. You should act with it in obedience to your Lord and not be miserly with it, lest you fall back into regret and remorse while suffering the ill consequence. And there is no strength save in God.
35. حق المال
وأما حق مالك فأن لا تأخذه إلا من حله، ولا تنفقه إلا في وجهه، ولا تؤثر به على نفسك من لا يحمدك، فاعمل فيه بطاعة ربك ولا تبخل به فتبوء بالحسرة و الندامة مع التبعة ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of him to whom you owe a debt (al-gharim alladhi yutalibuka) is that, if you have the means, you pay him back, and if you are in straitened circumstances, you satisfy him with good words and you send him away with gentleness.
36. حق الغريم الطالب
وأما حق غريمك الذي يطالبك فإن كنت موسرا أعطيته وإن كنت معسرا أرضيته بحسن القول ورددته عن نفسك ردا لطيفا.
The right of the associate (khalit) is that you neither mislead him, nor act dishonestly toward him, nor deceive him, and you fear God in his affair.
37. حق الخليط
وحق الخليط أن لا تغره ولا تغشه ولا تخدعه وتتقي الله تبارك وتعالى في أمره.
The right of the adversary (khasm) who has a claim against you is that, if what he claims against you is true, you give witness to it against yourself. You do not wrong him and you give him his full due. If what he claims against you is false, you act with kindness toward him and you show nothing in his affair other than kindness; you do not displease your Lord in his affair. And there is no strength save in God.1
38. حق الخصم المدعي عليك
وحق الخصم المدعي عليك، فإن كان ما يدعي عليك حقا كنت شاهده على نفسك، ولم تظلمه وأوفيته حقه، وإن كان ما يدعي به باطلا رفقت به ولم تأت في أمره غير الرفق، ولم تسخط ربك في أمره ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of the adversary against whom you have a claim is that, if your claim against him is true, you maintain polite moderation in speaking to him and you do not deny his right. If your claim is false, you fear God, repent to Him, and abandon your claim.
حق الخصم تدعى عليه
وحق خصمك الذي تدعي عليه إن كنت محقا في دعواك أجملت مقاولته، و لم تجحد حقه وإن كنت مبطلا في دعواك اتقيت الله عزوجل وتبت إليه وتركت الدعوى.
The right of him who asks you for advice (mustashir) is that, if you consider that he has a correct opinion, you advise him to follow it, and if you do not consider it so, you direct him to someone who does consider it so.
39. حق المستشير
وحق المستشير إن علمت له رأيا حسنا له رأيا أشرت عليه وإن لم تعلم أرشدته إلى من يعلم.
The right of him whom you ask for advice (mushir) is that you do not make accusations against him for an opinion which does not conform to your own opinion. If it conforms to it, you praise God.
41. حق المشير
وحق المشير عليك أن لا تتهمه فيما لا يوافقك من رأيه وإن وافقك حمدت الله عز وجل.
The right of him who asks your counsel (mustansih) is that you give him your counsel, but you conduct yourself toward him with compassion and kindness.
42. حق المستنصح
وحق المستنصح أن تؤدي إليه النصيحة، وليكن مذهبك الرحمة له والرفق به.
The right of your counselor (nasih) is that you act gently toward him and give ear to him. If he presents you with the right course, you praise God, but if he does not agree with you, you show compassion toward him and make no accusations against him; you consider him to have made a mistake, and you do not take him to task for that, unless he should be deserving of accusation. Then attach no more importance to his affair. And there is no strength save in God.
43. حق الناصح
وحق الناصح أن تلين له جناحك وتصغي إليه بسمعك، فان أتى بالصواب حمدت الله عز وجل وإن لم وافق رحِمته ولم تتهمه وعلمت أنه أخطأ ولم تؤاخذه بذلك إلا أن يكون مستحقا للتهمة، فلا تعبأ بشيء من أمره على حال ولا قوة إلا بالله.
The right of him who is older than you (kabir) is that you show reverence toward him because of his age and you honour him because he entered Islam before you. You leave off confronting him in a dispute, you do not precede him in a path, you do not go ahead of him, and you do not consider him foolish. If he should act foolishly toward you, you put up with him and you honour him because of the right of Islam and the respect due to it.
44. حق الكبير
وحق الكبير توقيره لسنه، وإجلاله لتقدمه في الإسلام قبلك، وترك مقابلته عند الخصام، ولا تسبقه إلى طريق، ولا تتقدمه، ولا تستجهله وإن جهل عليك احتملته وأكرمته لحق الإسلام وحرمته.
The right of him who is younger (saghir) is that you show compassion toward him through teaching him, pardoning him, covering his faults, kindness toward him, and helping him.
45. حق الصغير
وحق الصغير رحمته في تعليمه والعفو عنه والستر عليه والرفق به والمعونة له.
The right of him who asks (sa'il) from you is that you give to him in the measure of his need.
46. حق السائل
وحق السائل إعطاؤه على قدر حاجته.
The right of him from whom you ask is that you accept from him with gratitude and recognition of his bounty if he gives, and you accept his excuse if he withholds.
47. حق المسؤول
وحق المسؤول إن أعطى فاقبل منه بالشكر والمعرفة بفضلة، وإن منع فاقبل عذره.
The right of him through whom God makes you happy (surur) is that you first praise God, then you thank the person.
48. حق من سرك الله به
وحق من سرك الله تعالى به أن تحمد الله عزوجل أولا ثم تشكره.
The right of him who does evil to you is that you pardon him. But if you know that your pardon will harm him, you defend yourself. God says,
Whosoever defends himself after he has been wronged - against them there is no way (42:41).
49. حق من ساءك
وحق من ساءك أن تعفو عنه وإن علمت أن العفو يضر انتصرت قال الله تبارك وتعالى "ولمن انتصر من بعد ظلمه فأولئك ما عليهم من سبيل" (الشورى/41).
The right of the people of your creed (milla) is harbouring safety for them, compassion toward them, kindness toward their evildoer, treating them with friendliness, seeking their well-being, thanking their good-doer, and keeping harm away from them. You should love for them what you love for yourself and dislike for them what you dislike for yourself. Their old men stand in the place of your father, their youths in the place of your brothers, their old women in the place of your mother, and their young ones in the place of your children.
50. حق أهل ملتك
وحق أهل ملتك إضمار السلامة لهم والرحمة لهم، والرفق بمسيئهم وتألفهم واستصلاحهم، وشكر محسنهم وكف الأذى عنهم، وتحب لهم ما تحب لنفسك، و تكره لهم ما تكره لنفسك، وأن تكون شيوخهم بمنزلة أبيك، وشبابهم بمنزلة اخوتك، وعجائزهم بمنزلة أمك، والصغار بالمنزلة أولادك.
The right of the people under the protection [of Islam] (dhimma) is that you accept from them what God has accepted from them and you do no wrong to them as long as they fulfil God's covenant.
51. حق أهل الذمة
وحق الذمة أن تقبل منهم ما قبل الله عز وجل [منهم] ولا تظلمهم ما وفوا لله عز وجل بعهده
Bid to what is honorable and turn away from the ignorant (7:199).
If anyone reviled him, he would say: ‘If I am as you say, I ask God to forgive me, and if I am not as you say, I ask God to forgive you’. (A’yan, pp.194, 193).