Ayatullah ‘Abdullah Javadi Amuli
The holy Qur’an regards man as one endowed with dignity.
“We have honoured the children of Adam.” (Surah al-Isra 17:70)
This dignity is a theoretical value, which may find a practical aspect. However, it must not be imagined that this theoretical value exists in the considerations. Man’s dignity is the same as the dignity of the angels and the Qur'an, which is the manifestation of God’s dignity. Of course, the Holy Spirit is in essence great. Man's dignity shows that he has advantages. In other words, man’s dignity implies that he has sublime traits. By virtue of the same reason, after the creation of this great essence, God thus addressed lblis (Satan),
“Why did you not bow down before what I created with my own hands?” (Surah Sad 38:75)
This statement, namely the creation of Adam by God’s two hands shows that man is in essence valuable and worthy, for this statement is used when we regard especial respect for something. For instance, if someone prays for something with open hands, it shows his special favor, as God is such when granting something.
“O you who grant things with two open hands.”1
This explanation elucidates the point that the implications of such statements are not that God has physical body or hand but the idea is that all divine essence has played a part in the creation of Adam; hence, man can be the manifestation of all divine qualities and consequently, God’s viceroy.
This theoretical dignity may contain much practical greatness. Due to this dignity, all legal and ethical teachings must be designed in accordance with this theoretical principle. When we admit that man is in essence valuable and worthy, we are consciously or unconsciously induced to believe that neither freedom, security and so on is his right but they should be designed in such a way which might correspond with his dignity.
Man innately tends to seek God, for he sees Him, not with his physical eyes but with the eyes of his heart. This God-seeking attitude is not unconscious, as it is not deterministic. It must not be assumed that man seeks after someone lost but after a God whom he loves. On the basis of reason, man does not have an independent entity but his existence is constantly dependent. However, this dependence has nothing to do with another dependent being but it is dependent upon an independent soul. Man is nothing but a dependent being. It is not such that man has perfect relation to God but that the relation between Man and God is like spiritual poverty and perfect need for Him;
“O people! You are poor before God.” (Surah al-Fatir 35:15)
In this verse, there are two realities: firstly, man does not have an independent soul; secondly, his relationship is only with God and he has no other relationship whatsoever .
Thus, any kind of formulating rights should correspond with this Godseeking spirit. The set of rights considering for man an independent soul or considering man independent of God does not spring from a divine source. Of course, those who do not accept this source generally fall into the pitfall of comparing things while everyone knows that man is a dependent soul. The atheists have pinned their hopes on something or someone. The difference is that they do not consider God as the independent soul. .
From other sources in Islam, it is understood that man is eternal. This is perceived both by reason and by the holy sayings. The holy Qur'an regards that man has an eternal soul who will step into another world after this world and will enjoy eternity there. According to reason, man has an incorporeal soul and that this soul is not exposed to destruction. According to reason, death includes the separation of the soul from the body. And once more this separation is obliterated at the command of God, the body becomes fit for the hereafter.
Everyone accepts this and the existing differences arise from the mistakes in comparison. All human beings long for a longer life and strive to live longer. This implies that man innately seeks after eternity; however, in comparison, some think that belongs to the hereafter.
However, one must know that man is a traveler on the path of life; of course, man comes to middle abode in the minor apocalypse, then he enters the major apocalypse but the world comes to destination in the minor apocalypse. The holy Qur'an holds that all cosmic order moves towards God. This cosmic order goes towards resurrection to testify what its travelers have done or complains of what they have done to redeem them. According to authoritative hadiths, this cosmos and all its parts complain of, testify to or redeem deeds of man.2
Thus, all human beings seek after eternity but some others think that the world is eternal and do not know that eternity is particular to the spirituality. This ignorant way of thinking has taken hold of people from the very beginning. People accumulate wealth to achieve eternity or to destroy death. On different occasions, the holy Qur’an views this way of thinking to be vain and elucidates the real eternity:
“What is with you comes to an end but what is with God abides.” (Surah an-Nahl 16:96)
It might be imagined that eternity means reaching the abode of stability. However, it must be noted that these two are separate from each other for we can imagine a being to be eternal but he will never reach the destination but wander for all the time to come. The holy Qur’an uses delicate statements to show that the cosmic order is purposeful.
“They will question thee concerning the Hour, when it (world) shall berth.” (Surah al-A’raf 7:187 and Surah an-Naziat 79:42)
According to this statement, the cosmic order sails like a ship in the ocean of the Being. It is impossible that this ship may keep sailing but it must someday berth. From this one gathers that the world will stand still somewhere and reach its abode of stability. Besides, the abode of stability in this world is resurrection when man comes to meet the Almighty. For the same reason, one of the names for paradise is Eden. Eden means place of rest. ln resurrection, man reaches his real place of rest.
Man - this eternal incorporeal essence that comes to meet the Almighty has inseparable relationship with the Cosmos. Hence, nothing happens in man unless it affects his soul. Any movement, speech and writing issuing from man affect his temperament; it begets either light or darkness. Hence, all the issues including the legal principles are associated with man’s nature. With the acceptance of this principle, it may no longer be concurred that man is free in everything. Eating, dressing and the likes affect man.
Lawful (halal) food does not exercise the same effect that unlawful (haram) food does. Truth does not have the same effect that untruth does. All these have special functions. For example, sin blackens the heart and removes purity from it:
“What they have done has blackened their hearts.” (Surah al-Mutaffifin 83:14)
Upon committing a sin, some dust settles upon the heart and if man does not remove the dust, the heart gradually becomes blocked and real blindness begins. Even any good or bad memory affects the heart and the mind. With an ugly glance, the dust of sin settles on the heart. Then, it seems that the ears and the eyes are functioning properly but they are out of their proper function. Although the Holy Qur'an has stated the same thing about the eyes, but it is clear that this is allegorical, not particular to the eyes only.
“It is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts within the breasts.” (Surah al-Haj 22:46)
By virtue of the same reason, although the Almighty transmitted His message to mankind, there are some people that do not understand it. This verse also suggested the same thing as implied in other verses that regards this group as deaf and dumb.3 Thus, according to Islamic doctrine, every human act exercises a deep impact upon the soul and the mind.
To explain this, we have to talk in brief about the dignity of man.
That it is man that has originality or the society is to be dealt in the realm of philosophy, for originality means true human being; and it is the philosopher who can determine what really exists. Thus, the researchers in this field are indebted to the philosophers, for as long as the principle of social life has not yet been detennined, it is impossible to provide proofs. It is clear that as the present article does not deal with a philosophical topic, we should suffice ourselves with brief explanations.
The real existence of the society is always questioned; however, there is no doubt that many people are really existent and each one of them has a special entity, their special attitudes and functions and understand their being by intuitive knowledge. It has not occurred to anyone that the existence of others is hypostatized, for anyone can perceive that their fellow beings exist and that many of the traditions and customs are according to their nature. In some aspects, they satisfy his needs and in some other aspects, they are in need of him. So, neither the existence of a large multitude of people nor the mutual effects are rejected.
If a society has real entity, it has real single effects. However, if its existence is hypostatized, it has no single effect. However, whatever comes from it, belongs to the members of the society. In the present discussion, the topic will be dealt with in two parts: firstly, does the individual have originality in the active system or the society? Secondly, which one of them is original in the ultimate system?
On discussing the originality in active system, we shall discus whether the individual has effect on the society and that the individual has the power to cause his ascent or descent. Of course if a society has an independent entity, the discussion is clear; but if the individual himself does not have independent entity, then the implication is that anyone who enters a group consciously or unconsciously is affected by it and will follow the laws and the traditions.
What can be said in the first part is that ordinary persons are usually influenced by the traditions and ways of others, for although the society has no separate entity from the individuals, it is mightier than a single person for it is made up of many individuals. In contrast, the geniuses who are endowed with exceptional talents and can distinguish right from wrong, have the courage to break from the false traditions and customs. Some of them have the power to understand the truth in the society and put aside the untruth and repair the shortcomings for themselves and not for others.
However some others have the power to correct others. Among them are exceptional people who embark on correcting the whole society and attempt to enliven the truth and bury the untruth and withhold no sacrifice in this regard. Regarding them, one can say that originality belongs to them, for their power exceeds that of the society. In other words, in the present system, originality is stronger than that. If the power of the society is greater than the individual, the originality belongs to him; and if the individual is more powerful than the society, it is he who leaves influence on the society.
All these explanations were, in fact, about the geniuses save the prophets and the divine authorities. The manifestation of prophecy and the rise of esoteric guidance is far greater than the genius of man and basically, one cannot compare them with each other.
“This is Allah's grace; He shall give it to whom He pleases.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:54)
The Almighty chooses these people with certain criteria and assigns them to transmit the holy message:
“Allah best knows where to place His message.” (Surah al-An’am 6:124)
Such people are a society in themselves and have the power to change the society;
“Surely Abraham was a nation.” (Surah an-Nahl 16:120)
The study of manners of these great people implies how they could make the monotheism echo in the pagan atmosphere of the society and even sometimes, they struggled long for their goal;
“And certainly We sent Noah to people, so he remained among them a thousand years save fifty.” (Surah al-Ankabut 29:14)
Now that these principles are elucidated, it might be said that originality belongs to the individual; for any wise individual leaves effect on others and this influence extends to the far stretches of the society. Where the society leaves effect on the society, it influences several people for when the rights of individuals and the society are in mind, the right of the society is of primary importance, and the rights of individuals have priority over the rights of one individual. Albeit, every multiplicity has priority over every unity although it might be preferred to superior unity.
Now we must see how things stand in the ultimate society. In this part, we shall be discussing whether the ultimate goal in the human society is leading the individuals to bliss or that the ultimate goal includes leading the society to bliss.
If we say that the goal is leading the individual to bliss, the idea is that we regard originality as being particular to individuals and if believe that the goal includes leading the society to bliss, it means that originality belongs to the society. That what bliss is, depends upon the social insight. The materialists do not believe that bliss is outside the realm of nature and they found any interpretation of morality and spirituality on material values. However, according to the theologians, bliss is of a vaster realm and embraces both nature and metaphysics.
Those who do not think beyond their whims and passions, act on the hypothesis of individual originality. Hence, they found their way on despotism, exploitation and enslavement. It is with this thought that some believe they are a better race than others. Among them are those who lord over people and all social forces should be in their service. Pharaoh was one of them who said,
“I am a better god.” (Surah an-Naziat 79:24)
In contrast, there is another group who has achieved relative freedom. They hold that originality is particular to the society and step in the way of serving people. They think that if the society is corrected, the ultimate goal is achieved. If this way of thinking belongs to a monotheist, it arises from his ignorance; for this way of thinking is particular to the school of materialism. It must be noted that a materialist grabs at this thought ignorantly, for he cannot believe sacrificing himself for others.
The secret of this matter lies in this that a materialist accepts that death is the end of man and that he does not perceive any pleasure or pain after death. On the same basis, how can this person learn about social welfare after death? After all, the life of any living creature is based on truth. If man does not have eternal soul, how can one sense people's pains and pleasures?
The third group are the monotheists who have freed themselves from the dungeon of the individual and the society and have ascended to the peak of divine school. They all have the divine color, which are above all other colors.
“Who has a·better color than the Almighty?” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:138)
They protect their deeds from any sort of desruction and reach to the glorious peak of goodness after passing the stage of justice and seek others joy at the cost of their own pain to lead others to bliss. They justify their hunger with the saturation of people and buy their thirst by quenching the thirsty ones and justify their lack of shelter by sheltering others. They are the striking examples of this verse:
“They prefer others to themselves, although they are themselves in need.” (Surah al-Hashr 59:9)
Another characteristic of this group is that they always prefer others to themselves, but try to vie others in goodness.
“They vie each other in good deeds.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:148 and Surah al-Maidah 5:48)
The most important point to be taken into consideration is that they do sacrifices simply because they wish to provide perfection to elevate their souls. In other words, all this goodness is not only the sign of the originality in the ultimate order but it is a sign for the originality of the individual as well, namely that in the ultimate order, one has to do good works to elevate his spirituality.
Thus, in divine school, individual originality finds its special meaning. Therefore, in the active order, the superior human beings make the society and originality belongs to them. In the ultimate order, originality belongs to individuals but as it was expressed.
It must not be forgotten that these words are brought up in legal and moral discussions. However, if they take the shape of philosophy, then it becomes evident that in the ultimate order and the active order, originality belongs to God alone, and not to the individual or the society. This is our belief:
“God is the beginning and the end.” (Surah al-Hadid 57:3)
With this conviction, the originality of anything save God in the active order does not correspond with the priority of truth; as the originality of anything but God in the ultimate order does not correspond with the truth which is the end of anything.
The first right enumerated for man by the holy Qur’an is the right to life. There are two phases for life: physical and spiritual. No one has the right to take this right from others. The violation of physical right is done with killing. According to the holy Qur’an, this is equal to destroying the whole society unless it is done under sound reasons.
“Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:32)
The violation of the spiritual right to life is done by misleading others. They destroy their spiritual life. The loss of spiritual life means the loss of bliss; otherwise the spirit of man shall not be destroyed. For the same reason, the Holy Qur’an regards spiritual life as opposed to atheism. In other words, anyone that becomes atheist, they shall lose bliss and die spiritually. This contrast is thus described:
“... that he may warn whosoever is living, and that the Word may be realized against the unbelievers .” (Surah Yasin 36:70)
As is evident from this verse, those who have not become pagans are living; in other words, the infidels do not enjoy life.
According to the holy Qur'an, the right to life is granted to man by God and hence, it is God who can interfere in it. Thus, any kind of violation of physical or spiritual right without God’s permission is forbidden. In other words, life is the right of man, it is his duty, and no one can shirk this responsibility.
It was said that the right to life is the first right of man. On the other hand, in Treatise on Rights, Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) holds that rights spring from the knowledge of God. The secret of the words of that venerable Imam lies in the aforementioned words; if anyone does not know God, he indeed divests himself of the right to life. Thus, the knowledge of God is enjoying spiritual life.
Thus, according to the Holy Qur’an, those who have surrendered to the Culture of Ignorance are dead:
“You were dead; then, God gave you life.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:28)
In this verse, the meaning is the life after this world and the spiritual life after ignorance.
As was mentioned in the previous part, the Holy Qur’an elucidates two kinds of life; spiritual and physical. Now we shall be discussing three types of life; vegetable, animal and human.
In many Qur'anic verses, God sends down rain for the growth of plants and for the growth of man. This life is called vegetable life. It seems that this verse talks about vegetable life:
“We created every living thing from water.” (Surah al-Anbiya 21:30)
This vegetable life belongs to those who summon up all their power to grow up and nothing else. This group does not enjoy animal life, let alone human life. Plants have the same life and their growth is limited to their getting tall.
A superior stage is the animal life. In this stage, there is the question of kindness, love, affection and hatred and hostility. The present order of the world is founded upon this animal life. Even the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been meant to silence the oppressed.
When the Holy Qur’an talks about animal life, it places men in the rank of the cattle.
“These blessings are for you and the cattle;” (Surah an-Naziat 79:33 and Surah al-Abasa 80:32)
“do you eat and pasture your cattle.” (Surah Taha 20:54)
It is evident that the Holy Qur’an should be refined in style. This way of talking is because it intends to impart a message to us. That message is that these blessings are common among you and the cattle and if you stick to them, you shall be relegated to the degree of animals.
However, when the Holy Qur’an talks about human life, man is ranked among the angels. For instance, about the virtuous sages, the Holy Qur’an has stated:
“God bears witness that there is no god but He-and the angels and men possessed of knowledge-upholding justice.” (Surah Aale Imran 3:18)
This spiritual life is also described in the Holy Qur’an:
“And whosoever does a righteous deed, be it male or female, believing, We shall assuredly give him to live a goodly life.” (Surah an-Nahl 16:97)
The attribute pure for life shows that this life is superior. This pure life may never be found in vegetable or animal life.
Sometimes, the holy Qur’an describes the kind of life they conduct. For example, about the martyrs, it says,
“Count not those who were slain in God's way as dead, but rather living with their Lord, by Him provided.” (Surah Aale Imran 3:169)
In this verse and other verses as this, we realize that they have spiritual and human life; otherwise, having the advantage of living is not enough, for as mentioned earlier, death does not exist. Even those who are slain in the cause of falsity are eternal although they do not have the same eternity as the martyrs:
“They are summoned from a distant land.” (Surah al Fussilat 41:44)
This truth may be observed in a scene from the Battle of Badr. When the holy prophet addressed people near the well abounding with the dead bodies of the pagans: “You have now understood that the divine promise has been fulfilled.”4
As mentioned earlier, the holy Qur’an proves the different kinds of man’s life. Concerning the vegetable and animal life, corresponding indication was as it was shown but the indication per nexum is expressed through verses which forbid the killing of others.
However, concerning the human life the corresponding indication comes from the verses quoted above. And the indication per nexum comes from the verses which condemns life like Noah who prayed to God to destroy all the pagans, for their life jeopardized the spiritual life of others:
“If you do not kill the pagans, they will lead your servants stray.” (Surah Nuh 71:27)
Besides, the Holy Qur’an refers to the relation between the two kinds of spiritual and physical life. According to the holy Qu’'an, if man has to choose one between the two, he should sacrifice the physical life and choose the spiritual life. Those who live with the truth have always this choice in mind like the combatants who fight in the cause of God:
“Those who sacrifice the physical life for the spiritual one, must fight in the way of God.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:74)
Those who do not make this choice will suffer on the Last Judgment:
“Why did we not gather provision for our spiritual life?” (Surah al-Fajr 89:24)
Another point mentioned by the holy Qur’an is that spiritual life is more fruitful than the physical life. Thus, those who threaten the spiritual life are more dangerous than the ones who threaten the physical life:
“Persecution is more grievous than slaying” or “Persecution is more heinous than slaying”. (Surah al-Baqarah 2:191 & 2:217)
Dissension includes the violation of spiritual life and religious belief. One of the examples of dissension is disseminating false and corrupted thoughts. Hence, it is far harder and more useful to combat dissension than to combat crimes such as killing.
In the two previous parts, we talked about the two aspects of life. Now the question is how useful this division may be to the understanding of human rights. To discover this effect, one must understand the relationship between the soul and the body.
The most important feature of the body is that it has different conditions in different situations, for instance, the difference in climate, race and geographical features of different people. Even the way plants influence other things in a certain area is geographically different. Sometimes it is observed that the plants with medicinal properties grown in the tropical areas are void of medicinal properties in other areas. Even a wise and experienced pharmacologist cannot say for sure that a certain medicine has equal properties for different people.
However, man's incorporeal spirit is never prone to climatic differences. This spirit which may exist in the east exists in the west. A spirit in the equator has the same features as a spirit in the South Pole. The incorporeal spirit is bound neither to the earth nor to the sky. However, it is on earth and in the sky. In other words, unlike the body, the spirit is one, not plural; it is static but not dynamic. For the same reason, there is no change in the spirit:
“There is no change in the creations.” (Surah ar-Rum 30:30)
If the spirit is only on earth, it cannot move in the sky while man's spirit can find God in the sea and in the sky: “O you who are in the earth and in the sky.” 5 Because of this lack of boundary of the human spirit, God says:
“Wherever you tum, you see the face of God.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:115)
Now, the fruit of this discussion can be observed in legal topics. Human rights are formulated within the realm of human body. Hence, these rules are dependent upon different places. Thus, they cannot be universal. However, religion, which is in the realm of the spirit, does not belong to time and place. It is obvious that all the things associated with religion, including legal-religious rules have the same characteristics. For the same reason, the prophets have brought down the message of the sublime religion. For the same reason, one can never reach a dogmatic certainty in material sciences. Every day the world witnesses something new founded on other propositions. However, religious concepts never know decay and change.
More than any other religions, Islam has placed stress on the prohibition of suicide. There is historical evidence that says, the holy prophet said about someone, “He will surely go to hell.” Upon hearing this, people were surprised and asked the reason because the person in question was outstanding as a warrior and as a politician. Afterwards, they learned that the person in question had committed suicide.6 The right to life is so valuable that if ever anyone violates this right and commits suicide will go to hell.
It must be noted that mental suicide is far worse than physical suicide. It may not be imagined that Islam accepts such freedom of opinion. According to other religions, man is free to choose his own way of life. However, as mentioned earlier, the holy Qur’an holds that life is not only man's right but also his duty. This is a precious gem in the hands of man and he should try his best to guard it. It goes without saying that the violation of spiritual life is worse than the violation of physical life. It is interesting to note that committing physical suicide is forbidden by certain religions but cramming the minds with poisonous ideas is not considered forbidden.
Now we must see why suicide or homicide is forbidden. Firstly, it must be said that even the angels considered the shedding of each other's blood as a vile act:
“Will thou set therein man who will shed blood?” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:30)
If there were no truth in what the angels said, God would not have accepted it. God implicitly accepts this truth which shows that the idea of homicide was vile and revolting. In later ages, other signs for this prohibition were seen. For example, one of the promises taken from the Sons of Israel was not shedding blood:
“And when We took compact with you: ‘You shall not shed your own blood.’” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:84)
This promise is not particular to one single group, but belongs to all religions. Retaliation used as a means to stop blood shedding is common in all religions. Thus, the Holy Qur’an states retaliation with a view to approving the previous holy books.7
However, besides these common examples there are other reasons. The prohibition of killing is one of the first commands of the holy Prophet:
“Come, I will recite what your Lord has forbidden you; that you associate not anything with Him, and to be good to your parents, and not to slay your children because of poverty; We will provide you and them; and that you approach not any indecency outward or inward, that you slay not the soul God has forbidden, except by right.” (Surah al-An’am 6:151)
In yet less limited realm, the killing of children by parents has been forbidden. In the Age of Ignorance, some people killed their children. There were so many motivations for this. Sometimes, they killed their daughters, for they thought they would be ravished by the enemy in case of invasion. Sometimes they killed their children in fear of drought and hardship. In this regard, the holy Qur'an states,
“Do not kill your children because of poverty . We shall provide you and them.” (Surah al-Isra 17:31)
Sometimes they killed their children before the idols to come close to them. This indiscreet act was also prohibited by God:
“Those who killed their children ignorantly suffered.” (Surah al-An’am 6:140)
The same prohibition is included among the conditions for entering into covenant with women. The Holy Qur'an states,
“Enter into covenant with those who do not kill their children.” (Surah Mumtahanah 60:12)
ln this part, one can resort to verses, which determine the punishment for the killer. This is one of the reasons for prohibiting killing. Some of these punislunents are spiritual and some others physical. Physical punishments include retaliation or paying blood money. One of the spiritual punishments for killing a believer is remaining eternal in fire.
“Whoso slays a believer willfully, his recompense is Gehenna, therein, dwelling for ever.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:93)
If anyone slays a believer for his faith, he is a disbeliever and his recompense is dwelling in Gehenna forever. However, if he has slain him not for his faith, he will dwell long in Gehenna.
The violation of others right to spiritual life incurs the selfsame punishment. Those who lead others astray should repent of their deeds. However, this repentance is accepted when they repair all the destructive thoughts they have brought about. Thus, repentance is considered as a solution for these people:
“... be cursed by God and the cursers, save such as repent and make amends, and show clearly- towards them I shall turn.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:160)
To put it in a nutshell, Islam regards life as man's right and duty, considering two phases for it: physical and spiritual; it prefers the spiritual phase to the physical one. It considers certain punishments for the violators of this right.
To understand the message of the prophets, it is enough to present the message by one or some of them. The reason is that the achievements of the prophet were the same in many cases. In this regard , the holy Qur’an uses shari’ah or minhaj:
“To every one of you We have appointed a right way (shari'ah) and an open road (minhaj).” (Surah al-Maidah 5:48)
However, where there is talk of the main principles of religion, the holy Qur’an states that all prophets transmitted the same message. For instance, the al-Hijr
“cried lies to the Envoys;” (Surah al-Hijr 15:80)
“The men of the Thicket cried lies to the envoys when Shu'ayb said to them, will you not be God- fearing?” (Surah as-Shu’ara 26:176)
We all know that the people in both places had then one prophet. That the Holy Qur’an condemns the people's rejection of the Envoys shows that all the prophets had one single message.
Another sign for this truth is that every prophet confirms the words of the preceding prophets. This was one of the characteristics of the prophets which shows that the main axis of the prophets’ messages was the same:
“And We have sent down to thee the book with the truth, confirming the Book that was before it, assuring it.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:48)8
Now we shall consider one of these messages by Moses. After bidding the people to worship the one God, that great prophet cried freedom to them. This message was not for the freedom of the land and the economic resources of Egypt. The purpose was freeing the Egyptians from the bondage of falsity. Of course, if a people are freed, the economic resources will surely be freed. This was the message of Prophet Moses:
“O false Gods, deliver to me God’s servants.” (Surah ad-Dukhan 44:18)
Pharaoh’s followers answered that they would not surrender to those who were their own servants. It is clear that he did not mean that he was the Lord of others. Pharaoh said,
“I am your superior Lord.” (Surah an-Naziat 79:24)
However, he did not mean that he was the master of other affairs. Pharaoh and his followers were idolaters. For the same reason. Pharaoh’s followers told him.
“Will you allow Moses and his followers to ignore your Lord?” (Surah al-A’raf 7:127)
Hence, Moses demanded the freedom of others from this servitude,
“That is a blessing thou reproachest me with, having enslaved the Children of Israel.” (Surah ash-Shu’ara 26:22)
So Moses meant that it is not fit to worship anyone but God and that all human beings should be free from this bondage and that they should not follow the man made rules.
In the works of the Innocent Imams, the message of freedom is clearly discernible. The most obvious document in this regard is Nahj al-Balaghah where Imam’'Ali addressees his son Mujtaba, “Be not servant to anyone but God, for He has created you free.”9
As is seen in this statement , true freedom lies in breaking from any servitude but from God. For the same reason, Imam 'Ali finds his honor in this kind of freedom, “O God, it suffices me to be Thy servant; this is great honor for me to have Thee as my Lord.”10
As pointed out, freedom lies in freedom from servitude of others but Allah. However, the proponents of other schools believe that freedom lies in man’s capability to choose anything. In their eyes, man is free to choose any religion he desires, for they regard religion as an ordinary thing. Thus, as man chooses his profession and residence, he chooses his own religion . According to this belief, religion finds its origins in the traditions and beliefs of people. However, in Islam, this absolute freedom is servitude, for if man is free to choose whatever he likes as his religion, then he falls into the pitfall of his desires and follows them,
“Has thou seen him who has taken his caprice as his god?” (Surah al-Jathiyah 45:23)
The implication is that man has to choose the true religion although he is free not to choose any religion?
This different interpretation of freedom misguides causes the followers of other doctrines. Now we shall discuss some of these issues. One of these issues is political freedom. In the dark atmosphere of atheism and egoism, political freedom means that people participate in the elections and vote for anyone they wish and boast of this democracy.
However, in the bright atmosphere of monotheism, political freedom is never limited to this. In this atmosphere, there is the talk of leadership and representation. In addition, there is a fundamental difference between the representation of Faqih and his deputyship. It must not be imagined that Islam accepts democracy and that we can choose the leader of the Islamic community with the votes of others. It is never so. What the votes of people have part in is neither the leadership nor his representation.
According to the Islamic thought, the Lord has chosen the qualified jurisprudent to lead the Islamic community. The society accepts the leadership of this leader with its vote as he himself accepts his leadership but he has no part in placing him as a leader. Hence, he accepts his leadership as a legal person. For the same reason, if he issues a verdict, no one is allowed to violate it nor is he allowed to violate it. So there is no difference between him and others as fair as the observance of rules and laws is concerned.
Another difference is the kind of interpretation of opinion and expression . In this regard, the Holy Qur'an states,
“So give thou good tidings to My servants who give ear to the Word and follow the fairest of it.” (Surah az-Zumar 39:17-18)
On the other hand, the Holy Qur’an explains what the fair word is,
“And who speaks fairer than he who calls unto God and does righteousness and says, surely I am of them that surrender?” (Surah al-Fussilat 41:33)
Thus, although the Holy Qur’an bids others to listen to different sayings and choose the fairest, it introduces the fair words. In other words, it offers the general syllogism, “Freedom in choosing the fairest word” it offers the minor syllogism "the nature of fair words". The proponents of atheism do not pay attention to this minor syllogism and think that man is completely free to choose his way.
The common point between the Islamic thought and the atheistic thought is the general principle but it must be noted that the Holy Qur’an explains the better world. Besides, this premise is itself a broad premise, for the more delicate premise is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an which may be called the narrow premise. In the narrow principle, a better instance is indicated. And that instance is the word of the holy Prophet (S.A.) which has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as a minor to that broad principle:
“I invite ye all unto God; with clear sight which I and he who followeth me” (Surah Yusuf 12:109)
On the basis of minor and major premise cited as broad premise, the better word is inviting people unto God. In this verse, the holy Prophet (S.A.) is introduced as being the one who invites people unto God. With this narrow premise and through a new comparison, it can be concluded that the holy prophet (S.A.) is the bringer of the fairer word.
However, the followers of atheistic thought accept only the broad premise and neglect these two premises which are the central motifs of that premise. It must be noted that all schools of thought believe themselves to have the fairer words. Even the followers of Pharoah who perpetrated numerous crimes believed themselves to be the followers of the superior doctrine and warned their people that Moses and his brother Aaron were determined to destroy that.
“These two want to wipe out your most exemplary tradition.” (Surah Taha 20:63)
Another instance of difference may be observed in economic freedom. In the open Islamic atmosphere, after enumerating the lawful and the unlawful, it has been stated that everyone can be a master of his economic achievements.
“For men shall have of what they earn: and for women shall have of what they earn.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:32)
It must be noted that wherever the Holy Qur’an lays stress on a common affair between man and woman, it enumerates it separately for them.11 In most cases, the Holy Qur’an explains the common affair between man and woman with a certain expression; however, in striking instances, it employs a special expression for each of them. From this one can gather that freedom of profession and economic independence are of paramount importance, otherwise God would have said, “For everyone shall have of what they earn.”
From the discussion on economic independence and lawful and unlawful, one can perceive that in Islamic thought, economic freedom is interpreted within the matrix of the servitude of God and respecting the lawful and the unlawful. However, in materialistic thought nothing but the economic considerations of man determine for man any boundary for trading and economic policy of man. In view of this, the most unpleasant transactions and the ugliest tradings are allowed in materialistic thought, even if it jeopardizes the most decent moral and human institutions.
The very difference may be observed in freedom of residence. In divine thought, man is not free to travel where he likes and make his residence wherever he wishes. Although the Holy Qur'an regards the earth as being extensive, religious teachings warn us to make residence where we are capable of preserving our religious values. This idea is implied in the words of Imam Ali, “The best place of residence is the one, which can tolerate you.”12
For this reason, it is not essentially advisable to travel to a land where one's religion is endangered. In other words, the freedom of residence is acceptable as far as the spiritual life of man and his original freedom are not threatened. However, in this case, the adherents of atheistic thought do not see any boundary for themselves and decide to settle by their materialist criteria. And they do not accept that the moral and religious criteria can limit this freedom.
Freedom as expounded earlier in this article is of great value in the Qur’anic view. This value is such that the Holy Qur'an bids people to worship before the symbol of freedom and undertake other worthy tasks before it. That symbol is Ka’ba which is called Bayt al-Atiq (the Ancient House). Some believe that this way of naming it is due to the reason that the Ka’ba is ancient and historically valuable.
However, according to some tradjtions the Innocent Imam (A.S.) has observed that this method of naming it is because no tyrants have succeeded in conquering it.13 In other words, this house has always been free. Hence, they have called it 'atiq (derived from ‘Atiq meaning freedom). So, the Ka'ba can be regarded as the symbol of freedom.
Now let us see how the Holy Qur’an regards this symbol and induces people towards it. On the one hand, the Holy Qur'an has bidden people to stick to this symbol and glorify it.
“And let them circuit the Ancient House.” (Surah al-Haj 22:29)
On the other hand, it has commanded people to turn to a mosque in life in which Bayt al- ‘atiq is located.
“Turn then thy face towards the Sacred House.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:144 & 150)
Besides this eternal approach towards Ka’ba, many of man's actions are related to this symbol. Most of the worthy acts such as praying should be done towards Bayt al- ‘Atiq. Some of them like reciting the Holy Qur'an had better be done towards this symbol. Reciprocally, the ill acts should not be done towards this symbol and if so, it is generally deemed offensive. So everyone is in one way or another associated with this house of freedom. Even in the last moment of presence in this earthly world, we should turn towards this house.
This deep attention to Bayt al- ‘Atiq and guarding it, means that the Muslims ought always to struggle for their freedom and should not risk heavenly freedom for enthralling enchantments. It is manifest that among the most striking enchantments are man's engaging thoughts manifested within the matrix of the teachings and laws of philosophical, moral, legal and political schools and drag some groups from here to there.
In studying the freedom of choice, we have to distinguish between genetic freedom and legal freedom. By genetic freedom is meant that the choice of path and opinion is not compulsory in the Cosmos. Religion is a set of particular beliefs, which may never be imposed upon anybody. If the principles and tenets of religion are not achieved for a person, religion goes beyond its realm. Hence, the Holy Qur'an states,
“There is no compulsion in religion.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:256)
Besides, by legal freedom is meant that man is not obligated in any affair as he is not free. In scientific terms, the cosmos is neither within the realm of determinism nor is it within the realm of libertarianism.
However from this genetic freedom, one cannot conceive that man can move towards any direction in the choice of opinion and that God may not regard his desire. This is never so! That genetic freedom is interpretable visa-vis the religious duties.
“The truth is from your Lord; so let him who pleaseth believe; and let him who pleaseth disbelieve.” (Surah al-Kahf 18:29)
Hence, what is accepted by the Lord and belongs to Him is right; but some people move towards untruth on the basis of genetic freedom. Numerous Qur’anic verses have determined the boundary for these two freedoms and have drawn man's attention to accept religious duties.
“Hold ye fast that which We have bestowed upon you with strength.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:63 & 93; Surah al-A’raf 7:171)
So in the choice of truth or untruth, man must not only accept the truth but also guard it with strength of determination. If someone accepts the untruth after complete investigation and in complete awareness, and refrains from accepting the truth, he is ranked among those against whom the holy Prophet (S.A.) has issued the order of preliminary jihad. And if the preliminary jihad is not accepted by some, everyone surely believes that these people dwell forever in the fire of Gehenna and do not have before them any path of salvation.
Therefore, it must be noted that although the Lord has created man free in choosing religion, he has explained for him the path of growth.
“Indeed truth has been made manifest distinct from error.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:256)
In view of Islamic world vision, every belief of man in the Resurrection Day and the purgatory is manifested in a special way. And man is a creature who is constantly traveling from the world to purgatory and from the purgatory to the Hereafter. In the meantime, apostasy and atheism are manifested in the shape of snake and scorpion. This shows that ill thoughts are equal to venomous poison. And it is obvious that the Lord does not allow man to choose the poison and perish himself.
In Qur’anic terms; such a person flames his soul as the devourer of unlawful things fill their souls with fire.14 In this regard, the Holy Qur’an states,
“They eat nothing but fire into their bellies.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:174; Surah an-Nisa 4:10)
It is clear that the Lord does not allow man to have freedom in the choice of flower and fire or honey and poison. Religious freedom is never accepted in the Qur'an or by the Islamic culture.
In Qur’anic view, freedom is the prelude to life. All the freedoms allowed to man are meant to induce man to lead a worthy life. In order for man to achieve a worthy material and spiritual life, he should be free and in order to achieve freedom he should relieve himself from the bond of lusts. All people are the hostages of their own conducts. Only those who are ranked among the upright and the believers shall be free from this bond.
“Every soul for what it earned is held in pledge save the people of the Right hand.” (Surah al-Mudaththir 74:38-39)
Now we should see how the upright people have relieved themselves of this bond. The answer to this question can be found in the words of the holy Prophet which he delivered on the last Friday of the month of Sha'ban. “O people! Your lives are imprisoned by your conducts; so save your lives by repenting your deeds.”15
So the genuine freedom of man lies in relieving himself of his sins by repenting and they may be ranked among the upright people by virtuous acts. This is the freedom, which can be the prelude to original and sublime life.
You have frequently heard that justice means “putting things in their right place.” Some have presumed that this definition is replete with ambiguity for it is a general axiom whose purports are not quite clear. However, it must be noted that a definition becomes ambiguous when the totality of it is questioned. However, if a definition has no shortcomings in this respect, it is not ambiguous although its purports may not be clear. To decipher the purports, one must refer to the source, which is responsible for adjusting them.
When a lawyer intends to know justice , he must be aware in recognizing its purports . To this end, one must understand the phenomena, and the place of the phenomena in the universe; one must also know how to put each phenomenon in its place. If like everyone else involved with justice a lawyer takes the three steps mentioned above, he can adjust that general axiom to clear purports.
After all, one must be aware that justice is not hypostatized although it is an evaluative concept. The implication is not that justice does not really exist in the universe, but fabricated by human mind. Like all other evaluative concepts, justice is derived from the universe and abstracted from genetic affairs.
It is appropriate now to give an instance at this juncture. When some people gather together with the intention of undertaking something purposeful and organized, their situation may be interpreted as a manifestation of a living human person. A human person has a head (the center to command the limbs) and limbs (the parts of taking command, each of which has a particular function.) With this choice and abstraction, one can choose among them one as the head to lead others and the rest of the limbs as parts engaged in a particular function. With this choice, the terms head and the members come into being. This is true for justice. In the universe, each phenomenon is in its place and busy with a task appropriate to its situation.
This harmony and proportion bespeak the justice of creation. One abstracts this from genetic affairs and with this choice, any time each member of the community the instance of which was given earlier performs his function, the situation is regarded as being just. Although justice is an evaluative concept, it runs within the stream of existence; however, in evaluative issues, the concept is a hypostatized one and in genetic affairs, a real concept.
With this in mind, it becomes evident that justice is not a concept replete with literal ambiguities. It cannot be said that justice in the creation of God holds a particular sense or that the human justice is different. It must not be imagined that social and political justice have two distinctive meanings. In addition, it cannot be accepted that these have difference of meanings.
The truth is that justice is a spiritual ambiguity and holds the same meaning in all this. The difference of purport never agrees with the conceptual unity . To clarify this point, one can consider science. Science is of different kinds such as hypostatized sciences or real sciences; immediate or intuitive knowledge; or the knowledge, which is identical to nature and the one going beyond it. These differences come from the difference of purports rather than that of concept. In fact, knowledge is not a sheer concept. However, in different cases, it has different manifestations. In other words, knowledge is a spiritual ambiguity. The same case is true for justice.
At times this question comes up: how can one feel justice? Can one understand justice with tangible and experienced signs? If not, how can one understand justice in real life or in the realm beyond the human mind?
First, it must be said that justice is not of the perceptual concepts to have perceptual signs. One cannot experiment justice in the laboratory. Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) states, “Truth is not of the experimental signs through which one can distinguish between right and wrong.” 16
However, this does not mean that one cannot distinguish between just and unjust. To understand right and just is not confined to sense and experiment. This Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) has shown us. The eminent Imam has stated in one of his letters, “Those who reside in my government, and joined the Umayids, saw and heard justice and placed it in their hearts, but did not accept it.”17
From this pithy statement, it is perceived that Imam Ali had treated in his time in a way that people could understand justice. In other words, a just government can introduce justice to people by showing the evidences of justice. By virtue of this reason, on the basis of a statement by the same venerable Imam, the best servants of God are those who can make understood justice by their deeds. “The nearest servants to the Lord are those who are more truthful than others though to their detriment, and stick to truth more than others, though there might be harm in it.”18
Although it is hard to be adorned with justice and truth, it is the best way possible to introduce it.
Basically, the politician who can be the representative of justice with his foresight shall prosper . Hence, reason is no other than justice. In defining the sage, Imam ‘Ali has given the same statement as for justice. It was asked of Imam: “Define the wise man for us.” The Imam said, “The wise man is he who puts everything in its right place.” Then the Imam was asked, “who is ignorant?” the Imam replied, “the same thing I said about the wise man.”19
This means that the reverse image of the wise man mirrors the ignorant. Definitions of this type, which are sometimes observed in the sayings of the innocent Imams, are polemic definitions, albeit of the superior polemic. In this type of definition, an affair is not clarified by genus or differentia but by its likes. In the definition cited above, the same polemic method is used. Of course, the Imams have defined concepts by genus and differentia elsewhere.
With attention to the function of justice in policy making, one can perceive why justice is a better concept for some rulers. For instance, Imam Ali in response to a question said, “Justice puts things in their right places and puts them in categories; justice coordinates the public policy and gives benefit to those who are forgiven: so justice is nobler and superior.”20
In other words, from charity, one can benefit in time of tumult but what should be done by a ruler or a policy maker is justice. In view of what was said, justice is like reason and practical wisdom.
Now that our discussion has diverted to this point, it deserves note that one of the secrets of the needs of man for innocent Imams lies in this very fact. If they are not innocent, how can one choose among the numerous evidences something as justice? If the innocent Imam does not show justice within the matrix of evidences, how can one recognize justice? As understood by what Imam ‘Ali said, one can understand the right with utter simplicity.
However, when applying the truth, who but the innocent Imams can exercise the truth and offer it to people? “The truth in description is of great expanse but in practice, it is of the narrowest realm .”21
Nobody censors Plato, Aristotle or other sages as to why they have not presented a practical instance of their ideals?! They are scholars who do not have chastity in practice although they have sublime knowledge. However, the society expects an innocent Imam to present a practical instance of right and justice and truth so they may not fail to understand the truth. And if it is not so, how can one understand those general concepts?
As was mentioned earlier, there are many things to say about right and justice. Some scholars have embarked upon describing corporeal qualities and human powers. Based on their experiences, observations, testata, and those of others, they have concluded that human powers may be classified under three categories. And although they are not unrelated to each other, the boundary of each one of them is separate from that of the other.
The first category is the intellectual and scientific power of man. The second category consists of the power of attraction. And the third category is the power of dispelling. Based on this division, the human powers do not go beyond these three categories for each one of the human behaviors is of two kinds; either they are associated with intellect and perception which is related to the first category or with conduct which belongs to the second and third categories.
Each one of these powers has three stages: moderateness (tafrit), middle or immoderacy. The intellect is sometimes within the realm of moderateness. In this state, the individual is slow. Sometimes, this power is in the stage of immoderacy, which renders one sharp. If this power is in the middle stage, it means that the individual has intellectual balance and understands each affair properly; neither does he delay in understanding nor does he go beyond what is necessary, that is he does not beat about the bush.
This state of immoderacy, that is precocious understanding and untimely wandering of the mind is called jurbuzah. As a slow person does not reach anywhere, the person with jurhuzah does not achieve success. However, the one whose intellectual power is balanced, merely accepts rational affairs, champions it and does not wash his hands off it so easily. The one who possesses such a power (and in this respect), he is in a state of justice and intermediacy is called a sage. And this central kernel is called theosophy which apart from absolute science is juxtaposed with theology an Gnosticism.
Now let us speak about the second category, that is attraction. This power can also have one of these three states. Sometimes man strives to achieve his aspiration and inclines towards it with greed. This state is called shirah. Sometimes he procrastinates in reaching his aspiration, which is called khumul. However, if the power of attraction is in a state of equity, it is called iffat (chastity.) Of course, this method of naming is of the instinctive affairs.
These three states are respectively called hirs (greed), tabdhir (extravagance), and sikhavat (generosity) in financial affairs. Thus, the central kernel of power of attraction is generosity and chastity. If someone achieves this central kernel, he may give away all his wealth, this act being called generosity, not extravagance.
To ascertain what is generosity or extravagance deserves special alertness. Especially to ascertain this, one has to accord special attention to the stages of this state and the relation of every individual to those states. For instance, there are many stages for generosity and each individual has one of these states. It is evident that ascertaining that central kernel plays an essential role in legal and moral perceptions.
In the third category, that is the power of dispelling, the case is the same. Sometimes an individual wishes to obliterate all the affairs he considers unpleasant. This state is called tahawwur (audacity). And sometimes he keeps silent in the face of tyranny and finds himself hand tied in dispelling the misfortunes of life. This state of moderateness is called jubn (cowardice). However, sometimes the individual adopts a middle manner and observes equity. This state is called shuja ‘at (courage). Here as in the second category, the states are different. Someone may have a lot of courage and some other person a little of it; at any rate, he is in the same central kernel of the power of dispelling.
It is good for the individual to be in these three central kernels, that is theosophy, generosity, chastity and courage as someone who walks on a straight path and avoids walking in the bypasses. When man is in the main path, he shall definitely have different speeds. The one who is in the path should have different speeds as his situation necessitates. Therefore, equity does not mean stability or equality, but on the same path, going with speed is like equity. In this way, our leaders are the innocent Imams who manifest real equity with their conducts. If someone wishes to distinguish between the boundary of immoderacy and middle and move with balance along the path, they have to walk in the ways of those eminent Imams.
In view of what was said, justice is the outcome of the balance of the three human powers and can never be counted as an independent identity. The one who walks in the main path, is called just. If someone is in the middle of two powers, this means what is used in philosophy and major jurisprudence.
However, in minor jurisprudence, this does not have the same meaning; the just one is he who puts aside the prohibited and does the obligatory affairs. For instance, a person may not be courageous but minor jurisprudence regards him as being just whereas philosophy and major jurisprudence do not consider him so. Therefore, it must be noted that what we stated concerning the meaning of justice, is derived from the sayings of the sages and is common among them.
Of course, there have been and are people who reject this categorization and gives such criticisms: it is not obvious that every affair may have middle or immoderacy. Also, extravagance cannot be beyond the realm of justice. However in view of what was stated, it became evident that what they criticize does not hold any similarity with sayings of the sages, but fabricated by their minds.
The great sages, those who lived before Islam or before it, were all the followers of the Abrahamic prophets and these criticisms are not true about their sayings. As you observed, in the eyes of the sages, as soon as man steps into the main path, speeding up or walking slowly does not oppose to justice. And sometimes walking with speed is good. Before stepping into this path, the rule of “the best of affairs is the middle” is prevalent. However, after it, sometimes
“Hasten then to precede each other in everything good” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:148; & Surah al-Maidah 5:48)
appears. All these are conditional upon the fact that man gets lesson from the evidences of justices as manifested in the sayings and conducts of the innocent Imams and distinguish his way from them so he may not fall into the pitfall of miseries and substitute immoderacy and middle with justice.
All human beings, no matter what language, tradition or culture they have, long for and love justice. That is why the Holy Qur’an has introduced the essence of everyone as being truth and justice.
“The Lord created you and bade you to justice.” (Surah al-Infitar 82:7)
This justice in creation manifested itself in the way that God bestowed upon the universe whatever it required for existence and gave it whatever it needed to achieve its end:
“Our Lord is He who created everything and then guided it.” (Surah Taha 20:50)
So, justice and equity are located within the existential structure of everything and all creations have the essence of justice. By essence, no one goes beyond the realm of justice unless they assist the anti-essence factors. The Lord, who is in control of everything, has placed the straight path before the Cosmos and all creatures by nature strive for this straight path.
“There is no living creature but He holdeth it in His control by its forelock. Verily my Lord is on the Right path.” (Surah Hud 11:56)
By virtue of this reason, the Holy Qur'an bids everyone to uphold justice:
“O ye who believe! Do stand firmly with justice. Witnesses for God's sake.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:135; Surah al-Maidah 5:8)
Here, the Holy Qur’an talks about qawam not qaim. This indicates the difficulty of upholding justice. Man should uphold justice through experience so he may reach from qa’imiyyat to qawwamiyat. There is many a time when man is seized with doubts concerning upholding justice. If someone overcomes these doubts and upholds justice, then he shall be the upholder of justice. It is through this process which man becomes impelled to ignore his personal benefits and avoids kinship in the way of justice. Here, for the sake of kinship, man ignores the truth.
“When ye speak, be just, though it be against a kinsman.” (Surah al-An’am 6:152)
Here is why revenge does not become an excuse for tyranny.
“And let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:8 & 2)
Hence the Holy Qur’an enjoins man not to use friendship as a way of immoderacy and enemy as a way of ignoring. This is the best way possible to avoid blindness arising from greed and animosity.
As everyone strives for justice, the Holy Qur’an bids everyone to justice. In his letter to Malik, Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) wrote, “Do not tyrannize over people like a voracious wolf, for people are of two kinds: either they are your brethren or your equal in creation.”22
This command of Imam Ali (A.S.) embodies all the teachings of the Holy Qur’an which bids the holy Prophet to uphold justice towards the nonMuslims. For instance, every time the people of the book find legal differences, and step into a Muslim court, the Prophet is given authority to either solve their problem himself or send them to the court of the people of the book.
“If they come unto thee judge between them or turn aside from them: and if thou turneth aside from them, then never shall they harm thee in any way, if thou judge, judge thou between them with equity; verily God loveth those who deal equitable.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:42)
The very same Qur’anic principle is prevalent in our jurisprudence and well indicates that the Holy Qur'an values all-pervasive justice.
Th Holy Qur’an states that upholding justice is one of the goals of prophetic missions. However, it must be noted that the Holy Qur’an states this along with two major principles. Firstly, the Holy Qur’an regards the Cosmos as being on the axis of justice - we shall treat this later - secondly, the upholding of justice is considered as the intermediate mission of the prophets, not their ultimate goal: Thus, on the axis of truth, justice is not located in the beginning to be considered as the beginning nor is it located in the end to be regarded as the ultimate goal.
As to justice being one of the goals of the prophetic missions, the Holy Qur’an states,
“Indeed sent We our apostles and clear proofs and sent We down with them the Book and the scale that people may establish themselves in justice.” (Surah al-Hadid 57:25)
However, it must be noted that the talk has been diverted here after some processes. Prior to this, the Holy Qur’an considered God as the upholder of justice and introduced the angels as the witnesses to the oneness of the just Lord,
“God is witness that there is no God save Him and the angels and men of learning (too are witness) maintaining His creation in justice, there is no God save Him, the Almighty, the Wise.” (Surah Aale Imran 3:18)
In this verse, the oneness of God is united with the justice of creation. In other words, as God is the upholder of justice, it shows the oneness of God, for if this origin was organized before this, the harmony, order, and justice would leave the cosmos and everything would decide its own fate. Then, the law and justice did not manifest themselves so that God founded His work upon it, but justice is begotten by His work: and He is the Heart of justice. As the scholars see this justice, they testify to the oneness of God. This means that justice is not located at the beginning of that line.
On the other hand, justice is not the ultimate goal of the prophets. The Holy Qur’an regards for middle men justice as the goal of prophetic mission. However, for the seekers the main goal is that they should tear the dark veils and penetrate into the world of light.
“This is a Scripture We have revealed unto thee that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:1)
There is a big difference between a just man and a luminous man. The just man upholds justice for he regards it as his own duty; but the luminous man is himself the source of justice and justice is manifested by him. One can understand this difference in the comparison between the mujtahids and ordinary men. An ordinary man tries to create within himself ijtihad through study; but as to those who have attained to the degree of ijtihad, the qualities of ijtihad are manifested within their thoughts and souls, the same qualities others attempt to create within them.
What was said becomes manifest in the question and answer of the holy Prophet. The Great Prophet was asked, “Although you are infallible, why are you so humble before God?” The Prophet answered, “Should I not be a grateful servant of God?” This means that the holy Prophet did not show humbleness in fear of divine punishment, but that he was humble before God because he had the sense of gratefulness.
Therefore, justice is a goal for those who are in the middle of the path. He, who attains light, does not consider a goal the upholding of justice but he is the personification of justice. Concerning such a person, the Holy Qur’an states,
“And set for him a light wherein he walketh among men.” (Surah al-An’am 6:122)
Whereas the people in the middle of the path try to reach through justice a light by which they can live with people.
One of the sweetest fruits of Islamic thinking is that justice is not confined to one or several creatures but runs through and with the entire universe, even the Exalted Nature of the Almighty. It is appropriate to quote an example from the Holy Qur’an. In the Sura of Kahf (Cave), there is a mention of two gardens, which are both lush and green and bear many fruits. The Holy Qur’an states in this regard,
“Each of the gardens gave its fruit and withheld naught thereof.” (Surah al-Kahf 18:33)
It must not be imagined that the use of the word “withheld” is metaphorical. It is neither metaphorical in word nor in transmission; it is neither intellectual metaphor nor is it literal metaphor.
The garden is indeed just. The idea is that it perfonns its duty in the cosmos. All other creatures are founded upon justice like these two gardens. However, the beings endowed with intellect are bound to be genetically just and religiously responsible . It is everyone’s task to accept justice. Even the angels and perfect men are bound to perform this duty. Despite the fact that the angels are free from sins, they shall be chastised if they shirk their responsibility.
“And one of them who should say: Lo! I am a God beside Him, that one We should repay with hell.” (Surah al-Ambiya 21:29)
Even the great Prophet of Islam - who is the most perfect man - is bound to this genetic and religious duty. On the one hand, he is located within the realm of existence and is born and dies like everyone else and on the other hand, he is bound to uphold justice like everyone else,
“If thou ascribe a partner to Allah, thy work will fail and thou indeed wilt be among the losers.” (Surah az-Zumar 39:65)
So, whatever exists in the world, is bound to uphold justice and that justice runs through the universe. Now this question comes up: if so, is the Lord bound to this must? The answer is that the Lord is just and never tyrannizes: however, there is a substantial difference between the acceptance of justice on the part of God and on the part of others. About any creature but God, we say, “He deserves justice.” But about God, we say, “Justice should be meted out by God.” The idea is that God never tyrannizes, it does not mean that He should uphold justice and should not tyrannize.
The Lord, unlike other beings, is not confined to the realm of musts. And no superior system may impose anything on Him. Whatever God does is pure justice, for He is pure perfection. And every must, justice springs from Him. The same proof that demonstrates the truth of God, shows His qualities and then evaluates His actions on the basis of these qualities. Therefore, God and existence are all the upholders of justice.
This justice running through the entire universe shall never cease to be. For instance, Some people believe that the lack of justice arises from the social deprivations. As people are deprived, they are thirsty for justice: and if their deprivations are gone, there is no more need for justice. This is extremely wrong for they have stated that justice is not only the goal but also the duty of every creature in the universe. This duty should be done under any circumstances.
Besides, justice and deprivation have two different relationships with each other. Sometimes this relationship is based upon precaution and sometimes upon dispelling. Sometimes, justice is meant to combat the existing deprivations with the present situation. But this does not cause the other duty, justice to be forgotten which involves creating a background and escape from the society and the aloofness of the society from ills. Anytime the superior society is inflicted with a misfortune. it struggles against it through justice to eliminate it. And any time it does not have any deprivation, it strives to eliminate the ills by upholding justice. Therefore, it is everyone’s duty to uphold and champion justice and justice constantly runs through the warps and wefts of the society.
It must be noted here that although the materialistic schools have accepted the relationship between legal and moral issues, this bond is considered to be confined to nature and material. However, in the Islamic thinking, this bond is firmer in the Hereafter. At any rate, in this part, we shall deal with the relationship between justice, love, equality. and charity.
Let us begin with the concept of love. Do love and feeling leave no room for justice? If the members of any society love each other, will there be any talk of justice? Those who give a negative answer to this question, have stated that any time there is any mention of love, the tyranny is not obliterated but everyone tries to give his rights to others. For instance in a family brimming with love and affection, everyone gives his financial benefit to others with utter enthusiasm and risks their own comfort for the comfort of others. In such a family, there is never any talk of justice. Now if we round our society on the basis of love and charity, we shall not need to talk about justice.
The answer is that love is a moral value which although it has union with rights, it has a different realm. On a longitudinal axis, rights come first and then morality. If someone succeeds in respecting the moral issues, he shall then step into the realm of moral affairs. The Holy Qur'an constantly reminds us of this sequence. Firstly, it bids us all to justice and then to good works.
“Allah bids to justice and good-doing.” (Surah an-Nahl 16:90)
If we look at the relationship between love and justice from this angle, the status of each of them is clarified and there will be no room to bring up the previously mentioned discussion.
Now it is the time to study the relationship between justice and equality.
This engaging slogan has long been common that the laws should be done equally towards people. This slogan has constantly drawn the oppressed people and has been used as an instrument by the policy makers and the tricksters. But the truth is that there is difference between justice and equality. To explain this difference, we had better choose a star from the sky of Imam ‘Ali’s words.
During his reign, a group went to him and said, “Why do you distribute the common wealth equally among people?” They thought that if the Imam gave more to the powerful group of the society, they would protect him. However, the great imam answered, “Do you want me to win victory at the price of tyranny?”23
To understand this, one must know that in the Islamic thinking properties are of different kinds to three of which we shall refer. One group of properties should be distributed equally among people. The second group should be distributed differently among people. The third group should be distributed among some people.
Equality runs in the society where everyone performs their duty shoulder by shoulder. For instance, the booty should be distributed equally among those who have fought side by side. However, if among them are some who have taken greater pains, they shall have more booty. Thus, if some people have shirked responsibility during the war, they will not benefit from the booty. As you see the three different type of distribution are seen in the three instances given above which include equality, difference and allocation.
With this explanation it becomes evident that Imam Ali believes the common wealth to belong to the first category and believes it to belong to all members of the society and considered equality in the distribution of it. Now once again observe his answer, “Do you want me to win victory at the price of tyranny?” This answer embodies some lessons.
The first lesson is that the end does not justify the means. To achieve victory - even if the victorious ruler is Imam Ali, one cannot choose an inappropriate path to violate the truth. Imam Husayn repeats the same thing when he says, “If someone tries to reach his goal through sin, he shall lose way before everyone else and plunge into pitfall.”24
Sin can never be a way towards victory but it is a bypass.
“But they will meet deception.” (Surah Maryam 19:59)
The lesson we get from the sayings of Imam Ali. “Indeed it is not proper to bestow one’s wealth upon those who do not deserve it. This raises the status of the one who bestows but debases him in the Hereafter. That is, it endears him among people but puts him to shame before God. He who squanders his wealth and bestows it upon those who do not deserve, God will make them ungrateful and he will not win their friendship. Thus, if some day something awful happens to him and he happens to need them, they will be among the most censorious friends.”25
So in distributing properties, one does not have to be too extravagant or too generous. Tabdhir means spreading the seeds in a place like a heath from which there will be no fruit. Apart from this minor syllogism, he propounds the major syllogism. “He who puts wealth in an inappropriate place, he shall be endeared by people but will be humbled before God.”
From this syllogism, it is concluded that he who squanders his wealth will be put to shame before God. This is the outcome of the first lesson. The first lesson was this; that from tyranny one cannot attain his end. Now the manifestation of the same truth can be observed. A ruler might be held dear through tyranny by powerful people, but he will be humbled before God and if one day he takes recourse to these powerful people, he shall realize that they are the worst friends. And they will save him from solitude. The secret lies in this that the cosmos is governed by God and if God does not will, man will not be dear in the eyes of people even if he shows great generosity.
The same leader who so firmly manifests equality, elsewhere shows that justice does not equal equality. As was said earlier, there are different ways to bestow one’s wealth. Now, an instance shall be given concerning the funnction of the Imam. One of his disciples came to him and asked for some part of the booty. Although he was a friend of the Imam, the Imam stated:
“Indeed, this is not yours but the property of the Muslims and the fruit of their swords. If you had participated like everyone else in this battle, you would have some. However, if it is not so, none of the booty shall reach you.”26 As you see, allocating wealth here is to those who have had a part in gaining it and there will not remain a chance for propounding the slogan of equality.
In the end, it must be said that the slogan of equality is equal to truth and justice when there is talk of the wealth of the first group. Yes, everyone is equal before the law but the law of equality is not equal for everyone. It is not in harmony with intellect and equity that the people with intellect and diverse physical and spiritual interests and benefits to have equal laws. It cannot be accepted that the members of the society shall be rewarded equally, given the amount of pain they take. Hence, equality is not equal to justice and cannot be replaced by it although it might not seem pleasant to some people.
Here, it is good to quote Mohaqeq Tusi, “There must be two bases for every writing and saying; they must be understood by the common folk and the elite alike.” Those who chanted the slogan of equality and justice and drew people behind them, did they not think that speaking of a classless society before the scholars, would entail so many criticisms?
Now let us see how justice is unified with charity. Firstly, it must be admitted that in the Islamic thinking, there are two aspects for charity; one is moral, the other being legal. Its moral aspect manifests itself when man cooperates with others and assists them in good works. However, the legal aspect of charity which is our concern is manifested when there is the question of the basic needs of man. That a Muslim should answer the basic needs of the needy is not among the jurisprudential or moral issues for the verses touching it descended in Mecca; and we know most of the Meccan verses did not involve jurisprudential issues. One of such verse is this:
“Give the kinsman his due, and the needy and the wayfarer.” (Surah al-Isra 17:26)
Although some believe that this verse is descended in Medina, there is no doubt that the other verse concerning this matter is Meccan:
“Those in whose wealth is a right known for the beggar and the outcast.” (Surah al-Ma’arij 70:24-25)
From this verse it is concluded that God, in the very beginning days of advent of Islam, has considered a right for the poor which is divine and should be respected. The one who gives this right should not think that he has done it. He should know that it belongs to the poor: not a right alms-giving (zakat), attonement (kaffiirah), khums (one fifth of one’s income) and other jurisprudential payments. Even another verse which was descended in Mecca before the aforementioned verse speaking about alms, deals with this kind of payment and not jurisprudential one:
“Prosperous are the believers who ... at the almsgiving are active.” (Surah al-Mu’minun 23:1-4)
This means that anyone endowed with genius-whether intellectual economic etc. benefits as far as his power allows. But he who does not have such genius, if he obtains what he deserves and then falls into shortcoming, the powerful people are bound to pay him the divinely recognized rights. The secret of this matter lies in this: that the Lord has bestowed genius upon some groups to test them and he who has provided his divinely recognized rights will become victorious in this test. If some people do not do this, they are not among the worshippers and the Almighty God thus states about them,
“Have they not traveled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them? They were stronger than these in power, and they dug the earth and built upon it more than these have built. Messengers of their own came unto them with clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty). Sure Allah wronged them not, but they did wrong themselves.” (Surah ar-Rum 30:9)
This is a great lesson so that we may not forget that if we do not pay divinely recognized rights, our children will suffer deprivation and grief. And is there any wise man who wishes to fall into depravity? All parents after death are aware of the fate of their children and gladden with their joy and grieve with their sorrow. Then, the powerful groups should observe charity as a legal duty not a moral one so that they may not share in the sorrow of their children.
“And let those fear (in their behavior towards orphans) who if they left behind them weak offspring would be afraid for them. So let them mind their duty and speak justly.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:9)
Thus, the superior aspect of charity is its legal aspect which is in complete harmony with justice. It must never be supposed that the paying of religious taxes such as khums (one fifth levy), zakat (religious tax), and kaffarah (atonement), is the only duty of the Muslim in eliminating social needs. The Lord esteems the geniuses and talents and has bidden everyone to benefit as much as he can; and He has also bound the supervisor of the common wealth to answer the needs of those who have less genius.
In the last part of this article, it is good to cast a glance at the glorious book of Imam Sajjad (A.S.)
Through this, one may learn useful legal lessons and perceive how the difference of principles of rights of one person affects his approach towards rights. Now let us try to present in isolated titles the principles of human rights as reflected in the legal treatise of that great Imam.
The legal treatise has been included in the works of some great scholars. The original treatise as narrated by Abu Hamza Thamali and other narrators, includes the philosophy of rights and legal cases, that is in the same year the Late Shaykh Saduq has stated in Khasal27 and has also come in Tuhaf al-Uqul28 and not what is stated in “Min la Yafzaruh al-faqih.”29 The text included here begins with legal cases and does not include the first part of the treatise, that is the philosophy of rights.
The philosophical statement of the rights included in this treatise is such that the Imam begins with his world vision. In this introduction, Hazrat Sajjad states, “Know that your Lord has some rights towards you which control in every move you make, in the place where you are, in the place where you sit, in the part which you move and in the tool which you apply. Some of these rights are greater than the others and the greatest is that which has been made incumbent upon you and it is the essence of all other rights. Then, the turn comes to the rights which have been made incumbent upon your soul, the rights from the head to the toe.”30
From this statement, it may be concluded that the foundation of all rights is oneness of God. Freedom, justice, order etc is not the goal of human rights, but procedures for achieving that ultimate goal, that is visiting the Lord. Before reaching this goal, one may ask oneself. “Where am I going?” However, when you reach that destination, you have transcended the borders.
If this foundation is excluded from the rights, there remains only a little necessity and unnecessity. As they extract rose water from the rose, there remains only a scentless thing. In the ninth chapter of the celebrated book of Isharat of the late Muhaqqiq Tusi, he passes judgment on the words of Avicenna. That is, after employing so many proofs and reasons to prove the necessity of mission, he asks what is the goal anyway? If the goal is reaching after an organized way of life, one can reach this without inspiration as some communities have reached it.31 Of course Avicenna has brought up the discussion of prophecy free from this criticism in the mystical discussions of that book and has considered the goal as finding mysticism of the people and visiting the Lord.32
He who worships God, will make this worship as a means to visit God,
“O ye who believe! Be mindful of your duty to Allah, and seek the way of appoach unto him.” (Surah al-Maidah 5:35)
He who does this is indeed the one who is standing on the ladder, he who climbs up the ladder, if he forgets the ladder and moves it away, will fall down from the height. The pious man as well climbs up the ladder to reach intuition and never forgets worship. At the same time, he does not regard it as his goal. All the worships are the firm bonds with God. He who seeks after the ultimate goal, must tie to this string,
“He who believeth in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:256)
The Holy Qur’an shows us why the right of oneness of God is prior to all other rights. The Holy Qur’an regards the entire universe to be the divine grace and every creature-from the angel to the heaven to be the signs of God. This is relevant to the principle of existence. However, from the viewpoint of the knowledge of God, the Holy Qur'an states that the knowledge of God runs in the knowledge of everything, that is before anything else, one has to know God. This truth is thus stated in the Holy Qur'an,
“Verily, Allah is visible through everything.” (Surah al-Haj 22:117, Surah as-Saba 34:44, Surah al-Fussilat 41:53, Surah al-Mujadilah 58:6)
To understand this, it must be noted that in this verse, the letter ala has been used not the letter ba. In the statement, “God is witness to everything”, the idea is that God is cognizant of it. But in this verse, there is the mention of the vision of God before anything else. On this basis, in the Surah of alFussilat (Distinguished), the same verse is included with the view to putting aside doubt with the vision of God. If the meaning of this verse is that God is cognizant of everything, has it been enough to eliminate the doubts of those who were in doubts? Let us cast a glance at that verse in the Sura of al Fussilat, (Distinguished)
“Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over things? How! Are they still in doubt about the meeting with their Lord?” (Surah al-Fussilat 41:53-54)
Aye, man recognizes the light first before knowing other things and then he comes to know that thing. Then, there will remain no doubt as to the existence of light. On this basis, the knowledge of God runs in the knowledge of eveything else. Therefore, the proving of other rights in the universe and their knowledge arises from proving the existence of God which is the main concern and from theology and monotheistic world vision.
The delicate point derived from this matter is that the signs of the same statement of Imam Sajjad are present in other parts of the treatise. After this introduction, the turn comes to proposing legal issues. Imam Sajjad reminds us that the foundation of all rights is oneness of God. This reminding is manifested in two ways. Sometimes with the phrase of “billah nasta'in.”33 And sometimes with the phrase of "there is no power save God."
Having expounded the philosophy of rights, the venerable Imam teaches the rights one by one and some of these rights are superior to some others as the philosophy of rights is dominant in all of them. Now we shall refer to four legal cases to show glimses of what is stated in the fifth and sixth chapters of the book.
The first right stated by the venerable Imam is the right of God towards the servants. “But the greater right of God is this that you worship Him and take none as His partner. So every time you uphold this right with sincerity, God has made incumbent upon Himself to render you needless and guard whatever is dear to you.”34
In this regard, the minor syllogism comes from the general principle of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur’an has asked us,
“Doth God not suffice his servant” (Surah az- Zumar 39:39)
And we have answered,
“You are our guardian.” (Surah as-Saba 34:41)
The Imam states that the efficiency involved is that man should pay God’s right which is the greatest right. And that right includes believing sincerely in God. He who has God before his eyes in everything can entertain this pure oneness in his heart. It is appropriate here to quote Kashaf al-Ghata. Like some other jurisprudents, he believes that “bi hawlillah” (I rise with Allah’s power) is the continuation of the prostration prayer. He believes that “I sit” along with: “I rise with the power of God” indicates that man needs God in things which demand power and energy and he is dependent upon Him in actions like sitting.35 Hence, man is in constant need of God and he who remembers this need, will have in mind the right of God. Hence, the worshippers whether sitting or standing need say that.
If someone reaches this stage of gratefulness to God, then all his dhikrs (remembrances of Allah) are like prayer and all his deeds are prayer and worship. There is a hadith that says, “He who has God in mind constantly is like one constantly praying.”36 The Holy Qur'an says something similar,
“Those who are constantly praying.” (Surah al-Ma’arij 70:23)
It must not be supposed that in this verse, there is talk of the timely worshippers. That idea is suggested in this verse,
“Those who guard their prayers.” (Surah al-Mu’minun 23:9)
Baba Tahir’s quatrain suggests the same idea, “blessed be those who are constantly praying.”
In another part of the treatise, Imam Sajjad speaks of the right of oneself over oneself. In the Islamic thinking, man is not his own owner so he may treat himself the way he desires. This prayer all the prophets sing, “those who know no benefit for themselves, no harm, no death, no life and no resurrection.”37
Then it may be asked why Moses said to God;
“I am the only master of myself and my brother.” (Surah al-Ma’idah 5:25)
Of course it is probable that the meaning of the verse be such, “I am the master of myself and my brother is the master of himself.” In answer, it must be said that here, there is talk of religious ownership not genetic ownership. Moses speaks to God and asks Him whether he is the master of himself and his brother is the master of himself or that everyone is their own master and no one can draw them to God. But what has come in the prayer of all prophets is genetic ownership; namely that man is not genetic owner of himself, therefore he does not have any sort of right and must pay his rights.
Now we shall talk of the last part of that treatise. As you observed, we were determined to present some of the manifestations of the principles of Islamic thinking, and we do not consider even a drop of that sea. Therefore, we shall talk of the last part, “The rights of the non-Muslims (who are with you in this land and live in shelter of the Muslims) are that you accept from them whatever God has accepted from them; and accomplish whatever God has promised them. You do not have to be cruel to them and you have to leave them with the promises they have made; and decree as God has placed between you and them. You do not have to be cruel to them and you have to observe whatever God has placed as their rights; because the news has come to us that the holy Prophet said: I am the foe of those who are cruel to the non-Muslims with whom they have made promises.”38
You see how the things talked about concerning justice and Islamic conduct are prevalent as to people in other religions in this part of imam’s teachings. In other words, he who tyrannizes an infidel, has shown animosity towards the holy Prophet. These types of teachings clearly show that Islam is an all-pervasive religion which has had a pleasant behavior towards people of different religions and never needs the teachings and principles of other religions in this regard.
- 1. Mafatih al-Janan, Deeds of Friday Night
- 2. Bihar al-Anvar, Vol.7, chapter 16
- 3. For example, Surah al-Baqarah, verse 18 &171; Surah al-Anfal 8:22
- 4. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.8, chapter 1, p.187, tradition no. 18
- 5. Mafatih al-Janan
- 6. See: Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.2, chapter 12, p.98, tradition no.28
- 7. See: Surah al-Maidah (5:45-48)
- 8. Also Surah al-Baqarah (2:97), Surah Aale Imran (3:3&50), Surah al-Fatir (35:31)
- 9. Nahj al-Balaghah, Letter 31, p.128, part 87.
- 10. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.74, chapter 15, p.42, tradition no. 23 and Vol.91, chapter 32, p.92, tradition no. 6
- 11. As a similar instance, see: Surah al-Hujurat 49:11
- 12. Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim 442, p.189
- 13. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 96, chapter 7, p.58, tradition no.16
- 14. See Surah an-Nisa 4:10
- 15. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 93, chapter 46, p.356, tradition no. 45
- 16. Nahj al-Balaghah, letter 53, p.141, part 123
- 17. Ibid., letter 70, p.148
- 18. Sharh-i Ghurar wa Durar, vol. 2, p.448
- 19. Nahj al- Balaghah, Maxim 235, p.171
- 20. Ibid., Maxim 437, p.189
- 21. Ibid., Sermon 216, p.105, part 2.
- 22. Nahj al-Balaghah, letter 53, p.137, part 8.
- 23. Nahj al-Balaghah, sermon 126, p.56
- 24. Kafi, Vol.2, p.373, narration no.3
- 25. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 126, p.57
- 26. Nahj al-Balaghah, Maxim 232, p.112
- 27. Abwab al-Khamsain ma Fawqah, p.564, narration no.1
- 28. The chapter on the words of Imam Sajjad, first tradition
- 29. Vol 15. (Al al-Bayt), chapter 3, p.172, vol.26, chapter 3, p.241
- 30. Risalat al-Huquq, Majmal al-Huquq, p.7
- 31. Al-Isharat wa al-Tanbihat, Vol.3, chapter 9, p.374
- 32. Ibid., Vol.3, chapter 9.
- 33. Risalat al-Huquq, Haqqullah, p.9
- 34. Ibid.
- 35. Kashaf al-Ghata, p.294, line 1
- 36. Imam Baqir (P.B.U), Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, book of Salat, chapter 1, Al-Dhikr chapters, tradition no. 5.
- 37. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.13, chapter 4, p.82, tradition no.9
- 38. Risalat al-Huquq, Haq al-Zama, p.37