Real Rights & Limits
"What the Devil Doesn't Want You to Know"
Rights are important to us all - But...
But the question is - Who has the most rights?
DAYS OF IGNORANCE - BEFORE ISLAM
GOLDEN RULE - OF IGNORANCE
RICH & POOR TREATED SAME
WOMEN TREATED LIKE PROPERTY - BEFORE ISLAM
WOMEN HAD NO RECOURSE
MUSLIM WOMEN DON'T PAY
BALANCE COMES FOR WOMEN
O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowery you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. [4:19]
O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an AllWatcher over you. [4:1]
And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart, but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful). [4:4]
MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR CARE & SECURITY OF WOMEN
"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.)." [4:34]
MAN & WIFE HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS TO ARBITRATION
"If you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever AllKnower, WellAcquainted with all things." [4:35]
Men are taken into consideration for their impatience. Almighty Allah says,
"Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to be with a woman)." [4:28]
INFANTS AND ORPHANS NO LONGER ABUSED
Allah speaks to us clearly on the subject of children, orphans and handling their estates until they are old enough to take financial matters into their own hands:
And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin. [4:2]
And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully, and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever amongst guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and Allah is AllSufficient in taking account. [4:6]
CHILDREN ALSO ORDERED TO BE OBEDIENT
Allah talks about the "father's advise to his son":
"O my son! Establish salat (daily devotions), order the people to believe in One God and do righteousness and forbid them frm disbelief, polytheism and all evil, and be patient with whatever comes your way in life. Surely, these are some of the most important commandments ordered by Almighty Allah with no exemption. [31:17]
ESTATES PRESERVED FOR PROPER INHERITANCE
Almighty Allah provided for this along with the proper amount to be given to each member of the family, according to His Will:
Allah commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever AllKnower, AllWise. [4:11]
These are the limits (set by) Allah (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success. [4:13]
POOR AND NEEDY PROVIDED FOR
"Those who are miserly and enjoin miserliness on other men and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment." [ 4:37]
Those having wealth and power are admonished not to look down on the less fortunate and others. Almighty Allah says,
And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster." [31:18]
Allah balances this by reminding those who are poor and needy not to envy or covet others good fortunes. Allah Almighty says:
And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever AllKnower of everything." [4:32]
Allah forbids dealing with interest in the Quran, just as He did in the Bible (Bible says, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be.")
Allah Almighty says in His Quran:
"O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent." [4:29]
Then comes a promise from Allah to those who will give up these ill-gotten worldly gains for His sake:
"If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise)." [4:31]
ANIMALS RIGHTS DEFENDED IN ISLAM
He even gave the example of a woman who left a cat tied up to starve, while she prayed and fasted. Due to her willful negelect of this poor animal, she was deprived of any benefit from her worship and as a result had to go to Hell.
Another example he gave was that of another woman who was a prostitute who showed mercy to a poor dog on the road. She went down into a well to get a drink of water for the dog and saved his life. For this act of mercy and kindness, Allah forgave her and as a result, she was admitted to the Paradise. Hunting for sport without taking benefit from the meat or hides, just to kill for trophies is not permitted in Islam.
PLANTS AND TREES PROTECTED
ENEMIES GIVEN RIGHTS - 1400 YEARS BEFORE THE GENEVA CONVENTION
NON-MUSLIMS GIVEN RESPECT
ALLAH MAKES CLEAR - FOR ALL
Almighty Allah says:
"Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is AllKnower, AllWise." [4:26]
"Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path." [4:27]
LIMITATIONS VS. RIGHTS - the balance to all "Rights"
As we list some of the more obvious rights in Islam, we will show the balance through limitations that Islam brings about. Consider the following:
The first and foremost right in Islam, is the Right of Allah, to be worshipped alone without any partners. His servants are to love Him with their whole being, heart and soul and not to have other 'gods' beside Him. All worship is limited to Allah, without any partners or associates.
Almighty Allah says in His Quran:
"Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever AllAppreciative (of any good), AllKnowing.” [4:147]
Notice the "right" versus the "limitations."
The second right in Islam is that of the prophet, peace be upon him, to be followed and obeyed, as he is the messenger and representative of the Lord of the Worlds and as such he is the guide to true salvation. The limit here is that no other person, even the previous prophets should be taken into consideration when he gives any directive, as he is not speaking on his own authority, but rather on the authority of the One Almighty Allah who sent revelation to him.
Allah Almighty says:
"Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. And Allah is Ever AllPowerful, AllWise."[4:165]
Allah tells us in the Quran about the many rights parents have on us, yet He balances it by saying not to obey them in worshipping false gods or taking partners with Allah in worship.
EVEN THE SOUL HAS RIGHTS
Allah Almighty forbids anyone to take their own life, thereby giving the body its own right. As Almighty Allah says:
Note: From Yusuf Estes, friend and admirer of the author, Mohamed Asharif:
CRADLE TO THE GRAVE
From the very begging to the very end of life itself, Islam provides the rights – but even more important – Islam provides the necessary limits to give the balance needed for all life.
Think about it.