Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Treatise on Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)

Peace, one and all...
Here are some further examples of Imam Zayn al-`Abideen. In particular, this is his Risalat al-Huquq (or 'Treatise on Rights'). I was reading through it today and it's an inspiring piece. So, in a spirit of mutual benefit, I thought I'd share it with you all here.
I've posted the Introduction to the Risalat here. Insha Allah Ta'ala I'll post the rest in sections in the next few days. So, as Imam al-Haddad says, 'Learn and understand'...
Introduction

'KNOW - God have mercy upon you - that God has rights against you and that these encompass you in every movement through which you move, every rest through which you rest, every waystation in which you reside, every limb which you employ, and every instrument which you put to work. Some of these rights are greater and some less.

[A] [1] The greatest of God's rights against you is the right which He has made incumbent upon you for Himself and which is the root of all rights, then [2] those which He has made incumbent upon you in yourself, from your crown to your foot, in keeping with the diversity of your organs. He has given [3] your tongue a right against you, [4] your hearing a right against you, [5] your sight a right against you, [6] your hand a right against you, [7] your leg a right against you, [8] your stomach a right against you, [9] and your private part a right against you. These are the seven organs through which acts (af'al) take place.

[B] Then He gave your acts rights against you: He gave [10] your ritual prayer a right against you, [12] your fasting a right against you, [13] your charity a right against you, [14] your offering a right against you, and your acts a right against you.

[C] Then these rights extend out from you to others who have rights against you. he most incumbent of them against you are the rights toward your leaders (a'imma), then the rights toward your subjects (ra'iyya), then the rights toward your womb [relatives] (rahim). From these rights branch out other rights. [C1] The rights of your leaders are three: The most incumbent upon you is [15] the right of him who trains you through authority, then [16] of him who trains you through knowledge, then [17] of him who trains you through property. [C2] The rights of your subjects are three: The most incumbent upon you is [18] the right of those who are your subjects through authority, then [19] the right of those who are your subjects through knowledge for the man of ignorance is the subject of the man of knowledge then the right of those who are your subjects through property, such as [20] wives and [21] what is owned by the right hand.

[C3] The rights of your womb relatives are many; they are connected to you in the measure of the connection of the womb relationship. The most incumbent upon you is [22] the right of your mother, then [23] the right of your father, then [24] the right of your child, then [25] the right of your brother, then the next nearest, then the next nearest - the most worthy, then the next most worthy.

[D] Then there is [26] the right of your master who favours you [by freeing you from slavery], then [27] the right of the slave whose favours reach you [by the fact that you free him], then [28] the right of him who does a kindly act toward you, then [29] the right of the muezzin who calls you to the ritual prayer, then [30] the right of the imam who leads the prayer, then [31] the right of your sitting companion, then [32] the right of your neighbour, then [33] the right of your companion, then [34] the right of your partner, then [35] the right of your property, then the right of him who has a debt he must pay back to you, then [36] the right of him to whom you owe a debt, then [37] the right of your associate, then [38] the right of your adversary who has a claim against you, then [39] the right of your adversary against whom you have a claim, then [40] the right of him who asks you for advice, then [41] the right of him whom you ask for advice, then [42] the right of him who asks your counsel, then [43] the right of him who counsels you, then [44] the right of him who is older than you, then [45] the right of him who is younger than you, then [46] the right of him who asks from you, then [47] the right of him from whom you ask, then the right of [48] him who does something evil to you through word or deed, or [49] him who makes you happy through word or deed, intentionally or unintentionally, then [50] the right of the people of your creed, then [51] the right of the people under your protection, then all rights in the measure of the causes of the states and the occurrence of events.

Therefore happy is he whom God aids in the rights which He has made incumbent upon him and whom He gives success therein and points in the proper direction!

Subhanak Allahumma wa bihamdik ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilaik...
Ma'as salama,
Abdur Rahman
(a faulty 'Servant of the Most Merciful')

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