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World of Islamic Dawah: Islamic Library & Resource Center
|Subject: Chapter Six Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:07 pm|| |
CHAPTER SIX: `Relating to Allah's Creation
Allah has laid down certain rights and duties between people and between all of His living creation. Parents and children, wife and husband, brother and sister, neighbours, Muslim and non- Muslim, employer and employee, even animals are all included in this wide range of rights and obligations. In this interdependent world, every person is responsible for those under his care. The Prophet Muhammad
said: Every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you is responsible for his flock. A ruler is shepherd over his people and he is accountable for their welfare. A man is shepherd over his family and he is accountable for their welfare. A woman is shepherdess over her husband's household and children and she is accountable for their welfare. A man's servant is shepherd over his master's property and he is accountable for it. Be careful! All of you are shepherds and all of you shall be accountable for your flocks.
The Quran also informs us that we must be compassionate with each other and generous in our giving: Worship and serve Allah alone and make no gods beside Him; and do good to your parents, relatives, the orphans, the needy, the neighbour who is a relative, the neighbour who is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those you rightfully possess; for Allah does not love the proud and boastful, those who are niggerdly and urge others to be niggardly.
[an-Nisa 4:36-37 ]
The injunctions of the Sharia or Islamic moral and legal code relating to rights and duties are usually divided into two categories: the rights of Allah together with our duties towards Him and the rights of Allah's servants together with their duties towards mankind. This classification is meant to simplify our understanding of our obligations but the Prophet Muhammad
taught us that Allah would Himself be claimant on behalf of those whose rights have not been honoured on the Day of Judgment. A hadith qudsi states: The Messenger of Allah said: Allah will say, `Son of Adam, I fell ill but you did not visit Me.' He will say, 'O Lord, and how could I have visited you! You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say, 'Did you not know that My servant so-and-so had fallen ill and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you had visited him you would have found Me with him?'
`Son of Adam, I asked you for food but you did not feed Me'. He will say, 'O Lord, how could I have fed You! You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say, 'Did you not know that My servant so-and-so had asked you for food and you did not feed him? Did you not know that if you had fed him you would surely have found Me with him?'
`Son of Adam, I asked you to give Me drink but you did not give Me'. He will say, `O Lord, how could I have given You drink! You are the Lord of the worlds!' He will say, `My servant so-and-so had asked you to give him drink and you did not give him. Had you fed him you would surely have found Me with him.' (Muslim.)
So, Allah regards the rights and duties that He has defined between His creation as His rights and duties. The Messenger of Allah has said: `All creatures are Allah's family; and Allah loves most those who treat his family well and kindly.'
So, Allah regards the rights and duties that He has defined between His creation as His rights and duties. The Messenger of Allah has said:
`All creatures are Allah's family; and Allah loves most those who treat his family well and kindly.'
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:19 pm|| |
THE REGISTERS OF DEEDS
In a hadith narrated by Sayyida Aisha, the Prophet
said that all the deeds that we perform are written down in three registers: -
One register contains the deeds of those who have associated partners with Allah. Allah will not forgive those who commit ,shirk or polytheism. He forgives all sins except shirk.
The second register contains those deeds that Allah will not forgive, unless they have been compensated for. These are the ones between fellow human beings.
The third register contains the deeds about our personal duties to Allah. They are the deeds between man and his Creator like Salat and Sawm Allah determines whether they are forgiven or not.
The second register of deeds is especially important for us to consider because there is no Divine pardon in cases where personal rights have been violated. Forgiveness can only come from the person concerned - either directly or when Allah makes it possible for that person to grant a pardon. The Prophet Muhammad
said in this regard: Whoever is guilty of doing some wrong against a fellow human being, whether in regard to his honour or anything else, he should obtain his forgiveness before the Day of judgment, when there will be no money to pay for it. If he has any good deeds to his credit, they will be taken away from him to the extent of his wrongdoing. And if he has no good deeds, the sins of the wronged-one will be taken and put on him.
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:41 pm|| |
OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR FAMILY
Your first obligation after satisfying your personal needs is to your family: O you who believe! Save yourself and your family , from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.
[at-Tahrim 66: 6]
Fulfillment of your responsibilities towards your family is certainly an onerous task which requires a considerable amount of effort and time on your part. This task can be made easier, more rewarding and indeed more satisfying if you are careful in following the guidelines set out by the Prophet in the selection of your marriage partners.
When choosing your prospective spouse, ensure that you check your niyya or intention. Remind yourself that in seeking to get married you are fulfilling an obligation [an-Nur 24: 32-33], and in so doing you are also following a very strong tradition of the Prophet. Imam Bukhari narrated that the Prophet strongly advised all young people who possess the means to get married, to do so. Marriage will in turn assist you in safeguarding your chastity and hopefully, increase your iman and commitment to Islam. The Prophet
further commented on the benefits of a blessed marriage as follows: `Whoever is granted a righteous wife by Allah, Allah has helped him in half of his faith. So let him fear Allah in the remaining half.'
This exhortation, of course, applies equally to both men and women. Your choice of spouse should be based foremost on the merit of taqwa. Take time to make the best choice, for this too, is an investment in your future and that of your `future' children
Accordingly, the Messenger of God
said: Do not marry women for their beauty, maybe their beauty will lead them to destruction; and do not marry them for their wealth, maybe their wealth will cause them to become haughty. But marry them for their taqwa (piety). A wide-nose, clumsy slave woman who possesses faith is better [than the above categories]
. (Ibn Majah.)
Look for a partner who will bring comfort to your eyes, one who has a pure heart and one who will encourage you and participate in your dawa work [ar-Rum 30: 21]. In this way, not only will you benefit from the baraqa or blessing of Allah in your dawa efforts, but your home will also be filled with the Nur of Allah and become a source of inspiration for your efforts [al-Araf 7: 189]. For this reason, we are told in the Quran that the Ibadur Rahman or true Servants of the Most Gracious, make the dua:
Our Lord, grant us in our spouses and children comfort to our eyes. And make us exemplary to the God-fearing. [at-Furqan 25: 74.]
Having chosen the most suitable spouse, remember that your responsibility to yourself and to your family has not ended. Rather, your obligations in this regard have just started. You must follow the Prophet:saws: and be the best uswa or example to your family. Sayyida Aisha, the Prophet's wife, narrated that he said: `The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you towards my family'.
Within the family, both husband and wife have different but equal roles to play. Both parties must complement each other in the fulfillment of their responsibilities: They are garments for you while you are garments for them [al-Baqara 2].
To further deepen the love and to improve communication between members of your family - spouse, children, parents - you should aim to establish the following three activities in your home.
-Firstly, perform some of your daily Salat collectively with your family.
said that, `when you have finished your [Fard] Prayer in the masjid, you should offer the rest of your Prayer at home for Allah will bless your home because of your Prayer.'
-Secondly, establish an usra or family circle to study the Quran with your family.
The Quran alludes to reading of the Quran in families and in homes in the following verse: And remember that which is recited in your houses of the Revelations of God and the Wisdom.
[al-Ahzab 33: 34]
You should aim to hold these sessions at least twice weekly, if not more regularly. Remember that the first recipients of the Message of the Quran were the members of the Prophet's household. They were the ones he paid most attention to in the early phase of his mission in Makka. So, you also must ensure that you spend adequate `quality' time in educating and training your family.
-Thirdly, develop the habit of having meals with your family.
This will also provide a golden opportunity to interact with everyone, discuss family matters and reflect upon issues of the day. Finally, to ensure that your home is a place of comfort and relaxation, you need to manage the stress in your life by adopting a balanced approach to living.
Some degree of stress is inevitable and good. It keeps you aware and responsive. However, too much stress can damage your health, your relationships, and your ability to work for the sake of Allah. If you are taking your daily work stress to your home, then you may be disrupting one of the most important sources of your well being. You must continually evaluate yourself by sitting with your family and discussing your performance.
Discuss the responses to the following points with your family: -
The time I spend at work or in studying does not prevent me from having good communication with my family
My family is aware of what I want to achieve in my job, my studies and my life.
Most of my time at home is not spent in working or studying at the expense of interacting with my family.
I adequately participate in family matters so that in future I will not be guilty of neglecting my family.
My time is balanced among my family, masjid, personal obligations and among non-Muslims.
My morality is the same at home as it is at school, work, the masjid and among non-Muslims.
My family means more to me than worldly possessions and accomplishments.
I keep an open mind when I consider how my decisions will affect my family.
I am involved with all my family members and I try to share in their areas of interest.
It is easy for me to relax when I leave my work or my studies. I appreciate the beauty that Allah has placed around me.
[ Islamic Horizons, Indianapolis, February 1985, P. 12]
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:51 pm|| |
OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR CHILDREN
As a parent, you must treat your children with love and kindness. The Prophet Muhammad
said, `He does not belong to us, Muslims, who is not kind to our young and does not respect our old'.
Indeed, if people were to observe this single hadith in their inter personal relations, many of the evils and discords that plague society would be removed. Each child has the right to a good name, good character, good training, a quality education, and to be married to a suitable and compatible spouse. The Prophet
further emphasised, `No father can give a better gift to his children than providing them with a good education'.
Within the family, both mother and father have important roles to play in the growth and development of their children. But, mothers have an even more important role because they are the real teachers. The love and attention they can provide, the father cannot match. The father, of course, has to contribute as much as he can in spending quality time with his children and being the best role model for them. But, the real training will come primarily from the mother's affection, compassion, example and teaching.
We must also treat all of our children with the full care and attention that they deserve, be they male or female. However, in contemporary times, and a similar situation existed in the time of the Prophet:saws: , parents seem to give preferential treatment to their sons. This is why the Prophet:saws: has told us that we have a special obligation to our female off spring. Ibn Abbas,
: , narrated that he
Anyone who looks after and brings up three daughters, or sisters, educates them well, treats them with compassion, until Allah makes them self-sufficient, Allah guarantees him Paradise.' A man asked. `Suppose there are only two?' He said, Yes, two as well.' People said, And if there be only one?' He said, `Yes, even if there is only one.
This is how he emphasised the rights and obligations towards our children with special regard towards our daughters. This is something we must consider carefully.
OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR PARENTS
After your obligations to Allah, your parents have the greatest right over you. You should treat them with love, kindness and respect. Your Lord has decreed that you shall serve none but Him, and do good to your parents. Should one or both of them reach old age with you, never say 'Ugh' to them, nor scold either of them; but speak to them kindly and respectfully.
[al-Isra 17: 23]
After every Prayer you should make dua for their well being. The Quran says, spread over them the wings of humility and mercy and say, My Lord, have mercy upon them, as they raised me up when I was little.
Even if your parents are non-Muslims and they insist on you participating in that which is unlawful, you still have an obligation to treat them with goodness and kindness. Remember that their cultural background may not make them easily receptive to your new faith. So, the best way you can present Islam to them is to become a loving, obedient and caring child. Your uswa or example to your parents should also reflect the message of the Quran and the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad
. The Quran explains the attitude we must adopt as follows: And We enjoined upon man goodness towards hiss parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his weaning takes two years. Hence, be thankful to Me and to your parents. With Me is the end of all journeys. Yet, should they endeavour to force you to make gods beside Allah, of whom you have no knowledge then do not obey them. But, even then keep them company in this world's life with customary good behaviour, but follow the faith of those who turn towards Me.
[Luqman 31: 14-15.]
Hadith literature is also filled with many accounts and guidelines concerning the manner in which we should treat our parents even if they are non-Muslims. In one account, Asma,
: recorded the advice of the Prophet
when she turned to him, being unsure about the manner in which she should treat her mother who was still a non-Muslim:
The mother of Asma, the daughter of Abu Balr, was still a polytheist when she came to visit Asma during the time of the Muslims' peace treaty with the Quraysh. Asma asked the Prophet
, `O Messenger of Allah, my mother has come to see me. Should I receive her and treat her with all the affection that is her due?' He said, `Yes, treat her with full affection.'
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 pm|| |
OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR FELLOW MUSLIMS
Ukhuwwa, brotherhood in Islam, is primarily an ideological bond that binds Muslims to each other. [al-Hujurat 49: 10.] The Prophet
This relationship with your brother or sister should be based on the following:
You should give nasiha or sincere advice and counsel and you should also wish your brother well. A hadith states that `[The essence of] Din or religion is nasiha.'
(Muslim.) True iman cannot be attained `until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.'
(Bukhari, Muslim.) The Prophet
also said: `The Believer is a mirror to a Believer, and the Believer is a brother to a Believer. He removes his injuries from him and protects him in his absence.'
You should give preference to your brother's welfare over your personal needs. The Quran records the attitude of true Believers: But [they] give preference over themselves, even though poverty was their [own lot].
[al-Hashr 59: 9.]
The Quran declares: Allah commands adl or justice and ihsan or doing that which is best.
[an-Nahl 16: 90.] You must fulfill all your obligations - moral, economic. social, and political - to all Muslims with firm and resolute justice.
-Doing that which is best:
If adl is considered the foundation of your relationship, then, ihsan is its perfection. Ihsan demands that you do even more good to your brother. Additionally, if your brother does some wrong you must respond to the brother and his actions in a positive manner. The Quran advises: The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel [the evil] with that, which is better. Then he, between whom and you there was enmity, [will become] as though he was a close friend.
[al-Fussilat 41: 34]
In the Quran, Allah has used the term rahma or mercy to depict the relationship between Muslims: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, [but] full of compassion [ruhama] among themselves.
[al-Fath 48: 29].
also taught us: `He who shows mercy, Allah will shower His mercy upon him. Be merciful to the people of this world so that the One above will show mercy on you.'
(Abu Dawud.) He also said: `The Believers in their mutual love, compassion and sympathy are like one body: when one of its parts suffers from some illness, the rest of the body shares its suffering with sleeplessness and fever'. (Bukhari, Muslim.)
Your heart should be filled with forgiveness for anger destroys iman like poisonous medicine turns honey into waste' (Bayhaqi)
The Quran also states: So, pass over [their faults] and ask for [Allah's] forgiveness for them.
[Ali Imran 3: 159.]
-Patience and perseverance:
You must demonstrate sabr or patience and perseverance with your brother. Strive to forgive your brother wholeheartedly despite having the ability and the means to take revenge. The Quran states: But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would be an affair of great resolution.
[ash-Shura 42: 43.] : You must demonstrate sabr or patience and perseverance with your brother. Strive to forgive your brother wholeheartedly despite having the ability and the means to take revenge. The Quran states: But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would be an affair of great resolution.
[ash-Shura 42: 43.]
-Reliance and appreciation:
Your brother must be able to count on you in times of need. You should share in the pain of his adversity and the pleasure of his prosperity.: Your brother must be able to count on you in times of need. You should share in the pain of his adversity and the pleasure of his prosperity.
There are also certain things that you should consider in order to preserve the relationship with your brother and to prevent its disintegration. These include:
-Respect for his rights.
-Respect for the value of his life.
[an-Nisa 4: 93]
-Being careful with your language ensuring that you do not use abusive language or words that will offend him.
[al-Hujurat 49: 11]
-Ensuring that you never backbite or slander him.
-Ensuring that you never embarrass him, belittle him, cast suspicion on him, ridicule him or go in search simply to expose his faults
. [al-Hujurat 49.]
Ensuring that you do not hurt or harm him in any way; and finally never become jealous of him.
[al-Falaq 113: 5.]
You can also make the relationship with your brother stronger by:
-Maintaining his honour and prestige. Participating in his pain and sorrow.
-Offering criticism and sincere advice to him; meeting him regularly.
Visiting him when he is ill and making dua for his speedy recovery.
Meeting him with love and a cheerful disposition; greeting him with words of peace.
-Embracing and shaking his hand on meeting him.
-Calling him by the best of names.
-Inquiring about his personal matters and expressing your concern and offering your assistance.
-Offering him gifts to express your love and closeness.
-Expressing your gratitude to him regularly.
Sharing a meal with him whenever possible.
-Making dua for him regularly.
-Responding to him with love and affection.
-Always striving to settle your disputes with him in an amicable manner; being willing to forgive him.
Finally, always keep before you the verse of the Quran:
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:26 pm|| |
OBLIGATIONS OF EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
As an employer, you have an obligation to care for your staff; provide the most suitable working environment; and ensure that they are fully compensated punctually, for all their services rendered: 'Give the labourer his wages before his sweat dries'.
also said that one of the persons he shall be against on the Day of judgment is the man who does not pay the right wages to his employees after their labours.
As an employee, you must perform your job with diligence and proficiency.
`Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does a job he should perfect it'
The Quran also declares: Work because Allah, the Prophet and the Believers will witness your work [at-Tawba 9: 105.] Know that the best food is that which comes from your own efforts: `No one eats better food than what he earns by the labour of his own hands'.
OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Neighbours have rights, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. The Prophet of Allah
said: `He is not a true Believer who eats his fill while his neighbour is hungry'.
Thus, the quality of your Din and fate in the Akhira will also be determined by how well you fulfill your obligations towards your neighbours. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah,
: a man said:`O Messenger of Allah , such and such woman has a reputation for engaging very much in Prayers, Fasting and Almsgiving, but she hurts her neighbours with her tongue quite often.' He said, `She will go to Hell.' Then he said, `O Messenger of Allah , such and such woman engages in only a little Prayer, Fasting and Alms giving and gives just a few pieces of cheese in charity, but she does not hurt her neighbours with her tongue'. He said, `she will go to Paradise.'
The Quran defines the neighbour in a very wide sense. [an-Nisa 4: 36-37.] One class of neighbours is our relatives. Another class are those who are not our relatives and the third class of neighbours are those who sit with us, even for a few minutes. This third class of neighbours is a very wide group and includes those who sit by your side. If you are travelling in a taxi, bus, train or aeroplane the person who is sitting by your side is your neighbour. If you are in the office, your co-worker is your neighbour. If you are at school, your classmate is your neighbour. The Prophet
gave a comprehensive account of our duties towards our neighbours when requested to do so by one of his Companions:If he asks for a loan, you should give him a loan; if he wants your help, you should help him; if he be sick, you should go to see him; if he be needy you should try to fulfill his need; if he gets good news, you should congratulate him; if ,any calamity befalls him, it is your duty to console him; if he dies, you should attend his funeral; you should not raise your walls to such a height that they obstruct the ventilation of your neighbour's house, even if he is willing; do not tantalise your neighbour with the smell of your delicious food unless you send a portion of it to him; if you bring fruit into your house then send some to your neighbour; otherwise, keep it hidden from your neighbour, and you should also be careful that your children do not take some out, else the children of your neighbour may feel disappointed.
Among the rights of your neighbour is that his life, property and honour must be protected. Violation of any of them is haram or unlawful. His life is inviolable. To kill someone - be he Muslim or non-Mushin - is such a great crime that if someone commits first degree murder Allah says that person will live in Jahannam forever and ever. Of course, if the death was accidental, one can pay compensation to the victim's family.
Remember that the life of a non-Muslim is as important as that of a Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad
said that `One who kills a non-Muslim whose protection is pledged will never smell the fragrance of Janna, even though it reaches as far as 40 years distance'.
So the life of the non-Muslim is also inviolable, as is his property and his honour. All must be respected and safeguarded. This is especially important for us to consider because we live in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society and, unfortunately, there are many misconceptions prevailing among Muslims about the extent of their obligations towards non-Muslims. The Prophet
himself used to pay special attention to the needs of non-Muslims even when there was poverty, hardship and difficulties in the Muslim community.
|Subject: Re: Chapter Six Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:58 pm|| |
THE RIGHTS OF ANIMALS
Animals have rights, for all of Allah's creatures comprise His `family'. Sahl ibn Amr narrated that once the Messenger of Allah
, passed by a camel who was so emaciated that his belly seemed to have disappeared. He
said, 'Fear Allah regarding the animals who cannot speak. Ride on them while they are healthy, and eat of them when they are healthy'
. (Abu Dawud.)
A famous hadith says that 'a woman was punished and thrown into Hell-fire on account of her cat. She kept it tied up till it died of hunger: she neither gave it something to eat nor drink, nor let it go so that it could eat things on earth'.
also said:'Forgiveness was granted to a prostitute! She came upon a dog at the mouth of a well, which was panting and was about to die of thirst. She took off her leather sock, tied it with her headscarf and drew some water from the well for the dog. It was for this act of kindness that she was forgiven her sins.' When asked, 'Are we rewarded even for good we do to animals?' he replied, 'Reward is given for good done to any living creature.'
If Allah commands us not to treat animals in this way, you can well imagine the extent of our obligations exhibited by someone, the dearer that person is to Allah.
All creatures are Allah's family; and Allah loves most those who treat His family well and kindly. Our responsibility to others is especially important for us to consider for there is no Divine pardon in cases where personal rights have been violated.
Your primary obligation after satisfying your personal needs is towards your family. Indeed, after Allah, your parents have the greatest right over you. Fulfill your obligations towards your spouse and treat your children with love and kindness.
When it comes to the obligations to your fellow Muslims, know that the strongest link of faith is to love someone in order to gain the pleasure of Allah.
As an employer, know that you have an important responsibility towards your employees. Similarly, as an employee, you must perform your work with proficiency.
Your fate in the Akhira will also be determined by how well you fulfill your obligations to your neighbours be they Muslims or non-Muslims. The Prophet
used to pay particular attention to the needs of non-Muslims even when there were difficulties in the Muslim community.
Animals have rights for all of Allah's creatures comprise His `family': `Fear Allah regarding the animals who cannot speak. Ride on them while they are healthy, and eat of them when they are healthy.'
May Allah enable us all to fulfill our obligations to the members of His family.