Mutual Rights in Islam
Man’s duty with regard to his parents
One of the humane Islamic behaviour which must be taken care of disregarding is a great sin is man’s behaviour with the below-mentioned persons. They possess, besides the moral, their rights too:
Man’s behaviour with his father and mother.
Attitude of father and mother towards their children.
Conduct with the community, kinsmen and relatives.
Dealings with family members.
Living with neighbours.
Governments behaviour with people and people’s behaviour with the government.
Man’s attitude toward all others.
After God worship, respect for Parents
Though the demands of humanity and truthfulness alone are enough for giving respect to father and mother, as Islam does not remain silent even in the matters which are in total agreement with heart and mind, rather it makes it emphatically incumbent to follow relevant rules in that respect. Islam has put so much emphasis on the rights of parents that such emphasis is seldom seen in any other matters. Mostly it is seen in Holy Quran that after ordering worship of none but only one god, the command to respect parents immediately follows.
And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and you shall do good to your parents, and to the near of kin and to the orphans and the needy, and you shall speak to men good words.
And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbour of your kin and the alien neighbour, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful.
And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve any but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them so much as Ugh nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up when I was little.
Extremely extraordinary points about parents
After commanding: worship is exclusively for the Almighty Allah and hence none else should be worshipped immediately thereafter through the refers to parents and says: behave nicely with father and mother. This shows the importance of this issue.
The problem of their old age has been specifically mentioned, as it is possible that they may not be able even to move without the help of others and fulfil their needs themselves. In such event, definitely it is compulsory to give extra attention to them.
The divine commandment asserts that you have no right to say even ugh to your parents. It means you should never show disgust in their presence.
Thereafter the Holy Quran orders: talk respectfully with them.
God also orders to remain lowly and meek before them. That lowliness must express love and affection.
Finally Allah says: when you turn your face to Allah in worship or prayer or supplication do not forget your parents be they alive or dead and seek Allah’s Mercy for them.
And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents — his mother bears him with fainting upon fainting and his weaning takes two years —saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly..
Thought provoking point
The fact that the mention of being thankful to parents has been made along with that to the Lord for His bounties shows how great and vast are the rights of parents.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: One who looks angrily toward his parents makes God so angry that God does not accept his prayers.. and this is so even if the two parents might have done in justice to him…
Imam Baqir (a.s.) has quoted the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saying: Refrain from harassing parents because the fragrance of paradise which can be smelled from a distance of a thousand year journey does not reach a person who has displeased his parents, who has committed adultery in old age, and the one who drags his clothes on ground as a sign of ego as greatness belongs to only one God.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Had there been anything lighter by uttering ugh to parents God might have prohibited even its utterance as we have explained it is the Safest way of expressing disgust and it is the least indication of disrespect and opposition the ones parents. One of the ugly things making man aaq displeased by parents is to look harshly or angrily toward them.
It is recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that he said: To look with love and affection at parents is an act of Ibaadat.
Question: Do the above mentioned verses and traditions also apply when what the parents what is against Shariat?
Answer: The reply is in the negative. First of all we should know that no order has any value against the command of God. Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has said: No order should be obeyed which makes one disobey God.
Secondly, verse No: 15 of Surah Luqman says: And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly.
Thirdly, the Holy Quran also commands: O you who believe! do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and whoever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the unjust. Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Apostle and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.
Similarly when there is a tussle between the pleasure of God and other things, everything should be sacrificed for God.
Question: Is the status of father higher or that of mother?
Answer: traditions show that the status of mother is higher. Mali bin Khanees says: Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: a man asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). It is recorded from Imam Sadiq 9(a.s.)0 that a man approached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and said: Behaarul Anwaar. In these two traditions the command to do good to the mother has been given thrice and hence it is the proof that the respect for mother is higher.
Question: Is the respect demanded only during the life time of parents or it is desired even after their demise?
Answer: It includes the time after their death also. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: What prevents you from behaving nicely to parents during their lifetime or after their death?
It is also recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Verily a man keeps serving his parents continuously during their entire lifetime, then they die and he does not repay their debts and doesn’t and pray for their forgiveness then in these circumstance he is noted as Aaq disliked by parents. And sometimes it also happens that the son does not do good to be parents during their life span but when they expire he pays up their debt and prays to God for their forgiveness, God considers him as a pious person .
Conclusively we must mention that we must know that behaving nicely or adversely with parents has a takweeni (universal effect) which applies to man during this worlds life. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Behave nicely with your parents so that your children may also be good to you.
Quranic verses and traditions explicitly to the truth of our stand. Some of them have also been mentioned in our another book Maad.
Duties of parents toward children
Children are the trust from Allah given to parents so that they may be nicely trained and made well versed in Islamic matters. In this connection the Holy Quran says: O you who believe! save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.
Fathers and mothers have the obligation of training their children on right lines. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: Honour your offspring and nourish them with good manners and desirable virtues.
Right training is one of the factors for making the youth wholesome and intelligent. Those who have been nourished correctly in their childhood and who have benefited from essential guidance know the art of living nicely. They are able to derive benefits from their early training during their middle and old age. They can present themselves in a desirable and deserving way before their families and in their societies, living comfortably and happily.
On the contrary, those who were not nourished and trained nicely in their childhood and who cultivated undesirable habits and manners are unable to find the correct way of living during their youth and old age. They cannot live in a fitting way in society due to their immorality. Mostly they fail in their social life because, unknowingly they put into practice the bad habits of their childhood thus putting both themselves and the society to trouble and disrespect.
We must know that a child and youth is ever ready to imbibe every kind of teaching and training. If their fathers and mothers and guardians so desire they can turn a child into a model human being and they entrust it to the society.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has, in his letter to Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) said: The heart of a growing child I like a land without any grass or vegetation. It accepts whatever seed is thrown in it and then nourishes it is itself. Then added: My dear son! Before your heart could get hard in your youth in the beginning of your youth I had undertaken your training and disciplining.
Someone asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): What is the right of this son of mine upon me? The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied: Select a good name for him, discipline him and give a nice place to him to live.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Father has three duties concerning his son: selection of a good name for him, to teach him the Holy Quran and when he grows up to arrange his marriage.
It is reported that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saw a man with his two sons of young age. That man kissed one of them but not the another one. the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) criticised this unfair treatment and said: Why did you not treat your two children in a same manner?
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is recorded to have said: Teach your children our knowledge which Allah has made beneficial for them so that deviated groups may not misguide them.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Make your child free for seven years for playing. Then give him knowledge teach him for the next seven years also and also keep him with you. If he improves so good otherwise there is not good in it.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: Teach horse riding and also shooting to your children.
It is reported from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): One the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saw some children and said: Woe unto the children of the last age at the hands of their own fathers. The companions asked: O Prophet of God! At the hands of their polytheist fathers? The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied: No, but at the hands of their believing fathers who do not give them essential religious knowledge. If they children learn they fathers prevent them from so doing as they are pleased with their little material worldly benefits. I am at a distance from them and they are at a distance from me.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: It is for the father and mother not to curse and disinherit their children but to observe their rights. Similarly it is the duty of the children not to be cursed and get disinherited by their parents but to observe their rights that is, they also will have to answer if they do not do their duty.
At the end we should know that four things are effective in the destiny of man: Viraasat (heritage), Talqueen (suggestion), Taqleed (following) and Taaseer-e-Muheet (effect of environment).
It is the duty of the parents to bear in mind the aforesaid four things concerning their children so that they may not be corrupted under the influence of undesirable suggestions, wring following and corrupt atmosphere. It is our duty to clean the environment if it has corrupted. We should not say that we cannot train our children.
Warning to parents
In case, despite full efforts to train them the children do not follow, they should be left alone and should not be helped in any way. Rather the father-son relation should be disconnected. Allah says to Prophet Nuh (a.s.): O Nuh! surely he is not of your family; surely he is the doer of other than good deeds, therefore ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge; surely I admonish you lest you may be of the ignorant.
It is reported from Imam Moosa Reza (a.s.) that: once he asked his friends: how do the people explain the verse: Surely he is the doer of other than god deeds? One from the audience replied: Some believe that it means the son of Nuh, Kinaan was not his real son. The Imam said: No, it is not so. He was Nuhs real son. But when he sinned and deviated from the correct Path of Allah, God negated his son-father relationship. It is just as if someone among us does not obey Allah we say he is not from us.
Material worldly relationships connections based on family, friendship etc. are always, in the Divine Heavenly religions, overshadowed by spiritual relationship. In these schools heavenly religions, closeness of blood relations has no meaning compared to the spiritual relation. Salman Farsi from a distant country Iran was neither from the family blood of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and was not either from the tribe of Quraysh nor even he belonged to Mecca. Originally he was not even an Arab. Yet as per a tradition: Salman is from our family, Salman is regarded as a member of the Holy Prophets (s.a.w.s.) Holy family. But the closest blood related son of the Prophet like Nuh (a.s.), as a result of tearing himself from his fathers line of school religion is being discarded so thoroughly that he faced the verse: Surely he is not of your family.
Also the Surah Lahab was revealed concerning the uncle of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The Imams (a.s.) have given a similar warning to their followers. Imam Baqir (a.s.) addressed Jabir: O Jabir! Remember that you will not be our friend unless when the whole city gathers around you to tell you that you are a bad man yet you do not feel unhappy and, similarly, if the whole population of the city tells you that you are a good man and yet it does not make you happy, rather you look only at the Book of Allah and adopt the criteria of good and bad from it and then see to which group you belong.
Also Imam Baqir (a.s.) addressed his friends thus: O Shias of the family of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) ! Remember that there is no family relation between us and God and that we have no argument before Allah. Nearness to Allah must be obtained by nothing but by obeying the Divine commandments. Our friendship will benefit only those who obey Allah. Our friendship will not benefit the one who disobeys Allah.
These traditions negate the thinking of those who rest contented merely on name and have no concern for action according to religion. These narrations prove that in the school of thought of the Holy Imams Faith is fundamental is and deeds according to it. All things must be weighted in this balance.
Family relationship Blood relations
In the Islamic plan of actions emphatic orders have been given regarding family relations or kith and kin. We point to a part of the same here:
And when We made a covenant with the children of Israel: You shall not serve any but Allah and you shall do good to your parents, and to the near of kin.
And those who join that which Allah has bidden to be joined and have awe of their Lord and fear the evil reckoning.
And those who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder that which Allah has ordered to be joined and make mischief in the land; as for those, upon them shall be curse and they shall have the evil issue of the abode.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) is reported to have said: Join even with Salaam well-wishing words. Lord Almighty says: and be careful of your duty to Allah, by whom you demand one of another your rights, and to the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has also said: Join relations with your kinsfolk even if they cut off relations with you.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) has quoted the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) words: Angel Jibraeel has informed me that the fragrance of paradise can be smelled from a distance of a thousand year journey. But it cannot be smelled by the one whom his parents have cursed and disinherited and the one who cuts of relations with relatives and one who commits adultery in old age.
Hazrat Reza (a.s.) quotes from his father: Joining of relations with relatives and behaving nicely with neighbours makes one rich.
Ishaaq bin Ammaar says: I heard from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that Maintaining good relations with kin and behaving nicely with others makes accounting in the Hereafter easy and prevents the bad results of sin. so join the relations and behave nicely with your brothers even it is by saying Salaam in a good way and by responding to a salaam greeting.
Imam Sadiq is reported to have said: Maintaining good relations makes the accounting on the Day of Judgement easy makes life span longer and protects one from a bad death and a charity given at night cools down eases the Divine anger.
In conclusion we should know that man is not an existence which is isolated and cut off from the rest of the world but his entire being is made up of a number of attachments and connections and concerns. On the one hand he is connected with the Creator of the universe. It is such that if he cuts off that attachment he gets destroyed like an electric bulb which goes off if the current connecting it with the source of power is cut. So, just as, from the viewpoint of creation, he is joined with this great source, it is also necessary for him from the viewpoint of obedience and religious submission, to maintain and continue this relation to the best of his ability. From another direction, he has a connecting relation to the best of his ability. From another direction, he has a connecting relation with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Imam as his leader and guide, which, if cut off, makes man wander in wrong ways.
From yet another direction, he is also related with the entire human society and especially with those who have more rights on him like his mother and father and relatives and friends and teachers and tutors. From yet another side he has relative with his own self as he is duty bound to preserve and advance himself toward perfection.
Maintaining and preserving all of these relations is, in fact, what is called in the Holy Quran yasiloo na maa a ma rallaahu bihi an yoosal and cutting off of any of these relations is in the Divine Text the cutting of Maa a ma rallaahu an yoosal because the Lord Almighty has commanded the maintenance of all these connections.
There is, it seems, nothing more now here to explain this intention.
Behaviour with neighbours and their rights
Islam has made much recommendation in this matter
We find, in the will of Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) for his sons Hasan and Husain (a.s.) when the accursed Ibne Muljim and attacked the Amir: For Gods sake, for Gods sake, behave nicely with your neighbours because it is one of the recommendations of your Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He had made so much admonition regarding good behaviour with neighbours that we imagined that very soon they neighbours will be made entitled to inheritance.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: You have to behave nicely with your neighbours because Allah has commanded it.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Good behaviour with neighbours increases prosperity.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that he read in the book of Ali (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had in his letter to Muhajirs and Ansaars written: A neighbour is like a man himself who is neither to be harmed nor sinned and moreover giving respect to the neighbour is like giving respect to one mother.
Abi Rabi quoted the Imam Sadiq (a.s.): Once when his house was full of visitors he said: Remember that, in fact, one who is not a good neighbour is not from us.
If one grabs wrongly a little measure of his neighbours land, will be garlanded by Allah with the weight of seven layers of earth until he meets the Almighty unless he repents and withdraws his misdeed.
And also said: The one usurps the right of his neighbour will no be allowed the fragrance of paradise and his place will be hell which is a bad abode indeed.
And also said: The one usurps the right of his neighbour is not from us. Jibraeel (a.s.) continuously recommended about the rights of the neighbour until I imagined that he will also inherit the dead.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: There are three categories of the neighbours: the first group has three rights: the right of Islam, the right of neighbourhood and the right of kindness. The second group has two rights: The right of Islam and the right of neighbourhood. The third group has one right: and it is the right by way of being neighbour. They are all Kafirs who live side by side with the Muslims!
Abu Baseer says: I heard from Imam Sadiq (a.s.): If one refrains from harassing his neighbour, God ignores his faults on the Day of Judgement.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: If one harasses his neighbour due to greed of his house, God hands over the house of such harasser to his neighbour.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: He is far away from the Mercy of Allah, he is far away from the Mercy of Allah who gives harassment to hid neighbour.
The problem of neighbourhood is an important problem about which Islam has given much recommendation. Yet, in spite of all this, we Muslims sometimes do not pay attention to it and harass one-another by loud talks, troublesome horns, climbing terraces, throwing dirty water etc in front of the neighbours’ houses…
It is also possible that our neighbour may be in need of some necessities of life. In such circumstances too we should not lag behind but must try our best to live sympathetically side-by-side. And this right is applicable not only to a Muslim neighbour but it applies to non-Muslim neighbours also.
Hence Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: Even if your are sitting by the side of a Jew make a nice kind of sitting.
And perhaps it can be said: The wording is common which makes no difference between big and small. Environment. Wherever and whenever it is called neighbour it applies in these traditions. It is difficult to believe that it is obligatory.
Rights of family members and Islamic Behaviour in marital life
Wife and husband are the two big pillars of the family. Both have rights with respect to one another, which will have to account for if not maintained even though it can be said that: the responsibility of the husband is more because his creation is distinct and he is stronger in capacity. The Lord Almighty has also held the husband as the guardian and the ward of the family. He says: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property…
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: Man is the guardian of the family and every guardian is responsible in the matter of those who are in his guardianship.
The man who is the manager of the family must remember that a woman is also a human being like a man and she also has her own wishes, ambitions, right of life and freedom. He must understand that taking a wife does not mean taking a slave girl. Rather it means selection of a life partner, friend and sympathiser. It is essential to pay attention to her internal desires and ambitions too. It is not that man becomes an absolute owner of the woman and the wife also has rights on their husbands.
Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Quran: and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: The angel Jibraeel made so many recommendations regarding the wife that I thought that it is not permissible to divorce her except in case of open shamelessness.
It is also recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that: The best of you is the one who is the best for his family and I am the best among you for my family.
It is recorded from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that once Ali and Fatima (a.s.) went to be Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to get guidance. He says: Then he Prophet asked Fatima (a.s.) to perform the works within the house and he asked Ali (a.s.) to do outdoor works. Fatima (a.s.) said: Then I became so happy that none except Allah knows it.
Ishaaq bin Ammar says: I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): What is the right of a wife on her husband which if carried out the man can be a good man? The Imam (a.s.) replied: He should feed her fully, clothe here nicely and if she makes any mistake he must forgive her.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: The most perfect man from the viewpoint of Faith is the one whose morals are the best. The best among you is the one who behaves nicely with his family.
It is also recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): The more the Faith of a man the more he loves his wife nicely.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: One of the morals of a Prophet is that he loves his wife nicely.
Luqman the wise is reported to have said: A wise man must behave like a child mild child in his house and he should spare his manly tough behaviour for outdoor jobs.
When Saad bin Muaaz, who was one of the great companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and to whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to give much respect, died Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), like all other mourners, joined his funeral barefoot. He placed the body of Saad in grave with his own hands and covered his face. At that time the late Saad’s mother who was observing all these last rites wherein the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had given so much honour to her dead son, exclaimed: O Saad! Congratulations for the paradise. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: O mother of Saad! Do not voice such a claim, because, Saad will experience the clutch of the grave. Thereafter companions inquired about the clutch of grave from Saad. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied: It was because Saad used to behave badly with his relatives.
In conclusion, if someone lives the life correctly and pays attention to the rights of others and of his relatives and gives respect to his family members, he will live a good and safe life and it will rightly be said that the family environment is indeed a sweet and restful place. But if Divine limits have been crossed and human rights have been trampled under feet, that is a life which is troublesome, tiring and sorrowful and it can be called a hell on earth.
Grave responsibility of women
Ladies must understand that taking good care of husband is not an easy job, which every woman can fulfil nicely. Rather it requires special knowledge of working, taste and discipline. A woman who desires to take care of husband must earn his pleasure. She should have good morals and nice attitude. She should try to make him a kind, lovable and respectful husband so that he may prove to be the best guardian for his family, the best father for his children and a kind tutor. Almighty Allah has given extraordinary power to a woman. The welfare and happiness of the family is in her hands.
The woman can make her house a heaven on earth. She can also turn it into a hellfire. Similarly she can help her husband reach the heights of progress. She can also make his future dark.
The issue of taking care of husband is so precious and important that it has been considered a Jihad Holy war of the woman. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: The jihad of a woman is taking nice care of her husband.
It is also recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that: The best women among you are those who have love and affection.
We should also remember that it is not enough to have love and affection only in the heart. It should be visible so that family life remains warm. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: When anyone of you loves your brother or associate or friends make it know to him.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Very far from the mercy of God is a woman who troubles her husband and makes him sorrowful. Every lady who respects her husband and does not give trouble to him and obeys him is fortunate and successful.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also said: Every woman who goes to bed when her husband is displeased with her that is she has not respected his right, her prayer remains unaccepted until she pleases him.
In the end, both the wife and the husband should know that if there behaviour is not correct and Islamic, usually, their children become corrupt and mischievous. In a way, those fellows who are doing bad deeds in society are those who were brought up in an atmosphere of a quarrelsome family life.
How may are the boys and girls who became helpless and whose family life is very disturbed and who have turned their world into a hell…
At the end of this discussion let all of us try our best to observe our Islamic and human rights.
Rights and collusion between government and the people
In this regard Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) has said: O people! I have rights over you and you also have rights over me. Verily your right over me is that I must not lag behind in wishing well for you and to spend your Baitul Maal public treasury for you and to educate you so that you may be freed from ignorance and unawareness and to train you to make you learned.
And surely my right over you is that you must remain loyal to your allegiance Bait to me and not ignore well-wishing for me both openly and secretly, to respond to my call whenever I call you and to obey me when I order you.
It is written in Ali’s (a.s.) letter to the chiefs of staff:
Islamic brotherhood: The basis and foundation of human unity
Most of the sociologists say: man is a social existence and in the structure of his existence and creation he has strong inclinations toward a collective life. Now let us see under the shade of which elements such collectiveness becomes a reality.
Today a group of sociologists are of the opinion that the factors called race, common history, common land or soil and blood are the elements that make up nationhood or a unity of communities. It is the gathering that is made up of the above-mentioned elements which in the science of rights, is called a nation.
But Islam has not recognised anyone of the above-mentioned factors the basis of human unity. Rather it has decided that unity of thought and belief is the foundation of nationhood. Islam has said that the individuals who have unity of thought and opinion in the matter of belief and thinking are brothers of one another. The Holy Quran says: The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of your duty to Allah that mercy may be had on you.
After the relation of father and son, the nearest relation and affiliation between two human beings living at a time is the relation of brotherhood. Islam has made this unbreakable tie a must for the Islamic society and, for the first time in human history, brought into existence such a great human society wherein a milliard human beings are brothers of one another in Faith.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: A believing Mo-min is the brother of another Mo-min, they are like limbs of the same body, when one part is pained another part also feels that pain and the spirit of both of them is from the Spirit of God and, in fact, the connection between the spirit of a believer and God is stronger than the connection of a ray with the sun.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: Faithful people are, from the viewpoint of love and affection, like a single body. When one organ of the body gets a pain all other organs of the body express their pain through signs like fear, sleeplessness and grief, and rush to the help of the part in trouble.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave a sermon in Mina wherein he asserted: The value of the blood of Muslims is equal for all. The shelter given to anyone even by the smallest of them has to be respected by all of them and in front of aliens they are united and the possessors of one power.
And it is also recorded from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): The Faithful persons, in relation with one-another, are like one building the parts of which strengthen and protect one-another.
It is also on record: The Faithful are like one soul.
One of the precious signs of the Islamic brotherhood is unity and coherence. In this connection Islam has insisted very much through a number Quranic verses;
And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favour of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren…
About the circumstances leading to the revelation of this Ayat, the commentators write: One day two persons belonging to the tribes of Aus and Khazraj respectively named Thalaba bin Ganam and As ad bin Azraarah clashed with one another and both of them began to announce the great deeds which their tribes had done after embracing Islam. Thalaba said: Khuzaimah bin Thabit, the Zus shaadatain having two witnesses in his favour and Hanzalah (the one who was bathed by angels) who are an honour for Islam were from us. Likewise Aasim bin Thabit and Sa ad bin Muaaz also belonged to our tribe. In reply Asad bin Zurarah who belonged to the Khazraj tribe said: Four persons from our Qabeelah have served Islam in a great way through the teaching of Quran: Ubayy bin Ka’b, Muaaz bin Jabal, Zaid bin Thabit and Abu Zaid. Moreover, Saad bin Ubadah, the chief arbitrator of Madinah is from us. Matters worsened by and by, both the tribes got alerted and taking arms in hands stood against one another. It was feared that the fire of war would once again spread and their land painted with blood. The news reached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who at once came to the venue and ended this dangerous trouble in his extraordinary way of advice. He made peace and clear heartedness between them. The above verses were revealed at that time and, in the form of a common commandment, gave effective invitation to unity to all the Muslims.
And know that this is My path, the right one therefore follow it, and follow not other ways, for they will lead you away from His way; this He has enjoined you with that you may guard against evil.
And united their hearts; had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah united them; surely He is Mighty, Wise.
The above verse refers to the confrontation between Aus and Khazraj tribes who had fought for ten years continuously.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said: The group that gathered round an evil individual and the person who desires to create disunity should be killed.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) said in a sermon: And always be with the biggest group the majority supporting the truth as the Hand of God is on the big group. Refrain from disunity because a single man is a partner of the devil just as a lonely sheep is the morsel of the wolf. Beware: anyone who calls you to this slogan meaning the slogan of separatist Kharijis. Kill him even if he wear my turban.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: The one who gets separated from the group of Muslims even an inch has cut off the relation of Islam from his self.
It is similarly recorded: One who gets away from the group of Muslims and breaks off his covenant with the Imam leader will meet his Lord on the Day of Judgement in a condition wherein he will have no justification to produce.
Now that you have seen some of the verses and traditions about the benefit of unity and the harms of disunity we should know that this our great Islamic Revolution which we achieved with the help of the Lord of the worlds was one of the most important results of the unity formed under the great leadership of Imam Khomeini, the Naib of the Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Now that the great revolution has succeeded by the Grace of God its sustenance and continuance is also dependent on unity.
Question: What is the meaning of unity?
Answer: Unity does not mean that everyone gives up his belief or the Madrassa performs the job of a university or the university attends only to the job of the Hauza-e-Ilmiyah. Rather the meaning of unity is that despite difference of belief, there is no tug of war or quarrel. The Holy Quran says: And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient.
In the matter of unity between Sunnis and Shias the late Ayatollah Burujardi and the late Sheikh Shaltoot, the chancellor of Al-Azhar university of Egypt had played a big role just as the martyr Ayatollah Mutahhari and the martyr Dr. Shariati has played a big role in the unity of Madrassa and university.
It is essential for Muslims to guard against the evil designs of big powers especially of the big Shaitan and his servants so that they may be able to defeat their conspiracies and render the slogan of the dishonest Englishmen Divide and rule fruitless.
Another example of the result of Islamic unity
One of the biggest manifestations of the radiance of this brotherhood is that a brother never encroaches upon the life and property and honour of his brother.
This point is reflected in one of the most precious assertions made by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in the big audience in Mina. Addressing his companions he said: Today is the day which is very precious in the sight of Allah and this land the land of Mina is also likewise very valuable and so also this month Zilhajj through which we are passing now. Yes, O people! The life and property and honour of you is respectable for you one another just as this day and land and month are respectable.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) repeated this phrase for three times then, facing the sky he said: O Allah! Be witness that I have completed the conveyance of message fully for the fortification of brotherhood.
Eventually we must remember that whenever the Muslims feel that in the Islamic society or between two Muslim individuals there is any dispute they must rise up for its solution on the basis of justice. Otherwise a peace that is made by encroaching the rights of either of the parties is not only temporary but it also results in a feeling of dislike for Islam.
A peace or treaty based on justice and fair play is one of the moral deeds and/or one of the social orders of Islam. But if an agreement based on reality, a treaty wherein the interests of the two quarrelling parties are ensured in a correct manner, an agreement which is overseen by a group of faithful and God-fearing people is disturbed by one of the parties by overstepping the limits of justice, then it becomes incumbent for the Islamic society to oppose and condemn and fight such erring party until it submits to the commandment of Allah.
In this regard the Holy Quran says: And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them acts wrongfully towards the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah’s command; then if it returns, make peace between them with justice and act equitably; surely Allah loves those who act equitably.
And it is recorded from Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had repeatedly asserted: A nation which does not take back the usurped rights of the weak frankly and clearly from the oppressors will never see success.
Amirul Mo-mineen (a.s.) thus explains the reason of accepting the caliphate after a deprivation for twenty-five years: Beware! By God! Who tore the seed and Who created man, know that had the people not gathered around me so numerously and had they not got up in my favour and had the argument not been completed and had not God obtained a covenant and responsibility from the wise and the knowledgeable in every society that they should not remain meek spectators in from of the overeating of the oppressors and the hunger of the oppressed, I would have given up the reign of caliphate and would have overlooked it and I would have saturated them with the glass of its beginning and then you would have understood fully that your world with all its decoration has, in my eyes, less value than the water coming out of the nose of a sheep.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says: The one who continues to oppress and the one who assists him and/or who is pleased with his ways stand all in one line.
Peace and tranquillity is described as one of the most precious Islamic values which, despite the above-mentioned conditions, is considered a great Islamic duty. It makes no difference whether the parties are Muslim or are two big states. In any case it is the duty of every Muslim individual to do his best of the establishment of peace and tranquillity.
Here it must be remembered that the peace proclaimed by the dishonest Saddam is no peace as he intends to renew his strength under pretext of peace and to restart invading our defenceless cities and to turn them into ruins. Otherwise the government of the Islamic state of Iran is ver-ready to made peace with justice and honour on the conditions mentioned above.
With regard to establishing peace between two warring parties Amirul Mo-mineen Ali (a.s.) says: From the will of Ali (a.s.) to his sons Hasan and Husain (a.s.) after being hit fatally by the cursed Ibne Muljim: I advise you and all my sons in my family and to all those who this will reaches to be pious and to fear Allah. I recommend organising of your affairs and making peace among yourselves because I have heard your grandfather Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) saying: Making peace between Muslims is higher than prayer and fasting.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says to Mufaddal: When you see scuffle between our friends, use my money to make peace between them.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also said: A peacemaker is not a liar even if he for making peace between two parties speaks against the facts.
Islam and racial supremacy
That all men are equal and that all kinds of discrimination based on race or class or family are wrong and the principle that the sons of Adam, from the viewpoint of rights, are equal and that no one is superior to another due to his belonging to a particular skin colour or because of difference in language or hand is one the most important principles for collective or social affairs mentioned in the Holy Quran. There are many verses on this subject. Islam has thus cancelled, with red ink, all kinds of superiority-seeking on the basis of things like: race-worship, pride of language or skin colour and has thus ended the most complicated collective problems of today’s world which even the most advanced industrial centre America has not been able to solve.
The Holy Quran discusses this problem in simple and easy language and logic and condemns the superiority complexes based on race, colour and language by pointing to the birth of man of one father and mother.
O you men! Surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful of his duty; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
O people! Be careful of your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same kind and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another your rights, and to the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.
And about the creation of Adam (a.s.) the Holy Quran says: He it is Who created you from clay, then He decreed a term; and there is a term named with Him; still you doubt.
And He it is Who has brought you into being from a single soul, then there is for you a resting-place and a depository; indeed We have made plain the communications for a people who understand.
It is recorded that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said on the day of victory: O people! God had, in the light of Islam, removed the distinctions of the days of ignorance and the boastings based on race from the society. All of you are born of Adam and he too was created from earth. The best man is he who refrains from sin and disobedience.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: O people! Being an Arab is not the basis of your personality or a part of yourselves but it is merely a vain talk and anyone who lacks in doing his duty does not get any uplift from the glorification of his forefathers. It does not compensate his short comings.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: All people, right from Adam to this day, are equal like the teeth of a comb. There is no superiority for an Arab over an non-Arab, nor for a red skinned over a black-skinned. The basis of superiority is piety and fear of Allah.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave a sermon during the days of Tashreeq and said therein: O people! Beware, verily your Lord is One, remember that your father is one, be conscious that there is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for a red over a black nor for a black over a red except because of piety. Truly the most precious among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most pious. Have I conveyed this message to you? They said: Yes, O Prophet of Allah! Then he said: Those who are present here should inform those who are absent, about this.
And, practically in action also, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) removed all the imaginary and superstitious distinctions and for the same reason, gave Sabaaah daughter of Zubair bin Abdul Muttalib in marriage to Miqdad. Zubair was an uncle of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and likewise, arranged the matrimony of Zalfaa with Juwaibar.
As a resume, we must note that, in Islam, greatness is only with references to spiritual virtues that the Holy Quran has mentioned and admonished at four occasions:
1 and 2- Regarding Faith and Knowledge: Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge.
Concerning jihad: And Allah shall grant to the strivers above the holders back a mighty reward.
Surely the most honourable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful of his duty; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
By the way, Islam has not only disregarded the imaginary and material superiorities but has explicitly rejected them.