Saturday, July 17, 2010

Islam Respects the Rights of Others

Islam Respects the Rights of Others
--Human rights and justice are universal principles understood around the world because human rights are innate gifts from God. Whether human beings actually respect these rights of others is another issue.
Islam is a religion that takes the rights of others seriously; it is one of the three rights that exist according to the Islamic philosophy.
In Islam, the three rights are the rights of an individual, the rights of society, and the rights of God.
Among these, the rights of the society or others are paramount. Though God is supreme and Almighty, the Creator is also forgiving. So if the rights of God are neglected, God is compassionate, merciful and quick to forgive.
But if the rights of others are usurped or abused then there is a serious reckoning because God does not forgive the oppressor unless the oppressed forgives him.
Whether it is property, life or honor, among many other things, a person is ordered not to infringe upon the rights of others. Ali [AS], the successor of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], realized the gravity of doing so. He said, ''By God, if all the seven continents with all that they contain are offered to me so that I may take away unjustly the husk of barley from an ant carried by it, I will never do it.''
Even his dealings as the leader of the people were just. In one incident, some supplies were brought before Imam Ali to disperse to the people, who had come to take their share.
So that discipline was maintained, he kept the people at a distance by means of ropes and then he distributed all of it to the representatives of the various tribes himself. Afterward, he found one loaf that was left in a container. He then ordered it to be divided into seven equal parts and like the other property, gave one piece to each of the tribes.
Islam is an ideology that does not teach nor tolerate the trampling of one's rights by another. Serious consequences await the wrongdoer.
Imam Ali [AS] had always commanded his deputies and representatives to rule fairly.
''Treat the people with respect. Be kind and considerate with them. Meet them cheerfully. Be fair, just and impartial in your dealings so that even the influential persons may not dare take undue advantage of your leniency and the commoners and the poor people may not be disappointed in your justice and fair dealings.''
By: Fatima Kermalli (member of and Sunday School teacher at Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Pennsylvania, Allentown)
Source: The Morning Call 

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