26- THE RIGHT OF MASTER ON THE FREED SLAVE
Then the right of your master who has favored you1 is that
you should know that he has spent his property for you and has brought you out
of the abasement of slavery and its desolation, and has brought you into the
honor of freedom and its sociability. And he has freed you from the captivity of
his own possession and has released the bonds of his slavery from you. And he
has led you to smell the scent of honor, and has brought you out of the prison
of subjugation, and has repelled hardship from you, and has extended to you the
tongue of fairness, and has liberated you to freely move about in the whole
world, and has given you ownership of yourself, and has freed you from
captivity, and has given you the freedom to worship your Lord. And for this he
has suffered a decrease in his fortune. Then you should know that he is the
closest creature to you after your relations of kin, in your life and after your
death, and that he is the most meritorious creature to receive your assistance
and support, and your help for God's sake. Therefore do not prefer yourself to
him regarding any of his needs.
27- THE RIGHT OF THE FREED SLAVE ON HIS MASTER
And the right of the slave whom you have favored2 is that
you should know that God has established you as his supporter, and shelter and
assistant, and refuge, and He has established him for you as the means and as a
mediator between you and Him. Then by freeing him, he will protect you from the
Fire3. And this is the reward you get from him in the future. And
your immediate reward is to inherit from him if he does not have any relations
of kin. There is a compensation for the property you have spent for him, and
respecting his rights after you spent your property. Then if you do not respect
his rights, there is the fear upon you that his inheritance would not be
purified for you. And there is no power but in God.
28- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHO TREATS YOU KINDLY
And the right of him who treats you kindly is that you should thank
him and acknowledge his kindness; and spread the good word around about him, and
sincerely pray for him between you and God the Praised One. Then if you do that,
you have thanked him both in private and in public. Then if you are able to
practically recompense him, Do recompense him. Otherwise you should be
determined to do so later.
29- THE RIGHT OF THE CALLER TO PRAYER
And the right of your caller to prayer is that you should know that
he is4 the one reminding you of your Lord, and is calling you to your
good fortune, and is your greatest helper in fulfilling an obligation that God
has made incumbent upon you. Therefore thank him for that just as you thank one
who does some good to you. And if you are upset with him at home due to this,
you should not accuse him for this since his act is for God. And you should know
that he is one of the Blessings of God to you. There is no doubt about it. Then
you should kindly treat God's Blessing, by praising God for him under all
circumstances. And there is no power but in God.
30- THE RIGHT OF THE RITUAL PRAYER LEADER
And the right of your leader in your ritual prayer is that you should
know that he has taken on the role of a mediator between you and God and
appeared in the presence of your Lord on your behalf. And he speaks for you, but
you do not speak for him; and he supplicates for you, but you do not supplicate
for him; and he has beseeched for you and you do not beseech for him. And he has
spared you the anxiety of standing before God and the question of interrogation
for your prayer, but you do not spare him that. Should he perform the prayer
imperfectly, he is held responsible for that not you; and if he makes a mistake
during the prayer, you will not be his partner in it, and there is no
superiority in this for him over you. Then he protected you through himself, And
he protected your prayer through his prayer. Therefore thank him for this. And
there is no power nor any strength but in God.
31- THE RIGHT OF YOUR SITTING COMPANION
And the right of your sitting companion is that you should treat him
gently, and warmly welcome him, and be fair while talking with him, and do not
take your eyes off of him when you are looking at him, and pronounce your words
clearly to help him understand what you say. And if you are the first one to go
and sit with him, you can leave him when you wish. However, if he is the first
one to come and sit with you, he can leave you when he wishes to. And you should
not leave him without his permission.5 And there is no power but in
32- THE RIGHT OF THE NEIGHBOR
And the right of your neighbor is that you should be as a guardian
for him when he is absent, and you should honor him when he is present, and you
should assist and support him in both situations. You should not pursue any of
his imperfections, and you should not seek any of his faults. But if you should
discover any of his faults unintentionally, you should take the role of
-regarding what you know- a fortified stronghold and a veiling screen.6
You should guard them in such a way that none of his defects can be discovered
even if they are thoroughly inspected through spears. And you should not
eavesdrop on him, and you should not forsake him during times of hardship. And
you should not envy him when he receives a blessing.
Pardon his deviation and forgive his mistakes. And do not lose your temper when
he behaves out of ignorance with you. And do not stop to be his supporter, and
answer those who scold him. And divulge for him the deception of those who
counsel him, and associate with him in an honorable manner. And there is no
power nor any strength but in God.
33- THE RIGHT OF THE COMPANION
And the right of the companion is that you should act as his
companion with nobility as much as you can. You should at least treat him with
fairness and honor him as he honors you, and guard him as he guards you, and do
not let him be the first one to deal with the other one with honor. And if he
does so, you should do something for him in return. And you should not neglect
the friendship that he deserves in the least bit. You should commit yourself to
advise him, care for him, and help him perform the acts of obedience to his
Lord, and help him restrain himself from any act of disobedience of his Lord
that he might attempt. Then be like a mercy upon him, and not as a chastisement.
And there is no power but in God.
34- THE RIGHT OF THE PARTNER
And the right of the partner is that you should take care of his affairs in his
absence. And you should treat him equally when he is present. And you should not
make any decisions on your own without considering his opinion. And you should
not act according to your own opinion before discussing it with him. You should
safeguard his property, and advise him against cheating whether there is honor
or disdain in it, since it has been transmitted to us: "God's hand is with
partners as long as they do not cheat." And there is no power but in God.
35- THE RIGHT OF PROPERTY
And the right of your property is that you should not attain it
except by legitimate means and you should only spend it for legitimate causes.
You should not spend it improperly, you should not use it wrongfully, and you
should not use what is from God in ways other than in His way and make it as a
means to approach God. And you should not prefer to use it for one who does not
show gratitude instead of using it for yourself. It is better that you do not
leave it for others as inheritance who might use it not to obey your Lord, and
then your wealth may be considered to be as an assistance for them in so doing.
Or you may bequeath your property to one who spends it in the way of obedience
to God in ways better than you do. Then he will gain the benefits, and you will
be left with the sins, and the regret, and blame yourself for the ill
consequence. And there is no power but in God.
36- THE RIGHT OF THE CREDITOR
And the right of him to whom you owe7 is that you should
pay him back if you have the means to do so. You should meet his need, make him
rich, and avoid putting him off and procrastinating. The Prophet, may God's
peace be upon him and his household, said: "Procrastination is oppression for
the rich." But if you are in hardship you should satisfy him by using good
words. You should gently ask him8 and send him away with gentleness.
You should not take his property and mistreat him too. That will surely be mean.
And there is no power but in God.
37- THE RIGHT OF THE ASSOCIATE
And the right of the associate is that you should not mislead, or
cheat him, lie to him or fool him, and you should not trick him. And you should
not treat him as an enemy does -who alienates all his friends. If he trusts you,
you should be very careful of yourself for his sake, and realize that cheating
the intimate ones is like usury. And there is no power but in God.
38- THE RIGHT OF THE ADVERSARY
THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMING ADVERSARY
And the right of the adversary who has a claim against you is that if
his claim against you is true9, you should not nullify his proof and
not abolish his claim. And you should dispute against yourself on his behalf and
be a fair judge against yourself, and give witness to his right against you
without the witnessing of any witnesses. This is the right of God that is made
incumbent upon you. But if what he claims against you is false, treat him with
patience and remind him to fear God, and implore him to his religion. And by
reminding him of God you should help reduce his fury against you. Avoid using
indecent words and yelling at him since this will not eliminate the animosity of
your enemy but it will result in your suffering from the sin he commits against
you. And it will also result in his sharpening of the sword of animosity towards
you, since indecent words will cause evil but good words will eradicate evil.
And there is no power but in God.
THE RIGHT OF THE CLAIMED ADVERSARY
And the right of the adversary against whom you have a claim is that if your
claim against him is true10, you should use pleasant words while you
are filing your claim, since hearing the claim is harsh for the defendant. And
you should provide your evidence with lenience, and respite, and with the
clearest statements, and with absolute gentleness. And you should not dispute
with him over gossip lest your proofs will be voided and you will lose the
opportunity to prove them. And there is no power but in God.
39- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHO SEEKS YOUR ADVICE
And the right of him who seeks your advice is that you should exert
all efforts to advise him if you can provide him with a good opinion, and
suggest to him to choose what you would have chosen if you were in his shoes.
You should do so with mercy and with lenience since lenience will eliminate fear
while rudeness will eliminate friendliness. But if you do not have any good
advice for him, you should refer him to someone else whom you know and trust his
advice yourself. You should spare no efforts to guide him towards the good and
do your best to advise him. And there is no power but in God.
40- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHOSE ADVICE YOU SEEK
And the right of him whose advice you seek is that you should not
accuse him when he gives you advice which does not conform to your own opinion.
It is quite natural that opinions are divergent and people have various views
about their affairs in which they disagree. You are free not to accept his
advice if you doubt it. However, you are not permitted to accuse him of
providing you with ill advice as long as you consider him to be of those worthy
of consultation. Do not stop thanking him for the thoughts and the good advice
he has given you. And if it11 was appropriate for you, you should
thank God for it, accept it from your religious brother with gratitude, and be
ready to act similarly for him should one day he seek your advice. And there is
no power but in God.
41- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHO SEEKS YOUR COUNSEL
And the right of him who seeks your counsel is that you should give
him your counsel as much as you think he can bear. And you should talk with him
with such gentle words that he listens to you and you should use such words that
his intellect can understand. This is because for each person's intellect there
is a certain way of talking, which he can comprehend and respond to. You should
choose having mercy as your course of action. And there is no power but in God.
42- THE RIGHT OF THE COUNSELOR
And the right of your counselor is that you should treat him gently, then you
should be whole-heartedly attentive to him, and open you ears for him so that
you understand his counsel. And then study it deeply and if what he presents to
you is right, you should praise God for it, and accept it from him and
acknowledge his favor. But if what he presents to you does not agree with you,
you should be kind to him and make no accusations against him; and you should
know that he spared no efforts to provide you with the best advice, but he made
a mistake. Unless he deserves to be accused in which case you should not trust
him under any circumstances. And there is no power but in God.
43- THE RIGHT OF THE OLDER ONE
And the right of him who is older than you are is that you should
respect him because of his age, and honor his submission to God12 if
he is one of the noble ones in Islam. You should recognize his seniority and
stop confronting him in disputes and should not surpass him or walk ahead of
him, and you should not treat him foolishly. If he should treat you foolishly,
you should put up with him and honor him to respect his being an older Muslim.
This is because the respect for one's age is according to how long he has been a
Muslim. And there is no power but in God.
44- THE RIGHT OF THE YOUNGER ONE
And the right of him who is younger than you are is to be friendly with
him, train and educate him, pardon him, and cover up his faults, be patient with
him and help him, cover up the guilts of his juvenility because this will make
him repent; treat him with patience, and stop quarrelling with him. This will
lead him to more sensible conduct.
45- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHO BEGS FROM YOU
And the right of him who begs from you13 is that you should give him
charity if you are certain that he is honest and you are able to fulfill his
need. You should also pray to God to relieve him from what has befallen upon
him, and help fulfill his needs. But if you doubt his honesty and he has already
been accused of (dishonesty), but you are not convinced about this, you will not
be sure whether this is one of the plots of Satan who is trying to deprive you
from your fortune and cause a blockage between you and your approach to your
Lord. Then you should leave him and overlook14 and should turn him
down gently. But if you can overcome yourself in this respect and grant him what
he has asked for despite what is presented to you regarding him, then this is
due to your resolution in the conduct of affairs.
46- THE RIGHT OF HIM FROM WHOM YOU BEG
And the right of him from whom you beg15 is that you
should accept from him whatever he grants you with gratitude and acknowledges
his nobility. And you should accept his excuse if he withholds and think well of
him. And you should realize that if he withholds, he is withholding his own
property, and that he could not be blamed for withholding his own property. If
he is doing wrong, "then man is certainly wrong-doing and unbelieving."
47- THE RIGHT OF HIM THROUGH WHOM GOD MAKES YOU HAPPY
And the right of him through whom God makes you happy is that16
if he intentionally made you happy, you should first praise God and then you
should thank him accordingly, and reward him for initiating a nobility and be
determined to return his favor. But if he made you happy unintentionally, you
should praise God, thank Him, and realize that He chose you exclusively for
that, and you liked it. He has been one of the means of God's Blessings
descending upon you. You should only wish him well since the means of desension
of Blessings are themselves Blessings wherever they be, even if unintentionally.
And there is no power but in God.
48- THE RIGHT OF HIM WHO WRONGS YOU
And the right of him who wrongs you17 whether verbally or physically
is that it is more appropriate for you to pardon him if it was done
intentionally. This would eliminate bad feelings and is the polite way to treat
most such people. Indeed God says: "But indeed if any do help and defend
themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no blame. The
blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently
transgress beyond bounds throughout the land, defying right and justice: for
such there will be a Penalty grievous. But indeed if any show patience and
forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in
the conduct of affairs."18
The Almighty the High also says: "And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no
worse than they catch you out. But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best
(course) for those who are patient."19 This is so if it was
intentional. But if he who wrongs you has done it unintentionally, then you
should not oppress him by intentionally insisting on retaliation, lest you would
be punishing him intentionally for what he has done unintentionally. You should
also be friendly with him and treat him as gently as you can. And there is no
power but in God.
49- THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE OF YOUR CREEDD
Their doing good to themselves is considered to be the same as doing good to
you. This is because (by so doing) they have not bothered you and have not put
you to any trouble. Then you should pray for all of them, and back all of them
up with your support. And you should respect each one of them as he deserves:
their old men hold the position of your fathers, and their children hold the
position of your children, and their youths hold the position of your brothers.
You should gently and compassionately care for those of them who come to you.
And you should treat your brethren as brothers deserve to be treated.
50- THE RIGHT OF THOSE UNDER THE PROTECTION OF ISLAMM
AAnd the right of those under the protection of Islam is that you should accept
from them what God has accepted from them, and fulfill what God has established
for them under His protection and covenant, and entrust them to Him in what they
are required to carry out, and are obliged to do. And you should judge among
them with the judgments of God that He commanded for you regarding the
conditions of dealing with them, and do not wrong them as long as they honor
God's covenant and fulfill their pledge. And the pledge of the Prophet, may
God's peace be upon him and his household, is a barrier21 since it is
reported that he22 said: "I am the adversary of whoever oppresses one
who has a treaty." Therefore fear God. And there is no power but in God.
These are the fifty rights that surround you and you cannot evade under any
circumstances. It is incumbent upon you to honor them and exert all efforts to
fulfill them. You should seek God the Majestic's help in this respect. And there
is no power but in God. And all praise is due to God the Lord of the Two Worlds.
* By: IMAM SAJJAD
Ali ibn al-Hussein (May God Bless Him). Research and Translation by: Dr. Ali
Peiravi Ms. Lisa Zaynab Morgan
1. by freeing you
2. by freeing him
3. In the other version it is followed by: "God has made your freeing him a
means of access to Him and a veil against the Fire. Your immediate reward is to
inherit from him- if he does not have any relatives-as a compensation for the
property you have spent for him, and your ultimate reward is the Garden."
4. of Hell
5. In the other version it continues: "reminding you of your Lord, calling you
to your good fortune, and helping you to accomplish what God has made obligatory
upon you. So thank him for that just as you thank one who does good to you."
6. In the other version it is followed by:" You should forget his slips and
remember his good qualities, and you should tell nothing about him but good."
7. in guarding these secrets
8. In the other version it continues: "a debt is that, if you have the means,
you pay him back, and if you are in straitened circumstances, you satisfy him
with good words and you send him away with gentleness."
9. for more time
10. In the other version it continues: "you give witness to it against yourself.
You do not wrong him and you give him his full due. If what he claims against
you is false, you act with kindness toward him and you show nothing in his
affair other than kindness; you do not displease your Lord in his affair. And
there is no strength save in God."
11. In the other version it continues: "you maintain polite moderation in
speaking to him and you do not deny him his right. If your claim is false, you
fear God, repent to Him, and abandon your claim."
12. his advice
14. In the other version it continues: "is that you give to him in the measure
of his need."
15. his dishonesty
53. In the other version it continues: "is that you accept from him with
gratitude and recognition of his bounty if he gives, and you accept his excuse
if he withholds."
16. In the other version it continues: "you first praise God, then you thank
17. In the other version it continues: "is that you pardon him. But if you know
that your pardon will harm him, you should defend yourself. God says:
"Whosoever defends himself after he has been wronged- against them there is no
way." [The Holy Quran, Shura 42:41]
18. The Holy Quran, Shura 42:41-43 A. Yusuf Ali's translation
19. The Holy Quran, Nahl 16:126 A. Yusuf Ali's translation
20. In the other version it continues: "And keeping harm away from them. You
should love for them what you love for yourself and dislike for them what you
dislike for yourself. Their old men stand in the place of your father, their
youth in the place of your brothers, their old women in the place of your
mother, and their young ones in the place of your children."
21. protecting them
22. The Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and his household)