The Mutual Rights of the People and the Ruler

In a civilized society, the government and the people should do their duty, because only in this way that everyone will get their rights. In this regard, the sacred religion of Islam takes into consideration concerning the mutual Rights of the People and the Ruler. Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims) has said: “O people! I have rights incumbent upon you, and you have rights incumbent upon me.” (Nahjul Balaghah, sermon no.34)

First, Imam has mentioned the rights of people incumbent upon ruler: “Your rights incumbent upon me include my advising you, paying your dues fully, educating you so that you do not remain ignorant, and training you until you learn.” (Ibid)

As you see the economic and educational needs of the society should be attend by a ruler, because the poor and ignorant society cannot be successful. Poverty and ignorance are the enemies of human perfection.

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On the other hand, there are the rights of ruler upon people. And since the ruler, without the support of the people, cannot manage the society well, these rights should be respected.

Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) continues: “And my rights [as a ruler] incumbent upon you include your remaining loyal to your pledge of allegiance to me, sincerely advising both in public and private,  responding when I call you, and obedience when I command you.” (Ibid)

As a result, according to Islam, without the cooperation of the people with the ruler the community will not be happy.