Rule Can Never Last With Oppression

One of the main things for a good ruler is justice. It can be said that no issue in Islam is as important as the issue of justice. The justice is one of the major principles of religion, and also is one of the firm ideological foundations of the Muslims. “God commands justice, the doing of good…” (The Holy Qur’an, 16:90)

It is not surprising to realize that justice has been recognized as a factor of sustaining a rule. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him And His Progeny) said: “Rule can be sustained with unbelief, but it can never last with oppression.” (Al-Amali, p.310)

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A just ruler must act similar to a kind father, must not violate people’s rights and must treat everyone under his rule equally.
This was put into practice during the rule of Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims) and the Imam made the following recommendations to Malik al-Ashtar in his well-known letter to him: “Let your heart harbor feelings of mercy for your subjects, and love and kindness for them. Do not be like a rapacious beast of prey against them, seizing them in order to devour them, for people are in two groups: either they are your brothers in religion or they are equal to you in creation.” (Nahjul balagha, letter no.53)

However, Islam has invited all men to justice especially rulers.

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The Rights of People upon the Ruler

It is necessary to be a ruler in each society in order to run the affairs. Because a peaceful and strong society is the one in which there is a strong rule upon which security and order are established. This goal is achieved only in the presence of a mighty ruler.

On the other hand, there are people. The sacred religion of Islam stresses on the right of people and states that the ruler should be fair to the people due to the power that he/she has.

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So what are the rights of people upon the ruler? Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) has said:

“Then the right of your subjects through authority is that you should know that you have authority over them due to your power over them, and that they have been made your subjects through their weakness and humility. What do they deserve whose weakness and humility have made them your subjects, and made your authority over them effective? They cannot disobey you by their own might and power. They cannot find a supporter against your power except God, His Mercy and Protection and patience. How proper it is for you to recognize that God has granted you this increased might and power with which you have subdued others. You should be thankful to God. And God will increase His Graces to those who thank Him. And there is no power but from God.” (The Treatise on Rights, right n.18)

The Rights Of Private Part

Private part is the main limb concerning sexual instinct. This limb of human body is created wisely and each of the men and women has their own.
However, do you know that the private parts, like other limbs, have own rights? Have you ever thought in this regard? The sacred religion of Islam even has some useful advices in this regard.

Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) in his “The Treatise on Rights” has said: “And the right of your private part is that you should protect it from everything that is unlawful for you.” (Right n.9)
What Imam Sajjad (Peace Be upon Him) means by “protecting your private part” is covering it from people’s eyes. In other words, you must protect it from fornication and guard it against being looked upon.

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Nowadays, unfortunately, these things are not respected. Some people let loose their sexual instinct absolutely free and they do not care for anything but fun. This extremist theory causes many problems for human society.  The increase of Adultery, Abortion and Divorce Statistics, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, loss of trust between family members, are some of these problems.

So, there is no choice but to return to the Divine teachings. We must believe God who created us, Knows what is best for us.

The Right of Your Legs

Have you ever thought about your feet? Those two organs that help us to walk and are like two parallel lines. In our country, some people liken each of the legs to number one and say them together eleven and believe that they are the cheapest and most available means of transport.
However, the value and importance of the legs is no secret. So, what is our duty now? What is the proper use of this great blessing? Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) answers this question:

“And the right of your legs is that you walk not with them toward that which is unlawful for you. And you should not direct them in the way that will lead the person they carry to being debased. Your legs will carry you in the direction of the religion and they will help you go ahead. And there is no power but in God.” (The Treatise on Rights, right n.6)

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Be careful! Improper use of the legs has very bad consequences. Because in The Day of Judgment people’s body parts like legs will witness:

“On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions…” [The Holy Qur’an, 24:24]

Some commentators believe that our body parts will certainly carry the effects of what was done by them during our lifetime. The appearance of these effects is like them witnessing. A Persian poet said: “The color of the face witnesses about the secret within.”

However we are responsible for the action of our legs and we will be asked about blessings.

God is Shy of Old People

Old men and women are those who were young one day and have served the community. Some were employees and some workers, and also in other occupations. Most of them were at least one parent and served to their kids. Verily, the items listed are the causes of being respectful to the elderlies.  something that has been sadly neglected these days.
Hence, there is no choice but to return to the teachings of God.

In this regard, there are notable words of Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims):

“[the right of him/her who is older than you is that] should not surpass him/her or walk ahead of him/her, and you should not consider him/her to be foolish. If he behaves foolishly with you, you should put up with it and honor him/her because of the right of his/her Islam and his/her age. This is because the right of age is in the same measure as (the right of) Islam.”

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Some people treat elderly so that as if they will never grow old. If one thinks only of his/her own interests he/she has to respect the elderly because one day they will grow old they they will expect others to respect and support.

Islam teaches us that the elderly need love and affection as it is mentioned in this tradition by Prophet Muhammad:

“Every morning and night, God the Exalted looks upon the face of the old man and says: O My servant! You have become old, your bones have become fragile, your skin has become delicate, your time of death is near, and the time has come for your arrival before Me. Therefore, be ashamed before Me, for I am too ashamed of your white hair to chastise you in the Fire.” (Safinah al-Bihar, v.1, on white hair)

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Exalted Position of Women in Islam

“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.” (Quran 16:58-59)

This verse highlights the plight of women before the advent of Islam. During the period of ignorance properly is known. There is a story that reveals the depth of tragedy. The story in short is:

A man came to Prophet Muhammad and said: When I had not embraced Islam, a daughter was born to me and the culture demanded that I bury the daughter as soon as she was born and I did it while my daughter looked at me in disbelief.

 When he finished his story, looked up and saw the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet’s beard was soaked with tears and he said: “If He had been allowed to punish a person for his crimes before embracing Islam, that man would have been the first one to get punished.”

Such inhuman conditions ended with the advent of Islam because the position of women in Islam changed very much.

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The Islam expressed that girls should be treated more kindly than boys. Consider the following traditions in this regard.

“Your daughters are your best children.” (Makarim al-Akhlaq, pp.219-220)

One who goes to the bazaar to buy a present for his family is like one who has given some charity to needy people. One must put a higher priority on giving gifts to his daughters over his sons… (Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, v.2, p.615)

Such view of Islam has deep meaning that need another opportunity to explain.

The Mother, the Angel of Kindness

The status and value of mother in Islamic culture is very high. Only a quick look at Islamic teachings indicates that the position of mother is commendable and respectable. The first character of the Islamic World, Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pace Be Upon Him and His Progeny) describes this position like this: “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother.” (Kanz al-‘Ummāl/ volume 16/ page 461)

This tradition is interpreted to this sense that if a child has a dream of paradise, his/her mother must be satisfied. So, it is natural the mother has some rights.

“The right of your mother is that you should know that she carried you where no one carries anyone.” (“The Treatise on Rights”/Imam Sajjad)

The period of pregnancy is one of the most difficult times of a mother’s life. And why she should tolerate this difficulty? The answer is clear: Because of our birth, and if the mothers don’t admit to do that, no one will be born.

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“And [the right of your mother is that you should know that] she fed you with the fruit of her heart – that which no one feeds anyone.”

When a baby is born, it has no tooth to chew, so it has to drink liquids and among liquids, breast milk is the best. The period of Breast-Feeding is next difficult time of mother. During the period of breast-feeding, the mother must spend all her days and nights to fulfill all the needs of the baby. The baby cannot talk during this period. He cannot tell where he is feeling pain. His only language is that of crying, and the mother must recognize all he needs through his crying.

OK, this post is finished while we could mention only two rights of mother, briefly.