Rights In Islam
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi
Rights of Husband
Allah TaAla has given great rights to the husband and has attached a lot of virtue to him. Pleasing the husband and keeping him happy is a great act of ‘ibadah and displeasing him or keeping him unhappy is a major sin.
One of the rights of the husband is that the wife should not keep any optional fasts nor offer any optional salat in his presence without his permission. Among the rights of the husband is that she should not remain in an untidy, dishevelled state. Instead, she should always remain clean and beautiful for her husband. In fact, if she remains untidy and dishevelled despite her husband ordering her to remain clean, he has the right of beating her (lightly) in order that she may obey him. Another right of the husband is that she should not leave the house without his permission irrespective of whether it be the house of a friend, relative or anyone else.
The Rights of Parents
Meet her with respect. If she is in need of money and you are able to help her, then help her.
Since she is an associate of your father, and we have been commanded to be kind and friendly to our parents' associates, the step-mother, therefore, also has certain rights over you as mentioned previously.
The elder brother
In the light of the Hadith, the elder brother is similar to one's father. From this we can deduce that the younger brother is similar to one's children. Based on this, they will have rights similar to those of parents and children. The elder sister and the younger sister should also be treated in the same manner.
If any of your blood relatives is in need and is unable to earn, help him out with his expenses according to your financial position. Go and meet them occasionally. Do not cut-off relations with them. In fact, even if they cause you harm, it will be best for you to exercise patience.
In the Quran, Allah Ta'ala has mentioned the in-laws together with one's lineage. We learn from this that the father-in-law, mother-in-law, wife's brother, sister's husband, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, the previous children of the wife, the previous children of the husband - all of these have certain rights. Therefore, you have to be more considerate to them as opposed to others.
The Rights of Muslims
Rights of the Neighbour
Rights of the Traveling Companion
Rights of the Weak and Old
Those people who are in need, such as orphans, widows, the weak, the poor, the sick, the cripple, travellers, beggars, etc. have additional rights. They are:
Rights of Human beings
Rights of Animals
If there is any shortcoming in fulfilling the rights of a person, fulfil that which can be fulfilled or else, ask for forgiveness. For example, you are still owing someone some money or you cheated someone, etc. (In such a case you should try and pay the debt, but if you cannot do so, then seek forgiveness from the person). As for the right which can only be forgiven, seek forgiveness for it, e.g. you spoke ill of a person or beat him (In such a case, it is obvious that you cannot pay him anything. Instead, you will have to seek his forgiveness).
If, due to some reason, you cannot fulfil their rights nor can you seek their forgiveness, then you should continue making dua for these people. It is possible that on the day of judgement Allah Ta'ala will try and influence them to forgive you. However, later if you are in a position to fulfil their rights or seek their forgiveness, then do not hesitate in doing so.
As for the rights that are due to you and there is a hope of their being fulfilled, then be lenient when asking for them. As for those where there is no hope of their being fulfilled or, they are such that they cannot be fulfilled, such as ghibah, then although there is the hope of your receiving rewards in return for them on the day of judgement, however, more reward has been mentioned with regard to forgiving them in this world. It will be much better if you forgive them completely or absolve them completely. This is especially when the person earnestly seeks forgiveness from you.
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