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Sunday, 08 November 2015 09:28

Imam Sajjad’s dynamic definition of rights

Imam Sajjad’s dynamic definition of rights

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate –

Condolences to our dear readers on a doleful day; on which we are clad in black attire again in remembrance of the person who gave to the world the true concept of humanitarian values through his dynamic definition of all kinds of rights. Here is a special feature on the Survivor of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, who 34 years later was martyred through a fatal dose of poisoning by the usurper Omayyad regime.


“The right of your mother is that you know that she carried you where no one carries anyone, she gave to you of the fruit of her heart that which no one gives to anyone, and she protected you with all her organs. She did not care if she went hungry as long as you ate, if she was thirsty as long as you drank, if she was naked as long as you were clothed, if she was in the sun as long as you were in the shade. She gave up sleep for your sake and she protected you from heat and cold, all in order that you might belong to her. You will not be able to show her gratitude, unless through God's help…

“The right of your father is that you know that he is your root. Without him, you would not be. Whenever you see anything in yourself which pleases you, know that your father is the root of its blessing upon you. So praise God and thank Him in that measure…

“The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct, guiding him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So act toward him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing.”

The passages that you heard on the rights of parents and children were not drafted by any team of so-called experts – who in reality know nothing of any individual or social rights, let alone the rights of progeniture – as is the case with the highly flawed UN Charter of Human Rights that has actually confounded the fate of the modern man by devilishly politicizing the very concept of rights, in the interests of the main violators of the fundamental rights bestowed by God to the human race.

The passages that you heard speak for themselves. These were expressed by the person whose right to life was taken away this day on the 25th of Muharram in the year 95 AH. He was 57 years old when this basic right of his, was cruelly infringed upon as a result of a fatal dose of poison given to him by those who had no right to style themselves as caliphs or political heirs of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). His assassins, the Omayyads had no right to exercise authority over Muslims, since neither the holy Qur’an nor any hadith gives them any such authority. On the contrary, according to interpreters of the holy Qur’an the term shajarat-al-mal’una”or accursed tree, as mentioned in ayah 60 of Surah al-Isra’ refers to the Godless Omayyads. That was the reason these vicious elements had always conspired against the upholders of the rights of humanity, that is, the Prophet of Islam and his noble progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, who are in fact the Shajaratin-Tayyebaor the Blessed Tree, as mentioned in ayah 24 of Surah Ibrahim of the Holy Qur’an. Thus, on this day, the treacherous Waleed ibn Abdul-Malik – one of the notorious violators of the basic rites of Islam who once sent his ritually unclean concubine to lead the Morning Prayer and had vowed to drink wine atop the Holy Ka’ba – had the Survivor of the Tragedy of Karbala martyred in Medina, 34 years after history’s most heartrending event.

Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) needs no introduction. He has been hailed as Ibn al-Khiyaratain or Son of the Two Excellent Ones, which is a reference to his father the Prophet’s grandson Imam Husain (AS), and mother the Iranian Princess Shahrbano (peace upon her). His position as the rightful repository of Prophet Abraham has been aptly described by the poet Farazdaq during the Hajj, when the Omayyad governor, Hesham ibn Abdul-Malik, on seeing the respect the pilgrims accorded to Imam Zain al-Abedin by politely giving way as he neared the holy Ka’ba to kiss the Sacred Black Stone, tried to feign ignorance about him. Farazdaq said in eloquent Arabic verse composed there and then:

"This is he, whose merit the valley of Mecca recognizes and whom the (sacred) house recognizes (as do) the sanctuary and the area outside it (al-hill).

“This is the son of the Best of all Allah's servants; this is the pure pious man, the spotlessly eminent.

“Love to them is faith, while enmity to them is infidelity, and nearness to them is protection and refuge.

“This is Ali ibn al Husain whose (grand)parent is the Prophet

“This is the son of Fatema, if you do not know who he is,

“Whoever knows God, knows His Representative; Religion is from the house of this man."

Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), as the 4th Infallible Heir of the Prophet of Islam, spared no efforts to promote the pristine teachings of Islam, even under the most adverse circumstances. This is evident by his memorable sermon at the young age of 23 years, in the court of Yazid in the immediate aftermath of the Tragedy of Karbala, when despite being a prisoner he made the message of his martyred further echo in Damascus. When asked to ascend the pulpit, he branded it as mere wooden planks, since the pulpit that had lost its sanctity in the court of the drunkard and Godless Yazid. Then as the Muezzin, while reciting the Azan, or the Call to the Ritual Prayer, testified the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad, he boldly asked Yazid, as to whose ancestor the Prophet of Islam was, and how could he kill the Prophet’s grandson and still call himself a Muslim!

The tyrant became speechless and felt ashamed in front of the whole court. Soon he released the Ahl al-Bayt from prison and permitted them to travel to their hometown Medina, where Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) continued to wage his jihad in a unique way for 34 years, bearing with patience the 10-year dictatorial rule over the Hijaz by another self-styled caliph, Abdullah ibn Zubair. The 4th Imam demonstrated the power of prayers and supplications, besides grooming several scholars who shouldered the task of spreading the genuine teachings of Islam to various parts of the world.

The various other aspects of the 4th Imam’s life, including the dynamism of the supplications which were collected in book-form and titled “Sahifat as-Sajjadiyya” – a book that also covers scientific facts, including the weight of light – are outside the scope of this brief radio programme. To continue the discussion of rights, as expounded by Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) in the “Risalat-al-Hoqouq” orTreatise of Rights, which he dictated to a disciple, the 4th Imam not just defines the rights of our own bodily organs upon us, but also teaches us about the rights of opponents. Here is a passage that is worth contemplation upon and teaches us Islamic ethics and magnanimity of the highest order

“The right of the adversary who has a claim against you is that, if what he claims against you is true, 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...

“The right of the adversary against whom you have a claim is that, if your claim against him is true, you maintain polite moderation in speaking to him and you do not deny his right. If your claim is false, you fear God, repent to Him, and abandon your claim.”


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