Among the most important works in the world of Islam is the ‘Treatise on Rights’ by the greatest Imam, Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be on him. In it the Imam has mentioned all the methods necessary for man’s conduct, developing his life, and building his civilization on foundations which lead to tranquility and protection from anxiety, disorder, and the like. The wise Imam carefully and inclusively considered man, studied all the dimensions of his life, his relationships with his Creator, his soul, his family, his society, his government, his teacher, and so on. He wrote for man these rights and duties and made it incumbent on him to conform to them. Hence man is able to establish an Islamic society which believes in social justice and has strong ties such as mutual confidence, love, and other means necessary for social development and progress.
Rights of Mother
“The right of your mother is that you know 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 your with 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 were in the shade. She gave you sleep for your sake, she protected you from heat and cold, all in order that you might belong to her. You are not be able to show her gratitude, unless through Allah’s help and giving success.”
What great mother’s rights are! How numerous her favors toward her child are! It is she who makes her child’s life. Had it for her pity and affection, he would not have lived. She takes care of him with her own soul when he is formed, bears the burdens of pregnancy, and the dangers of giving birth. After giving birth to him, she melts herself for him, spares no effort to safeguard him, passes the night awake for him, continues serving him sincerely, and looks after him with love and affection until he grows up and makes his way in life. When he separates or goes away from her, she feels that life separates from her. Muhammad b. al-Walid composed the following concerning the parents’ feelings toward their child:
The mother becomes exited and perplexed out of love for
him, and the tears flow from his father’s eyes.
They suffer the distresses of death out of his separation
and disclose their hidden yearning for him.
If the child knew the distress his parents face when he
separates from them, he will lament for the mother from
whose womb he is drawn, weep for the old man who
wanders in his horizons, change his disdainful manner
into his affection, and repay them through his agreeable
Rights of Father
“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 Allah and thank him in that measure. And there is no strength save in Allah.”
As for the father’s right against his child, it is very great, for he is his origin. Were it not for the father, the child would not have come to the world, hence the child should take care of his father’s rights and undertake his affairs, especially during his old age.
- Al-Kashi, al-Khisal.
- Men la Yahdarahu al-Faqih. Al-Khisal.
- Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 4, p. 3.