The Titles of Risalat al-Huquq (Treatise on Rights)


According to the account of al-Shaykh al-Saduq in al-Khisal, the titles of Risalat al-Huquq are:

  1. The right of God
  2. The right of soul
  3. The right of tongue
  4. The right of ears
  5. The right of eyes
  6. The right of hands
  7. The right of feet
  8. The right of abdomen
  9. The right of private parts
  10. The right of prayers
  11. The right of pilgrimage to Mekka
  12. The right of fasting
  13. The right of charity
  14. The right of sacrificed animals
  15. The right of governor
  16. The right of teacher
  17. The right of lord
  18. The right of bondman
  19. The right of student
  20. The right of woman
  21. The right of slave
  22. The right of mother
  23. The right of father
  24. The right of child
  25. The right of brother
  26. The right of a freed slave
  27. The right of servant
  28. The right of whoever does you a favor
  29. The right of the reciter of Adhan
  30. The right of the Imam in congregational prayer
  31. The right of companion (general)
  32. The right of neighbor
  33. The right of friend
  34. The right of partner
  35. The right of money and whatever you possess
  36. The right of a loan seeker
  37. The right of companion (personal and particular)
  38. The rights of your enemy (your duties toward your enemy)
  39. Your rights against your enemy (what you are allowed to do toward your enemy)
  40. The right of anyone who consults you
  41. The right of counselor
  42. The rights of anyone who seeks advice
  43. The rights of anyone who gives advice
  44. The right of elderly
  45. The right of kids
  46. The right of beggar
  47. The right of whoever gives charity
  48. The right of whoever makes you happy
  49. The right of whoever does you wrong
  50. The right of the followers of your religion
  51. The right of the followers of other religions

Did temporary marriage exist during the time of the Noble Prophet ?

The general consensus of the Islamic scholars indicates that temporary marriage was lawful during the initial period of Islam and, in fact, the essentials of religion too emphasize this lawfulness – (and the difference of opinion that exists in connection with verse 24 of Suratul Nisa):

فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْـتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً

“Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed.”

as to whether or not it establishes the legitimacy of mut’ah does not, in any way, serve to oppose the incontrovertible nature of the statute. This is because even the opponents are of the belief that the legitimacy of this statute has been established by means of the sunnah of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) – and the Muslims, during the initial stages of Islam, even acted upon this ruling. Also, the famous sentence that has been reported from ‘Umar:

مُتْعَتَانِ كَانَتَا عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللٌّهِ أَنَا مُحَرِّمُهُماَ وَ أُعَاقِبُ عَلَيْهِمَا مُتْعَةُ النِّسَاءِ وَ مُتْعَةُ الْحَجِّ.

“Two mut’ahs existed during the time of the Prophet of Allah and I prohibit them and shall punish (those who act upon them), (and these are) mut’ah of the women and Hajj of Tamattu’), is a clear proof of the existence of this statute during the period of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w); however, the opponents of this ruling claim that it was abrogated and prohibited later on.”26

Interestingly, the traditions which they present to substantiate their claims of abrogation are contradictory and inconsistent. Some traditions state that the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) himself abrogated this statute and as such, the nullifier of this ruling would be the sunnah of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w). Other traditions state that it was abrogated by the verse of Divorce:

لِعِدَّتِهِنَ إِذا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ

“O Prophet! when you divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed time.”

However, it ought to be known that this verse has no connection with the issue under discussion since this verse deals with divorce whereas there is no divorce in a temporary marriage – the separation taking place when the term (of marriage) reaches termination.

On the one hand, it is conclusively and categorically known that this ruling was lawful during the time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) while on the other hand there is authentic evidence to prove that it had been abrogated. Thus, according to an indisputable law, proved in methodology, we shall judge that this statute continues to exist.

The well-known sentence of ‘Umar is also a clear testimony of the fact that this ruling had certainly not been abrogated during the period of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w).

It is quite evident that none, except the Noble Prophet (s.a.w), possesses the authority to abrogate laws and rulings, and it is only he (s.a.w), who can abrogate and annul certain laws in accordance with divine orders. After the Noble Prophet’s death, the door to abrogation of laws was completely closed or else every person, according to his individual reasoning, would seek to abrogate portions of the divine laws and consequently there would be no such thing as an eternal and everlasting Shari’ah. Fundamentally, individual reasoning vis-à-vis explicit sayings of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) lacks validity and authenticity.

Significantly, in the book sahih Tirmidhi, which is one of well-known siHaH of the Ahlus Sunnah, and also from al-Daraqutni,27 we are informed of the following incident:

Once, an inhabitant from Syria approached ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar and questioned him about Hajj-e-Tamattu’, whereupon he expressly declared it to be permissible. The man said: “But your father has prohibited it!” ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar turned furious and said: “If my father prohibits it while the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) permits it, should I forsake the sacred sunnah of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) and follow my father’s statements? Arise and go away from my presence!”28

Another tradition, possessing the same form as that seen in the above tradition, has also been reported from ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar, but in connection with temporary marriage.29

It has been reported from the book ‘Muhadhirat’ of Raghib that one of the Muslims entered into a temporary marriage. He was asked: “Who informed you that it was legitimate?” He replied: ”’Umar!” Astonished, they asked him: “How is such a thing possible when ‘Umar has himself prohibited it and has even threatened to punish the people for it?” He said: “I too base my reasoning upon this, for ‘Umar had said: ‘The Noble Prophet (s.a.w) had permitted it but I prohibit it.’ I accept its legitimacy from the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) but shall never accept its prohibition from anyone else!”30

Another point that needs to be mentioned here is that those, who claim that this rule has been abrogated, face some serious problems:

Firstly: In numerous traditions from Sunni sources it has been explicitly stated that this ruling had not been abrogated during the life-time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) but, rather, its prohibition came into effect during the time of ‘Umar. Thus, the proponents of abrogation need to provide an explanation for all these traditions, which are twenty four in number. ‘Allamah Amini has mentioned them in detail in volume six of his book al-Ghadir and two examples of them are presented below:

1. It has been reported in sahih Tirmidhi that Jabir b. ‘Abdullah Ansari said: “During the time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) we used to easily enter into temporary marriage and this continued till ‘Umar totally prevented ‘Amr b. Harith from entering into it.”31

2. In the books Muwatta of Malik and Sunan Kubra of Behaqi it has been reported from ‘Urwah b. Zubair that one day, a lady by the name of Khaulah Bint Hakim approached ‘Umar and informed him that one of the Muslims, Rabi’ b. Umayyah, had committed mut’ah. Hearing this ‘Umar said: “Had I prohibited this act previously, I would have had him stoned (but now, from this very moment, I shall prohibit it).”

In the book Bidayah al-Mujtahid of Ibn Rushd al-Andulusi too we read that Jabir b. ‘Abdullah Ansari said: “Temporary marriage was customary and usual amongst us during the time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w), during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and (the first) half of the caliphate of ‘Umar. Afterwards ‘Umar prohibited it.”

Secondly: The traditions that state that this ruling had been abrogated during the life-time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) are ambivalent and contradictory in nature. Some of them say that it was abrogated in the battle of Khaibar, some report it to have been abrogated on the day of the conquest of Makkah, some others specify that it was during the battle of Tabuk, while yet others declare that it took place during the battle of Autas, etc. Thus, all of these traditions, which advocate the abrogation of this ruling, appear to be fabricated as they differ so vastly from each other.

In view of what we have mentioned above, it becomes plain that the statement of the author of the commentary al-Manar, when he says: “Previously, in the third and fourth volume of the magazine al-Manar, we had expressly stated that it was ‘Umar, who had prohibited mut’ah, but later we happened to come across some traditions, which indicated that it had been abrogated during the time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) and not during the time of ‘Umar, and accordingly, we rectify our previous statements and seek forgiveness for it34 is a prejudiced declaration.

This is because vis-à-vis these contradictory traditions that declare the abrogation to have taken place during the time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w), we have traditions, which expressly declare the ruling to have continued till the time of ‘Umar. Thus, neither is there a necessity to apologize nor a need to seek forgiveness; the evidences presented above indicate that it was the original declaration of the author that had been true and correct, and not his second one!”

It is evident that neither ‘Umar nor anyone else – not even the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt G, who are the genuine successors of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) – can abrogate laws that had existed during the life-time of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w). Basically, abrogation after the death of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w) and the termination of revelation is absolutely meaningless and inconceivable. It is also a matter of immense astonishment that some individuals attribute the utterance of ‘Umar to his ‘individual reasoning’ (ijtihad), for ijtihad vis-à-vis ‘nass’ (explicit text of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w)) is neither permissible nor acceptable.

What is meant by ‘justice’ with respect to polygamy?


In verse 3 of SuratulNisa, we read:

فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً

“…but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one.”

Similarly, in verse 129 of this same chapter, we read:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْـتُمْ

“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it).”

The question that arises here is: What is meant by ‘justice’ with respect to multiple wives? Is this ‘justice’ associated with issues of life like sleeping together, gifting items and things, and providing ease and comfort, or is it associated with respect to the heart and human sentiments too?

Without any doubt justice, with respect to affections and sentiments of the heart, is something that is beyond the control of man. Who possesses the ability to exercise total control over his affection – a state, which is governed by factors external to himself? It is for this reason that Allah has not considered the observance of this kind of justice to be obligatory and in verse 129 of this chapter says:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ

“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, (with respect to sentimental inclinations) even though you may wish (it).”

Thus, till such time that the internal sentiments do not result in granting preference to some of the spouses over the others in actions, it is not prohibited. What is obligatory upon a man is to maintain justice amongst the spouses with respect to issues that are practical and external in dimension.

From the above explanation it becomes plain that those, who have sought to correlate the above verse:

فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً

with verse number 129:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسِاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ

and thus conclude that polygamy is totally forbidden in Islam, have made a grave error. – They have argued that the first verse places the condition of ‘justice’, while the second verse considers this justice to be an impossible task for the men.,

As has been referred to previously, the kind of justice, whose observance is beyond the ability of man, is that which is associated with the internal sentiments, and this is not one of the requirements for polygamy; the condition for polygamy is the justice which is associated with acts and deeds.

Testifying to this aspect is the latter part of the verse 129 of this same chapter, which says:

فَلا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوها كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ

“Now that you cannot observe justice with respect to your sentiments between your spouses, at least do not direct all your sentimental inclinations towards one, leaving the other in suspense.”

Consequently, people who have taken one part of this verse and abandoned the other part, have erred in the issue of polygamy and it is a cause for astonishment for every researcher.

Incidentally, according to Islamic traditions, it appears that the first person to raise this objection was Ibn Abi al-‘Auja – one of the materialists and a contemporary of Imam as-sadiq (a.s) – who argued over it with Hisham b. Hakam, the diligent Islamic scholar. Not finding the answer to it, Hisham started out from his city, Kufah, towards Madinah and approached Imam as-sadiq (a.s).

The Imam (a.s) was greatly astonished to see him in Madinah at a time when it was not the season for Hajj and ‘Umrah. Hisham presented his question, whereupon the Imam (a.s) said: “The justice intended in verse 3 of Suratul Nisa is the justice associated with the maintenance of the spouses (and observation of their rights, and the manner of conduct and behaviour) whereas the justice in verse 129, which has been regarded as an impossible task, is the justice associated with internal sentiments (thus, polygamy, with adherence to the Islamic conditions, is neither prohibited nor impossible).”

After returning from his journey, when Hisham presented Ibn Abi al-‘Auja with the answer he swore that it was not Hisham’s answer but somebody else’s.

It is quite evident that if we are interpreting the term ‘justice’ differently in the two verses it is because of the clear context that is present in both the verses. The verse under discussion clearly states: Do not direct all your inclinations towards one spouse, and has thus permitted the selection of two spouses, but on the condition that, despite the difference in internal inclinations, no injustice should be done to the other with respect to actions and deeds. Besides, the initial portion of verse 3 of this same chapter expressly permits polygamy.

What Rights does Islam offer to Women?


With the onset of Islam and its special teachings, the life of women entered into a new phase – a phase which differed vastly from the previous one and became one in which women availed of all kinds of individual, social and human rights. The basis of Islamic teachings with respect to women is exactly what we read in the Noble Qur`an:

وَ لَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“…and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner…”

i.e. the women possess rights and privileges in the same measure as the responsibilities which they shoulder within the society.

Islam considers a woman, just like a man, to possess a human soul, will and choice, and perceives her to be on the path of spiritual perfection, which is actually the purpose of human creation. It is for this reason that it has placed man and woman alongside each other, addressed them together:

ياَ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ


ياَ أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا

and imposed moral, educative and scientific curriculum upon both of them.

By means of verses such as:

وَ مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحاً مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْـثى‏ وَ هُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولٌئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ

“…and whoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a believer, these shall enter the garden.”

Islam has promised the benefits of complete prosperity to both the sexes.
By verses such as:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صالِحاً مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْـثى‏ وَ هُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَ لَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life, and We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.”2

it has elucidated that every man and woman, by adhering to and implementing the Islamic curriculum, can achieve material and spiritual perfection, and possess a pure, good life that is replete with ease and comfort.

Islam considers a woman, like man, to be completely free and independent, and the Noble Qur`an, by way of verses like:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ

“Every soul is held in pledge for what it earns.”3


مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَ مَنْ أَسَاءَ فَعَلَيْهَا

“Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against himself.”4

It declares this freedom to be for all people – men and women.

We observe that the Islamic penal code sentences both genders with the same kind of retribution, as can be seen in the following verse and other similar verses:

الزَّانِيَةُ وَ الزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ واحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ

“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication – flog each of them with a hundred whippings.”5

On the other hand, since independence is an inevitable consequence of (free) will and choice, Islam has also extended this independence to all monetary privileges, permitting women to enter into various kinds of monetary transactions and regarding her as the rightful owner of her income and investment. In Suratul Nisa we read:

لِلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِمَّا اكْتَسَبُوا وَ لِلنِّسَاءِ نَصِيبٌ مِمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ

“Men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn.”6

In view of the fact that the word اکتساب (used in the verse) – unlike the word کسب – is used to denote acquisition of wealth, the use of this word conveys the meaning that the wealth which is acquired becomes associated with the person acquiring it7, and also taking into consideration the general rule:

أَلنَّاسُ مُسَلِّطُونَ عَلى أَمْوَالِهِمْ.‏

“All the people have authority over their own wealth”,

we can easily infer that Islam holds the fiscal independence of women in great esteem and does not differentiate between a man and a woman in this regard.

In short, Islam regards a woman as a fundamental element of the society and thus, she should not be treated as an entity that is lacking in will, and dependant upon or in need of a guardian.

One Should not Err With Respect to the Meaning Of ‘Equality’

The only thing that needs be taken into consideration – to which Islam has paid special attention but which some individuals reject out of excessive and imprudent sentimentality – is the issue of physical and psychological difference between man and woman, and the difference in their responsibilities.

We just cannot refute the reality that there exist vast physical and psychological differences between the two sexes, and since these are mentioned in various books it is not necessary that we repeat them here. However, a summary of all of them is as follows:

A woman is the base for man’s existence since the development of the children take place within her arms; hence just as she has been created physically to handle the tasks of bearing, developing and educating the coming generations, psychologically too she is in possession of a greater share of feelings and sentiments.

With the existence of these vast differences, can it be said that men and women must be in step with each other in all matters and should be absolutely equal in all affairs and issues?

Should we not champion the cause of justice in the society? But is justice other than that every person should adhere to his own responsibility and enjoy the benefits of the existential distinctions present within him?

Thus, is it not contrary to justice to involve and engage a woman in tasks that do not match and harmonize with her physical and psychological setup?

Here we observe that Islam, even as it voices support for justice and equality, grants precedence to man in some of the social tasks which demand asperity or meticulousness – such as guardianship of the house – and has allowed the woman to function as an assistant.

Both a ‘house’ and a ‘society’ are in need of an administrator, and the reins of administration should eventually end up in the hands of one person or else it would result in contest, chaos and confusion.

Under these circumstances, who is better suited for the task – a man or a woman? Impartial and unbiased computations reveal that the structural state of man demands that the administration and management of the family should be placed upon the man while the woman should act as his assistant.

Even though there are some who insist on ignoring these realities, the state of life prevalent in the present-day world and even within communities that have granted women complete freedom and equality, reveal that in practice the issue is exactly as has been stated above, although in speech the issue may be made to appear differently.8

The Spiritual Worth of Man and Woman

The Noble Qur`an perceives man and woman – with regards to their presence before Allah and with respect to achieving spiritual ranks under similar conditions – to be equal. It refuses to consider the dissimilarity in their sexes and the difference in the structure of their bodies, (which consequently manifest in the variation in their social responsibilities), as being indicative of a difference in them with regards to the achievement of human perfection; rather, in this regard, it considers them to be on par with one another and hence mentions them together.

Numerous verses of the Noble Qur`an were revealed at a time when a great number of the communities of the world had been reluctant to recognize the female species as a human being, regarding her as an accursed entity and a source of sin, deviation and death!

Many of the ancient communities even held the belief that a woman’s worship was not acceptable in the eyes of Allah. Many of the Greeks considered a woman to be a defiled entity and an evil handiwork of Satan. The Romans and some of the Greeks believed that basically females did not possess a human soul and as such, the human soul was specifically confined to the males!

Interestingly, till recently, Christian scholars in Spain engaged themselves in discussing whether women, like men, possessed human souls or not, and whether or not their souls would continue to live eternally after their deaths. After their discussions they eventually concluded that since a woman’s soul is an isthmus between an animal and a human soul, it cannot be eternal, save for the soul of Maryam J.

Here it becomes apparent how far from reality the allegation is, which some ignorant individuals level against Islam that it is a religion of males and not females. Generally speaking, if, due to physical and sentimental differences which exist within males and females, some differences in respect of social responsibilities are observed in the Islamic Laws, it does not by any means, diminish the spiritual worth of a woman. There exists no difference between a man and a woman in this regard; the doors of success and prosperity lay equally open for both of them, just as we read in the Qur`an:

بَعْضُکُمْ مِنْ بَعْضٍ

“All are from one species and one society.”