The 51 rights listed by Imam Ali Zaynul Aabedeen (A.S.)

There are 51 rights and these have been split into 6 categories.

A) Rights of Allah against oneself

1. The greatest right of Allah is to worship Him without associating anything with Him.

  1. The right of your nafs against you is that you employ it in obeying Allah.
  2. The right of your tongue is that you use it to express kindness and refrain from using it for useless talk.

  3. The right of your ears is to keep them from listening to backbiting and other unlawful hearings.

  4. The right of sight is that you lower it to unlawful things.

  5. The right of your hand is that you stretch it to good and not towards anything which is unlawful to you.

  6. The right of your legs is that you don’t walk towards anything unlawful. Remember you have no escape from walking on the narrow bridge (alsirat) so make sure you do not let your legs slip and cause you to fall into the hell-fire.

  7. The right of the stomach is that is does not become a container for anything haraam to you and that you do not eat more than you need.

  8. The right of the private parts is that you guard them from on-lookers.

B Rights of Acts

10.The right of Salat is that you realise that you are before Allah. If you realise this you will stand in such a way that you will be lowly, trembling, fearful, hopeful, and you will magnify His greatness through through your stillness and dignity.

  1. The right of the hajj is that you recognise that it is an arrival before Allah and a place where your sins will be removed if your repentance is genuine. Also you perform an act made wajib by Allah.

12.The right of fasting is that you put veil over your tongue, ears, eyes, stomach to protect you from the Hell-fire.

13.The right of charity (sadaqa) is that you know that it is a deposit with Allah for which you need no witnesses. You should know that it helps against enemies and illness in this world and repel against fire in the next world.

14.The right of hady (offering/gift) through it you desire only exposure of your soul to Allah’s mercy.

C Rights of Leaders

15.The right of the possessor of authority (sultan) is that you know that Allah is testing you through the leader’s authority. It is important that you please the leader and hide your displeasure.

16.The right of one who trains you (sa’is) is that you do not raise your voice, or speak ill of him. conceal faults and manifest virtues. Remember knowledge has elevated him and learn for sake of Allah and not for people.

17.The right of one who trains you through property is that you should obey him and not disobey him, unless obeying him displeases Allah.

D Rights of subjects

18.The rights of your subjects through authority is that you have made them subjects because they are weak. It is obligatory for you to act with justice and compassion. You should forgive them for their ignorance and not hurry to punish them.

19.The right of your subjects through knowledge is that you should know that Allah has made you a caretaker over them only through the Knowledge He has given you. So teach them well and Allah will reward you.

20.The right of your wife is that you know that He has made her a repose and a comfort for you. She is God’s favour toward you,so honour and treat her gently. You must treat her with compassion , since she is your asir and if she is ignorant pardon her.

21.The right of your slave is that you should know that he is a creature of the land -son of your father and mother, and your flesh and blood. You may own him but you did not make him. You do not provide his sustenance, Allah gave sustenance to you to give to your slave. If you dislike him replace him but do not torment him.

E Rights of womb relatives.

22.The right of your mother is that you know that she carried you where no one has carried you. She gave to you the fruit of her heart which she has not given to anyone else. She did not care if she went hungry/thirsty as long as you you quenched your hunger and thirst. You will not be able to show her gratitude, other than through Allah’s help.

23.The right of your father is that you know that he is your root. Without him you would not be here. If you see something good within yourself, you should know that it is beacuse of your father.

24.The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and you are liable for both his good and his bad. You are responsible for educating him and pointing him in the right direction. Reward him for his good doings and punish him for the bad.

25.The right of your brother is that you know that he is your hand, your might and your strength.

F Rights of others

26.The right of your master (mawla) is that you know that he has favoured you by freeing you from slavery, and given you the freedom to worship your Lord. You should know that he is the closest of God’s creatures to you in your life and your death.

27.The right of your slave whom you have favoured by freeing him is that you know that by freeing him Alah has given him access to Him and a veil against the fire. Your immediate reward is to inherit from him if he does not have any maternal relatives.

28.The right of one who does a kindly act (dhul l-maruf) is that you thank him and mention his kindness; reward him with your lind words and pray for him (dua). If you can repay him one day, do so.

29.The right of the muezzin is that you know that he is reminding you of your Lord and is helping you acheive what Allah has made wajib for you.

30.The right of the imam in your ritual prayer is that you should know that he acting as a mediator between you and Allah. He speaks for you, but you do not speak for him. He supplicates for you, but you do not supplicate for him. So protect yourself through him, protect your prayer through his prayer and thank him in that measure.

31.The right of your sitting companion (jalis) is that you treat him mildly, fairly and you do not stand up from sitting with him without his permission. But it is alright if he stands without asking your permission. You should jorget his slips and highlight his good qualities

32.The right of your neighbour (jar) is that you guard him when he is absent and honour him when he is present.

33.The right of the companion (sahib) is that you act as his companion with generosity and fairness. Honour him as he honours you and restrain him from any act of disobedience he might attempt.

34.The right of your partner is that you look after his affairs when he is absent and you make no decision without his decision and you do nothing on the basis of your own opinion.

35.The right of your property (mal) is that you take only which is lawful and spend what is proper.

36.The right of him you owe a debt to is that if you have the means you pay him bacj, but if are unable to pay, try and satisfy him with good words.

37.The right of the associate (khalit) is that you neither mislead him, nor
act dishonestly toward him.

38.The right of the advesary(khasm) who has a claim against you is that, if that, if what he claims against is true you give witness to it. If what he claims against you is false, you behave with kindness with him.

39.The right of the advesary against whom you have a claim is that, if your claim against him is true, you maintain polite moderation when speaking to him and you do not deny his right. Hoever, if your claim is false, you seek forgiveness from Allah

40.The right of him who asks you for advice (mustashir) is that if you consider that his opinion is correct, you advise him to follow it, and if you do not consider it so, you direct him to someone who may consider it so.

41.The right of whom you ask for advice (mushir) is that you do not insult him if his opinion does not conform to your own opinion. If it conforms to it, praise Allah.

42.The right of him who asks your counsel (mustansih) is that you give him your counsel.

43.The right of your counselor (nasih) is that you act gently toward him and listen to him.

44.The right of him who is older than you is that you show reverence toward him because of his age and honour him because he entered Islam before you. Do not go ahead of him on a path and avoid confronting him in a dispute.

45.The right of him who is younger than you is that you show compassion toward him through teaching him, pardoning him and covering your faults.

46.The right of himwhoasks(sa’il)from you is that give to him as much as he requires.

47.The right of him whom you ask is that you accept from him with gratitude and recognisition of his bounty if he gives and accept his excuse if he witholds.

48.The right of him through whom Allah makes you happy is that you praise Allah first, then you thank the person.

49.The right of him who does evil to you is that you pardon them. But if you know that the pardon will harm him, you defend yourself. see (42:41)

50.The right of the people of your creed is that you keep them safe and show compassionfor them. The old men should stand in place of your father, the youths in place of your brothers, the old women in place of your mother and the young ones in place of your children.

51.The right of the people under the protection of Islam (dhimma) is that you accept from them what Allah has accepted from them and do not wrong them as long as they fulfill Allah’s covenant.