The modern world is woven in ironies. Never has been so many rights have been denied. Individuals, societies and nations are robbed of their rights in varying capacities.

Nations are denied their sovereignty by the powerful nations who get messed up between their cobwebs of interests. They torture and harass the victim nation for reasons that are from just in ways that may put even the legendary Chengiz Khan into shame.

The media steals the privacy rights of individuals and maligns them with scandalous stories. They chase them into every detail as possible, while neglecting major happenings of greater importance.

However, the irony is that never before in history have we ever had so many rights groups to protect the victims who are denied their rights. We have activists for human rights, animal rights, environmental rights, privacy rights, political rights and so on.

But what I have in mind while writing this piece is none of the above. An incident from the life of Holy Prophet- sallallahu alaihi wa sallam- whom we know as the best ideal of our concept of perfection, is the gem of this article.

The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was a man of the society, a husband, a father, a leader- but above all a Chosen One by Almighty. He had different rights to give for each- including his Creator the Supreme and Ultimate.

It was not just ‘anything’ but ‘everything’ that was strange about him. His words, actions and mere silence became inspirations for billions of people to imitate. His behavior towards his fellow beings drew the love of even his enemies. His followers simply wanted to spend their life around him. And why not? He was the one on whom the Creator and angels were perpetually sending their blessings upon!

The incident is thus- Once the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam came to visit his beloved wife Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) to spend his night with her. He came very close to her such that their bodies touched each other. He then said that ‘It is your right that I spend this night with you. If you allow, I may enter into prayers to my Creator’. His dear wife, from whom the Islamic world learned half the religion (“Take one half of your religion from this reddish young lady”), replied with equal charm, “I desire that I spend time with you but I also hold dear what you like”.

Through this incident, the ‘Mercy to All Worlds’ taught us what are rights!

During these days when even certain Muslims are ‘utterly frustrated with the chauvinistic and misogynist tendencies in the Muslim community’, here we have a Prophet of God seeking the permission of his wife before entering into the worship of God. The Prophet rightly showed how to respect the rights of a lady. No one’s rights should be harmed, even if it means to achieve another noble purpose. Everyone’s right is sacred, no matter how great or silly it may be. The children have the right to be fondled with affection. The wife has right to be entertained by her husband. The weaker sections in the society have the right to be cared for. A father should be respected. A mother should be served.

If it is the command of creed that a wife seeks the permission of her husband before observing voluntary fasts, then it is the same religion of Peace that teaches the parallel lesson for husbands to obtain ‘an affectionate NOC’ (No Objetion certificate) from one’s wife so that her rights are protected.

May Allah help the believers to lead a life, honoring others’ rights. Aameen!

sallallahu ala Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam…

Written on May 26th 2004. Thoughts during a religious lecture.

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