What is Ramadan?
Islam is a very just and fair religion and also a religion of mercy and kindness. So it should come as no surprise that Allah Almighty has placed a special emphasis on human rights.
The Shariah (Islamic Law) has laid down strict laws to safeguard the rights of all human beings, particularly those who cannot find for themselves; like the poor, the widowed and orphans.
The Prophet (S.A.W) said “Who so has any of his brothers, disgraced or usurped any of his rights, should beg pardon or pay back his dues before the occurrence of Doomsday, where he would have neither gold nor money for the settlement of dues. If he fails to achieve pardon in this world, his virtues will be awarded to the person whom he had hurt. In case the oppressor had no virtues left, the sins of the oppressed will be awarded to the oppressor.”
In Islam, gossiping or slandering someone, unjustly abusing them etc are all grave sins.
Talking about someone behind his back has been likened to eating their flesh.
Allah Almighty has said that He can forgive all transgressions against Him if He so chooses, but He will not forgive you if you have wronged another person. The person that you have hurt or wronged will have to forgive you before you can be pardoned.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked his Companions (Sahaaba) “Do you know who is poor and empty handed?” The Companions said “We think that the one who has no property or money is poor.” The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) remarked “Be sure the poor in my Ummah (followers) is he who comes with the wealth of Fasts, Namaaz (Prayers) and Zakaat (Charity) alongwith the misdeeds of having abused someone, blamed someone, snatched someone’s property, slained someone unnecessarily. In consequence his virtues will be awarded to those whom he has hurt. If his virtues are finished, sins of the claimants will be awarded to the opressor and surely he will be sent to Hell. Such person is termed as poor.”
As you can see Human Rights is a very serious issue in Islam. A Muslim must refrain from violating the rights of others in any way. If you, as a Muslim, have wronged someone who has now passed away, then all is not lost. You can reciprocate his children instead. Let’s say, for example, you owed someone money but the man has now died. His death does not absolve you of your responsibility. You should give the money to his children instead.
If you owe someone some money and the person seems to have forgotten about the debt you owe him, this doesn’t mean that the debt doesn’t have to be repaid. Pay it back immediately. It is far better to pay your debts off in this world than to pay with your deeds later.
Be very careful regarding the rights of others and surely your reckoning on The Day Of Judgement will be much easier.
May Allah Taalah help us all to treat each other with respect, kindness, mercy and fairness.
To read more about Human Rights in Islam I highly recommend the book Human Rights In Islam