Theory of Rights

Topics: Property, Ownership, Property law Pages: 13 (3929 words) Published: May 8, 2013



What are RIGHTS? The traditional answers to the above questions fall into three categories: 1) Rights are moral laws specifying what a person should be free to do, and they come from God. 2) Rights are political laws specifying what a person is free to do, and they are created by governments. 3) Rights are moral laws specifying what a person should be free to do, and they are inherent in man’s nature. But each of these theories is demonstrably false, and a person or society attempting to defend freedom on such grounds will ultimately fail.

In Islamic point of view, the expression ‘Rights’ or Al-Haq (in Arabic) grammatically, could mean certitude or proof or Duty. It is also one of the names and attributes of God. Linguistically however, Al-Haq (Rights) is the opposite of falsehood, and could mean domain or sphere of authority, monopolization or exclusive power, protection, exactitude, equity and righteousness. Moreover, conventionally the expression Al-Haq (Rights) signifies material and moral possessions, such as the right of ownership, the right of utility, the right of faith and the right of dignity.

Al-Haq (Rights) literally means proper, right, true, authentic, valid, established, a just claim, confirmed as a truth, duty, or an obligation. The jurists (Fuqha) define Al-Haq (Rights) as a prescription acknowledged by the Shari’ah that gives authority or right and assigns responsibility or duty. This definition includes both the rights of Allah S.W.T and the rights of humans.

Al-Haq (Rights) in the Islamic law is a favor granted by the Creator Exalted b e His name to individual according to the requirements of the public good. According to the Shari’ah, Al-Haq (Rights) is a restricted by the respect of the right of the other person and not doing harm to the public. Accordingly, the individual has no absolute freedom in using his rights without restriction. Right in this sense, necessitates two obligations: 1) Peoples obligation to respect the right of the individual and not hinder his using it; 2) The duty of the person who enjoys the right to use it in a manner that does not harm the others as in all other rights, general or private.

The source of Al-Haq (Rights) is Shari’ah from which legal rulings are derived. There is no a right or duty unless there is a proof for it in the Shari’ah.


Islam is a complete code of life. It has prescribed rules for the regulation of individual as well as collective life. These rules are regarding rights of different men in different walks of life. These rights reveal what is beneficial and useful and it also corresponds to a duty on some person.

There are mainly two pillars of the rights.

Sahibul Haq refers to the owner of the rights.

Mahallul Haq refers to the subject of the rights.

Sahibul Haq is the pillar of the rights which could be Allah S.W.T, or humans, or institutions, or private, or public, etc.

While Mahallul Haq is the subject on which a right is exercised which could be either a thing/good (‘Ayn) or a debt (Dayn).

For example, an owner can exercise his ownership right over his property hale a creditor is entitled to his debt. In case where a right involves an obligation there can also be a third pillar of right which refers to the person who is under the obligation. For instance, while a creditor is entitled to his debt the borrower is under obligation to return his debt.

The Shari’ah recognizes the right to private property and its uses (provided it is Halal), save for the right of the community to ‘eminent domain’. The use of property in accordance with the best interests and dictates of the owner is safeguarded, provided the rights of others are protected. There is throughout the notion that the utilization of wealth must balance the rights of the...
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