What Are My Responsibility towards My Islamic Duties?

Responsibility in Islam also covers every action that one is supposed to do as a Muslim and his/her interactions with others. Thus, human beings are responsible towards others including: whoever they interact with, whatever they have been given in this world, the divine duties they are expected to perform, and their surroundings and environment.

 

The responsibilities of a Muslim towards other human beings were discussed in the first part of the article. Here the focus is on the responsibilities towards some non-humans including divine duties [i] and, the property and belongings.


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The Rights of Prayer as One's Responsibility in Islam


The right of the ritual prayer over one is to know that he\she is standing before God. Knowing that one should stand in His presence like a lowly servant who is inclined to approach his lord, and who is fearful and ashamed because of his\her sins, but still hopeful of His mercy [1], is our responsibility in Islam towards our prayers. 

 

 


He\she should also magnify Him through stillness, bowing of the head, humbleness of the limbs, yielding of the wing, and by saying the best supplications to Him. Then, one should beseech Him to save him\her from the punishments that he\she deserves for his\her faults and sins [1].

 


The Rights of Fasting

 

The right of fasting is to know it as a veil that God has set up over one’s tongue, hearing, and sight, private parts, and stomach, to protect him\her from the Fire. Whoever protects his\her parts of the body with the veil of fasting, can be hopeful to be saved from the punishments and the Fire.

 

 

But if one leaves his\her parts of the body to do freely unlawful (Haram) acts (e.g., looking at unlawful things and scenes that incite lust and encourage disobeying God) and does not fear God, he\she won’t be safe anymore [1]. 

 


The Rights of Pilgrimage

 

The right of pilgrimage is that one should know that he\she has immigrated from his\her sins to God and is standing in His presence. He\she should also know that it is through the pilgrimage that one’s repentance can be accepted and he\she performs an obligation made incumbent upon him\her by God [1].

 

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The Rights of Charity

 

Of the rights of charity is to know that it is like storing away with God and is a deposit for which no witness is needed. Hence, it would be better to donate in private other than in public. Also, one should not remind others of what he\she has donated since the charity is like a saving whose benefit returns to the donor.

 

 

Otherwise, the same thing might happen to him\her when someone else does him\her a favor. Moreover, reminding others of the charity donated demonstrates the impure intention of the donor; like the tendency to show off or humiliate others [1].  


The rights of Sacrifice [ii]


Of the rights of the offering is to consider it as a way to expose oneself to God’s Mercy. So, one should make offering not for receiving others’ approval, but God’s approval.  Therefore, what others say about the offering should not matter [1].  


The Rights of Property


Of the rights of the belongings and property over one and one's responsibility in Islam towards them are to gain it through lawful (Halal) means, to spend it on lawful (Halal) purposes, and to utilize it such that it brings about blessing and salvation in this world and the Hereafter [1]. Imam Sadiq (AS) said that whoever makes money in unfair ways, he\she will lose it justly [2]. According to Surah Qasas, one should use the wealth that God has granted for doing good to others and preparing for the Hereafter (28:77). 

 

 


The property and wealth should be used to get God’s satisfaction. It is narrated from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that God will punish those who forget about the poor people among them and keep on raising money [3]. Hence, one should not prefer his\her belongings to his\her spirit such that he\she hesitate to use them for spiritual progression. Otherwise, others will inherit this property after his\her death. If they utilize the inherited property in unlawful (Haram) ways, he\she will also be punished for that. If the inheritors use the inherited property properly, they are the ones who will be rewarded [1].

 

Notes:

[i] The acts and practices that are obligatory (Wajib) or recommended (Mustahab) in Islam.
[ii] Animal sacrifice for the sake of God.

References:

[1] Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq)”.
[2] S. al-Harrani “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 321.
[3] W. al.Hilli, “Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir”, vol. 1, p. 10.