General Islamic Topic

Between Rights and Desires

Mankind is often confused when determining rights and desire. This is because they may deem a matter as being their rights, while in reality, it is their desire instead.

There are a plethora of movements and voices that claim to champion human rights, but the so-called rights that are sought after are not actually to be granted. They are merely desires and human desires that are unrestricted. For example, they would claim that consuming intoxicants is one’s rights in attaining tranquility while changing one’s gender is a right in the indulgence of one’s self-identity, and rejecting the Islamic Shari’ah is their freedom of speech.

However, all of these allegations are not truly rights as presumed, but instead purely human desires and yearning. If all human desires and lusts are to be fulfilled, then surely it will only cause destruction upon society. They would demand their wishes in the name of human rights. Allah had mentions (which means):

“And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.”

[Al-Quran, surah al-An’am, verse 153]

To further divulge upon the claims mentioned earlier, I would like to clarify that alleging alcohol consumption as an individual right hence warranting the need to organize beer festival, is a purely deviated claim. This claim is not only rejected by Islam but also by Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even not condoned by all religions. This evil habit would incur severe negative effects upon one’s health especially the intestines, stomach, heart, brain, and the human intellect. No one would rejoice when one of the family members return home while drunk because that person could potentially damage household items, injure others, and endangers himself. Claiming intoxication as individual rights are inaccurate for alcohol consumption is just personal desire. An intoxicant is a beverage that eliminates human sanity and causes multitudes of harm.

Similarly with the claim made by some quarters that changing one’s gender is a right. In fact, it is just a desire that is based upon ignorance, stemming from dissatisfaction upon the creation of Allah. It is purely the desire to have fun because changing gender is simply changing the genitalia, but the reality and identity of the person do not change.

While the ones rejecting the Islamic Shari’ah are actually those that failed to comprehend the reality of one’s very own creation as creatures created by al-Khaliq (The Creator). Allah has created mankind, hence it is wajib (obligatory) upon them to worship Allah and remain obedient upon all of His Shari’ah. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr reported: I heard the Prophet as saying (which means):

“Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth…”

[Narrated by Muslim]

This demand for freedom and basic human rights is a notion that is purely based on logical reasoning, devoid of divine revelation. Such thought utilizes human rights as its guise in attaining their intended objectives. Allah mentions (which means):

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.”

[Al-Quran, surah al-Ahzab, verse 36]

Verily, Islam is a religion that provides the rules of life that manages human desires and yearnings that are according to its fitrah (natural disposition). Islam stipulates rulings pertaining to human life with perfection and completeness, from trivial matters such as eating, drinking, and purification, to major deeds such as social living, mu’amalat, and nationhood.

The uniqueness of Islam is that it originated from divine revelation, which spurred the creation of humans. In resolving the confusion when differentiating between rights and desires, mankind truly needs the guidance and guidelines from Allah. Mankind is incapable of differentiating them both because humans would often raise his claims as having greater importance over others’ claims. Therefore, as the creator of mankind, Allah truly knows the natural characteristics of His creations. Allah has provided the perfect guidance between rights and desires. For as long as the human desire does not encroach upon the wahyu (revelation) from Allah, then it is permissible. On the contrary, if it contradicts, then the wahyu from Allah is to be prioritized and taken as a firm belief.

Let us take valuable lessons from the story of Iblees, as told in al-Qur’an that when Allah commanded Iblees to prostrate to Adam, Iblees disobeyed the command because for him it is illogical that a greater creation is commanded to prostrate to Adam, an inferior creation. Iblees failed to distinguish between rights and desire, as well as his ego, that in the end he became among the disbelievers. Allah mentions (which means):

“And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.”

[Al-Quran, surah al-Baqarah, verse 34]

To end this discussion, let us altogether ponder upon several lessons that can be derived, such as the following: 1. The Muslim Ummah must be cognizant that all decrees and commands from Allah are wajib to be obeyed by mankind, as a sign of belief in Allah; 2. The Muslim Ummah must ensure that its rights and desires do not contradict with the wahyu of Allah and the guidance of Rasulullah; 3. The Muslim Ummah must reject all lusts and desires masquerading under the banner of human rights or freedom of speech that contradicts the Shari’ah.

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