Ḥaqq Allāh, (Arabic: حق الله) or the right of God, is God's right in relation to His servants. It is contrasted to haqq al-nas (people's rights in relation to one another), and there are differences between these two rights in judicial rulings of Islam. Rulings such as prayer, fasting, hudud, and the like are rights of God. If one fails to comply with these obligations, he needs to compensate in one way or another: some of them can be compensated merely with repentance; and others such as the prayer and fasting require qada' in addition to repentance.
In Islam, there are two sorts of rights: rights of God and rights of people. Rights of God are rights God has in relation to people, in contrast to rights people have in relation to each other. The rights of God include all divine commands and prohibitions and thus it includes rights of people as well. However, when it is used in contrast to rights of people, it does not include rights people have in relation to one another—rights that can be waived.
From a legal perspective, every crime that leads to the disruption of social interests and public rights is treated as a right of God with respect to punishments.
Some jurists divide rights of God into two categories: Pure rights of God, such as punishments or hadds for adultery, sodomy, and drinking wine, and impure rights of God, that is, those that involve both the rights of God and those of people, such as the punishment for burglary.
The prayer and all hadds except that of qadhf (defamation) count as pure rights of God, and rulings such as ta'zir (discretionary punishment) and the punishment of qadhf count as impure rights of God.
Quranic verses and hadiths emphasize on observing the right of God. According to 'Allama Tabataba'i, in verses 42 to 45 of Sura al-Muddaththir, in which the failure to say prayers and to feed the poor is said to lead one to the Hell, the prayer refers to the right of God and the feeding of the poor refers to the right of people. In his view, all divine rights boil down to learning the religion and acting thereupon. According to a hadith from Imam al-Sajjad (a), known as the Treatise on Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), the right of God is the greatest of all rights.
In jurisprudential sources, the right of God is discussed under judicial rulings.
Difference from the Right of People
There are said to be differences between the right of God and the right of people, including the following:
- It is more difficult to prove the violation of a right of God to a judge than proving the violation of a right of people. For the violation of a right of God is not proved or evidenced by one male witness or two female witnesses or one male witness under oath, or a female witness alone. However, the violation of some rights of people can be demonstrated by the above evidence.
- To enforce rulings related with the right of God, no demand by anyone is needed. However, to enforce a right of people some person needs to make a request.
- In the case of the right of God, the judge is permitted to dissuade the defendant from confession, unlike the right of people.
- In the case of the right of people, no default judgment can be issued in the absence of the person. Indeed, it is required that the defendant be present in court.
- In the case of the right of God, the right is not waived by the victim's consent, whereas some cases of rights of people can be condoned or transferred.
- Some rights of God are waived by repentance, but rights of people can never be waived by repentance.
- The right of God is reckoned with lenience, whereas the right of people is reckoned with strictness and caution. Allegedly, it is to this fact that some jurists trace differences between the right of God and the right of people with respect to judicial rulings.
Compensation of the Right of God
The right of God requires obligations that need to be done for the sake of God. If one fails to comply with these obligations, one needs to compensate what is missed. Some rights of God are compensated with repentance, and others, such as the prayer and fasting, require a qada' in addition to repentance.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from حق الله in Farsi WikiShia.