Allah, the Almight ordered us to deal in kindness towards these. He said: "Serve Allah and join not any partners with Him, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are of kin, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the way fairer and what yourright hand posesses: for Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious"
[An Nisa : 36]
Concerning Allah's saying: "Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him"
Al Wahidi (ra) said, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al Mahragjani told us on the authority of Muadh ibn Jabal (ra) who said, Once I was riding behind the Prophet (pbuh) on a donkey. The Prophet (pbuh) said, O Muadh, I said, here I am! At your service O Messenger of Allah. He said: "Do you know what are the rights of Allah towards His servants and what are the rights of the servants towards their Lord?" I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best'. He said, "The rights of Allah towards His servants is to worship Him and ascribe notany partners unto Him and the right of the servant towards their Lord is to torment not the one who does not ascribe any partner unto Him" [Bukhari]
On the authority of Ibn Masud (ra) who said, Once a bedouin came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, O prophet of Allah, counsel me. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Do not ascribe anything unto Allah, even if you are cut up intopieces or burnt and do not delay the prayer from its appointed times for it is the trust of Allah. And do not drink wine for it is the key of every evil". [Ibn Majah]
Allah the Almighty said: "And do good to parents" this means that the person should deal gently and be kind to his parents. He should not be harsh in his response to them. He should be before them as a slave of his master.
"Kinsfolk" Allah means that the person should have good relations with them and be kind towards them.
"Orphans" the person should be merciful towards them and rub their heads. Those in need. By spending some of his money and returning gratitude.
"Neighbours who are of kin" meeans thos with whom you have a kinship. They have the right of kinship, the right of a neighbourhood and the right ofIslam.
"Neighbours who are strangers" are those with whom you have no kinship.
On th authority of Aisha (ra) the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Gabriel continued to counsel me concerning the neighbout until I thought that he would designate to him a share of my inheritance" [Bukhari]
On the authority of Anas ibn Malik (ra), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "On the day of judgement the neighbout will hang himself to his neighbour saying, 'O Lord, you granted my brother many blessings and deprived me many.I spend my night suffering the hunger while he was very satisfied. Ask him why he was very stingy and prevented me any of the blessings You grantedhim" [Al Asbahani in Al Targhib wa at Tarhib]
Concerning Allah's saying: "The companion by our side" Ibn Abbas (ra) and Mujahid (ra) said, he is the one who accompanies you in travel, he has the right of the neighbour and the right of companionship.
"The wayfarer" is the weak and you should guide him to what he wants. Ibn Abbas (ra) said 'a person should recieve the wayfarer with hispitality andshould feed him until he goes away'.
"What your right hand posesses" they are slaves, whether male or female. The person should provide for him and should forgive him his mistakes.
Concerning Allah's saying: "For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious" Ibn Abbas (ra) said, 'What is meant by arrogant is the onw who exalted himself (very proud) who does not observe Allah's rights. By the vainglorious, Allah means the one who exalts himself over people by the blessings which Allah has granted him.
On the authority of Abu Huraira (ra) who said, 'The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "While a man, from those who preceded you, wearing a garment was walking arrogantly and in a vainglorious way, he was swallowed by the earth and he will be driven in it until the day of judgement"
Usamah (ra) said, I heard Ibn Umar (ra) saying, I heard the messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying, "Whoever drags his clothes out of conceit, Allah will not look at him on the day of judgement" [Bukhari]
In this death disease, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to advise people with prayer and with what their right hand posesses saying, "Allah, Allah be heedful of prayer and what yor right hand posesses" [Abu Dawood]
In another narration it is reported that, "Good treatment of what the person owns is a good omen and ill treatment is a bad omen" [Abu Dawood]
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "The one who treat what he owns in an evil way will never enter paradise" [Ibn Majah]
Ibn Masud (ra) said, "Once I was beating my slave with a whip and I heard a voice from behind me saying, 'O Abu Masud, know that Allah is more able than you on this slave'. I said, 'I will never beat any slave again'". In another, 'I said, he is free for the sake of Allah, the man said, if you did not do it, the fire would scorch you' [Muslim]
Imam Muslim also reported that from the hadith of Ibn Umar (ra) who said, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Whoever beats his slave for somethingwhich he did not do, or slaps him, its expiation is to free him" [Muslim]
Hakim Ibn Hizam (ra) said that, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Allah will torture those who torture people in this worldy life" [Muslim]
In another narration it was reported, "Whoever unjustly beats anyone with a whip, it will be retaiated on him on the day of judgement"
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was asked, "How many times should we forgive the servant?". He replied, "Seventy times a day" [Tirmidhi]
Once the prophet (pbuh) was holding a siwak (tooth stick) in his hands and he called his servant, but he was late for some minutes. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "If there was no retaliation, I would beat you with this siwak" [Ibn Hajar]
Abu Huraira (ra) had a black slavegirl and he raised a whip on her but he said, "If there was no retaliation, I would beat you until you fell unconcious but I will sell you to One Who will pay your price in full from me and he set her free for the sake of Allah"
Once a woman came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I said to my slave girl, 'O adulteress'. He said, 'Is she truly as you say?' She said, 'No'. He said, 'She would seek justice from you on the day of judgement'. Thereupon, she returned to her slavegil and have her a whip and said to her 'beat me'. The slave girl refused to do so. She freed her andreturned to the Prophet and told him about that (incident). He said, 'May what you did be an expaition for your accusing he of such a thing".[Hakim in Al Mustadrak]
In the two sahihs, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Whoever charged his slave with an accusation while he is innocent from it, he will be flogged on the day of judgement as retaliation unless he was as he said" [Bukhari and Muslim]
In his death disease, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to advise his companions saying, "Be heedful of prayer and those who your right hand posesses. Feed them from what you feed yourselves and clothe them from whatyou clothe yourselves. Do not burden them with something byond their capacity. In case you burden them, you should help them to fulfil it. Do not torment the creatures of Allah, for Allah made you the owners"
Once, a group of people entered upon Salman al Farsi (ra) while he was the govenor of Al Madain and they found him soaking a paste for his family. They said to him, would you not leave the slave girl to do this? He (ra) said, 'We sent her for some concerns (affairs) and we hated to burden her with another thing'.
An early Muslim said, "Do not beat the slave for every fault, but count them for him. And in case he disobeyed Allah, beat him for this and remind him with his faults"
It is heinous maltreatment to the slave, both male and female to seperate him from his children or his brothers.
The prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever seperates a slave from his/her children, Allah will seperate him and his beloved ones on the day of judgement" [Tirmidhi]
Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) said, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) granted me two slave brothers. I sold one of them and thereupon the Prophet said, 'Bring him back' and he repeated it twice" [Tirmidhi]
It is also a heinous maltreatment to both the slave, the male and the female and to beasts to leave them until they get angry.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "It is a sufficient sin for a person to prevent those whom he owns his food" [Muslim]
It is mistreatment to a beast it it is: treated in a harsh manner, imprisoned, deprived of food, or to burden it with that which is beyond capacity. Concerning this Allah says,
"There is not an animal that lives on the eart, nor a being that flies on its wings, but forms parts of communities like you" [Al Anaam : 38]
It is reported that, "These communities will be brought on the day of judgement while the people wll be brought on the day of judgement. While the people are standing, there will be amongst the animals to such an extent that the bald headed sheep will retaliate from the horny and the atom fromanother. Then it will be said to them, 'Be dust'. At this moment the disbeliever will say, 'Woe unto me! Would that I were mere dust!" [Muslim]
This is evidence that there will be judgement between the animals and the human being to such an extent that if a person unjustly beat an animal, or made it thirsty, prevented it food, or burdened it with that which is beyond capacity, it will retaliate against him on the day of judgement in an equal way. To support this, we have the following evidence:
Abu Huraira (ra) said, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "A woman was tortured for a cat she imprisoned until it died. She went to hell because of it, having neither fed it nor watered it, for she confined it and would not let it go forage on the small creatures of the earth" [Bukhari]
It is reported that, "the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw in his dream a woman hanged in the hell and a cat scratching her face and breast and torturing her as she tortured it in the worldly life by imprisoning it and preventing it the food" [Bukhari]
This is applied to all kinds of animals. By the same token, the one who burdens theanimals with tah which is beyond their capacity, they will retaliate against him on the day of judgement.
It is reported that, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Once there was a man driving a cow, he mounted it and beat it. Consequently, it said, 'We have not been created for this, but for ploughing'" [Bukhari]
This is a cow and Allah caused it to speak to defend itself against oppression or to be used for something contrary to that for which it was created. Therefore, whoever unjustly burdens an animal with something beyondits ability, it will retaliate from him on the day of judgement in an equal way.
Abu Sulaiman Al Darami (ra) said, "Once I mounted a donkey and I beat it twice or thrice. Consequently it raised it s head and said, 'O Abu Sulamain, there will be a retaliation on the Day of Judgement. So, belittle, or do it more, as you like!'. Abu Sulaiman said, 'I will never beat anything again'.
Once Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) passed by a group of boys from Quraish who used a bird as a target and shot at him. They made every false shoot for its owner. Upon seeing Ibn Umar they ran away. Ibn Umar said, who did that? MayAllah curse the one who did that" "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed the one who takes anything posessing life as a target" [Bukhari]
In another narration, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) forbade that animals be imprisoned for killing: [Bukhari]
Even with what shariah allowed us to kill from animals, such as scorpions, snales, mice and vicious dogs, "We are ordered to take their lives at once and should not torture them. The Messenger of Allah said, 'If killing is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner by first sharpening the knife and putting the animal at ease'"[Muslim]
Likewise, the animals should not be burned by fire. In an authentic hadith, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Previously I ordered you to burn so and so with fire. Since there is no one who could torture with fire except Allah, if you found them, kill them (and do not burn them)" [Bukhari]
Ibn Masud (ra) said, "Once we wert out with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) on a journey. He was engaged in fulfilling some of his neds. We saw a sparrow with itstwo children. We took its children and thereupon it started to shout. The Prophet (pbuh) came and said, 'Who made this sparrow grieve for its children? Return its children back to it'. Likewise, the Messenger of Allah, asked us about a colong of ants which we burnt. And he said, 'Who burned this colong?'. We replied, 'It was us'. He said, 'No one should torture anything with fire except its Lord' [Abu Dawood]
This is evidence thatit s not allowed to kill or tirture with fire even a lice, fleas or otherwise. It is also forbidden to kill any animal merely for sport.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "If someone kills a sparrow for sport, the sparrow ill cry out on the day of judgement, 'O Lord! Ask this person why he killed me in vain and did not kil lme for any useful purpose'" [An Nasai]
It is also detested to hunt birds during the period when they hatch their eggs or slaughtering an animal before its mother.
Ibtahim ibn Adham (ra) reported, 'Once a man slaughtered a calf before its mother. Thereupon Allah caused his hand to be paralized'
It is also highly reccomended to free a slave, whether male or female.
Abu Huraira (ra) said, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever frees a believing slave girl, Allah will, with every organ of hers, free his organs from the hellfire, even her private parts will be an expiation for his" [Bukhari]
Abu Umamah (ra) reported the Prophet (pbuh) saying, 'Any Muslim frees a believing slave, he will be a salvation for him from the hell fire. Every organ of his will be an expiation for his organs. Any Muslim who frees two believing slave girls, they willbe a salvation for him from the hell fire. Every organ of theirs will be an expiation for his organs. And any Muslim woman who frees a believing slave girl, she will be a salvation for her from the hell fire. Every organ of hers will be an expiation for her organs"[Abu Dawood]
N.B. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands if not millions of slaves in the world today. A person can free a slave in the Indian sub-continent (for example) for approx GBP 4000 or USD 6000 - if not for less.