Allah is The One and Only Creator and Lord of the universe. Everything that is in existence other than Him is part of His creation. All that is His creation belongs to Him Alone. He was there before there was anything else in existence, and He will remain once everything else has perished. In Surah Al-Ikhlaas, we are told that Allah is One, without any equal. Thus, the rights of Allah over human beings are numerous. The term Huqooq Allah is synonymous with the “rights of Allah.” Islam, being an all-encompassing religion, also outlined the rights of humans.
Allah is the All-Powerful, and nothing can happen anywhere in the universe without His acceptance. His knowledge encompasses all of creation. He knows all that has ever happened, is happening, and will ever happen. He can do whatever He wills.
In Surah Adh-Dhariyat, Allah says the reason for mankind and jinn’s creation is to worship Him. These are among the rights of Allah upon his creation. Thus, Allah has put a great responsibility on the shoulders of every human being – to worship and glorify Him alone. He has also given us the minds and tools to undertake this task.
Through the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah, Allah has outlined everything for us. It is His right to be obeyed by us. If we obey Him alone, live according to His instructions, and follow the teachings of His Prophet (PBUH), then only can we be successful in this life. That is also what will serve us in the afterlife, for this life is only for a fleeting period.
Rights of Allah: Articles of faith
1st article of faith: Belief in Allah
This is the first and foremost right of Allah’s (Huqooq Allah) over us. We must believe in Him and His Lordship. By adhering to this belief, we are on the right track. If we don’t adhere to this belief, we are completely lost and hopeless. This belief is the key to success for every human being in this life and the next.
In Surah Ali ‘Imran, we learn that if Allah helps someone, no one can overwhelm that person, but if He forsakes someone, others cannot help that person. The believers should rely on Allah.
2nd article of faith: Belief in the Angels
The angels are created from light, and they are slaves of Allah. They obey Him night and day and carry out all His commands, as mentioned in Surah At-Tahrim. They are created to worship Him alone.
We do not know about the number of angels, but Allah has told us about some of them. There is Jibrael (a.s.) who delivered the Quran, Mikaeel (a.s.) who is the angel of rain, Israfeel, the angel who will blow the trumpet, etc.
3rd article of faith: Belief in the Revealed Books
Allah revealed books to several of his Messengers. We are informed in the Quran of the Injeel (Gospel) which was sent to Isa (Jesus); the Tawrah (Torah) which was sent to Musa (Moses); the Zabur (Psalms) which was sent to Dawud (David); and the Suhuf (Scrolls) sent to Ibrahim (Abraham) – besides the Quran sent to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), of course. In Surah Al-Hijr, Allah says that He will guard the Quran.
4th article of faith: Belief in the Prophets
We must believe in the Prophets that Allah sent to warn mankind. A countless number of Prophets were sent, of which more than 20 are named in the Quran. In Surah An-Nahl, Allah says that He sent messengers to all nations, who called on their people to worship Allah alone.
Amongst them is the first man and Prophet, Adam, as well as others such as Nuh, Lut, Ibrahim, Yousuf, Dawud, Sulayman, Isa, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
5th article of faith: Belief in the Last Day
Muslims must believe that the life of this Earth is a temporary abode. The actual purpose of life is to obey Allah’s commands in order to be able to survive the trials of the last day. On that day, we will be questioned about our deeds. Our good and evil deeds will be put on a scale, and we will require Allah’s mercy to get to Paradise.
In Surah An-Nisa, we learn that believers should spend from the wealth Allah bestows upon them, while believing in Him and the Day of Resurrection.
6th article of faith: Belief in the Divine Decree
All human beings have a pre-ordained time during which they will live. Allah has created everything and foreordained its appropriate measure. He has complete knowledge of what has ever happened and will happen. Nothing happens without His will, and nothing can happen against what He wills to happen.
Rights of Allah: The five pillars
1st pillar of Islam: Shahada (testimony of faith)
Muslims are required to say, “La ilaahaa illa Allah, Muhammad ur Rasool Allah.” This is the testimony of faith, meaning there is no true God but Allah and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His Messenger. A Muslim’s statement of faith must come from the heart with conviction, and only Allah knows people’s true intentions. This is one of the most important rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah).
In Surah Al-An’am, we are told that Allah is our Lord, the Creator and Disposer of everything. There is no deity apart from Him, so we should worship Allah.
2nd pillar of Islam: Salah (prayer)
Allah instructed Muslims to offer prayer five times a day. The five prayers are called Maghrib, Isha, Fajr, Zuhr, and Asr. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah emphasized that we should strictly maintain our Fardh prayers. This is amongst the rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah) that Muslims can never neglect.
The Prophet (PBUH) mentioned in an authentically narrated Hadith that prayer is the difference between faith and disbelief. Hence, this is something of the utmost importance that we shouldn’t ever neglect.
3rd pillar of Islam: Zakat (alms)
Giving a particular portion of our wealth in charity annually is an obligation. Muslims must have a certain amount of wealth to qualify. Zakat is ordained on one’s wealth, land, crops, etc. This is separate from optional charity, which is highly recommended as well. However, Zakat is a yearly obligation, and Muslims are extremely sinful if they willingly neglect it. Those who pay Zakat are described as good-doers in Surah Luqman.
4th pillar of Islam: Sawm (fasting)
Allah has instructed us to fast during the month of Ramadan. Therefore, we must abstain from food, drink, and marital relations between dawn and sunset. Ramadan is also a blessed month where good deeds have multiple rewards. Hence, it’s a month where we can redeem ourselves. In the process, we must fulfill Allah’s requirement of fasting for the whole month. The obligation of fasting is mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah.
5th pillar of Islam: Hajj (pilgrimage)
Pilgrimage is one of the conditional pillars of Islam. Anyone who is financially and physically able to perform Hajj is required to do it once during their lifetimes. The rites of Hajj include circumambulation around the Kaaba, going between the hills of Safa and Marwa, standing at Arafah, etc. In Surah Al-Haj, there are a number of verses regarding the pilgrimage.
Obey Allah and the Messenger
In Surah An-Nisa, Allah calls on the believers to obey Him and His Messenger. Possibly one of the most famous verses of the Quran, this command, in a few words, outlines the rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah). To obey Him, we have to carry out all the commands from Him in the Quran. That includes obligatory acts that he has instructed us to do. Similarly, we must refrain from all that he has forbidden while advocating for good and opposing evil.
Allah’s command to obey the Prophet (PBUH) is also critical as it denounces those Muslims who reject the sunnah. Consequently, all Muslims must be aware of the importance of what the Prophet (PBUH) preached. Under no circumstances can we disregard the sunnah, without which we wouldn’t even know the correct method of prayer.
The rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah) form the basis for our whole lives. When we fulfill the rights of Allah, we also fulfill the rights we owe towards others, such as our fellow humans. Ultimately, fulfilling the rights of Allah is to our benefit. He needs nothing from us, but we are nothing without Him. Thus, obeying Him is not only the right thing to do, but it is to our own benefit.
As Allah says in Surah Al ‘Imran, everyone will experience death and only receive their compensation on the Last Day. The life of this world is merely the pleasure of delusion.
The rights of Allah (Huqooq Allah) lay at the heart of a Muslim’s life, akin to the fundamental values that steer a person’s journey. Just as belief in the oneness of Allah, faith in angels, Prophets, revealed books, the Last Day, and divine decree are the core beliefs, the five pillars of Islam—Shahada, Salah, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj—are the tangible expressions of these beliefs in everyday life. By honoring these rights, Muslims find both purpose and guidance, much like the guiding stars that illuminate their path in the journey of life.