Human rights in islam



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The United Nations found it necessary to guarantee this form of freedom, yet all Muslim countries used to be one homeland with Islam as their nationality. Muslims were completely free to move from one country to another; in fact they considered it their duty to do so. In the Qur’an, God says:

Say (to them), ‘Travel through the earth and see how god originated creation; so will god generate a later creation, for God has power over all things.” (Al-Ankabut 29:20)
According, in Islam, a person also has the right to settle wherever he likes and the state has no right to settlement. For example, the Prophet ordered his companions to emigrate to Abyssinia saying to hem “Disperse in the land, God will gather you”, and he himself emigrated from Makkah to Madinah. The Qur’an requires emigration for the cause of God, and emigration if a Muslim feels frustrated, humiliated and his religion or life threatened. And, if he does not do so while he is able to, he may even be considered blameworthy. If he emigrates for the purpose of protecting his religion, God promises to offer him all the comfort and happiness he needs in his new place of residence. God says:
Whoever migrates for the cause of God, will find much refuge and abundance in the earth, and whosoever forsakes his home, a fugitive unto God and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then incumbent on God” (Al-Nisa'a 4:100)
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr18 related the following incident “A man died in Madinah where had been born. The Prophet (pbuh) prayed for his soul and said, ‘I wish he had died in a place other than his birth place. The people present at the funeral said, why do you say that, O messenger of God?, He answered,’ If a man dies in a place other than his birth place, the distance between his birth place and his death place will be measured and earmarked for him in paradise. [An-Nisa'I and Ibn Majah].

Naturally Islam, which requires emigration on the part of the persecuted, welcomes all persecuted people from other countries provided they are not criminals or corrupt people. Thus, Islam holds a positive view on emigration and political asylum and favors the persecuted. This inclination was put into effect during the era of Islamic rule when the caliph had the right to grant security to those who sought refuge in Muslim countries even if they were polytheists God says in Qur’an:

And if anyone of the idolators seeks your protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of God and afterward convey him to his place of safety.” (Surah Al-Taubah 9:6).
In fact, Islam extends emigration opportunities by granting this right to all Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Muslims are all of equal standing. The poorest one among them can give refuge and protection on behalf of all Muslims. Muslims as a whole constitute one hand against their enemy, and the lowest Muslims can represent all the Muslims” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]


Every person, whether male or female, has the invariable right to dignity which has been conferred on them by the Creator who favoured all human beings by making them the best of creation.

Personal dignity includes the requirement that man’s life, honor and property be fully respected. Islam puts such heavy stress on this requirement that the Prophet (pbuh) reaffirmed it at the huge gathering of his followers in Arafat during Hajj. In his farewell speech, he asked those around him, “What day is this?” They replied, “God and His messenger know better”. He then kept silent until they thought that he would name it otherwise. Then he asked, “It is not Dhul Hijjah?19 They said, “Yes”. Then he asked, “What town is this?” They replied, “God and His messenger know better”. He then kept silent until they thought that he would name it otherwise. Then he asked, “Is it not Makkah?” They said, “Yes”. He then said, “Your life, your property and your honors are as sacred as this day of yours in this month of yours in this city of yours. When you meet your Lord, He will ask you about your deed. So do not deviated from the right course by killing one another when I am no longer with you. Thus I have conveyed the message. Those present convey it to those who are absent.” [Muslim & Abu Dawud]

The religion of Islam confirms the right to human dignity. Many of its divine texts warn against the violation of this right and confirms its sanctity. For example God says in the Qur’an:
Whosoever slays a believer intentionally, his reward is Hell, forever, God is angry with him and has cursed him, and prepared an awful doom for him.” (An-Nisa 4:93)
The Prophet (pbuh) also said, “the Muslims life, wealth honor are forbidden to all other Muslims.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
On another occasion he also said: “The extinction of the world is lees horrible to God than the murder of a Muslim.” (At-Tirmidhi & An-Nasa’i). One day the Prophet (pbuh) stood before the Ka’bah and said, “How good you and your smell are! How great and sacred you are! By Him, Who has my soul in His hand, a believer’s property and life unto God are more sacred than you.” (Ibn Majah - weak). If these divine texts confirm such inviolability on the part of a Muslim’s dignity, the Prophet (pbuh) also confirms it with regard to peaceful non-Muslims. He said, “He who kills one bound to us by a covenant shall never smell the perfume of paradise.”
Respect toward one’s sense of honor and reputation forms an intrinsic part of the right to dignity. It is not permissible to incriminate or defame any member of society. The Qur’an states:
Lo! Those who love that slander should be spread concerning those who believe, theirs will be a painful punishment in this world an din the hereafter.” (Surah Al-Nur 24:19)

In order to retain the sanctity human dignity and to prevent people from slandering others. Islam requires that evidence concerning illicit sexual relations be rejected when only supported by the testimony of two men, although the testimony of two people sufficient in the case of murder. Moreover, testimony that confirms the occurrence of illicit sex should be given by four believing men enjoying just reputations. If the accuser does not produce the correct number of witness, he is considered a sinner, is whipped eighty times and is considered untrustworthy by the society. The Qur’an says:

And those who accuse honorable women of fornication or adultery but do not bring four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony – they are indeed

evil-doers.” (Surah An-Nur 24:4)
Another privilege of the right to human dignity granted by Islam is that no person has the right to insult another person, hurt his feelings, call him bad names or debase him. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is a great enough evil for man to despite his brother Muslim. (Great enough to earn punishment in the next life).” He also said, “Insulting a Muslims is sin and fighting him is disbelief.”[Ahmad, Bukhari, & Muslim]. Even a look or gesture which might imply ridicule is considered illegal in Islam. God said:
O you who believe! Let not some men among you make fun of others; it may be that the (latter) are better (than the former). Nor let some women make fun of other, it may be that (the latter) are better than the (former). Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. Ill-seeming is the name connoting wickedness (to be used of one) after he has believed and those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.” (Surah Al-Hujarat 49:11)
Islam can not be matched by any other religion or secular system in terms of implementing proper care for human feelings and maintaining the bonds of love and friendship among people. The Prophet (pbuh) prohibit any behavior which suggested negligence or disregard for a friend. He said, “If you are three people, two of you should not speak in a confidential manner in the presence of a third till they mix with other people, because that would bring sadness to the heart of the third person and would alienate him.” [Ahmad, Bukhari, & Muslim].

Protecting of human dignity also requires that no one should be unlawfully arrested, imprisoned, censured, tortured, insulted or terrorized. In the case of a criminal, the ruler may deal with him as he deserves to be dealt with; otherwise, the ruler has no right to arrest, imprison, torture or insult anybody. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “The Muslim’s back is protected from lashing unless he deserves lawful punishment”. He also said, “he who punishes a Muslim unlawfully, will meet an angry God on the Day of judgment.” (Tabarani). And on another occasion, he was reported to have said, “Let none of you point a weapon at a brother Muslim. You do not know perhaps the devil may entice you to kill the man and thus cause you to fall in a pit of Hell.” [Ahmad, Bukhari, & Muslim].

Islamic state and its not confined to Muslims alone. This fact is exemplified in the following incident: Zaid ibn Sa’nah, a Jewish Rabbi, said that he had once given the Prophet (pbuh) a loan to settle the affairs of some people who had recently embraced Islam. Zaid, however, decided to collect his money before the payment was actually due. He said, “I went to the Prophet, seized him by the collar of his shirt and looked at him harshly and said. ‘O Muhammad, will you not give me my due? By God, I have mixed with you people of Abd Al-Muttalib and I know that you are nothing but procrastinators’. With burning eyes, ‘Umar looked at me sternly and said, ‘You enemy of God, how dare you speak to the Prophet in this manner and behave towards him like this! By Him who has my soul in His hand, had it not been for my fear of God, whose power I dread, I would have struck your head off with my sword!’ Meanwhile. The Prophet was looking at me in silence and patience, then he said to ‘Umar, ‘This man I were in need of something else. You could have instructed me to repay him kindly and him to ask for his money (politely). Go with him. ‘Umar, give him back his due and add to it twenty measures of dates because you have frightened him. ‘Umar did what the Prophet (pbuh) told him to do”. Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) compensated a Jew because he had been frightened by ‘Umar when asking the Prophet (pbuh) for his payment.
Additionally, one is required, according to the principle of upholding human dignity, to take into consideration the sanctity of the home and family. no one has the right to break into a house or enter it without the permission of its owner nor should anyone spy from outside on those inside the house. God says in Qur’an:

O you believe! Enter not houses other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking peace upon the folk therein.” (Surah Al-Nur 24:27)

And spy not each other” (Surah Al-Hujarat 49:12)
The Prophet (pbuh) said, whoever removes a screen and peeps inside before he is permitted to, violates divine instruction. And, if anybody gouges out his eye for this, he will not be punished” (Ahmad, Bukhari, & Muslim). Islamic morality requires that one should not enter another man’s house without his permission lest one sees what one should not see upon opening the door. The Prophet (pbuh) said, Do not approach the doors of houses directly. Always approach from the side and ask for permission to enter. Enter permission is given, otherwise leave,”
Islam also prohibits prying into another person’s private affairs, searching his belonging or opening his letters unless these things are done lawfully. In the history of Islam, letters used to be sealed so that no one could act fraudulently. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab organized the postal service into an advance system on which most later system were based.

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