Human Rights in Islam and Significance according to the Quran

What is Human Right?

All human beings are born free and equal in status and respect. Human rights are the basic rights that belong to every person in the world, from birth to death. They apply no matter of where a person from, what he believes or how he chooses to live his life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted in some cases if it comes to national security for example if he is breaking the law and something related to it. These basic rights are based on values like dignity, integrity, equality, respect, and independence. These are basic human rights of people who are living in this world and we should know about these human rights.

Human Rights in Islam

Religion Islam lay down some basic human rights for all human beings whether he is a believer or on non-believer, and whether he belongs to same country or place or any other country. Whatever be the case, he/she has some basic human rights because he/she is a human being, which should be recognized by every Muslim. In fact, it will be the duty of every Muslim and human being to fulfill these obligations.

Islam proclaims all people are equal in terms of human values, and all individuals are equal before the Islamic code of law.  Its judgments and legal penalties are applicable to all races and classes of people without any distinction, and without any person, group or nation acquiring freedom or benefit.  Every human being is designate to his integrity, honor, and reputation during his life and after his death.

Every individual in an Islamic society, regardless of his faith or religious connection, position or social status, has certain inflexible rights, which all people have to follow and accept no matter to what religion or faith he/she belongs to.

Allah says in Quran: “And those who do not judge by what Allah has laid down they are surely disbelievers.” (Quran 5: 44)

Basic human rights must be exercised because everything that Allah Almighty does is for a just purpose and those who do not follow and exercised are the disbelievers as mentioned in above Ayah of Holy Quran.

Significance of Human Rights according to the Quran

It is the individual, social, and universal responsibility of Muslims, according to their faith, to protect the human dignity and virtues of all human beings, no matter what their differences may be they have. Defending the human rights of any human being is a religious duty for a Muslim, who believes that any oppression is an interference of Allah’s will and plan in His creation. Muslim believes that Allah Almighty has created all mankind equal as human beings, and no one can claim superiority in this respect, whatever his nationality, family, wealth or gender may be. Allah says in Quran: “O humanity! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have created you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Quran, 49:13)

One who believes in one Lord also believes in equality of all human beings and their basic human rights. Islam provides many human rights for an Individual. We will discuss some of the basic human rights that Islam protects.

  • Right to Life: The first and the most important basic human right is the right to live and respect human life. In Quran Allah says: “Saving a life it is as though he had saved the lives all mankind, whosoever kills a human being without any reason, it is as though he had killed all mankind” (Quran, 5:32). So from this, we can conclude that one should give respect to other human life and let them live their life without interfering in their lives.
  • Right to Freedom: Islam has strictly forbidden the fundamental practice to conquer a free man and making him a slave or to sell him into slavery. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgment. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money” (Al-Bukhari and Ibn Majjah) The words of this hadith of the Prophet (SAW) are also general, they have not been qualified or made applicable to a particular nation, race, country or followers of a particular religion. The greatest guarantee of personal freedom for a Muslim lies in the Quranic decree that no one other than Almighty Allah can limit human freedom.
  • The right of Equality among Human Beings: Islam recognizes the principle of absolute equality between men irrespective of color, race or nationality. Racism is not allowed in Islam in Quran Allah says: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” (Quran, 49:13) Allah has created all human beings and all are equal in the sight of Allah they can be distinguished on the basis of their faith and devoutness. Islam established the principle of equality of the entire human race. According to Islam, Allah has given a man this right of equality as a birthright. Prophet (SAW) said in his last sermon: “No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; no white man has any superiority over a black man neither does the black man have any superiority over the white man.”
  • Right to Equal Justice: Islam is the religion of peace and Justice. Allah said in Quran: “And act justly. Truly, God loves those who are just” (Quran, 49:9). Since all humans are equal, they are equal in the eyes of the law. Thus everyone has the right to justice. Justice before the law is to be strictly impartial without regard to religion, race, position, wealth or any other  This is another important and valuable right given in Islam to all people, irrespective of race, religion.
  • The right of Honor and Respect: Islam protects honor, in Islam insulting others and making fun of them is not allowed whether a person is a believer or non-believer. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “The best among you is the one who doesn’t harm others with his tongue and hands.”One should not humiliate and disrespect another human especially in public. The humanness of all human beings is to be respected and considered to be an end in itself.
  • Right to Basic Necessities of Life: Islam emphasizes on helping poor and needy who needs your help if you are more fortunate. In Holy Quran Allah says: “And in their wealth, there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute” (Quran, 51:12).It is also the Government’s duty to help such people who are in need of these basic necessities of life. This includes food, health, education, and shelter.
  • Rights to Privacy: It is a basic right of every citizen that his private life should be respected. He must enjoy moments of privacy at his home. The Holy Quran says: “O believers! Do not enter houses of others, without respectfully seeking permission of their occupants; this is the conduct enjoined on you. And if you find none in a house, do not enter it unless directed otherwise. And go back if you are not allowed entry, this is what behooves you; and God knows all that you do. There is nothing wrong on your part, if you enter uninhabited places, if they are of any use to you; but God knows what you express or conceal.” (Quran, 24:27-29. In Islam, it is forbidden to spy on other people’s private lives. We should respect the privacy of others so do they will respect of us.

In short, the rights of humans granted by Allah cannot be withdrawn from any race, party or individual. No one has the right to withdraw them. They are not simple basic rights only to be conferred on paper but they need to be practiced. And those who have not gotten their rights in this life will receive them on the Day of Judgment, as the Prophet (SAW) said: “On the Day of Judgment, rights will be given to those to whom they are due (and wrongs will be redressed).”

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