Islam, Human Rights and Rights of Minorities

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Dr. Kamran Rafique
(Lecturer, Nawaz Sharif Medical College, University of Gujrat)

(“O People, just as you regard this month, this day and this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust”. “Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners”. “O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you”. “Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers”. “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” “Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.”) (Few extracts from the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad SALLALAHO ELAIHE WA AALE HI WASALLAM. delivered on 9th Day of Zil Haj, 09th Hijra at Arafat, Mekkah). History of mankind is replete with the examples of human atrocities in all times. We can have the flashbacks of killing of sons in the era of Pharaoh of Egypt, burial of newly born daughters in Arab, polyandry in different parts of the world, selling of slaves in open markets, exchange of women in peace treaties, refusal of the right of women to inherit the property, discrimination in Law between the rich and deprived, humiliating laws for the prisoners, throwing of alive slaves in front of wild beasts at the time of royal festivals to satisfy the barbarian nature of monarchs etc. In the early seventh century a light of hope appeared for the weak and deprived. It was in the form of teachings of Islam that were conveyed by Prophet Muhammad SAWW He, in the guidance of Divine revelations told the mankind that all human being are equal, they deserve respect and kindness in all circumstances. This is reinforced by following verse of Holy Quran “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)”.( Al-Hujurat , Verse No. 13) Islam raised the sanctity of human life regardless of the socioeconomic standing of any person. On one hand Islam taught that, to save one life is just like to save all humanity and to kill one person is as to eradicate all humanity and on the other hand, Islam provided a strict Law that beautifully protects the interests of Human life. Apparently, to some Human Rights activists, Islamic Law is extraordinarily strict and violates Human Rights especially the clause referring to an Eye for an Eye, a Hand for a Hand and a life for a life. But this law has three outstanding characteristics; First of which is that, it equates the loss suffered by the victim that naturally satisfies the grief of sufferer, secondly: if it is applied in true spirit, then it sends a clear message to whole society to be very careful while going for the violation of sanctity of any body’s life that directly decreases the crime rate in whole society and finally it is equally applicable on all the socioeconomic classes. Following words of Prophet SAWW while giving the verdict of a case of theft are very much pertinent in this regard, “If Fatima Binte Muhammad had committed this, she would have also suffered the same punishment” are hallmark of equality and justice in Islamic Law.

Islam has asserted on the human rights in all aspects i.e. parents, children, siblings, relatives, women, neighbors, slaves, prisoners, orphans and needy and minorities etc. Islam is considered as the fastest growing religion of the world, which had spread to more than half of the world within first 40 years of...
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