Chapter-15 Basic Human Rights

These are the rights which every human being, on account of his belonging to the human race, is entitled to without any discrimination of sex, colour, race, religion, abode (land) and nationality. An Islamic State guarantees these rights to every individual living in its territory. And if the state fails to provide such a surety, the individuals can acquire those rights through the court of law. The prominent rights are as follows:

1. Every human child is equally worthy of respect, thus on account of one's genesis there can be no discrimination; there is no difference between one man and the other: (17:70)

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"We have honoured the humanity as a whole" has been ordained by Allah.

2. In the Islamic Social Order, criterion of determining status of its people shall be their personal deeds and merit: (46:19)

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"And to all are (assigned) degrees according to their deeds."

3. No human being can be subservient to another. Nobody can have the right to rule other people (3:78)

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"No human has the right, even though Allah may have given him a 'code of laws' or the power to enforce it or even Nabuwwah that he should say unto mankind: 'Be subservient to me instead of Allah'. (Subservience can only be to the Divine Injunctions. Its details have already been given under the heading 'State Affairs').

It is apparent that when nobody can be subservient to another, how can he be a slave to others. The Quran closed the door of slavery for good.

4. None shall seize the labour of another person by force, every worker shall get the full recompense of his labour; (39:70)

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"To every person shall be paid in full (the fruits) of his deeds".

Recompense does not mean wages. The concept of wages is a product of the capitalist system; the Quran has cut at its very roots. Compensation means the fulfillment of needs. Anything surplus to ones needs, shall be willingly handed over to others (with complete promptness of his heart). Take for example a peasant who puts in labour for one full year and produces one hundred maunds of wheat; that wheat certainly belongs to him, none can seize it forcibly; but on the basis of his Eemaan (conviction) he shall give to others all that is surplus to his needs. This shall happen in the social order of the Mu'mineen (the believers). (See details under the heading 'Economics')

5. Everyone shall be treated justly: (16:90)

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"Indeed Allah commands justice and benevolence." (Details of what is meant by justice have been given under the heading 'Justice')

So much so that justice shall be meted out even to the enemy: (5:8)

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"Let not the enmity of others to you, make you deviate from the path of Justice". Always do justice (with friends as well as foes). This shall bring you nearer to that mode of life, which Allah desires, for you.

6. Not only justice, if someone lags behind in spite of his best efforts, his deficiency has to be made good by others to restore the disturbed balance in society. That is called 'Ihsaan'. That is why it is said: (70:24-25)

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"Those who are indigents or are incapacitated, have a recognised right in the wealth of society".

7. The right of sustenance:

To provide means of sustenance to every individual is the responsibility of the system raised on Divine Injunctions: (6:152). Such system shall proclaim:

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"We are responsible for your needs as well as the needs of your offsprings."

8. Security and safety of life.

(Details already described in the chapter on protection of life). (See 6:152)

9. Protection of Wealth.

Everything that a person has gained and has been lawfully acknowledged as his property, shall be protected. (Details already given in the chapter on Protection of Property). See (4:29)

10. Protection of dwellings.

To expel people from their places of residence has been declared a crime (2:85).

11. Protection of chastity.

Details have been given in the chapter on 'Zina' (Adultery).

12. Protection of aesthetics.

It means the right to satisfy one's taste for the beauties of this life remaining within the limits of the law. The Holy Quran lays down in a challenging manner: (7:32)

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"Say to them, O Rasool: who dares forbidding the adornments and elegance of life (beautiful gifts of Allah) which He has produced for His obedient people (the humans) and the agreeable and wholesome things (which He has provided) for their sustenance" (See also 7:26 and 18:31)

The Holy Quran has presented 'life of Paradise' as the ideal life. This also includes the beautiful gifts of life. The details are as under: (76:12-16)

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"This life of Paradise is the result of their perseverance and constancy. Therein they lead a life of tranquillity and authority; in Gardens 'ever succulent'; atmosphere of ardour and emancipation. They shall be reclining therein on raised thrones (of authority and discretion). They will find therein neither the sun's (excessive heat), nor excessive cold of the winter _ an everlasting spring _ thick shady trees stooping over them with fruit-laden branches; no means of sustenance or comfort shall be beyond their reach _ they shall get them without soul-exhausting efforts; food will be served to them in utensils of silver and drinks in beakers (as) of glass i.e. bright as glass but made of silver. Those utensils would have been made according to the most proportionate measures."

Let it be clearly understood that in an Islamic Order, the above mentioned things shall be available to all, and not to any one particular rank or class. In the life of paradise there shall be no separate ranks of the rich and the poor.

13. Right of the freedom of religion.

There is the freedom to adopt or forsake whatever religion one likes (2:256)

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"There is no compulsion in following the way of life based on the Quranic fundamentals". (Details already given, under the heading 'STATE AFFAIRS' __ sub-heading 'Position of non-Muslims in an Islamic State' and the protection of their places of worship.) In Surah Hajj (22nd Chapter of the Quran) it is said: (22:40)

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"Had Allah not restrained one set of people through another, (and given a free hand to the transgressors to do what they willed), there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is remembered much."

Be it clear that according to the Holy Quran there is no punishment for 'Murtad' (i.e. one who abandons Islam for any other religion -- an apostate). When freedom of religion is the basic principle, then why should there be a punishment for change of religion

14. Right of redress of grievances to the oppressed.

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(4:148) "Allah loves not, public exposure of the evil, except by a person who has been wronged."

15. The right of a person not to bear the burden of another.

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(6:164) "Every soul draws the meed of his own acts on none but himself: NO bearer of burden can bear the burden of another." This is the basic principle.

In addition to it there are certain rights which do not come under 'Laws'. These were described under different headings.

These rights mean that any law which deprives people of these rights shall be repugnant to the Quran; also that if any society does not fulfil these rights, it can be sued in the court of law. (Details in my collection of articles in the book titled [Nau] 'Bahare-e-Nau').


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