This rich and sophisticated society took a tolerant view towards other faiths. Tolerancewas unheard of in the rest of Europe. But in Muslim Spain, thousands of Jews and Christianslived in peace and harmony with their Muslim overlords. (Burke, 1985, p. 38)
The Right to a Basic Standard of Life
A basic standard of life includes the minimum essentials necessary for survival, such asfood, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anyone suffering from deprivation of theseeconomic necessities is entitled to receive aid in order to meet their needs. It is the duty of everyMuslim with adequate means to give from their wealth, in order to eradicate poverty fromsociety.
Dignity and Equality
The Glorious Quran says: And in their wealth the beggar and the outcast had due share.[Quran 51:19]
The Right to Justice
Islam requires that Muslims possess upright character and deal justly with the entirehuman race, irrespective of their ethnicity, nationality, creed, and whether they are friend or foe.The Glorious Quran says: O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses tofair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that yedo. [Quran, 5:8]The sense of justice that Islam encompasses is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because, as I read in the Qur'an, I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practicalethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world. [Lectures on The Ideals of Islam seeSpeeches and Writings of Sarojini Naidu, Madras, 1918, p. 167]
Rights and Mutual Responsibility
From the foregoing discussion, it is clear that Islamic law has divinely mandated rightsfor individuals in their specific roles as spouse, parent, child, relative, neighbor, friend, and evenfoe. In its distribution of rights and responsibilities, Islam has addressed the social, racial, gender,and sectarian issues plaguing the world. Although much of the world, including Muslim nations,have yet to fully implement it, the model of rights and mutual responsibilities enshrined in Islam,has a tremendous potential for individual and social reform.
(AS), the fourth Caliph & son in law of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) had written acomprehensive letter articulating principles of public policy for the guidance of the newlyappointed Governor to Egypt, Maalik al Ashtar
In this fascinating directive
Ali (AS) advises thenew governor that his administration will succeed only if he governs with concern for justice,equity, probity and the prosperity of all. There is a timeless applicability of this famous letter.Selected passages from the text are reproduced below:
Amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religionas you [and] are brothers to you, and those who have religions other than yours, [who] are human beings like you. Men of either category suffer from the same weaknesses and disabilities thathuman beings are inclined to; they commit sins, indulge in vices either intentionally or foolishlyand unintentionally without realising the enormity of their deeds. Let your mercy andcompassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expectAllah to show mercy and forgiveness to you.
Equity is best
A policy which is based on equity will be largely appreciated. Remember that thedispleasure of common men, the have-nots and the depressed persons, over-balances theapproval of important persons, while the displeasure of a few big people will be excused… if thegeneral public and the masses of your subjects are happy with you.The rich are the people who will be the worst drag upon you during your moments of peace and happiness, and the least useful to you during your hours of need and adversity. Theyhate justice the most. They will keep demanding more and more out of State resources and willseldom be satisfied with what they receive and will never be obliged for the favour shown tothem if their demands are justifiably refused.
You must select people of excellent character and high caliber with meritorious records.When they realise that they have committed a mistake in judgment, they should not insist on it by trying to justify it. They should not be corrupt, covetous or greedy. These appointments must be made. without any kind of favouritism being shown or influence being accepted; otherwise3