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, which reads, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.” In Islam, protecting human’s life is verily the foremost aim of shari’ah right after the protection of religion in the context of five basic necessities (Al-daruriyat al-khams). Shari’ah is so given to establish this protection, and the right to life is therefore duly recognized to be inherent of every human being. Life is seen as among the biggest bounty granted by Allah. The existence of life itself is a trust for every human being to utilize it, and it is the basis of rights and duties, for there is no liability born by a dead body or thing. That is why life is so much regarded and protected from being interrupted or discontinued by human intervention. Killing is prohibited and counted as among the biggest sin. In this respect, the Holy Qur’an lays down: “Whosoever kills a human being (without any reason, like) manslaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind” (5:32). Thus, no killing shall be committed by human except there is valid justification. “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law” (6:151). This process of law include the capital punishment in the Islamic law, which is also used in other legal systems. Indeed, the protection of life as denoted by Qur’anic verses must not be exclusively understood as it is. Extension of the scope of life shall be permitted so as to allow the protection granted effectively and inline with the purposes of human’s life itself. It is not only the existence of life, but the quality of life safety is also protected in Islam. Allah says, “And whosoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind” (5:32). The human’s health, wealth, environment, pollution, earning, education, economic activities, and many other things in human’s life are all attended and given concern in Islam. Allah warns those who would leave their family in the state of weakness and poverty (Qur’an, 4:9). In other while, Allah praises those who possess knowledge compared those who don’t. Furthermore, the protection of whole five basic necessities (i.e., the religion, soul, intellect, kinship and property) also corroborate this submission, that it is the quality of life that is sought to be protected as the extension of the protection of life. In the address which the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: "Your lives and properties are forbidden on one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection." Allah Almighty has laid down in the Holy Qur’an: "Anyone who kills a believer deliberate will receive as his reward (a sentence) to live in Hell for ever. Allah will be angry with him and curse of Allah and peace be upon him) has also said about the dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim state): "One who kills a man under covenant (i.e. a dhimmis will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise" (Bukhari and Abu Dawood).
Islam prohibits all killing except that done in the due process of law. This is referred to in the Qur’an as bi'l-haqq ("with the truth"). During wars or insurrections, only a jut and righteous government, which follows the Shari’a, can decide whether the taking of a life is justified. These weighty decisions may not be left in the hands of a court which has become heedless of Allah's will and is under the influence of the administration. Such judiciary may miscarry justice. Nor can the state seek justification in the Holy Qur’an or Traditions if it murders citizens because they oppose unjust policies and actions or criticize it for its misdeeds; equally, the state has no right to hire assassins to kill innocent people and then protect the assassins from the just retribution of the courts. The very existence of such a government is a crime and none of the killings carried out by it can be called "execution for the sake of justice", as the Holy Qur’an puts it. Along with security of life, Islam has with equal clarity conferred the right of security of ownership of property. The Holy Qur’an goes so far as to declare that the taking of people's possessions or property is prohibited unless done by lawful means: The law of Allah categorically declares: "Do not devour one another's wealth by false and illegal means" (2:188). The Protection of Honour: The second important right is the right of citizen to the protection of their honour. In the address delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) not only prohibited Muslims taking the life and property of other Muslims, but also any encroachment on their honour, respect and chastity. The Holy Qur’an lays down: (a) "You who believe, do no let one (set of) people make fun of another set. (b) Do not defame one another. (c) Do not insult by using nicknames. (d) And do not backbite or speak ill of one another" (49:11-12). This law is superior to the Western law of defamation. Under Islamic law, if it is proved that someone has attacked the honour of another person, then, irrespective of whether the victim is able to prove himself a interesting and honourable person, the culprit will be punished. The interesting a fact about the Western law of defamation is that the person who files suit for defamation has first to prove that he is a man of honour and public esteem and during the interrogation he may be subjected to scurrilous attacks and accusations by the defence counsel - to such an extent that the court hearing may be more damaging than the attack on his reputation which originally led him to the court. In addition, he also has to produce witnesses to testify in court that, the defamatory accusations have damaged his reputation in their eyes.
Equality: Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute equality in the eyes of the law. As far as Muslims are concerned, there are clear instructions in the Holy Qur’an Hadith that in their rights and obligations they are all equal: "The believers are brothers (to each other)" (49:10). "If they (disbelieves) repent and keep up prayer and pay the welfare due they are your brothers in faith" (9:11). The Prophet has said that: "The life and blood of Muslims are equally precious" (AbuDawood, Ibn Maja). In another Hadith he has said: "The protection given by all Muslims are equal. Even an ordinary man of them can grant protection to any man" (Bukhari, Muslim, AbuDawood). In another more detailed Tradition of the Prophet, it has been said that those accept the Oneness of Allah, believe in the Prophethood of His Messenger, give up primitive prejudices and join the Muslim community and brotherhood, "then they have the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have" (Bukhari, Nisai). Thus there is absolute equality between converts to Islam and born followers of the Faith. This religious brotherhood and the uniformity of their rights and obligations is the foundation of equality in Islamic society. The position of non-Muslim citizens in an Islamic State has been well expressed by the Caliph ‘Ali: "They have accepted our protection only because their lives may be like our lives and their properties like our properties" (AbuDawood). In other words, their lives and properties are as sacred as the lives and properties of Muslims. Discrimination based on class was one of the greatest crimes that, according to the Qur’an, Pharaoh used to indulge in: "He had divided his people into different classes," ... "And he suppressed one group of them (at the cost of others)" (28:4). Islam insists and demands that all officials of an Islamic State, from most senior to most junior, are equal in the eyes of the law. One of them can claim immunity from it. The most humble citizen has the right to file a legal complaint against the highest executive in the land. The Caliph 'Umar said; "I have myself seen the Prophet, may Allah's blessings be on him, taking revenge against himself (penalizing himself for some shortcoming or failing)." On the occasion of the battle of Badr, when the Prophet was straightening the rows of the Muslim army, he hit the stomach of a soldier in an attempt to push him back in line. the solider complained, "O Prophet, you have hurt me with your stick." The Prophet immediately bared his stomach and said, "I am very sorry, you can revenge by doing the same to me." The soldier came forward and kissed the abdomen of the Prophet and said that this was all that he wanted. A woman belonging to a high and noble family was arrested in connection with a theft. The case was brought to the Prophet and it was recommended that she be spared punishment. The Prophet replied: "The nations that lived before you were destroyed by Allah because they punished the common man for their offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes; I swear by Him (Allah) who holds my life in His hand that even if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, then I would have amputated her hand."
During the caliphate of 'Umar, Muhammad the son of 'Amr bin al-'s, the Governor of Egypt, whipped an Egyptian. The Egyptian went to Madina and lodged his complaint with the Caliph, who immediately summoned the Governor and his son. When they appeared before him the Caliph handed a whip to the Egyptian plaintiff and asked him to whip the son of the Governor in his presence. After the Egyptian had taken his revenge, 'Umar said to him: Give one stroke of the whip to the Honourable Governor as well. His son would certainly not have beaten you were it not for the false pride that he had in his father's high office." The plaintiff submitted. "The person who had beaten me, I have already avenged myself on him." 'Umar said: "By Allah, if you had beaten him (the Governor) I would not have checked you from doing so. You have spared him of your own free will." Then he ('Umar) turned to 'Amr bin al-'s, and said angrily: "O 'Amr, when did you start to enslave the people, though they were born free of their mothers?" When the Islamic State was flourishing in its pristine glory, the common people could equally lodge complaints against the caliph of the time in the court and the caliph had to appear before the qadi to answer the charges. And if the caliph had any complaint against any citizen, he could not act without first referring the case to the court of law. The Right to Justice: This is a very important and valuable right, which Islam has given to man. The Qur’an has laid down:"Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression"(Al-Ma'idah: 3), and "Do not let ill-will towards any folk incite you so that you swerve from dealing justly. Be just; that is nearest to heedfulness" (Al-Ma'idah: 8). Stressing this point the Qur’an again says: "You who believe stand steadfast before Allah as witness for (truth and) fair play" (An-Nisa': 135). The point is thus made clear that Muslims have to be just not only to their friends but also their enemies. Islam not only recognizes the principle of absolute equality between men irrespective of color, race or nationality, it makes it an important reality. Almighty Allah has laid down in the Qur’an: "O mankind, we have created you from a male and female." In other words, all human beings are brothers. They all are the descendants from one father and one mother. The Qur'an says, "And we set you up as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognize each other" (Al-Hujrat: 13). his means that the division of human beings into nations, races, groups and tribes is for the sake of distinction, so that people of one race or tribe may meet and be acquainted with people belonging to another race or tribe and co-operate with one another. This division of the human race is neither meant for one nation to take pride in its superiority over others, nor for one nation to treat another with contempt. Allah says, "Indeed, the noblest among you before Allah are the most heedful of you" (Al-Hujrat: 13). That is, the superiority of one man over another is only on the basis of piety, purity of character and high morals, and not color, race, language or nationality. People are,
therefore, not justified in assuming airs of superiority over other human beings. Nor do the righteous have any special privileges over others. This has been thus exemplified by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in one of his sayings:"No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay." (Bayhaqi and Bazzaz) In this manner Islam established the principle of equality of the entire human race and struck at the very root of all distinctions based on color, race, language or nationality. According to Islam, Allah has given man this right of equality as a birthright. No man should therefore be discriminated against on the grounds of the color of his skin, his place of birth, the race or the nation in which he was born. Rights of Non-Muslims: According to the Qur’an, Muslims are required to deal with all people kindly and justly as long as they do not oppose or oppress Muslims or place obstacles in the way of spreading Islam. Of non-Muslims, Islam gives special consideration for the People of the Book, that is, Jews and Christians, whether they reside in a Muslim society or not. Being a divine religion revealed to guide all mankind, Islam tackles all aspects of man's life, regardless of whether he believes in it or not. That is why we see it granting many rights and privileges to non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state. Muslims are ordered to show full consideration to this injunction and give due respect to non-Muslims' places of worship, which are part and parcel of their property enjoying full protection in Islam. Protection of property: The Islamic government is bound to protect the properties of nonMuslims. In his book Al-Kharaj, Abu Yusuf sheds light on the Prophet’s contract with the people of Najraan: “Najraan and its neighboring area are in the security of Allah, the Almighty, and His Messenger. The property, religions and churches of the inhabitants, as well as properties, whether much or little, are under the protection of the Prophet.” `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, in his letter to Abu `Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarrah, may Allah be pleased with them both, wrote: “Prevent Muslims from wronging or causing harm to them (nonMuslims) or taking their property illegally.” Freedom of worship: This means the freedom to practice any religion or ideology and not to be forced to adopt a certain faith or compelled to convert to Islam. This is based on the verse: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” (Al-Baqarah: 256)
Commenting on the verse, the famous exegete Ibn Katheer states: “Don’t force anyone to embrace Islam as it is clear and self-evident in its proofs and realities and does not need to exert force to be accepted.” Islam protects the places of worship of non-Muslims, and allows them to observe their religious ceremonies. Allah says: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;- (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).” (Al-Hajj: 39-40) In the reign of `Umar of Ibn Al-Khattab, the religious freedom of the citizens of Ilya (Jerusalem) and the sanctity of their synagogues and places of worship were confirmed: “This is the protection which the slave-servant of Allah, `Umar, the Commander of the Believers, extends to the people of Ilya: The safeguarding of their lives, properties, churches, crosses, and of their entire community. Their churches cannot be occupied, demolished, or damaged, nor are their crosses or anything belonging to them to be touched. They will never be forced to abandon their religion, nor will they be oppressed. None of the Jews will live with them in Ilya….” (At-Tabari, Tarikh, Vol III, p. 609, ed. Dar Al-Ma`arif, Egypt.) Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed, in his covenant with the People of `Anat, wrote: “They are allowed to ring the bells at any time of the day or night, except in the time of the Islamic prayer times. They are allowed to bear their crosses in their festivals.” (Abu Yusuf, AlKharaj, p. 146) Muslims not only allowed non-Muslims to enjoy the freedom of their faith, but also let them follow their way even though some of their practices might conflict with the religion of the majority. Actually, this is the highest degree of tolerance. Muslims tolerated the religious practices of their minorities by not prohibiting even those practices which were contrary to the state ideology. History bears witness to the fact that Muslims accepted and applied the Islamic laws to an extent that has no parallel in the history of mankind. The fair and tolerant approach they show to other faiths are no secret. Asserting the tolerance of Muslims, Tritton says: “Muslim rulers frequently went beyond what was required of them in their relations with non-Muslims. The best example of this is the presence of churches and other (nonMuslim) places of worship in purely Arab (Muslim) cities. Government departments always had Christians and Jewish officials who were sometimes given very sensitive and influential posts. Some non-Muslims thus acquired great wealth. In addition, Muslims
were accustomed to sharing with Christian their festivals.” (Khartubali, Hasan Ali, Islam and Ahl Adh-Dhimmah, p. 256) Rights of Women: While conceding equality of the sexes, the Qur'an categories men and women according to their deeds in this world. It states that all men and women are answerable equally to God: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their rewards according to the best of their actions." (Al-Nahal:97) Even while seeking the blessings of Allah, both men and women are promised full returns of their labour, apart from the excessive bounties showered by Him: "To men is allotted what they earn and to women what they earn but ask God of His bounty. For God hath full knowledge of all things." (Nisa:32) The wisdom of the principles and laws of nature have been employed in regulating mutual relationship. The Qur'an states: "All things We made in pairs" (Az-Zarial:49). This acknowledges men and women as distinctly separate entities, yet relates the two mutually making each the guardian of the other: "The believers, men and women are protectors of one another. They enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil; they observe regular prayers, precise regular charity and obey God and His Messenger." (Tauha:71) Personal development, intellectual pursuits and the acquisition of knowledge are human rights that should be conceded to males and females alike, without discrimination. Islam allows for equal opportunities to both the sexes in the pursuit of knowledge. Here is nothing of the reaction or hatred that the modern society preaches. There is no derision, no underestimation anywhere. Each sex is encouraged to build up the individuality in every way. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) he said "It is essential for every Muslim man and woman to acquire knowledge." Women's guardians are advised not to obstruct their pursuits in education but to encourage them and provide them with opportunities. Examples exist of a number of educated women scholars during the Prophet's time and after who have contributed poetry, Quranic interpretations, medicine and so on. The wives and daughters of magnates and sovereigns have known to patronise knowledge and lavish endowments for the establishment of institutes of learning and social service. All such actions as go for the construction of society and building up righteousness will not go unrecognised. Allah says in the Quran: if any do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female and have faith, they will enter Heaven and not the least injustice will be done to them." (Nisa:124) Spiritual attainment is not exclusive for men only. Women have as much right over spiritual purification as men. The Qur'an is very explicit about this. "For believing men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves). For men and women engage much in God's prayer. For them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward." (Ahzah:35)
Islam treats of women in four dimensions: as mother, as daughter as wife and as separate human being, and gives them rights accordingly. Mothers contribute enormously to society. Their love and sacrifice for the off springs cannot possibly be ignored. The Quran recognises the pain and hardship the mother experiences while keeping the human race alive and evoking. "In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in two years twain was his weaning" (Luqman:14). Keeping this noble service in view, the mother is evaluated to the highest pedestal of human glory. "Paradise lies at the feet of mother," taught the Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam makes it compulsory for children to obey their mothers. A mother's interest and welfare must be preferred thrice before a father's. A mother deserves gratitude, respect, love, kindness and obedience. A daughter, women always belong to the paternal family. Marriage does not break this bond. The Islamic social order makes elaborate arrangements for fair treatment of the daughter. They must receive love and best maintenance. They have as much rights as the son in educational, physical and mental upliftment. They have their share in the father's property, which is recognised and granted at every cost. If, by chance, a woman becomes a widow or is divorced, Islamic law reverts her back to the paternal home where she may looked after with love and affection. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, "should I not tell you what is the best charity" That you should show kindness to that daughter who(becoming a widow of having been divorced) has been returned to you, and who has no other maintainer or supporter." (Ibne-e-Majah, Abwahul Adab). Meher: The woman receives the Mehr in marriage, which is the bride - money an exclusive right of the bride. This Mehr may be paid at once after the solemnisation (Nikah) of marriage or any time in life. But if it is not paid during the lifetime, it is considered a debt and like all other debts must be paid from the legacy of the deceased even before distribution of property among the legal heirs. Apart from the Mehr the wife is entitle to share of the deceased husband's property also.