6. Justice 7. Equality of Humans 8. The Right to Co-operate or Not to

6. The Right to Justice

The Holy Quran has said:

“Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression” (5:2). “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” (5:8).

Stressing this point the Quran again says:

“You who believe stand steadfast before God as witness for (truth and) fair play” (4:135).

Muslims have to be just not only with ordinary human beings but even with their enemies.

The justice to which Islam invites her followers is not limited only to _

  1. the citizens of their own country, or

  2. the people of their own tribe,

  3. nation or

  4. race, or

  5. the Muslim community as a whole,

  6. but it is meant for all the human beings of the world.

Muslims therefore, cannot be unjust to anyone.

7. Equality of Human Beings

Islam recognizes absolute equality between men irrespective of any distinction of colour, race or nationality.

The Almighty God has laid down in the Holy Quran:

  1. “O mankind, we have created you from a male and female.”

  2. In other words all human beings are brothers to one another.

  3. They all are the descendants from one father and one mother.

  4. “And we set you up as nations and tribes so that you may be able to recognize each other” (49:13).
  5. 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 the people belonging to another race or tribe and co-operate with one another.
  6. This division of the human race is neither meant for one nation to take pride in its superiority over others nor is it meant for one nation to treat another with contempt or disgrace, or regard them as a mean and degraded race and usurp their rights.
  7. “Indeed, the noblest among you before God are the most heedful of you” (49:13).

The Prophet in address of the Farewell Hajj :

  1. “No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab,
  2. nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab.
  3. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man
  4. or the black man any superiority over the white man.
  5. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay” (al-Bayhaqi and al-Bazzaz). 

Islam established equality for the entire human race and struck at the very root of all distinctions based on colour, race, language or nationality.

According to Islam, God has given man this right of equality as a birthright.

Therefore no man should be discriminated against on the ground of the colour of his skin, his place of birth, the race or the nation in which he was born. 

 8. The Right to Co-operate

and Not to Co-operate

“Co-operate with one another for virtue and heedfulness and

do not co-operate with one another for the purpose of vice and aggression” (5:2).

This means that who perpetrates deeds of vice and aggression,

  • even if he is our closest relation or
  • neighbour,

does not have the right to win our support and

help in the name of _

  1. race,

  2. country,

  3. language or

  4. nationality.

5. Individual’s Right to Freedom

5. Individual’s Right to Freedom


Islam has clearly and categorically forbidden the capturing a free man, to make him a slave.Our Prophet (S) said:

  1. “There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgement.

  2. 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 Tradition of the Prophet are also general,

  • they have not been qualified or

  • made applicable to a particular nation, race, country or followers of a particular religion.

The Position of Slavery in Islam:

Islam tried to solve the problem of the slaves that were in Arabia by encouraging the people in different ways to set their slaves free. Freeing a slave by one’s own free will was declared to be an act of great merit, so much so that it was said that every limb of the man who manumits a slave will be protected from hell-fire in lieu of the limb of the slave freed by him. The result of this policy was that by the time the period of the Caliphs was reached, all the old slaves of Arabia were liberated.

Thus the problem of the slaves of Arabia was solved in a short period of thirty or forty years.

After this the only form of slavery which was left in Islamic society was the prisoners of war.

  1. These prisoners of war were exchanged for Muslim soldiers captured by them.

  2. If not or if the enemy did not pay the ransom money to purchase back those prisoners, then

  3. the Muslim Government used to distribute them to the soldiers of the army which had captured them.

  4. But most of them embraced Islam later

  5. and their descendants produced_

  • great scholars,

  • imams,

  • jurists,

  • commentators,

  • statesmen and

  • generals of the army.

  • Some of them later even became the rulers of the Muslim world.

4. The Right to a Basic Standard of Life

4. The Right to a Basic Standard of Life

 Regarding the economic rights, the Holy Quran says:

  1. And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and destitute. (51:19)
  2. Anyone who needs help, irrespective of the race, religion or citizenship has a right in the property and wealth of the Muslims.

  3. If you are in a position to help and a needy person asks you for help or if you come to know that he is in need, then it is your duty to help him.

3. Respect for the Chastity of Women

3. Respect for the Chastity of Women

The woman’s chastity has to be respected and protected under all circumstances,

  1. whether she belongs to our own nation or to the enemy,
  2. whether we find her in the wild forest or in a conquered city;
  3. whether she is an Islam or not or has no religion at all.
  4. A Muslim cannot outrage her under any circumstances.
  5. All promiscuous relationship has been forbidden to him, irrespective of the status or position of the woman, or even if she has given her consent.

The words of the Holy Quran in this respect are:

“Do not approach (the bounds of) adultery” (17:32). 



Islam lays down rights for man as a human being.

Every human

  1. whether he or she belongs to this country or not,

  2. whether he is a believer or not,

  3. whether he lives in the forest or in the desert,

he has some basic human rights simply because he is a human being, which should be recognized by every Muslim.

1. The Right to LifeThe first and the foremost basic right is the right to live and respect human life.

The Holy Quran lays down:

  1. Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind … (5:32)

  2. As far as the question of punishment for crimes, it must be decided only by a proper and competent court of law.

  3. If anyone has murdered a human being, it is as if he has slain the entire human race.

These instructions have been repeated in the Holy Quran in another place saying:

  1. Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law … (6:151)

  2. The Prophet, may God’s blessings be on him, has declared homicide as the greatest sin only next to polytheism.

The Tradition of the Prophet reads:

  1. “The greatest sins are to associate something with God and to kill human beings.”

  2.  In all these verses of the Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet the word ‘soul’ (nafs) has been used in general terms and applies to all human beings.

  3. Killing is prohibited to any human being regardless of origin or creed.

  4. No discrimination between-Nations, countries, citizens, races and religions.

2. The Right to the Safety of Life

Immediately after the verse of the Holy Quran which has been mentioned in connection with the right to life, God has said:

  1. “And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind” (5:32).

  2. There can be several forms of saving man from death. 

  3. A man may be ill or wounded, irrespective of his nationality, race or colour.

  4. If you know that he is in need of your help, then it is your duty that you should arrange for his treatment for disease or wound.

  5. If he is dying of starvation, then it is your duty to feed him so that he can ward off death.

  6. If he is drowning or his life is at stake, then it is your duty to save him.

HUMAN RIGHTS in Islam, Chapter One


Taken, adapted and made a gist from ‘Allamah Abu al-‘A’la Mawdudi’ al Tawhid Journal, vol. IV No. 3 Rajab-Ramadhan 1407.

Chapter One


The world got the concept of basic human rights from the Magna Carta of Britain, six hundred years after the advent of Islam. But until the seventeenth century no one even knew that the Magna Carta contained the principles of Trial by Jury; Habeas Corpus, and the Control of Parliament on the Right of Taxation.

In the middle of the present century, the United Nations, made a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Despite this, human rights have been violated and trampled upon at different places. Even the heinous crime of genocide is being perpetrated.

The human rights in Islam have been granted by God; not by any king, the dictators or by any legislative assembly. The rights granted by the kings, the dictators or the legislative assemblies, can be openly violated according to the authorities’ wishes.

  1. “Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are the disbelievers.” (Kafirun). 5:44
  2. “They are the wrong-doers (zalimun)” (5:45),
  3. “They are the evil-livers (fasiqun)” (5:47).

In other words this means that if the authorities regard their own words and decisions to be right and those given by God as wrong they are disbelievers.

If on the other hand they regard God’s commands as right but wittingly reject them and enforce their own decisions against God’s, then they are the wrong-doers.

Fasiq, the law-breaker, is the one who disregards the bond of allegiance, and

zalim is he who works against the truth.

League of Islamic Ulama’s call to support monks’ protest