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Human Rights in the Quraan: Part 2

Dec 10, 2020

The Right to Honour
In the address delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) did not only prohibit the life and property of the Muslims to one another, but also any encroachment upon their honour, respect and chastity were forbidden to one another. The Holy Quran clearly lays down:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِنْ نِسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ ۖ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

  • (a) “You who believe, do not 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”.

This is the law of Islam for the protection of honour which is indeed much superior to and better than the Western Law of Defamation. According to the Islamic Law if it is proved that someone has attacked the honour of another person, then irrespective of the fact whether or not the victim is able to prove himself a respectable and honourable person the culprit will in any case get his due punishment.

But the interesting 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 is subjected to the attacks and accusations of the opposing legal team. On top of it he has to produce such witnesses as would testify in the court that due to the defamatory accusations of the culprit, the accused stands disgraced in their eyes.

Islam declared blasphemy as a crime irrespective of the fact whether the accused is a man of honour or not, and whether the words used for blasphemy have actually disgraced the victim and harmed his reputation in the eyes of the public or not. According to the Islamic Law the mere proof of the fact that the accused said things which according to common sense could have damaged the reputation and honour of the plaintiff, is enough for the accused to be declared guilty of defamation.

The Right to a Basic Standard of Life (Socio-economic rights)
A basic standard of life includes the minimum essentials necessary for survival, such as food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anyone deprived of these necessities is entitled to receive aid in order to meet their needs. It is the duty of every Muslim with adequate means to give from their wealth, in order to eradicate poverty from society.

Describing the righteous believers in the Quran, Allah mentions

وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ
“and a rightful share of their wealth to the beggar and the deprived”

The Islamic state is also obligated to spend from its treasury to support the poor and disadvantaged.

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