Human Rights in Islam

Islam is by far the world’s fastest-growing religion. A religion so beautiful that it encompasses all aspects and rights of human life.

One of the fundamentals of Islam is man’s relationship with Allah (SWT), but there are many more that we as Muslims draw on, such as our interpersonal relationships, how we conduct business lawfully and how we maintain our equilibrium as Muslims. As a result, Muslims have to be cognisant of our relationship with society as a whole ranging from giving due rights within our families to treating our neighbours with respect and kindness, looking after the poor, earning in a halaal manner and standing up for those who are oppressed irrespective of their race, colour, creed or class.

Allah says in the Quran “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain success.” (3:104)

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the atrocities of the past is still a pandemic today. Let us first look at what Islam says about Human Rights. “Allah commands justice, doing good and generosity towards relatives and HE forbids what is shameful, blameworthy and oppressive. He teaches you, so that you may take heed.” (16:90)

Islam always advocates for the rights to dignity and equality for all its people. Allah created the world and in it HE created us to be different in terms of race and ethnicities. Subhanallah, this is a testament to Allah’s majesty and HIS wisdom therefore no one person can say that racial superiority and discrimination is allowed when in fact Islam says it is prohibited.  

Have you noticed the increase in gender-based violence (GBV) in the world today? Islam clearly states that woman should always be protected and that they have equal rights in Islam. They must be treated fairly and justly and they may inherit, vote, own property, obtain an education and participate in political and legal affairs and to say anything contradictory to this is going against the Creator Himself.

The right to live is a basic human right and not only in Islam. Live and let live. So no person is allowed to take the life of another. Not only does Islam say you have the right not to be harmed, but you also have the right to be shielded from harm, physical or otherwise.

In Islam you have the right to the basic standards of living needed for survival like food and water, shelter and clothing and it is incumbent on each Muslim with means to give from his/her wealth to take care of those who are poverty stricken. 

It is clear that Islamic law has clearly stated the rights of human beings. Islamic law addresses social, racial and gender issues and living in 2021 you can clearly see how these very issues are a sickness within our societies. Given a second glance, one would see that the model of rights within Islam has the ability to bring about social reform globally.

Islam is the religion of peace so today and on 21 March, which is when Human Rights Day is celebrated in South Africa, I wish you nothing but peace!


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