Islam and Human Rights

· Ahmadiyyat: True Islam, Islam

The Holy Quran, revealed in the desert of Arabia in the seventh century stated that the purpose of defensive warfare is to preserve the sanctity of cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques. The Quran named the place of worship of the Muslims as the last on this sacred list. In so doing the Holy Quran established the religious freedom for the whole humanity. The verses pertaining to the religious rights for all are:

Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty. (Al Quran 22:40-41)

I would urge apologists for different religions and philosophies to bring forth the equivalent teachings from their scriptures. If they succeed, I am happy for them, for my goal is to be able to establish ‘Universal Brotherhood’ for the whole humanity. I have knols on Universal Declaration of Human Rights also, if you search my name here.

For our Global village we need a thoroughly Universalist message, a panacea of Islam as revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Holy Quran states about him, “We have sent thee as a mercy to the whole mankind.” (Al Quran 21:108)

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan

“Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, and international jurist, known particularly for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN).

The son of the leading attorney of his native city, Zafrulla Khan studied at Government College in Lahore and received his LL.B. from King’s College, London University, in 1914. He practiced law in Sialkot and Lahore, became a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926, and was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London. In 1931–32 he was president of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim League), and he sat on the British viceroy’s executive council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. He led the Indian delegation to the League of Nations in 1939, and from 1941 to 1947 he served as a judge of the Federal Court of India.

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, Zafrulla Khan presented the Muslim League’s view of the future boundaries of Pakistan to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man designated to decide the boundaries between India and Pakistan. Upon the independence of Pakistan, Zafrulla Khan became the new country’s minister of foreign affairs and served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the UN (1947–54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961–64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962–63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He was knighted in 1935. He is the author of Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man (1962) and wrote a translation of the Qur’an (1970).” [Encylopaedia Britannica]

In this book he has beautifully co-related human rights in Islam and as expressed in the Universal Charter of Human Rights.  The book is available online:

If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.  (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

It is important to study all religious and political traditions side by side and not focus on the dirty laundry of one particular tradition as that only confirms ones prior prejudices and biases.  I have put the above quote from Deuteronomy just to shock the readers to shake off any Islamophobia so that readers can evaluate the traditions with a more open mind, whether the tradition be religious or a secular civilization.
In discussion forums I have noted that it seems convenient for non-Muslims to try to link terrorism with Islam, a reasoning denied by the common cliche of guilt by association, but they never try to make a case for their own scripture by co-relating its teaching with the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is easy to criticize other groups by picking up the worst representatives from those groups but fairly hard to make a case for Universal Brotherhood from your scriptures and in the case of agnostics and atheists from whatever principles they hold as sacred.  I encourage the readers to advocate their philosophy by using the Universal Declaration as a yard stick in the comments below.
I do believe that in the 30 articles that were developed in the aftermath of untold destruction of World War II, we havea pragmatic solution to solve the current disorder in the world.  There is hardly any need to reinvent the wheel, all we need is a resolve to implement these articles internationally.
Islam does not monopolize truth, it has a global message of Universal Brotherhood:”O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.” The Holy Quran 49:14

“Indeed, We have sent thee (Muhammad) with the truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; and there is no people on earth in any age who did not receive a Warner from God.” The Holy Quran, 35:25

The Quran does not condemn all the non-believers, it says:

“Surely those who have believed in Muhammad as a Messenger of God, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians—whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.” The Holy Quran, 5:70

The Muslim Times now has an International News Blog, covering secular as well as religious news, the Muslim Times. The Times aims at delivering a message of Universal Brotherhood. It already has more than a dozen Editors covering different countries and aims at covering each and every country, with a dedicated page, in near future God Willing! It will cover already published news and will have a broad scope:
The mission statement of the Muslim Times is to promote the Universal Brotherhood of mankind first presented in human history by the Holy Quran and spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in secular terms, in recent history. To go to the homepage click here.


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  1. Zia H. Shah

    Everyone in this room a 100 years ago would have been a racist: Richard Dawkins
    Here is a very interesting confession about the Western civilization by Prof. Richard Dawkins in his debate against Alister McGrath:

    So, where does human equality come from? I suggest from the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Islam!

  2. Zia H. Shah

    Importance of tolerance
    By Laiq Ahmed Atif

    In an age where the electronic media has drawn us closer together into what is called a global village, or a global society, its benefits will only be felt when mutual goodness prevails, when mutual respect and understanding prevail.

    If, instead of good feelings, hatred emerges, if restlessness usurps heartfelt peace, then we must accept that this is not progress, but is something that will take us towards unexpected results.

    In this globalisation, where people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions are living together, and where the world has become multicultural and full of diversity, establishing tolerance and harmony has become very crucial and important, and fostering mutual love and affection has become vital.

    Without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.

    Loyalty is borne from feelings of love and affection. At a personal level the feelings of love strengthens the feelings of loyalty. When a citizen loves his country, he exhibits loyalty and devotion and makes sacrifices for the sake of the nation.

    If sentiments of love do not exist, then the spirit of sacrifice cannot be formed. Unless a person loves another he can never have good feelings in his heart towards him, and he cannot faithfully fulfil the rights due to that person.

    Lack of tolerance leads to fighting, violence, and finally it destroys the peace and security of society. When people fail in their arguments they become intolerant, and then they use force and aggression to support their point of view.

  3. Zia H. Shah

    Limitation of Bolshevism or Communism
    Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad delivered a lecture in 1942 and it is an excerpt from its translation:

    It suffers from the following defects: its most serious defect is that it forbids individual effort. This perhaps is not realised fully at the moment, but its disadvantages are bound to be felt more and more as time passes. Man is so constituted that he is much more keenly interested in that which visibly promotes his own interest, or through him that of others but is not interested to the same degree in anything the benefit of which is not observed directly but seems rather remote. Our interest in our own work or occupation is stimulated by knowledge of the results we achieve. Under ordinary systems a student’s interest in his studies is stimulated constantly by the urge towards the achievement of the objective he has set to himself. One may be working to secure respectable employment in the service of the State; another may desire to work up to the position of a Captain of industry; a third may wish to become a commercial magnate. In each case the motive may be to secure comfort for himself and those dependent upon him and to exercise power in a certain sphere. When this incentive is removed and the State determines that every person irrespective of his education or training and his intellectual capacity shall receive the same reward, intellectual effort is bound to decline and to be discounted. An average student will cease to put forth his best effort, and diligence will decline. There will be very few who will seek to pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge; the majority will become comparatively indifferent. This attitude will spread to all occupations, professions, arts and sciences. The result will be a gradual decline in intellectual qualities.

    It may be asked, why should not the Bolshevik system be preferred to the Islamic system? The
    answer is that the object of an ideal economic and social system should be to bring about conditions of peace and justice and to promote the spirit of progress. The Bolshevik system brings about an upheaval by means of a sudden revolution which deprives at one stroke the propertied classes of all their wealth, and thus creates bitter resentment between different sections. To deprive a wealthy person of his house, property, money and other forms of wealth is bound to administer an unbearable shock to him and to plunge him into misery and resentment. The bitterest enemies of the Bolsheviks are the aristocratic Russians who have been deprived of all their property and privileges and have been driven out of the country in a penniless and destitute condition.

    Click to access Nizam-e-Nau.pdf

  4. Zia H. Shah

    Nazism and Racism
    Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad delivered a lecture in 1942 and it is an excerpt from its translation:

    Hitler invented another doctrine to consolidate support for himself. He said that the theory of
    evolution had established that it was only the fittest who went forward and that the progress of the world depended upon the fittest being placed in a position of predominance. In accordance with this theory he contended that as the Aryan race had proved itself to be the best, it ought to occupy the position of the greatest predominance and that this applied more particularly to the Nordic Aryans, that is to say, the Germans. I cannot help observing that in this respect Hitler is a follower of Pandit Dayanand, for, it was Pandit Dayananda who first advocated the theory of the superiority of the Aryan race. Be that as it may, Hitler urged that the right to rule others belonged to the Germans, they being the best part of the great Aryan race. He pointed out that even with regard to animals, people preferred to promote the best breed. And yet so far as the organization of the State was
    concerned, this principle was being ignored. He claimed that, as the Germans were the most superior race at the moment, they were entitled to rule over other races. He explained that this involved no injustice or unfairness. It was universally admitted that man should rule beast, not beast man. So should a superior race rule and exploit inferior races rather than be subservient to them. The Germans accepted this theory with enthusiasm.

    Click to access Nizam-e-Nau.pdf

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