Friday, January 3, 2014

Huqooq-ul-Ibaad by Hazrat Molana Taqi Usmani

Islam has been from its inception very concerned about the importance of rights. Usually we speak in terms of human rights, women's rights or even animal rights. However, Islam goes into far more detail and in categorical order as to what rights are really all about. Being all inclusive and for all times, all places, all of creation, Islam provides the correct understanding of "rights & limitations" for all of the creation of the Creator of the entire universe. There is a famous hadeeth (teaching of Muhammad, peace be upon him) wherein he said, "Ihdeenah naseehah." Many people, even Muslims have mistranslated this to mean, "Islam is about giving advise." 

However, this is most incorrect as can quickly be established by simple considering the context of how the prophet, peace be upon him, used the term "naseehah," by simply reading the rest of what he said. Let us consider the hadeeth in its entirety: Privacy, freedom, dignity and equality are guaranteed in Islam. The holy Qur'an states clearly: "Let there be no compulsion in religion." [Holy Quran 2:256] SWORD OF ISLAM? And there are no reliable reports to confirm the old accusations that when the Muslim armies were expanding into Asia, Africa and Europe the people were put to the sword if they failed to convert to Islam. The best proof is that not only did the Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Hindus in those areas not perish or otherwise disappear, they actually flourished as protected minority communities, and many individuals rose to prominent positions in the arts, sciences, even in government. 

The lives, property and privacy of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether or not the person is Muslim. Non-Muslims have freedom of worship and the practice of their religions, including their own family law and religious courts. They are obliged to pay a different tax (Jizyah) instead of the Zakah, and the state is obligated to provide both protection and government services. Before the modern era it was extremely rare to find a state or government anywhere in the world that was as solicitous of its minorities and their civil rights as the Islamic states. In no other religion did women receive such a degree of legal and moral equality and personal respect. Moreover, racism and tribalism are incompatible with Islam, for the Qur'an speaks of human equality in the following terms: 

 "Mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety." [Holy Quran 49:13]


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