Human Right and Human Dignity in Islam


Album section
Human Right and Human Dignity in Islam
Sunna in Islam
Favorite Links
Contact Me

Human Right and Human Dignity in Islam

By: Fomba V. Sannoh

Date: 14 May, 2001


Human Right and Human Dignity in Islam

Human right in Islam is an idea which took a positive shape fourteen hundered years earlier under Islamic law as found in the Quran and Sunna. Human rights took an internation character in Islam. Islam guaranteed some fundamental rights and freedoms, which found themselves expressed in the international law of our time.


The Quran and Sunna made repeated references to rights of the different sections of the people of society. These rights are also extended to the non-Muslims in an Islamic state. In other words, Islam has granted a full-fieldged bill of rights for both the Muslims and non-Muslims.



Right to justice:


This is a very important and valuable right, which Islam has given to man as a human being. The Holy Quean has lain down: Do not let your hatred if a people incite you to aggression. Also do not let ill will towards any folk incite you so that you awerve from dealing justly. Be just. That is nearest to heedfulness. (Quran, V: 3, 8.)



Right to Equality:


Islam places women at the same level as men with respect to her right to property, honour, marriage, education, etc.

Let the women live in the same style as you live (LXV: 5)


Right to life, property and honour:


Do not take life which Allah made sacred except for just cause (LXXXI: 9)


The Quran as well as Sunna protect right to life, wealth and prestage and ensure a free society in which no one, even the non-Muslim, shall be deprived of life, property, and honour without due procedure of law.


Right to personal freedom:


No man may be wrongly arrested, detained or coerced in any manner not justified by law. In Muwatta of Imam Malik it is written.


In Islam no man may be imprisoned without justice


No one can bear the burden of another. (VI: 7&4)


Do not enter a house other than your own without first announcing your presence and invoking prace upon the folk thereof. (XXIV: 27)


Every man is entitle to freedom of thinking and religious beliefs. There is no compulsion in religion. (I: 256)


Freedom of speech is recognized in Islam. But not allow any excess or harsh speech.


Right of religious minorities:


Non-Muslims have the right to enjoy full security of their lives and properties. Also they the right of education facilities, they also have the maximum political right. (Lahore: Islamic Publications Ltd., 1969. p 265-66)



Right to economic security:


Everyone is allowed to adopt any profession or service according to his will and ability. He has full freedom to enjoy his earnings of which he will not be dispossessed through confiscation or other coercive method.


Enforcement of right:


Islam not only guarantees human right and fundamental freedom to Muslims and non- Muslims, Islam provides remedies for infringement of these right and freedoms. The remedies are due in nature:

To be conducted by the state machinery and the court; and to be brought in the next world. If any right is infringed by any party, the aggrieved person has the right to petition before the court for the enforcement of his infringed right

Right to equal protection of laws

Article 7 of UDHR says, All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. Islam recognizes this right.




Right of human being was established during the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That was the time Jahiliyyah period was abolished. For any reference, the constitution of Madina can fully explain. Now we can see other organization talking about human right E.g. Amnesty international, UN.



Literally, dignity refers to, high respect, honour, title, befitting, merit, to receive, rank, proper pride, self-respect and high position. (Websters NewWorld Dictionary). Technically it is a degree of worthiness and the quality of being worthy of esteem or honor that as well covers loftiness of appearance or manner and stateliness.


Before going into the explanation of this word Dignity, I would first like to explain that the world dignity was restored in man at the time Adam was created. This is seen in the following verse of the Quran:


 Behold, thy Lord said to the angels; I will create A vicegerent on earth. They said: wilt Thou place therein one who will make Mischief therein and shed blood?


Whilst we do celebrate thy praises and glorify thy holy (name)? He said: know what ye know not.


He taught Adam the names of all things; then He place them the angels, and said: Tell me the name of these if ye are right. They said: Glory to thee: of knowledge we have none, save what thou Hast taught us: in truth it is thou who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.


 He said: O Adam! Tell them Their names. When he had told them their names, Allah said: Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal.


And what ye conceal? And behold, We said to the angels: bow down to Adam: and they bowed down: (Q2: 30- 34).

 This mystery of love being above them, they are told that they do not know, and they acknowledge not their fault ( for there is no question of fault) but their imperfection of knowledge.

The particular qualities or feelings, which were outside the nature of angels, were put by Allah into the nature of man. Man was able to love and understand, and thus plan and initiate, as becomes the office of vicegerent.

The angels bowed down, expect Iblis, in short Allah later punished him.


Going through the information above, it clearly seen that the dignity of man was restored by Allah. Hence He told the angels to bow down to Adam.


Even the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a messenger to Allah, he have the dignity because he propagated Islam to the people, he also have the knowledge that Allah gives to him to tell the people what is right and forbid the wrong. The title he has (Prophet, Allahs messenger), he was the leader of the Muslims, he was a commander, he was a trustworthy person and just. All these characters that he possessed is part of his dignity. For all these, people respect him up to now.

Article 6 of UDHR Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Islam has put great stress upon the honor and dignity of man and has made him the most honored of the creatures. The Quran says:

We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them for sustenance thgings good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our Creation. (Quran, 17:70)

On the other hand, people get dignity because of their wealth (rich with money), having many children, having degrees: BA, MA, PhD, and Full bright scholar.


The commanding general of the Malaysia Arm forces (CGOMA) does have the dignity according to his position.




Dignity is a gift from Allah. Although it goes through some one before reaching to next man. Even a respect from the people, it is through the power of Allahs. No one can do things on his/her own with out Allah helps. Given ranks to people and honors, Allah had already approved it before.

Enter supporting content here