The First Charter of Fundamental Human Rights!

At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, two great world wars took place with so brutality that history had never witnessed such bloodiest wars before. It was recorded as a never-to-be-forgotten chapter of history. This war had engulfed most parts of the world from America to Japan, the farthest region of the east. It was a so long and bloody battle that thousands of civilians and innocent people, besides soldiers, were massacred. Cities and villages were destroyed. Greenfields, farms, crops, and trees were ruined. Well! Every rise has a fall.

When humanity seemed to vanish from the surface of the earth and craziness of war reached its climax, once again, humanity emerged out of ferocity. From all corners of the world fair-minded and peace-loving people assembled and vociferously raised a voice together to restructure such an institution of fundamental human rights as would stop genocide and would guarantee peace and security even during wars. It was December 1948, General Assembly in the United Nations succeeded to get the first charter of human rights passed. This is how the dream came to be true. But sadly this charter was nothing more than a plaything. For, the member countries have full freedom whether or not they should sign on this charter. Secondly, a common individual is not granted a right to file a case into the International Court.

However, it was a good effort. If this charter had been honestly implemented, the whole of human beings would have been greatly benefited with showers of its grace and blessing in abundance. Alas! Such was not the case. The reason is that UNO is itself a voluntary organization. On the other hand, many countries of the world have formulated their own criterion of human rights based on their own choice and will. It was clearly noticed that United Nations felt powerless in case of Bosnia the central place of Europe in the near past. On 30th November in 2003, when General Assembly of UNO got a bill passed to declare racial discrimination to be a punishable crime, America and Britain strongly opposed this bill. Though they are the lawmakers, but their opposition shows that fundamental human rights have no value in their own sight. To tell the truth, the developed countries try to exploit the backward and underdeveloped states by imposing the charter of human rights on them. Thus the image of Muslims has been deliberately tarnished in such a way that people think that Musalman (Muslim) is synonymous with terrorist. Also, they think that there is no scope of human rights in Islam, while the truth is otherwise. The basic Human Rights have been clearly spelt out in the Quran and the Hadith.

The last sermon delivered by the Messenger of Allah on the occasion of Farewell Pilgrimage is, in the true sense, a real charter of human rights. This sermon imparts us the concept of brotherhood, human equality, and unanimity between crime and punishment. It prohibits economic exploitation. The prophet said:

  • “O mankind! Your Lord is one and you have but one father. You are the children of Adam and Adam was made of clay. No Arab has any preference over a Non-Arab, no Non-Arab has preference over an Arab, the white has no preference over the black, and the black has no preference over white, save piety. Behold! all the usages and customs of pagan past and pre-Islamic days are trampled under my feet. Only Sadana (Office of providing water for pilgrims) and Siqaya (Custody of Kaba) would remain as it is.”
  • Retaliation of intentional killing is Qisas life for life. Killing someone with a staff or stone is similar to that of intentional killing. Its blood money is a hundred camels. Whosoever demands more, will be from amongst people of pre-Islamic days. O! People of Quraish, behold! lest you should come before Allah in such a condition that you have borne the burden of others, while other should come with provisions for the life hereafter. If it happened so, I would be of no good to you. O Quraish! Allah has reduced your false vanity and pride to naught and has left no scope of boasting about past glories of your ancestors.
  • Your lives and your property and your honor shall remain sacred to the Day of Resurrection like this day, this month and this city. A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. It is not lawful for you to take anything from the property of a Muslim save by his consent. Every claim for blood vengeance is now abolished to the Day of Judgment. And the first claim of blood-vengeance that I remit is that of Ibn Rabi’ Harith b. Abdul Muttalib who was suckled among Ibn Laith and killed by Hudhayl.  The usury of the pagan past is abolished and Allah has commanded that the first one to be abolished is that of Abbas b. Abdul Muttalib.
  • Fear Allah concerning women. Verily you have taken them under Allah’s security and have made their persons lawful up to you by Allah’s word. It is incumbent upon them that they must not bring into your houses anyone whom you dislike but if they do that then you have the authority to chastise them, yet not severely. You are responsible for providing them with their food and clothing in a fitting manner.
  • To those of your servants, who please you, give to eat what you eat yourself, and clothe them as yourself; but those who do not please you part with them; and punish, not Allah’s creatures.
  • Lo! Obey your Ameer (Commander) though a Negro slave is put into authority over you in order to establish the Book of Allah upon you.”

These and many other Human Rights emphasized in the Islamic teachings, if strictly and faithfully adhered to, can change the face of the human world, even in our times, and render the contemporary human life free from miseries and misfortunes.

The apostle commanded the people to treat as inviolable and sacrosanct the life, honor, and property of every man- as warranted by all religions – and declared that usages and customs of pagan past were trampled under his feet. The apostle dwelt in his sermon upon the rights of women and slave; threw light on the mutual obligations of the husband and wife, bade the people deal kindly, and provide food and clothing to their spouses in a fitting manner. Here it is important to note that Islam did not let these rights to be preserved on papers only rather it presented a practical example before the world by helping the poor and the weak and exalting the rank of downtrodden people.

Further, in the books of Fiqh, (Islamic Jurisprudence) human rights have been clearly thrown light upon, and a perfect constitution of Human Rights has been formed in full consonance with the Holy Quran and Hadith in so clear terms that one would hardly find such an example anywhere else. Islam has given so due importance to human rights that it does connect them with the concept of life hereafter and accountability to Allah. No doubt, this concept makes us more serious and sensible about these rights. Today, if the world sincerely wants to protect Human Rights, it must consider Islamic doctrines about these rights. Islam is not meant as an inherited property for a particular community, rather it is a universal trust meant for the whole of human beings.

الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ونتوب إليه، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا من يهده الله فلا مضل له ومن يضلل فلا هادي له، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله.
أوصيكم عباد الله بتقوى الله وأحثكم على طاعته وأستفتح بالذي هو خير. أما بعد أيها الناس اسمعوا مني أبين لكم فإني لا أدري لعلى لا ألقاكم بعد عامي هذا في موقفي هذا.
أيها الناس إن دماءكم وأعراضكم حرام عليكم إلى أن تلقوا ربكم كحرمة يومكم هذا في شهركم هذا في بلدكم هذا – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد، فمن كانت عنده أمانة فليؤدها إلى من ائتمنه عليها.
وإن ربا الجاهلية موضوع ولكن لكم رؤوس أموالكم لا تظلمون ولا تظلمون وقضى الله أنه لا ربا. وإن أول ربا أبدأ به عمي العباس بن عبد المطلب.
وإن دماء الجاهلية موضوعة، وإن أول دم نبدأ به دم عامر بن ربيعة بن الحارث بن عبد المطلب وإن مآثر الجاهلية موضوعة غير السدانة والسقاية والعمد قود وشبه العمد ما قتل بالعصا والحجر وفيه مائة بعير، فمن زاد فهو من أهل الجاهلية – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
أما بعد أيها الناس إن الشيطان قد يئس أن يعبد في أرضكم هذه، ولكنه قد رضي أن يطاع فيما سوى ذلك مما تحرقون من أعمالكم فاحذروه على دينكم، أيها الناس إنما النسئ زيادة في الكفر يضل به الذين كفروا يحلونه عاماً ويحرمونه عاماً ليوطئوا عدة ما حرم الله فيحلوا ما حرم الله ويحرموا ما أحل الله. وإن الزمان قد استدار كهيئته يوم خلق الله السماوات والأرض، وإن عدة الشهور عند الله اثنا عشر شهراً في كتاب الله يوم خلق الله السماوات والأرض، منها أربعة حرم ثلاثة متواليات وواحد فرد: ذو القعدة وذو الحجة والمحرم ورجب مضر الذي بين جمادى وشعبان – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
أما بعد أيها الناس إن لنسائكم عليكم حقاً ولكم عليهن حق. لكم أن لا يواطئن فرشهم غيركم، ولا يدخلن أحداً تكرهونه بيوتكم إلا بإذنكم ولا يأتين بفاحشة، فإن فعلن فإن الله قد أذن لكم أن تعضلوهن وتهجروهن في المضاجع وتضربوهن ضرباً غير مبرح، فإن انتهين وأطعنكم فعليكم رزقهن وكسوتهن بالمعروف، واستوصوا بالنساء خيراً، فإنهن عندكم عوان لا يملكن لأنفسهن شيئاً، وإنكم إنما أخذتموهن بأمانة الله واستحللتم فروجهن بكلمة الله فاتقوا الله في النساء واستوصوا بهن خيراً – ألا هل بلغت….اللهم فاشهد.
أيها الناس إنما المؤمنون إخوة ولا يحل لامرئ مال لأخيه إلا عن طيب نفس منه – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
فلا ترجعن بعدى كافراً يضرب بعضكم رقاب بعض، فإني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعده: كتاب الله وسنة نبيه، ألا هل بلغت … اللهم فاشهد.
أيها الناس إن ربكم واحد وإن أباكم واحد كلكم لآدم وآدم من تراب أكرمكم عند الله اتقاكم، وليس لعربي على عجمي فضل إلا بالتقوى – ألا هل بلغت….اللهم فاشهد قالوا نعم – قال فليبلغ الشاهد الغائب.
أيها الناس إن الله قد قسم لكل وارث نصيبه من الميراث ولا يجوز لوارث وصية، ولا يجوز وصية في أكثر من ثلث، والولد للفراش وللعاهر الحجر. من ادعى إلى غير أبيه أو تولى غير مواليه فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين لا يقبل منه صرف ولا عدل.


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