Islam grants human rights and freedom
Islam was revealed to
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as a merciful and eternal religion that fits for all
ages. If during his life man submits to the will of Allah, he can depend on His
mercy in life and in the day of Judgement.
"And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the world." Qur'an (21:107)
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:
"Surely, I am a granted mercy."
Islam enhances each individual’s self-respect: it establishes that true and only equality open to man - the equality in surrender to Allah for His service amongst mankind. Such surrender gives each one the chance to find his place in the whole without faction, partisan rule or superiority. Each is his own master.
Islam is a religion that gives high respect to human rights. It regulates every detail of personal and community life in equity. It is the guardian of freedom before Allah- Its first and paramount thought is unity. It excludes no one - though some exclude themselves : it opposes no one-though some may oppose themselves to it. it makes no differences - though some may choose to be different.
The freedom that Islam grants is based on commitment and responsibility without which one can enjoy no true freedom. Freedom without rules leads to the breakdown and corruption of the moral and social order.
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
"Say, O People of earlier Scripture! Let us reason together, that we worship none but Allah and we associate nothing with Allah, and that we do not set up from among ourselves lords other than Allah. But if they turn away, then say, Bear witness that we are Muslims." Qur’an (3-64)
Today, people are in desperate need for unity, justice and freedom. They wants to be saved from exploitation and war. They wander lost, like sheep gone astray. Let them turn to the sunshine of Islam's regulations of life and living. Under that common sun, all - black, white, red and yellow-are at one in justice, freedom and equality. For Islam, true excellence lies, not in the intellectual or manual attainments of people of differing gifts; but in the level of piety and fear of Allah. These are equally open to all whatever their other gifts.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
"O Mankind: We created you from a male and a female; and made you into tribes and nations that you may get to know each other. and verily, most honored before God is the most virtuous." Qur’an (49:13)
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) asserted saying:
"Arab is not more privileged than non-Arab, nor white than black. Spiritual excellence and true piety is the only distinction amongst humans recognised by Allah."
After the Prophet's victory in Mekkah, a proud self-seeking group of Arabs claimed privilege for their tongue and race. To them he (PBUH) said:
"Thanks be to Allah that by the sublime doctrines of Islam He has freed you from the times of ignorance, and stripped off pride, conceit and power-lust. Know now that in the Courts of God only two groups exist. The group of the righteous who are precious in God's eyes : and the group of the sinful who hang their heads in shame."
Submission to the will and laws of Allah is the essence of freedom. It liberates the mind, soul, and behaviour from the evil influences of the world. It helps mankind overcome oppressive tyrants, unjust laws, lusts, deviation and psychological complexes which enslave his will. Submission to the will of Allah grants man the right to choose for his life, to live his life in a moral and upright way.
It is true that worshiping Allah should be parallel to obeying His laws. But this obedience is the free choice of love. And His laws are those absolute moral standards which formulate the essence of man's true nature, as his Creator means him to be at his best.
No man who has bowed his neck beneath the yoke of money-grubbing or power-seeking can ever enjoy a free life in a free society. The Imam Ali said:
"Piety is the key to honesty and purity and to the acquirement of merit in store against judgment-day. It is freedom from the chains of every bondage; salvation from the blows of every adversity. Piety puts a man's aim within his reach, wards off evil, his soul's foe, and assists him to attain his heart's desires." (Nahj-ul-Balaghe: 227.)
Remember that he gave this message in an epoch when violence, oppression, wrong, class wars and racial strife raged amongst men. The weak and the poor were denied every human right and social safeguard. With matchless moral courage the pioneer of Islam outlawed all those differences and conflicts, so illegitimate, so superstitious and so mistaken. He replaced them with the command that equality and perfect equity should be observed for all individuals. He ordained that, under the auspices of total submission to the will of Allah, every sort of reasonable freedom should be put within the possession of men; in such a way that the underprivileged classes of society which had never before had any sort of power to express their desires but had merely provoked the reaction of violence and oppression if they dared to protest against the will of the powerful ruling classes, should now, under the life giving justice of Islamic laws, find the political and social power they lacked, and shoulder to shoulder move on until they had their full and rightful share in the leadership of their nations.
Thus, Islam came to break man's fetters and enable mankind to cast off the chains that delayed his growth, it encouraged the individual to give proper expression to his humanity and follow the path to moral perfection. It created an atmosphere of hope and optimism which gave a true meaning to human existence.