Rights of Citizens in an Islamic State
protects the rights belonging to the citizens of an Islamic state, whether they
are Muslims or non-Muslims.
The first is the right to security of life and property. Islam prohibits killing except for that which is done in the due process of law at the hands of a God-fearing court. No government has the right to murder its citizens, openly or secretly, because they oppose its unjust policies and actions or criticize it. Furthermore, Islam confers the right of security of ownership of property.
Another right is that of the protection of honor. Under Islamic Law, if one is proved to have said things that could have damaged the reputation and honor of the plaintiff, the accused is declared guilty of defamation — regardless of whether or not the plaintiff is able to prove that he is respectable and honorable in the first place.
Citizens of an Islamic state have the right to the sanctity and security of private life. Thus spying on others, reading their mail, tapping their phones, etc., is illegal. Espionage on the life of the individual cannot be justified on moral grounds. In fact, when a government does begin to spy on its own people, the common citizens cannot speak freely even in their own homes, and society begins to suffer from a state of general distrust and suspicion — which in turn leads to more dissatisfaction and eventually unrest.
No citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proven in an open court in which he has the opportunity to defend himself.
Citizens have the God-given right to protest against the government’s tyranny, whether that abuse is directed against individuals, groups, or the entire population.
Islam grants the right of freedom of thought and expression on the condition that it should be used to propagate virtue and truth, not to spread evil and wickedness. Further, no one has the right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism. In fact, the citizen not only has the right of freedom of expression in order to propagate virtue, but also the duty to propagate virtue and stop the spread of evil.
Islam gives people the right to freedom of association and formation of parties or organizations, provided that this right is exercised to spread virtue and righteousness, not to spread evil and mischief.
Citizens of an Islamic state have the right to freedom of conscience and conviction. Non-Muslim citizens cannot be forced to accept Islam, and no moral, social, or political pressure can be put on them to make them change their minds.
Religious sentiments are to be protected. Discussion and debate on religious matters can be held, but these must be conducted in decency with no abusive language. This applies to followers of all faiths.
An individual cannot be arrested or imprisoned for the offenses of others. Every person is responsible for his own acts.
Citizens have the right to the basic necessities of life. It is the responsibility of the State to provide the basic necessities for the poor and needy, invalid, orphaned, elderly, unemployed, et cetera. Even a dead person with no guardian or heir has the right to a proper burial by the State.
The citizens of an Islamic state have absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law, regardless of their religion.
In an Islamic state, the rulers are not above the law. All officials of the state, whether they are the head or ordinary employees, are equal in the eyes of the law. None can claim immunity. Even an ordinary citizen has the right to forward a claim or file a complaint against the highest executive in the country.
Citizens have the right to avoid sin. No government, or administrator, or head of a department can order another person to do wrong. A person who is so ordered has the right to refuse to comply, and this would not be seen as an offense under Islamic Law.
Islam grants the right to participate in the affairs of state. Thus every citizen has the right to have a direct say in the affairs of the state or a representative chosen by him and others.