Unless we begin to interpret mankind in a domain of values, speaking of human rights is impossible. Those who claim to be arguing about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should first specify which kind of human being they refer to: the one described by the holy prophets, i e. the being created with innate greatness, created by God’s perfect wisdom, the being who lives to be good and become perfect, the being to whom any insult equals insulting God’s will? Or do they mean a wolf-like creature devoid of any values. Human rights should be based on innate greatness and generosity; none of the Western philosophies, like Nietzsche and the supporters of authoritarianism have provided such a basis. In order to become a universal culture, the Universal Human Rights should concretely prove human dignity and greatness, and eliminate any Machiavellian, authoritarianism, or utilitarianist ideas. Western human rights are based on mutual coexistence accompanied by peace, freedom, and justice in all societies. Although such a basis is significant, it cannot provide a foundation in which all people can feel themselves as a part of one family; that is only possible by means of a much greater foundation – which, in Islam, is God.
Merely making and compiling laws does not necessarily mean executing them. For a legal system to be executed 1) there should be no bias among people and 2) the educational background needed for the system to embrace reality should be established. This is why Islam has provided a series of psychological and moral principles common to all people in order to make its legal system feasible.
Human rights in Islam are based upon religion, which results in a few exclusive characteristics:
1- It is a legal system based on God's will; in other words, it is God who has presented His subjects with these rights and responsibilities. Thus, each individual not only performs his duties with pure sincerity, but also considers fulfilling them to be of critical importance to one’s own development and perfection.
2- Man’s own perfectionist character is responsible for enforcing Islamic laws.
3- The fact that Islam – as other religions – is based on Abraham’s innate religion makes it easier to prove that human rights and duties are universal...
Ostad Allame Jafari
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