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How Islam Cares about Preservation of Human Honour

MIT
11/15/2015
489 views

Islam is the religion revealed for all mankind.  It is not exclusively for Arabs or Asians, men, or women, the wealthy or the downtrodden.  Islam is the religion and way of life that assures that humankind is able to access all of their rights.  It makes sense to think that the One Who created us knows what is best for us, and   He (God) has given us access to all the knowledge we need in order to live happy secure lives.

Muslims believe that this knowledge is accessible through the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and that it is guaranteed by the Sharia (Islamic Law).  Islam establishes a legal framework, and embodies a code of ethics, designed to protect the rights of an individual including his or her right to live in a secure society.

Prophet Muhammad said, “Whosoever wakes up (in the morning) feeling that he is secure in his community, free from ailments and diseases in his body, and has enough provision for a single day, it is as if he owns the entire world.” (Tirmidhi)

The Sharia is concerned with preserving five basic things: the right to practice religion, the protection of life, the safeguarding of the mind or intellect, the preservation of honour and family, and the sanctity of his wealth and property.  A unified community establishes a moral and ethical base in which individual rights are upheld.  Although the rights of individuals are of great concern, they are not permitted to overshadow the rights of the community.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains 30 articles.  They strive to secure life, liberty, and security for all men, women, and children.  There is no doubt that the preservation of this declaration is a righteous act however each article has been adequately addressed in the past by the words of God in Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad.

Let's have a brief of these said articles compared to the Qur'an and traditions of the prophet of over 1400 years.

Article 1 & 2

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional, or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The Quran & Traditions of Muhammad (PBUH) have the following:

There are many verses in Quran that point to the dignity, equality, and brotherhood of humankind.  Furthermore, God makes it clear that rights and freedoms are granted to all, regardless of race, gender, social origin, nationality, language, colour, or status.

“O mankind!  We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honourable of you with God is that (believer) who has God consciousness (including piety and righteousness).  Verily, God is All Knowing, All-Aware.”

God created humankind to act as vicegerent upon the earth; human beings were set above the animals, birds, and fish and given a task of great responsibility..

“See you not (O men) that God has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent and hidden.”  (Quran 31:20)

The first man Adam, the father of humankind was honoured and treated with due respect and dignity.  God blew man’s soul into him, He fashioned him with His own hands and He ordered the Angels to bow down before him.  By honouring Adam God assured that all of humankind are worthy of dignity and respect.  Islam also makes it clear that all mankind is descent from Adam and as such are brothers and sisters to one another.

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.  So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.”  (Quran 38:71-72)

God said in Quran (49:10) that believers are nothing less than brothers to one another and Prophet Muhammad constantly reinforced the necessity of maintaining the ties of brotherhood.  He said that no person would attain true piety until he wished for his brother (or sister) what he wished for himself.  

When Prophet Muhammad realised he would soon be returning to his beloved God, he addressed all of humanity with profound and beautiful words that became known as the Farewell Sermon.  He gazed down upon more than 100,000 thousand followers standing on the plains of Arafat, and said, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab.  A white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action.  Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.

Quran & Traditions already had the following:

“We ordained ...that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”  (Quran 5:32)

God makes it clear in Quran that human life is sacred.  Blood cannot be spilled or life taken without justification.  The right to life is inherent in the tenants of Islam and it is given by God, in equal measure to every single human being that has inhabited or will inhabit this planet earth.  Life and the integral honour and dignity it entails is considered the greatest gift.  It is given to us by our Creator as a trust.  We are obligated to care for each other and ourselves.  Suicide out of despair of God’s mercy or for any other reason is strictly forbidden. The sanctity of the body is inviolable and the bodies of the deceased must be handled with care and fitting solemnity. 

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful sins whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom God has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.” (Quran 6:151)

In his Farewell Sermon Prophet Muhammad reminded us of the importance of human rights in Islam, he said, “So regard the life and property as a sacred trust.  Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.  Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.  Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord and that He will indeed reckon your deeds.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights deals with many issues.  It attempts to ensure humankind treat each other with respect and dignity.  Islam is a religion that holds respect, dignity and tolerance in very high esteem and the rights and responsibilities inherent in Islam are a declaration of human rights.

One of the most important principles in Islam is that God created humankind to be fully accountable for his actions.  Each human being has certain rights and responsibilities and no human being has the right to restrict the freedom of another.  Anyone who dares to take away the God given rights inherent in Islam, including the right to human dignity, is called a wrongdoer or an oppressor.  God calls on those who obey Him to stand up for the rights of the oppressed.

“And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the cause of God, and for those weak, ill-treated, and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord!  Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect; and raise for us from you one who will help!” (Quran 4:75)[1]

 

Therefore, Islam has actually focused specifically on protecting the female's honour from so many aspects. Below are just a few of these:

Recognizing Her Humanity And Equality with Man

Islam has recognized her humanity, and that she was created from Adam,

As Allah Most High said:

“O you people: revere God, your Creator, and entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Him, Who brought you into being from one single soul -Adam- and from him did He created his mate -Eve-. “(Sura 4:1)

It is in the Noble Hadith :

“ Women are, indeed the counterpart of men. "

(Cited by Abu Dawood  and AI-Tirmizly)

And just as Islam has made her equal in obligations from the point of view of eligibility for work, obedience and reward thereof, 

He Most High said (translated as):

"There did God respond favorably to their invocation and answer their prayer; He said: " indeed I do not annul,  withhold nor withdraw the fruit which anyone , man or  woman ,is entitled to reap from deeds of wisdom and piety, you spring one from the other. " (Sura 3:195)

Allah the Almighty said (translated as):

“ Men have a rightful claim to he apportioned the proper share of what they have earned (by Labour or inheritance), and women have a rightful claim to he apportioned the proper share of what they have earned (by labour or inheritance). " (Sura 4:32)

Equality, as a basic principle does not dispute some of the disparities in Law, which are dictated by the nature of woman, and her adaptability to perform her basic duty in the world, and as dictated by the basic system in the distribution of responsibility as Allah Sanctified has willed it. 

Protecting Her Life And Good Care or Her

Islam preserved woman’s right in life and graceful up-bringing and so it is prohibited for the female of the species to be buried alive,(some people in pre-Islamic, days of ignorance used to carry out the barbaric practice of burying alive baby girls), and it prevented negligence in their up-bringing Furthermore, it guaranteed her right to inherit, and other financial rights .

Her Rights To Private And Free Property

Islam guaranteed for woman the right to property and disposal of property, without having to seek the permission of her guardian or husband. Allah Most High said in connection with her right to dowry:

“ And give the women, whom you join in wedlock their dower with good will. But if they- the women- willingly remit a part thereof of their own accord, then you may eat I it into your hearts and enjoy it, may it give you pleasure; may it do you good “( Sura 4:4) 

Allah Almighty also said (translated as):

“ And if any of you decides to dissolve his marriage contract with his wife in favor of matrimonial union with another, and you had dowered your divorcee when you joined in wedlock with a talent of gold, you should not recover the least part of it; would you reclaim what is their right by.fraud and you stand manifest in deceit and falsehood.” (Sura 4:20) 

Respecting Her Opinion In Marriage Bonds

Islam respected her opinion in marriage, and prevented forcing marriage upon her. Islam forbade that she be inherited as if she were a commodity, as had been, the custom in the "Age of Ignorance.” In the same way, Islam forbade preventing her from marriage at her own risk or for coveting her property.  

For example Allah Most High said:

"O you who have conformed to Islam: women are not a property to be inherited against their following the death of their husbands; you are, forbidden to copy this pagan Custom, nor are you allowed to ill treat them to force them to give up a part of the dower of the property which you have given them, unless they have been proven of guilty of flagrant lewdness “  (Sura 4:19) 

So Islam systematized the divorce of women where it had been promiscuous In the Age of Ignorance. It respects her opinion if she requests it -(Divorce)-, to avoid harm and the like. 

Respecting her as wife

Islam honored the woman as wife, with good marital relations with kindness, just treatment of her in general; and it preserves for her the right to make conditions in marriage which will guarantee her comfort, and to word off harm from her.

Honoring her as Mother

Islam honored the woman as mother. So, it has just enjoined filial piety and goodness to her. Indeed, it made her portion of filial piety and loyalty greater than that accorded, to the father, owing to her burden during pregnancy, labour, suckling and upbringing.

        Allah Most High said (translated as):

"We commanded to man his parents to commit them to his kind care (and to display to them a friendly and a kind disposition). With travail does his mother hear him in her womb.“ ( Sura 31 : 14 )

And in the Hadith is the injunction upon good companionship to her, thrice mentioned, and after that the companionship of the father (only once)-(unanimous).

Her right to social activities and the wisdom in the veil

Islam proffered to woman the right to social, cultural, and indeed, political activities relative to that which suits her, and to the role prescribed for her by Islam. Within the bounds of this right, which is enjoyed outdoors, Allah has made provisions for her safeguard, Thereby preventing prying upon her, or exploiting her dealings with people. Among these provisions are what man and woman have in common (passion), and what concerns woman, such as aversion of the unlawful glance. By covering her enticing parts, and avoiding doubtful seclusion with a man securing chastity, and honour , in general. Texts in support of this are numerous.  


[1] ) Mostly taken from: http://www.islamreligion.com with touches.

 

 






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