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Islam FAQ (Part 8/15): Life after Death, Moral System & Human rights in Islam

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 - Part11 - Part12 - Part13 - Part14 - Part15 )
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Archive-name: islam-faq/part8
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1995/3/27
Version: 3.3
Organization: Alumni Association, Caltech, Pasadena, California

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
        Copyright 1993,1994,1995  Asim Mughal (mughal@caltech.edu) 

        Redistribution  for  profit,    or   in  altered  content/format
        prohibited without explicit  written  permission  of the author.
        Any other redistribution must  include this copyright notice and
        attribution. 



                       Frequently Asked Questions: Part 8
                       __________________________________
        

        This message  is  automatically  posted  to 'soc.religion.islam'
        every  month  and  when  updated.  This  lists  answers  to most
        commonly asked questions on  the  forum. Contributions & changes
        are requested and should be directed to: mughal@caltech.edu 



        OVERVIEW:  The   Frequently   Asked   Questions   document   for
        Islam  has  been  divided  in  parts.  Below is the index. 


        Part 1 - Welcome & Index
        Part 2 - Info on Islamic News Groups
        Part 3 - Introduction to Islam
        Part 4 - God & Worship
        Part 5 - Islam, Quran & Muhammad (PBUH)
        Part 6 - Marriage Laws in Islam
        Part 7 - Women In Islam
        Part 8 - Life after Death, Moral System & Human rights in Islam
        Part 9 - Islam: Prophethood, Jesus & Trinity
        Part 10 - Islam: Farrakhism & Malcom X
        Part 11 - Islamic Internet Guide: Islamic Resources on Internet
        Part 12 - Other Islamic Resource Guides on Internet
        Part 13 - Islamic Literature: Books & Video
        Part 14 - Islamic Calendar & Prayer Time Table for 1994
        Part 15 - Misc: List of Halal Foods

            ________________________________________________________

         PART 8: Life after Death,Moral System & Human Rights in Islam
        


				    Contents				    

				 --Articles--
 1. Life After Death ............................................... from III&E 
 2. Moral System In Islam .......................................... from III&E 
 3. God Consciousness .............................................. from III&E 
 4. Social Responsibilities ........................................ from III&E 
 5. Parents & others ............................................... from III&E 
 6. Human Rights In Islam .......................................... from III&E 
 7. Human Rights in an Islamic State ............................... from III&E 
				--Announcements--
 8. Archive Info .............................................................. 
 9. Credits ................................................................... 



 Articles .....................................................................


 1. Life After Death ............................................... from III&E 



    The question whether there is a life after death does not fall under the
    jurisdiction  of   science,   as   science   is   concerned  only  with
    classification and analysis of  data.  Moreover,  man has been busy with
    scientific inquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only
    for the last few centuries, while he  has been familiar with the concept
    of life after death since  times  immemorial.  All  the  prophets of God
    called their people to worship God  and  to believe in life after death.
    They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a
    slight doubt in  it  meant  denying  God  and  made  all  other  beliefs
    meaningless. The very fact that all  the prophets of God have dealt with
    this metaphysical question of  life  after  death  so confidently and so
    uniformly - the gap between their  ages  being thousands of years - goes
    to prove that the source  of  their  knowledge  of  life  after death as
    proclaimed by them all, was the  same,  i.e., Divine revelation. We also
    know that these prophets of God  were  greatly  opposed by their people,
    mainly on the issue of life  after  death,  as  their  people thought it
    impossible. But in spite of  opposition,  the  prophets won many sincere
    followers. 

    The question arises: what made  those  followers forsake the established
    beliefs, traditions and customs of  their  forefathers,  notwithstanding
    the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple
    answer is: they made use  of  their  faculties  of  mind  and  heart and
    realized the truth.  Did  they  realize  the  truth  through  perceptual
    consciousness? Not so, as  perceptual  experience of life after death is
    impossible. 

    Actually, God has given man, besides perceptual consciousness, rational,
    aesthetic and moral  consciousness  too.  It  is this consciousness that
    guides man regarding realities  that  cannot be verified through sensory
    data. That is why all  the  prophets  of  God  while  calling  people to
    believe in God and life after death,  appeal to the aesthetic, moral and
    rational consciousness of man. For example, when the idolaters of Makkah
    denied even the possibility of  life  after death, the Quran exposed the
    weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments
    in support of it: 

    "And he has coined for us a  similitude,  and  has forgotten the fact of
    his creation, saying: who will revive  these bones when they have rotted
    away? Say: He will revive them Who produced them at first, for He is the
    Knower of every creation, Who has appointed  for you fire from the green
    tree, and behold! you kindle from it.  Is not He Who created the heavens
    and the earth, able to create the  like  of  them? Yes, and He is indeed
    the Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing." (36:78-81) 

    At another occasion, the Quran  very  clearly says that the disbelievers
    have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on
    pure conjecture: 

    "They say, 'There is nothing but our  present life; we die, and we live,
    and nothing but Time destroys us.' Of  that they have no knowledge; they
    merely conjecture. And when our  revelations  are recited to them, their
    only argument is that they  say,  'Bring  us  our  fathers, if you speak
    truly.' (45:24-25) 

    Surely God will raise all the dead.  But God has His own plan of things.
    A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then again
    the dead will be resurrected to  stand  before God. That day will be the
    beginning of the life that  will  never  end,  and that Day every person
    will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deed. 

    The explanation that the Quran  gives  about the necessity of life after
    death is what the moral consciousness of man demands. Actually, if there
    is no life after death, the very  belief  in  God becomes irrelevant, or
    even if one believes in God,  that  would  be  an unjust and indifferent
    God: having once created man and  not  concerned  with his fate. Surely,
    God is just. He will punish the  tyrants  whose crimes are beyond count:
    having killed hundreds of innocent persons, created great corruptions in
    the society, enslaved numerous persons  to serve their whims, etc. Man's
    having a very short span  of  life  in  this  world,  and  this physical
    world's too being not eternal, punishments  or rewards equal to the evil
    or noble deeds of  persons  are  not   possible  here.  The  Quran  very
    emphatically states that the  Day  of  Judgment  must  come and God will
    decide about the fate of each  soul  according  to  his or her record of
    deeds: 

    "Those who disbelieve say: The  Hour  will never come unto us. Say: Nay,
    by my Lord, but it is coming unto you  surely. (He is) the Knower of the
    Unseen. Not an atom's weight, or less  than that or greater, escapes Him
    in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may
    reward those who believe and  do  good  words.  For them is pardon and a
    rich  provision.  But  those  who  strive   against   our   revelations,
    challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of wrath." (34:3-5) 

    The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God's attributes of Justice
    and Mercy will be in full  manifestation.  God  will shower His Mercy on
    those who suffered for His sake in  the  worldly life, believing that an
    eternal bliss was awaiting them.  But  those  who abused the bounties of
    God, caring nothing for the life to  come, will be in the most miserable
    state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says: 

    "Is he, then, to whom We have promised  a goodly promise the fulfillment
    of which he will meet, like the one  whom We have provided with the good
    things of this life, and then on  the  Day of Resurrection he will be of
    those who will be brought arraigned before God?" (28:61) 

    The Quran also states that this  worldly  life  is a preparation for the
    eternal life after death. But  those  who deny it become slaves of their
    passions and desires, make fun of  virtuous  and  God-conscious persons.
    Such persons realize their  folly  only  at  the time of their death and
    wish to be given a  further  chance  in  the  world  but  in vain. Their
    miserable state at the  time  of  death,  and  the  horror of the Day of
    Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed  to the sincere believers are
    very beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Holy Quran: 

    "Until, when death comes unto  one  of  them,  he says, 'My Lord send me
    back, that I may do right in that which  I have left behind! But nay! It
    is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day
    when they are raised. And when  the  Trumpet  is  blown there will be no
    kinship among them that day,  nor  will  they  ask  of one another. Then
    those whose scales are  heavy,  they  are  successful.  And  those whose
    scales are light are those who  lose  their  souls, in hell abiding, the
    fire burns their faces and they are glum therein." (23:99-104) 

    The belief in life after  death  not  only  guarantees  success  in  the
    Hereafter but also  makes  this  world  full  of  peace and happiness by
    making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities. 

    Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling,  wine, tribal feuds, plundering
    and murdering were their  main  traits  when  they had no belief in life
    after death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in One God and life
    after death they became the most  disciplined  nation of the world. They
    gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all
    their disputes on the  basis  of  justice  and  equality.  Similarly the
    denial of life after  death  has  its   consequences  not  only  in  the
    Hereafter but also in this world.  When  a  nation as a whole denies it,
    all kinds of evils and corruptions  become  rampant  in that society and
    ultimately it is destroyed. The Quran mentions the terrible end of 'Aad,
    Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail: 

    "(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in the judgment to come. As
    for Thamud, they were destroyed by the  lightning, and as for 'Aad, they
    were destroyed by a fierce roaring  wind,  which  He imposed on them for
    seven long nights and eight long  days  so that you might see the people
    laid prostrate in it as if  they  were  the  stumps  of fallen down palm
    trees. 

    "Now do you see remnant of them?  Pharaoh  likewise and those before him
    and the subverted cities. They  committed  errors  and those before him,
    and they rebelled against  the  Messenger  of  their Lord, and He seized
    them with a surpassing grip. Lo,  when  the  waters rose, We bore you in
    the running ship that  We  might  make  it  a  reminder  for you and for
    heeding ears to hold. So when the  Trumpet  is blown with a single blast
    and the earth and the mountains are  lifted up and crushed with a single
    blow, then on that day, the Terror  shall  come  to pass, and the heaven
    shall be split for upon that day it  will be very frail. Then as for him
    who is given his book in his right  hand,  he  shall say, 'Here take and
    read my book! Certainly I thought  I  should encounter my reckoning.' So
    he shall be in a pleasing life in  a  lofty garden, its clusters nigh to
    gather. 

    "'Eat and drink with wholesome  appetite  for  that you did long ago, in
    the days gone by.' 

    "But as for him who is given his  book  in  his left hand, he shall say:
    'Would that I had not been  given  my  book  and not known my reckoning!
    Would that it had been  the  end!  My  wealth  has  not  availed  me, my
    authority is gone from me.'" (69:4-29) 

    Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death. 

    First, all the prophets of God  have  called  their people to believe in
    it. 

    Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief,
    it has been the most ideal  and  peaceful  society,  free  of social and
    moral evils. 

    Thirdly, history bears  witness  that  whenever  this belief is rejected
    collectively by a group of people  in  spite  of the repeated warning of
    the Prophet, the group as a whole has  been punished by God even in this
    world. 

    Fourthly, moral, aesthetic  and  rational  faculties  of man endorse the
    possibility of life after death. 

    Fifthly, God's attributes of Justice  and Mercy have no meaning if there
    is no life after death. 




 2. Moral System In Islam .......................................... from III&E 


    Islam has laid down some universal fundamental  rights for humanity as a
    whole, which are to be observed  and  respected under all circumstances.
    To achieve these rights  Islam  provides  not  only legal safeguards but
    also a very effective moral  system.  Thus whatever leads to the welfare
    of the individual or the society  is  morally good in Islam and whatever
    is injurious is morally bad. Islam  attaches  so  much importance to the
    love of God and love of man that it warns against too much of formalism.
    We read in the Quran: 

    "It is not righteousness that you turn  your faces towards East or West;
    but it is righteousness  to  believe  in  God  and  the Last Day and the
    Angels, and the Book, and the  Messengers;  to  spend of your substance,
    out of love for Him, for your kin,  for  orphans  for the needy, for the
    wayfarer, for those who ask;  and  for  the  freeing  of captives; to be
    steadfast in prayers,  and  practice  regular  charity;  to  fulfill the
    contracts which you  made;  and  to  be  firm  and  patient  in pain (or
    suffering) and adversity and  throughout  all periods of panic. Such are
    the people of truth, the God-conscious." (2:177) 

    We are given a beautiful description  of the righteous and God-conscious
    man in these verses. He should obey  salutary regulations, but he should
    fix his gaze on the love of God and the love of his fellow men. 

    We are given four heads: 

    a) Our faith should be true and sincere, 

    b) We must be prepared to show it in deeds of charity to our fellow-men, 

    c) We must be good citizens, supporting social organizations, and 

    d) Our  own  individual  soul  must  be  firm  and  unshaken  in  all
    circumstances. 


    This is the standard by which a particular mode of conduct is judged and
    classified as good or  bad.  This  standard  of  judgment  provides  the
    nucleus around which the  whole  moral  conduct  should  revolve. Before
    laying down any moral injunctions Islam seeks to firmly implant in man's
    heart the conviction that his dealings  are with God who sees him at all
    times and in all places; that he  may  hide himself from the whole world
    but not from Him; that he may  deceive  everyone but cannot deceive God;
    that he can flee from the clutches of anyone else but not from God. 

    Thus, by setting God's pleasure as  the  objective  of man's life, Islam
    has furnished the highest possible  standard  of morality. This is bound
    to provide limitless avenues  for  the  moral  evolution of humanity. By
    making Divine revelations as the  primary  source  of knowledge it gives
    permanence and stability to the moral  standards which afford reasonable
    scope for genuine adjustments,  adaptations  and innovations, though not
    for perversions, wild variation, atomistic relativism or moral fluidity.
    It provides a sanction to morality  in  the  love and fear of God, which
    will impel man to obey the moral law even without any external pressure.
    Through belief in God and the Day of Judgment it furnishes a force which
    enables a person  to  adopt  the  moral  conduct  with  earnestness  and
    sincerity, with all the devotion of heart and soul. 

    It does not, through a  false  sense   of  originality  and  innovation,
    provide any  novel  moral  virtues  nor  does  it  seek  to minimize the
    importance of the well-known moral  norms,  nor does it give exaggerated
    importance to some and neglect others without cause. It takes up all the
    commonly known moral virtues and with  a sense of balance and proportion
    it assigns a suitable place  and  function  to  each  one of them in the
    total scheme of life.  It  widens  the  scope  of  man's  individual and
    collective life - his domestic associations,  his civic conduct, and his
    activities in the political,  economic,  legal,  educational, and social
    realms. It covers his life from  home  to society, from the dining-table
    to the battlefield and peace  conferences,  literally from the cradle to
    the grave. In short, no sphere of life  is exempt from the universal and
    comprehensive application of  the  moral  principles  of Islam. It makes
    morality reign supreme and ensures that  the affairs of life, instead of
    dominated by selfish desires and petty interests, should be regulated by
    norms of morality. 

    It stipulates for man a system of life which is based on all good and is
    free from all evil. It invokes the people,  not only to practice virtue,
    but also to establish virtue  and  eradicate  vice,  to  bid good and to
    forbid wrong. It wants that the verdict of conscience should prevail and
    virtue must not be subdued to  play  second  fiddle  to  evil. Those who
    respond to this call are gathered  together  into  a community and given
    the name "Muslim". And the  singular  object underlying the formation of
    this community ("Ummah") is that  it  should make an organized effort to
    establish and enforce goodness and suppress and eradicate evil. 

    Here we furnish some basic moral teachings  of Islam for various aspects
    of a Muslim's life. They cover  the  broad  spectrum  of  personal moral
    conduct of a Muslim as well as his social responsibilities. 




 3. God Consciousness .............................................. from III&E 


    The Quran mentions it as the highest quality of a Muslim: 

    "The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the one who is most
    God-conscious." (49:13) 

    Humility, modesty,  control  of  passions   and  desires,  truthfulness,
    integrity, patience,  steadfastness,  and  fulfilling one's promises are
    moral values which are emphasized again  and again in the Quran. We read
    in the Quran: 

    "And God loves those who are firm and steadfast." (3:146) 

    "And vie with one another to attain  to your Sustainer's forgiveness and
    to a Paradise as vast as  the  heavens  and  the earth, which awaits the
    God-conscious, who spend for  charity  in  time of plenty and in time of
    hardship, and restrain their anger, and pardon their fellow men, for God
    loves those who do good." (3:133-134) 

    "Establish regular  prayer,  enjoin  what  is  just,  and forbid what is
    wrong; and bear patiently  whatever  may  befall  you;  for this is true
    constancy. And do not swell your cheek  (with pride) at men, nor walk in
    insolence on the  earth,  for  God  does  not  love  any  man  proud and
    boastful. And be moderate in  your  pace  and  lower your voice; for the
    harshest of sounds, indeed, is the braying of the ass." (31:18-19) 

    In a way which summarizes the  moral  behavior  of a Muslim, the Prophet
    (PBUH) said: 

    "My Sustainer has given me nine  commands:  to  remain conscious of God,
    whether in private or  in  public;  to  speak  justly,  whether angry or
    pleased; to show moderation  both  when  poor  and when rich, to reunite
    friendship with those who have  broken  off  with me; to give to him who
    refuses me; that my silence  should  be  occupied  with thought; that my
    looking should be  an  admonition;  and  that  I  should command what is
    right." 




 4. Social Responsibilities ........................................ from III&E 


    The teachings of Islam concerning  social  responsibilities are based on
    kindness and consideration  of  others.  Since  a broad injunction to be
    kind is likely to be ignored in specific situations, Islam lays emphasis
    on specific acts of kindness and defines the responsibilities and rights
    of various relationships. In a  widening  circle  of relationship, then,
    our first obligation is to our  immediate  family  - parents, husband or
    wife and children, then  to  other  relatives,  neighbors,  friends  and
    acquaintances, orphans  and  widows,  the  needy  of  the community, our
    fellow Muslims, all our fellow human beings and animals. 




 5. Parents & others ............................................... from III&E 


    Respect and care for  parents  is  very  much  stressed  in  the Islamic
    teaching and is a very important part of a Muslim's expression of faith. 

    "Your Sustainer has decreed that you  worship none but Him, and that you
    be kind to parents. Whether one or  both  of them attain old age in your
    lifetime, do not say to them  a  word  of  contempt  nor repel them, but
    address them in terms of honor. And,  out of kindness, lower to them the
    wing of humility and say: My Sustainer!  Bestow on them Your mercy, even
    as they cherished me in childhood." (17:23-24) 

    OTHER RELATIVES 

    "And render to the relatives  their  due  rights,  as (also) to those in
    need, and to the traveler; and do not squander your wealth in the manner
    of a spendthrift." (17:26) 


    NEIGHBORS 

    The Prophet (PBUH) has said: 

    "He is not a believer who eats his fill  when his neighbor beside him is
    hungry"; and: "He does not believe whose neighbors are not safe from his
    injurious conduct." 

    Actually, according to the Quran  and  Sunnah, a Muslim has to discharge
    his moral  responsibility  not  only   to  his  parents,  relatives  and
    neighbors but to the entire  mankind,  animals and trees and plants. For
    example, hunting of  birds  and  animals  for  the  sake  of game is not
    permitted. Similarly,  cutting  trees  and  plants  which yield fruit is
    forbidden unless there is a very pressing need for it. 

    Thus, on the basic moral  characteristics,  Islam builds a higher system
    of morality by  virtue  of  which   mankind  can  realize  its  greatest
    potential. Islam purifies the soul  from  self-seeking egotism, tyranny,
    wantonness and indiscipline. It  creates  God-conscious  men, devoted to
    their ideals,  possessed  of  piety,   abstinence   and  discipline  and
    uncompromising  with   falsehood,   It   induces   feelings   of   moral
    responsibility  and  fosters  the   capacity  for  self  control.  Islam
    generates kindness, generosity,  mercy,  sympathy,  peace, disinterested
    goodwill, scrupulous fairness and  truthfulness  towards all creation in
    all situations. It nourishes noble qualities from which only good may be
    expected. 




 6. Human Rights In Islam .......................................... from III&E 


    Since God is the absolute and the  sole  master of men and the universe,
    He is the sovereign Lord,  the  Sustainer  and  Nourisher, the Merciful,
    Whose mercy enshrines all beings; and  since He has given each man human
    dignity and honor, and breathed  into  him of His own spirit, it follows
    that, united in Him and through  Him,  and  apart from their other human
    attributes, men are substantially  the  same  and no tangible and actual
    distinction can be  made  among  them,  on  account  of their accidental
    differences such as  nationality,  color  or  race. Every human being is
    thereby related  to  all  others  and   all  become  one  community  of
    brotherhood in their  honorable  and  pleasant  servitude  to  the  most
    compassionate Lord of the  Universe.  In  such a heavenly atmosphere the
    Islamic confession of the oneness  of  God  stands dominant and central,
    and necessarily entails the  concept  of the oneness of humanity and the
    brotherhood of mankind. 

    Although an Islamic state may be set  up in any part of the earth, Islam
    does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical
    limits of its own state. Islam has laid  down some universal fundamental
    rights for humanity as a whole,  which  are to be observed and respected
    under all circumstances  whether  such  a  person is resident within the
    territory of the Islamic state or outside  it, whether he is at peace or
    at war. The Quran very clearly states: 

    "O believers, be you  securers  of  justice,  witness  for  God. Let not
    detestation for a people move you  not  to  be equitable; be equitable -
    that is nearer to God-fearing." (5:8) 

    Human blood is sacred  in  any  case   and  cannot  be  spilled  without
    justification. And if anyone  violates  this  sanctity of human blood by
    killing a  soul  without  justification,  the  Quran  equates  it to the
    killing of entire mankind. 

    "...Whoso slays a soul  not  to  retaliate  for  a  soul  slain, nor for
    corruption done in  the  land,  should  be  as  if  he had slain mankind
    altogether." (5:32) 

    It is not permissible to oppress  women,  children, old people, the sick
    or the wounded. Women's honor and chastity are to be respected under all
    circumstances. The hungry person must  be fed, the naked clothed and the
    wounded or  diseased  treated  medically  irrespective  of  whether they
    belong to the Islamic community or are from among its enemies. 

    When we speak of human rights in Islam  we really mean that these rights
    have been granted by God; they  have  not been granted by any king or by
    any  legislative  assembly.  The  rights  granted  by  the  kings or the
    legislative assemblies, can  also  be  withdrawn  in  the same manner in
    which they are conferred. The same is  the case with the rights accepted
    and recognized by the dictators.  They  can confer them when they please
    and withdraw them when they wish; and  they can openly violate them when
    they like. But since in Islam  human  rights have been conferred by God,
    no legislative assembly in the world  or any government on earth has the
    right or authority  to  make  any  amendment  or  change  in  the rights
    conferred by God. No one has  the  right  to  abrogate  them or withdraw
    them. Nor are they basic human  rights  which are conferred on paper for
    the sake of show and exhibition and  denied in actual life when the show
    is over. Nor  are  they  like  philosophical   concepts  which  have  no
    sanctions behind them. 

    The charter and the  proclamations  and  the  resolutions  of the United
    Nations cannot be compared with  the  rights  sanctioned by God; because
    the former are not applicable on anybody while the latter are applicable
    on every believer. They are a  part  and  parcel  of  the Islamic Faith.
    Every Muslim or administrator who claims himself to be Muslim, will have
    to accept, recognize and enforce them. If they fail to enforce them, and
    start denying the rights  that  have  been  guaranteed  by  God  or make
    amendments and changes in them, or practically violate them while paying
    lip service to them, the verdict  of  the Holy Quran for such government
    is clear and unequivocal: 

    "Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are the disbelievers."
    (5:44) 




 7. Human Rights in an Islamic State ............................... from III&E 


    1. THE SECURITY OF LIFE AND PROPERTY: 

    In the address which  the  Prophet  delivered  on  the  occasion  of the
    Farewell Hajj, he said: "Your lives  and properties are forbidden to one
    another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection." The Prophet
    has also said about the dhimmis  (the  non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim
    state): "One who kills a man under covenant (i.e., dhimmi) will not even
    smell the fragrance of Paradise." 


    2. THE PROTECTION OF HONOR: 

    The Holy Quran lays down: 

    i) "You who believe, do not let one  (set of) people make fun of another
    s= et." 

    ii) "Do not defame one another." 

    iii) "Do not insult by using nicknames." 

    iv) "Do not backbite or speak ill of one another." (49:11-12) 



    3. SANCTITY AND SECURITY OF PRIVATE LIFE: 

    The Quran has laid down the injunction: 

    i) "Do not spy on one another." (49:12) 

    ii) "Do not enter any  houses  unless  you  are sure of their occupant's
    consent." (24:27) 


    4. THE SECURITY OF PERSONAL FREEDOM: 

    Islam has laid down the  principle  that  no  citizen  can be imprisoned
    unless his guilt has been proven in  an open court. To arrest a man only
    on the basis of suspicion and to throw  him into a prison without proper
    court proceedings and without providing  him a reasonable opportunity to
    produce his defense is not permissible in Islam. 


    5. THE RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST TYRANNY: 

    Among the rights that Islam has  conferred  on human beings is the right
    to protest against government's tyranny. Referring to it the Quran says:
    "God does not love evil talk in  public  unless it is by someone who has
    been injured thereby." (4:148) 

    In Islam, as has been argued earlier,  all power and authority belong to
    God, and with man there is only  delegated  power which becomes a trust;
    everyone who becomes a recipient  of  such a power has to stand in awful
    reverence before his people toward  whom  and  for whose sake he will be
    called upon to use these  powers.  This  was  acknowledged by Hazrat Abu
    Bakr who said in his very first  address:  "Cooperate  with me when I am
    right but correct me when I commit  error;  obey  me so long as I follow
    the commandments of Allah and His Prophet;  but turn away from me when I
    deviate." 


    6. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: 

    Islam gives the right  of  freedom  of  thought  and  expression  to all
    citizens of the Islamic state on  the  condition  that it should be used
    for the propagation of virtue and  truth  and not for spreading evil and
    wickedness. The  Islamic  concept  of  freedom  of  expression  is  much
    superior to the concept prevalent  in  the  West. Under no circumstances
    would Islam allow evil and wickedness to be propagated. It also does not
    give anybody the right to use abusive  or offensive language in the name
    of criticism. It was the  practice  of  the  Muslims to enquire from the
    Holy Prophet whether on a certain  matter  a  divine injunction had been
    revealed to him. If he said that  he  had received no divine injunction,
    the Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter. 


    7. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: 

    Islam has also given people  the  right  to  freedom  of association and
    formation of parties  or  organizations.  This  right is also subject to
    certain general rules. 


    8. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND CONVICTION: 

    Islam has laid down the injunction:  "There should be no coercion in the
    matter of faith." (2:256) 

    On the contrary, totalitarian societies  totally deprive the individuals
    of their freedom. Indeed, this  undue  exaltation of the state authority
    curiously enough postulates a sort  of  servitude, of slavishness on the
    part of man. At one time slavery  meant  total control of man over man -
    now that type of slavery has  been  legally  abolished  but in its place
    totalitarian  societies  impose   a   similar   sort  of  control  over
    individuals. 


    9. PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS: 

    Along with the freedom of  conviction  and  freedom of conscience, Islam
    has given the right to the individual that his religious sentiments will
    be given due respect and nothing will be said or done which may encroach
    upon his right. 


    10. PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT: 

    Islam also recognizes the right of the  individual not to be arrested or
    imprisoned for the offenses of others. The Holy Quran has laid down this
    principle clearly: "No  bearer  of  burdens  shall  be  made to bear the
    burden of another." (35:18) 


    11. THE RIGHT TO BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE: 

    Islam has recognized  the  right  of  the  needy  people  for  help  and
    assistance to be  provided  to  them:  "And  in  their  wealth  there is
    acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute." (51:19) 


    12. EQUALITY BEFORE LAW: 

    Islam gives its citizens the right to  absolute and complete equality in
    the eyes of the law. 


    13. RULERS NOT ABOVE THE LAW: 

    A woman belonging to a high and noble  family was arrested in connection
    with theft. The case was brought to  the Prophet, and it was recommended
    that she might be spared the  punishment  of theft. The Prophet replied:
    "The nations that lived before you  were  destroyed  by God because they
    punished the common man for their offenses  and let their dignitaries go
    unpunished for their crimes;  I  swear  by  Him Who holds my life in His
    hand that even if Fatima, the  daughter  of Muhammad, had committed this
    crime, I would have amputated her hand." 


    14. THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AFFAIRS OF STATE: 

    "And  their  business  is  (conducted)   through   consultation   among
    themselves." (42:38) The  "Shura"  or  the  legislative  assembly has no
    other meaning except that the  executive  head of the government and the
    members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice
    of the people. 

    Lastly, it is to be made  clear  that  Islam  tries to achieve the above
    mentioned human rights and  many  others  not  only by providing certain
    legal safeguards but mainly by  inviting  mankind to transcend the lower
    level of animal life to be able to  go  beyond the mere ties fostered by
    the kinship of blood,  racial  superiority,  linguistic  arrogance,  and
    economic  privileges.  It  invites  mankind  to  move  on  to a plane of
    existence where, by reason of his inner  excellence, man can realize the
    ideal of the Brotherhood of man. 




 Announcements ................................................................


 8. Archive Info .............................................................. 


    This FAQ is archived  at  several  sites  and  is  available  for public
    retrieval thru anonymous FTP, E-MAIL, Gopher & World Wide Web. 


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    One recommended interface is 'mosaic,' below are mosaic 'home pages.' 



URL at USENET Archive site:
http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/islam-faq/faq.html


URL at Caltech MSA site:
http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~calmsa/links.html






 9. Credits ................................................................... 


    The author wishes to thank all those who contributed in any capacity for
    the original one part FAQ or this multi-part FAQ. 


                                 -- SOURCES --
    

    The basic  introduction  and  literature  presented  in  the FAQ is from
    brochures on Islam distributed  by  Institute  of  Islamic Information &
    Education (III&E). These  brochures  were  typed  in  electronic form by
    Ms.M.Ahmed. 

    The  information  on   soc.religion.islam  forum  (in  Part  2) has been
    compiled  from   USENET   archives   and  administrative  logs  of
    Soc.Religion.Islam moderator panel. 

    What is III&E? 

    III&E is an acronym for the Institute of Islamic Information & Education
    which was  established  in  Chicago,  Illinois  in  1985.  The  III&E is
    registered in the  State  of  Illinois  and  recognized  by the Internal
    Revenue Service (IRS) as a not-for-profit religious organization. 

    More information can be obtained by  contacting Dr. M. Amir, III&E, P.O.
    Box 41129, Chicago, IL  60641-0129,  U.S.A.;  Tel:  (312)  777-7443 Fax:
    (312) 777-7199.



                                  -- FORMAT --
    

    The format of the FAQ series  has  been  done  by utilizing resources of
    Islamic Information & News  Network  (IINN).  A  custom program, Nebula,
    written by editors of IINN for generating newsletters has been used. 


    What is IINN? 

    Islamic Information & News Network  is  a forum dedicated to educate the
    network community on issues relating to Islam and Muslims in an academic
    & non-political environment.  Weekly  digest is available on internet by
    subscribing to  MUSLIMS@ASUACAD.BITnet  (A  Bitnet listserv list) and on
    USENET: bit.listserv.muslims. 



                               -- Permissions --
    

    Permission to  post  this  multi-part  FAQ  has  been  obtained  by  the
    following: 

	o	Institute of Islamic Information & Education (III&E)
	o 	Islamic Information & News Network (Muslims@PSUVM.bitnet) 
	o 	Moderator(s) of News.Answers (Thomas Khoenig & P.Huang)


# End of Islam FAQ Part 8 #

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM