Human Rights and Islam by Abdullah Saeed download in iPad, pdf, ePub
Any precept of practical reason is issued for solving a problem. Without the elimination of the inequities, inequalities, and injustices that pervade the personal and collective lives of human beings, it is not possible to talk about peace in Qur'anic terms. Hence, it does not under any circumstances allow one person to be punished for another's crimes. Therefore, the birth of a son is an occasion for celebration while the birth of a daughter calls for commiseration if not lamentation.
In other words, there are no definite, irrefutable theoretical criteria which can be used to justify human rights theoretically and epistemically. That is to say, as long as the needs that human rights underpin are not fulfilled, the needs that religion pertains to do not emerge.
After that, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so, and whoever wishes to continue in unbelief may do so. And it is not permitted to empower executive authority to issue exceptional laws. This approach does not in any way, positively or negatively, touch on the theoretical underpinnings that justify human rights or the theoretical underpinnings that demonstrate the truth of religion. But religions can provide another justification for human rights given that human beings have been created by a single Being and are equal before that Being.
The corollary of this is that those passages are only useful in a particular time and place or in other identical circumstances. Islam underlines individual responsibility. But Prophet Muhammad founded a civilization in which they were fully implemented, serving as an outstanding example for all future generations of mankind. Many girls are married when they are still minors, even though marriage in Islam is a contract and presupposes that the contracting parties are both consenting adults. At the same time, the purpose of an Islamic life is to try to acquire the moral attributes of God.
It is the duty of Muslims to establish the proofs of Islam to people so that truth can be distinguished from falsehood. Islam condemns the abuse of power, position and authority and commands people to assist an oppressed person even with the use of force when necessary. Women are the targets of the most serious violations of human rights which occur in Muslim societies in general.
Once an action ceases to assist us in this way, continuing to perform it rigidly is not positive but entirely counter-productive. Prayer fends off coarseness and evil. Hence, human rights - whether socio-economic human rights or political-international human rights - take precedence over religion.