Comparative Analysis of Wests and Islamic Perspective of Human Rights


Western and Islamic perspective of human rights is not something different; the basic concept is the same, however they only differ in TIME and SOURCE.

Islamic Perspective

As an eternal religion of humanity, Islam is a champion of human rights and liberties. In actual practice, it was the first religion in the human history, which gave a charter of human rights & freedom. Islam gave to mankind an ideal code of human rights fourteen centuries ago. These rights aim at conferring honor and dignity on mankind and eliminating exploitation, oppression and injustice. Human rights in Islam are an integral part of the overall Islamic order and it is obligatory on all Muslim governments and organs of society to implement within the framework.

Charter of H. rights:

In the light of Holy Quran, Our Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) issued a vast package of human rights, which terminated all blood feuds and enmities. Lawlessness came to an end, and life, liberty & property of everybody was honored and protected. Almost equal rights are granted to the Non Muslims as well. In Islam, the last sermon of Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) is considered as the charter of human rights. Few imp points are:

  • Right to Life: Human life is sacred and inviolable and every effort shall be made to protect it. Islam provided the right to life to all humans irrespective of their religion, cast or sex.
  • Right to Freedom: Man is born free. No restrictions shall be made on his right to liberty except in due process of the Law. Every individual and every person has the inalienable right to freedom in all its forms; physical, cultural, economic and political. It also includes: Right to Freedom of Religion, Right to Freedom of Thought and expression, and Right to Freedom of Movement.
  • Right to Protection Against Torture: No person shall be subjected to torture in mind or body, or degraded, or threatened. No body can be forced to confess to the commission of a crime or to consent to an act, which is injurious to his interests
  • Right to Own Property: Islam also provides the right of own property by all the citizens of state without any discrimination. No property may be expropriated except in the public interest and on payment of fair and adequate compensation.
  • Right to Social Security: Every person has the right to food; shelter, clothing, education and medical care consistent with the resources of the community. This obligation of the community extends in particular to all individuals who cannot take care of themselves due to some temporary or permanent disability.
  • Right to Education: Every person is entitled to receive education in accordance with his natural capabilities irrespective of sex. Every person is entitled to a free choice of profession and career and to the opportunity for the full development of his personality.

Western Perspective

According to the Western concept, human rights are the inherent claims and entitlements of human beings without any distinction. They are universal & inalienable. The western concept evolved over centuries of struggle. As a result of global efforts after the Second World War, human rights were legalized.

UNO As A Protector of Human Rights:

The disrespect of Human rights during the 2nd world war motivated many nations to establish an institution that would stop these violations. Therefore the United Nations was established in 1945 with the primary purpose of promoting respect of human rights without any discrimination of sex, race, color, and origin, religious & social concepts. The United Nations Charter is the first international mechanism that incorporated human rights as a concept and made the promotion and protection of those rights, which are individual and collective obligations of states. UDHR and later on IBR had given attention towards the survival, protection, developmental & participatory rights of all the men, women & children. Thus, UNO is considered as a protector of human rights. Universal Declaration of human rights: UN committee enunciated UDHR in Dec. 1948. It is not a legal binding. However, to give it legal force, 2 covenants were formerly added. Collectively, they are known as INTERNATIONAL BILL OF RIGHTS (IBR). Its preamble recognizes that: the inherent dignity & equal & inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice & peace in the world. Its aim was to achieve the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Key Points:

  1. Liberty & equality is the birth right of all human beings.
  2. Every one is entitled to the rights set by UDHR without any distinction of color, sex, birth, religion, opinion etc.
  3. Every one has the right of LIFE, SECURITY&TO OWN PROPERTY.
  4. Every one has the freedom of OPINION, EXPRESSION & RELIGON.
  5. Every one has the right to education; education shall be free- at least on primary level.
  6. Every one has the right to a standard of living adequate for his health & well being including food, clothing, shelter, medical care etc.