Human Rights
7:19:33 2018-10-07 35

The rights we have rights as human beings has been a discussion of many people in the world.


Who gave us the right to do this or that?


Some of the rights are being violated, even the simple right to live, as we see many people getting killed nowadays for no reason.


Now on the other hand, there have been many organizations who aim to protect our rights.


There are many books written on human rights throughout history.


In this article we want to know which one is the most complete?


Let us begin by defining what exactly are Human Rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.


They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security.


Human rights are basic to humanity. They apply to all people everywhere. Understanding of human rights is an important part of our individual status as human beings. These are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world. They are the fundamental things that human beings need in order to flourish and participate fully in society.


Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups

How do human rights help you?

Human rights are relevant to all of us, not just those who face repression or mistreatment. They protect you in many areas of your day-to-day life, including:

  • your right to have and express your own opinions
  • your right to an education 
  • your right to own property
  • your right to belong to any religion or faith
  • your right to a private and family life
  • your right not to be mistreated or wrongly punished by the state

 

Where do human rights come from?


Now there are many books about human rights, as we said, but tonight we’ll focus on the most notable.

One of the most famous documents in the world and the oldest, according to most people, is the Magna Carta, meaning ‘the Great Charter’. This charter has inspired people across the centuries, from Thomas Jefferson to Mahatma Gandhi. But why was the charter originally created? And what does it actually say?


Let us take you back to medieval England. It’s the year 1215, and the ruler is King John. Many people believe that King John was one of the worst kings in history. He imprisoned his former wife; he starved his opponents to death; he allegedly murdered his own nephew, and pulled the beards of the Irish Chiefs.


King John had imposed heavy taxes on his barons in order to pay for his expensive foreign wars. If they refused to pay, he punished them severely or seized their property. The barons demanded that King John obey the law; when he refused, they captured London and John was forced to negotiate.


The two sides met at Runnymede in June 1215. The result of the negotiations was written down by the king’s clerks in the document we know as Magna Carta. Although most of the charter’s clauses dealt with medieval rights and customs, Magna Carta has become a powerful symbol of liberty around the world.


The most famous clause, which is still part of the law today, for the first time gave all ‘free men’ the right to justice and a fair trial.


‘No man shall be arrested or imprisoned except by the judgment of their equals and by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’


Now fast forward 733 years, and you have the next big charter of human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration) is an international document that states basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.


It was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. Motivated by the experiences of the preceding world wars, the Universal Declaration was the first time that countries agreed on a comprehensive statement of inalienable human rights.


It declares that human rights are universal – to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.


The Universal Declaration includes civil and political rights, like the right to life, liberty, free speech and privacy. It also includes economic, social and cultural rights, like the right to social security, health and education.


It begins with a preamble using the word “whereas” as a basis by default for agreed public reasons to proceed with the adoption of its articles. This word was repeated seven times, citing reasons ranging from recognition of human dignity and equal rights as a basis for freedom and justice, the emergence of barbarous violence that harmed human conscience, as justifications for establishing 30 agreed human rights for all peoples.

 

These two books or charters of human rights are undoubtedly of the most essential documents dealing with human rights.

But there’s a book that is unfortunately not mentioned anywhere in the west even though it is the oldest book of human rights and the most complete.


But before talking about that one-of-a-kind human rights book, it’s worth mentioning the following:


Within a social system established by the Seal of the Prophets is a full set of rights for humankind, according to the humanitarian principles of the Holy Quran, as the Almighty says, “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” (17:70)


The Infallible Imams completed the mission of applying this integrated model of the human rights system and have defended it with their lives.


Here comes the importance of the role of a personality we spoke a few days ago – Imam Ali al-Sajjad, peace be upon him. Imam Ali al-Sajjad brought to light the general rights of the nation through his “Risalut al-Huquq” or the Treatise of Rights, which included 50 categories, providing the basis of all human rights books and charters to come.

 

The treatise was written immediately after the Event of al-Taff in the second half of the first century AH, indicating what was overlooked by the UN’s declaration from emotional and spiritual aspects.


It includes 50 rights, beginning with the Greatest Right of God, in which he says, “The greatest right of God against you is that you worship Him without associating anything with Him. When you do that with sincerity (ikhlas), He has made it binding upon Himself to give you sufficiency in the affair of this world and the next.”

Imam Al-Sajjad continues in elucidating the rights of the self, the five senses, body organs, fast, prayer, charity, the possessor of authority, kin, neighbor, partner, property, economics, people of other religions, seniors, young ones, people of your creed, etc., as the reader will see it as an integrated lifestyle and constitution to ensure decent living in different societies.


With this precise classification of rights, the application of the human rights by Imam al-Sajjad, peace be upon him, is one of the most important accomplishments of this infallible figure. He used to buy slaves and teach them the prayer, the Quran and the rulings of the Islamic religion, and then frees them to practice their constructive role in life, becoming noble families within the Islamic community and an integral part of the Islamic nation.


The Imam aimed at abolishing slavery, in the era when slave trade was still popular, through the application of the Holy Quran’s concepts that refer to the importance of freeing the necks (of slaves) and the great reward for it.  Many of the helpers began to follow this order until the slave market reached its lowest levels and finally down to its near extinction at the present time.


The Treatise of Rights is distinguished by its inclusiveness of both material and emotional aspects, superior to that of any sophisticated human being, even after 14 centuries of intellectual, juridical and cultural development.

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