That is why God has put what is on the earth and sky at man's disposal and has let him free to make the best use of His blessings. But man left the path of his divine nature and chose the path of excess and greed making life hard for both himself and his fellowmen.
Threat, discrimination, insecurity, poverty, hunger and war are dark points in the history of mankind whose negative consequences are considered the biggest concern of nations and communities.
Human rights had been monopolized by the aristocrats and the well-to-do of in the ancient Greek society. The oppressive conducts of the ancient Roman empires against the followers of Christianity is an example of aggression and oppression against human community. The prolonged inattention to human rights in different parts of the world gradually turned into a norm. After a period of war and bloodshed, certain charters, declarations and documents were drawn up and their designers spoke of human rights for healing the pains of human society. Indeed they were trying to link human life with the principles that guarantee his individual and social rights.
It is said that one of human steps for implementing his rights was the issuance of the international human rights declaration in 1948. The declaration, that looks more perfect than the previous ones and charters, covers many basic rights as well as individual and social freedoms and apparently revives the hope that implementing such a declaration will ensure all human rights and freedoms.
The international human rights declaration is the product of the governments’ cooperation and sympathy; yet it is heavily influenced and impacted by the principles of western liberalism. Although this declaration is the source of legal developments; its deficiencies, diverse concepts on human being and his needs and the manner of implementation of the declaration has hindered many human beings from achieving their initial rights.
Islam, as the most comprehensive and progressive religion, has the most perfect and advanced principles on human rights. The rights determined within the framework of international principles of human rights have commonalities with the Islamic human rights. Some of them are the right of life, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right of education, the right of housing and removal of discrimination. But it is evident that the values raised for observing human rights can be universally practiced in case all cultures and civilizations abide by them. The designers of the international human rights declaration blindly obeyed the western schools and ignored religious teachings of divine creeds so that religion was considered as a source of discrimination along with items like colour of skin, race, language spoken, etc.
For this reason, Islamic states made efforts to express Islam's outlook towards human rights in the form of a certain declaration. Although the new declaration had many common points with the international human rights declaration, some of its clauses and paragraphs were basically different from the content of the western-oriented declaration.
In Islam, human rights are based on monotheism and this very issue has distinguished the Islamic human rights from the western human rights. Islam considers human rights a necessity for human dignity; because according to the religious thought, man is considered the representative and vicegerent of God on planet earth; therefore he deserves respect. In ayah 70 of surah Isra of the holy Quran, God says, “And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created."
As a matter of fact removal of discrimination and racism has not been the new achievement of human rights declaration. The principles that presently comprise the elements of western human rights are among the basic principles of Islam. Basically, Islam emerged with negation of discrimination and hegemony in the world and every divine prophet’s endeavor was to provide human rights and create justice and security in society. The logic of Islam is that all human beings, in spite of diversity in color, race, nationality and language have been created equally.
According to Islam as long as the spiritual life of human being is not reformed, material factors can not play an important role in preserving peace and social security. Therefore Islam believes that man’s social identity lies in his moralities and beliefs; and regards it as the basis for human commonalities. For instance, as for the principle of equality of human beings, Islam calls all human beings as brothers of each other.
The other important point is that what has been mentioned in the international declarations as human rights pertains only to the material aspects of human being; and no mention has been made of ethical and spiritual rights of human beings. It is crystal clear that aggression and oppression against others stem from immorality and unbridled desires of individuals in society. We see that the western regimes’ egotism and selfishness have intensely influenced the issue of human rights and the real human rights are trampled by western policies.
Clause 3, article 21 of the international human rights declaration considers people's will as the basis and source of power and government and man is the axis of everything. In Islam, votes of people are one of the factors corroborating the ruling system; and by observing certain principles human beings can dominate the world to reach perfection and sublimity. Nonetheless the axis of the entire creation is God Almighty Who is the Creator of everything including human beings.
Regarding the privileges of Islamic human rights over the western human rights, during the foreign ministerial meeting of the organization of Islamic Cooperation OIC in Uganda's capital Kampala in 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran put forward a resolution titled the day of Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity which was approved unanimously by the Islamic states and on the basis of which August 5 was determined as the day of Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity. Thus the most important document of the OIC in the field of Islamic human rights was registered. The goal of registering this day is that Muslims and the Islamic states introduce human rights in Islam to the world bodies and discuss the current human rights challenges.
The Islamic Human Rights Declaration contains 25 clauses which expound dignity of human being as the best creature; it also explicates the necessity of safeguarding human life and preserving human respect and dignity.
The resolution on setting the day of human rights and human dignity has reiterated that based on the Islamic Shari’a, human rights stem from human innate value and dignity and the Islamic Ummah has a universal mission. The resolution also says although human beings have advanced in material sciences, they are in urgent need of faith and spirituality for supporting their rights and civilization.
Elsewhere, the resolution on Islamic Human Rights reads: The conditions ruling over the world, the necessity of expanding cooperation and active conformity among the OIC members in order to have access to means and ways of publication, upgrading and preserving Islamic values and teachings in order to support and defend the real image of Islam and campaign against insult to Islam and encouraging conversation among religions require to assign a day known as the day of Islamic Human Rights and Human Dignity.