Legal rights of individuals in the Islamic Law
Fatwa No: 230353

Question

What is the conditions of capacity to have legal rights for men, women and children? For example, In Turkish Law everbody can have legal rights since his or her birth. I am asking what is the situation in Islamic Law. Can a 5 year old child, a woman, an insane person or a slave have legal rights? I hope I explained my question well enough. Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The religion of Islam is the true religion that the Creator of mankind revealed through His knowledge and wisdom. It is Allaah Who created people. He did not create them in vain. Rather, He takes care of their lives and affairs. As Allaah is the Most Knowing, He knows what is most appropriate for His creatures on earth and in the afterlife. Allaah says (what means): {Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted?}[Quran 67:14]

One good way that Islam takes care of any Muslim individual is that it is concerned for him before he is even born – and not just after birth – as Islam commands us to seek out good mothers for children. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religion. So seek the religious one and you will prosper." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is hoped that a religious woman will nurture her children according to correct faith and good moral conduct. 'Aa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Choose the best for your sperm, and marry those who are compatible, and marry your women to them.” Ibn Maajah - Al-Albaani graded it Hasan (good)]

Shamsul-Haqq  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him who interpreted this Hadeeth said: “(Choose for your sperm): that is, choose religious and righteous women and women who have noble family lineage.

A child also has the right to lineage, in that he has the right of belonging to his real father. Allaah says (what means): {Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allaah. But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you.}[Quran 33:5]

There are additionally many other rights, such as the rights that spouses have towards each other, the rights of the parents over their children and vice versa. You can read about many of those rights in Fataawa 85308, 87019, 85497, 92471 and 82547.

Each and every member of the Muslim community has his or her own rights, whether they are free or bonded, men or women, young or old, sane or insane, etc. Indeed, if you refer to the Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) literature, you will find many more details on this issue.

As for the conditions, suffice it to say that the blood of all Muslims and non-Muslims living freely  in Muslim lands, and the like, is sacred. 

As for your question about ‘law’: If you are referring to man-made laws, then we don’t have anything to do with it; because what concerns us as a Muslim community is the Quran, which guides to all that is right in our lives and affairs. Allaah says (what means): {And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.}[Quran 16:89]

Allaah Knows best.

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