Individual and community rights in Islam
Fatwa No: 85497

  • Fatwa Date:27-1-2003 - Thul-Qi'dah 25, 1423
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Question

What is the individual rights and the community in Islam?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

It is difficult to give a comprehensive answer to your question in a Fatwa. So, you are advised to check more details in some books such as: "The Individual and the state" by Abdul Karim Zaidan .
Briefly the rights of the individual are as follows:
1- To live safely since taking a life is prohibited unless there is some legal reason. Allah says: {……and kill not anyone whom Allâh has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islâmic law…).} [6:151]
2- The right to believe or worship as one deserves. In simple words, non-Muslims should not be forced to convert to Islam, but they are to abide by the Shari'a rulings in general and pay Jizyah. Allah says: {There is no compulsion in religion ……} [2:256]
3- The right to live safely concerning his wealth, blood and honor. In the Prophetic Hadith "It is unlawful to shed the blood of one another to take the fortune of one another or to attempt the honor of one another." [ Ibn Majah ]
Another Hadith reads "All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his property and his honor." [ Muslim ]
4- Freedom of speech and expression within Shari'a boundaries.
5- The right to give advice to the rulers and to hold them responsible for their actions.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "The basis of religion is good council and sincerity." The companions asked: To whom? The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "To Allah, His Book, His Messenger, to Muslim leaders and their masses." [ Muslim ]
6- The right to work and earn lawfully.
7- The right to travel.
8- The right to posses property.
The rights of the community over the individual, are briefly stated as follows:
1- The right to expect the individual co-operation in good {…….Help you one another in AlBirr and AtTaqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety)….. } [5:2]
2- The individual is expected to support and recommend other individuals of the society to do according to the Truth. {….. and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma'ruf ) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh's Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd, etc.).} [103:3]
3- To respect others and behave towards them according to their rank in society.
"Whoever does not show mercy towards the young and honor the right of the old is not of us (Muslims).
4- To enjoin and promote what is right and forbid what is wrong. {The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); ………..} [9:71]
5- Individuals must treat others with justice. {O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allâh and be just witnesses……} [5:8]
Allah knows best.

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