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Does Islam believe in universal human rights?

Islam values all human life, recognizing universal human rights as a fundamental tenet of Islam. Islam emphasizes that mankind’s equality derives from man sharing a Single Creator and rejects any notion of racial or ethnic superiority. The Holy Quran states, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and we have made you tribes and subtribes that you may know one another. Verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely Allah is All Knowing, All Aware” (49:14). Therefore, Islam rejects any concept of inequality in mankind, and instead encompasses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Moreover, in his farewell sermon Prophet Muhammadsa declared, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action.” Therefore, Islam treats all mankind equally, regardless of their race or nationality.

Upon enjoining one to be kind to his parents, the Holy Quran extends this teaching to all of mankind, “And worship Allah and associate naught with Him and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor who is a kinsman, and the neighbor who is a strange, and the companion by your side and the wayfarer and those from whom your right hand possess. Surely Allah loves not the arrogant and the boastful” (4:37). Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammadsa stated, “You are as brothers, one to another, so let no one transgress another nor leave one another to endure transgression unaided” (Tirmidhi).

Therefore, Islam advocates universal human rights.

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