Discussion about a book: ‘Islam and Human Rights’

The Holy Quran, revealed in the desert of Arabia in the seventh century stated  that the purpose of defensive warfare is to preserve the sanctity of cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques. The Quran named the place of worship of the Muslims as the last on this sacred list. In so doing the Holy Quran established the religious freedom for the whole humanity. The verses pertaining to the religious rights for all are:

Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged — and Allah indeed has power to help them — Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ — And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him. Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty. (Al Quran 22:40-41)

I would urge apologists for different religions and philosophies to bring forth the equivalent teachings from their scriptures. If they succeed, I am happy for them, for my goal is to be able to establish ‘Universal Brotherhood’ for the whole humanity. I have knols on Universal Declaration of Human Rights also, if you search my name in Google knols.

For our Global village we need a thoroughly Universalist message, a panacea of Islam as revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Holy Quran states about him, “We have sent thee as a mercy to the whole mankind.” (Al Quran 21:108)


Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan“Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, and international jurist, known particularly for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN).

The son of the leading attorney of his native city, Zafrulla Khan studied at Government College in Lahore and received his LL.B. from King’s College, London University, in 1914. He practiced law in Sialkot and Lahore, became a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926, and was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London. In 1931–32 he
was president of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim League), and he sat on the British viceroy’s executive council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. He led the Indian delegation to the League of Nations in 1939, and from 1941 to 1947 he served as a judge of the Federal Court of India.

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, Zafrulla Khan presented the Muslim League’s view of the future boundaries of Pakistan to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man designated to decide the boundaries between India and Pakistan. Upon the independence of Pakistan, Zafrulla Khan became the new country’s minister of foreign affairs and served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to
the UN (1947–54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961–64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962–63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He was knighted in 1935. He is the author of Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man (1962) and wrote a translation of the Qur’an (1970).” [Encylopaedia Britannica]

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An invitation to other religions: demonstrating human rights and Universal Brotherhood from your scriptures:

I was very happy to see the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile, in October of 2010, after an ordeal of more than two months. I noted all the international media focused on this and I wondered how wonderful our human community will become if we valued every human life regardless of race, religion or creed, with a similar zeal. I also wondered where do the human rights come from and what is the worth of an individual human life. This reminded me of a verse of the Holy Quran that declares the worth of human life to be priceless, it equates the saving of one life to the saving of the whole humanity:

“We (Allah) prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (Al Quran 5:33)

In what may be considered by others a self-indulgent thought, I rejoiced that the human rights and the dignity of human life, in its most pristine form, comes from the Holy Quran. It seems self evident to me that followers of other religion will not agree, some may even violently disagree, but, here I suggest a peaceful solution. I will demonstrate the roots of the human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in my holy scripture, in my comments and the links that I offer here and I would plead that the Christians, the Jews, the Hindus and the Buddhists will reciprocate the favor and make their case from their respective scriptures.

The Holy Quran not only encourages rights of others and justice but prescribes unilateral goodness even in the face of evil:

“And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does good works and says, ‘I am surely of those who submit?’ And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.” (Al Quran 41:34-35)

I suggest the 30 articles as a matrix or yard stick against which we choose to measure our respective scriptures. Let this Knol be a purist’s pursuit to demonstrate the elegance of his or her own scripture without maligning others. Let the race begin, and do not focus on just one article of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, rather show how your scripture is in line with or better than all the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration!

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7 replies

  1. I met Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan when he came to open the Mosque in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1963, and stayed in touch with him his whole remaining life. How much of his earlier life did I miss!!!

  2. Please share some of your interaction in greater detail with us, something that brings out his life and character, in more beautiful colors, something that most people may not know of.

  3. I will try from time to time. Let me give you just now a short incident, which in fact is from a book by his nephew Anwar Khalon:

    Sir Zafrullah Khan was invited by the Queen of the Netherlands for a ‘farewell lunch’, when he had completed his final term at the International Court of Justice. Anwar brought him to the airport in London in the morning and wanted to collect him in the afternoon, however, there was an accident on the road and he reached late to the airport. When he finally did reach Sir Zafrullah Khan was gone.

    When he reached back home Sir Zafrullah Khan was sitting there. He said: “I knew something must have happened to you. So I thought “I just had lunch with a Queen, may be Allah wants me to be humble”. Therefore I took the bus to your house…”

    Such was his character. May Allah raise his status in heaven even further…

  4. And an incident with another Queen, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and many more countries: Sir Zafrullah Khan was having tea with the Queen. After the first cup he said to her: “Excuse me your Majesty, I have an appointment with someone higher than you.” The Queen did not hear that one before!!!! Sir Zafrullah Khan explained that it is time for prayer and he would like to say his prayers. At subsequent meetings Her Majesty always saw to it that a place for prayers was ready for him.

  5. Another couple of personal examples: When I was flying with Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan from Zurich to London he said, excuse me please, I will sleep for 10 minutes. He explained that he always does that. He never uses an alarm clock. He tells himself how long he will sleep and then he wakes up as planned.

    In New York I was with Sir Mohammed Zafrullah Khan when he met one of his staff after more than ten years. He asked him whether he remembered his own telephone number of ten years ago. His colleague said, no. Zafrullah Khan gave him the number and told him to check, it was definately right. His memory was exceptional.

  6. Wonderful to hear this first hand information about a great man, who has become a legend in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I like his biography of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, as the best biography that I have read. I love his English translation of the Holy Quran also.

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