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Abdullah Saeed

The rights of the child have been an important part of Islamic legal thinking since the very emergence of Islam. This chapter outlines the rights of the child according to Islamic law and thought and compares these conceptions to the rights of the child under international law. It identifies several areas of tension and considers how these might be addressed.

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Abdullah Saeed

Following on from the previous chapter, this chapter again focuses on governance. It explores various frameworks for managing the relationship between religion and the state, including different models of secularism, and how these impact on the practice of human rights and religious freedom.

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Abdullah Saeed

This chapter examines the efforts made by Muslims to engage with the international human rights discourse; particularly the development of Islamic human rights instruments as alternatives to the international instruments drafted and promulgated by the United Nations.

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Abdullah Saeed

This chapter considers the rights of women in Islam: from the revolutionary nature of the rights granted to women under the Prophet; to the eventual deterioration of those rights some centuries later; to those scholars fighting to revive the Qur’an’s original teachings in the contemporary period. It also provides an overview of the rights of women according to international law and explores the tensions and compatibilities between international standards for women’s rights and Islamic law.

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Abdullah Saeed

There are various models of government in the world today, but is one model preferable when it comes to the promotion of human rights? This chapter considers whether Islamic models of governance can be conducive for upholding human rights, the benefits of democracy as a system of governance for protecting human rights and whether Islamic norms for governance is compatible with democracy.

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Abdullah Saeed

This chapter focuses on one of the most important human rights today — freedom of religion. It looks at the scope of this right under Islamic law and international law and identifies one of the greatest areas of tension: the law of apostasy and its punishment with the death penalty.

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Abdullah Saeed

Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition that are compatible with international human rights law and that can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. A number of rights are given specific focus, including the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion and jihad and the laws of war. He concludes that there is a need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights.

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Abdullah Saeed

One of the most well-known Islamic legal terms today might well be “jihad”. This chapter focuses on the Islamic rules that govern the use of violence in war or other contexts. It considers how the doctrine of jihad emerged and was influenced by various contextual factors and the commonalities and tensions between this body of legal rulings and international humanitarian law, which governs armed conflict globally today.

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Abdullah Saeed

In 1993, Samuel Huntington proposed that differences between “civilisations” would be a fundamental source of conflict in the future. The idea of a “clash of civilisations” has also permeated the human rights discourse, with some arguing that Islamic conceptions of rights are essentially different to international conceptions. This chapter examines this thesis and explores Islamic notions of rights.

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Abdullah Saeed

Those who argue for an Islamic conception of human rights agree that it is essential for a connection to be made between international human rights law and Islamic values if human rights are to gain widespread acceptance among Muslims. This chapter outlines the most important Islamic textual sources of authority and legal tools that can be used in this endeavour.