Articles

Between Natural & Human Rights

I remember having an arduous debate with an Arab secular:

where he said:

It is the human being who have the right to determine natural rights.

I said:

Imagine that you were a guest of someone who owns a huge house with nicely furnished rooms, dining table, kitchen utensils, etc.

The question here:

Do you have the right to eat at his dining table, use his kitchen utensils, or break any of his furniture without his permission?

Of course, this act will be reprehensible for every sane person, because you acted on someone else’s property without his permission.

The question now:

If the owner of the house allows you to control the assets of the house, do you have the right in this case?

Of course, the answer according to the mind is different here. The mind will answer with acceptance.

Why is the answer different here?

The answer differed because the concept of “right” is completely linked to the concept of “ownership” .

The wise, and just owner (man) is the only one who has the right to control his assets. In addition, the owner is the only one who has the authority to give others the right to control his property.

Without the owner’s permission, any act of the home’s assets is considered a an act of others property, which is a reprehensible act for sane people.

The mind builds on the fact that this universe has a Creator who created it from nothingness, and this Creator is characterized by the attributes of perfection.

The question here:

Does the mind tell us that this universe was created only by this Creator? Or is it also owned by this Creator?

The Creator is also the owner.

for example:

When I make something by myself, people will immediately understand that I am the owner of this invention.

If the mind judges the man – made inventions with the ownership to the one who made them, which were not made out of nothingness, then, what about the tcreation of the universe? In this case the creation will be greater because it was created from nothingness, so the ownership of the Creator is the real ownership.

Since the Creator is the owner of what He created, then the Creator of this world is the only one who has the authority to establish the rights regarding His property.

We understand from the foregoing that rights must be based on what the Creator defines for humans by communicating with them through the Messengers.

An old British once asked me:

What is the evidence that the Creator communicated with His creation through the Messengers?

I said:

Each human being has a strong instinct to know his/her origin and the reason for their existence. Instincts always drive the human being towards knowing their founder. When someone is born, and he/she doesn’t find their parents, they get this intense need of seeing them as they were the reason for his/her existence.

If a person built a building, then abandoned it without making it appropriate for accommodation, we would undoubtedly judge this person as unwise and unstable. So, as God is ideal. There must be wisdom behind creating the heavens and the earth and exploiting them for the human’s service.

We understand from this that the declaration of human rights without considering the existence of the Creator is a control of others property, Therefore, it is a reprehensible, incomplete, and lacking logical rational value and wisdom.

From what I read and caught my attention:

On the tenth of December 1948, in Paris in particular, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard that all peoples and nations should target. (Freedom of expression, the right to education, property, etc).

These rights seem rational and logical but are mentioned without any clear evidence of them.

While it is widely inferred to its validity in two ways:

  • Alert on its usefulness and impact.

For example, it was mentioned in the Human Rights Document:

“The goal of what the common people aspire to, is the emergence of a world in which the individual enjoys freedom of speech and belief, and to be free from fear and poverty.”

  • Its compatibility with the nature of human beings, their inclination and their necessity for it.

The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the theorists of the idea of ​​natural rights, says:

“Freedom is part of the nature of man, and man cannot give up his nature.”

But are these methods of inference correct and logical?

What is meant by right?

The right is the principle that is fixed and active, which is abhorrent not to be observed by everyone without exception, such as dealing with justice, fulfilling the covenant, keeping the trust, etc.

Accordingly, the first way to infer on rights through the statement of their benefits is not rationally correct, because just because human interests are beneficial to a particular person or group of people does not mean that it is one of his rights and others must admit it.

Just because an idea is in my favor does not mean that it is correct.

Just because they are interests, this does not make them natural rights binding on others.

With regard to the second method, which is inferring rights through their compatibility with the tendency of human beings, here we ask an important question:

Is mere psychological inclination to something considered a justification for claiming it and considering it a right?

I found during my travels that in some African countries people tend to unirate in public. Does this tendency make them have the right over others to support them and defend their tendency?

Is the thief’s tendency to steal one of his rights?

The human inclination to a particular idea does not make it correct. Rather, it is always and forever needed to provide a rational and logical proof that accurately explains an answer to this question.

Why does a person have a right over others that they must respect?

It is not sufficient to answer this question by saying because it corresponds to his nature and inclination, so everyone must observe it.

An American lady once asked me:

Why don’t you Muslims recognize gay rights?

I told her:

Do you recognize the right to practice incest?

She said:

No, I do not. This behavior is disgraceful and affects the mental integrity and sanity of the community.

I told her:

Why? Are you the one who decides what kind of rights are allowed and affect mental integrity or not?

More than a hundred years ago, the death penalty was the penalty for homosexuality. The penalty was later reduced to life sentence. The reduction reached a few years in prison until it reached a small fine, then allowed to the extent that it is considered a legitimate and supported right, then defend it and punish those who attack it.

Who would later prevent humans from following the same policy with incest?

I have already seen recently a video of a brother and sister claiming their right to establish a conjugal relationship and to officially register their marriage.

We need a stable system that does not succumb to the whims of humans, from the Creator of human beings Himself, who knows their nature and what works for them and what is not.

There are philosophical problems regarding the concept of human rights and natural rights.

What is the concept of ” human being ” ?

Is a the creature that is formed in his mother’s womb before birth? Or is a newborn child? Is the madman a human? What about the disabled?

Why are rights restricted to human beings only?

For if there is a natural right for every being, then these rights must include the rights of all creatures without exception.

The right of animals, insects, plants, and even bacteria and germs must be taken into account.

And if we accept that there are some vegetarians who obstain from eating animal meat on the pretext of animal rights, why not demand the right of animals that are trapped in gardens, insects that are exterminated with pesticides, and even germs that are killed with toothpaste.

Failure to observe the rights of these beings is a violation of the basic rule on which the theory of “natural rights* was built, and is even considered a crime.

The Creator, the owner of this universe, is the one who determines the type of animal that is eaten and the animal that is not eaten, and what is not useful that we must get rid of it, and what useful that we must take advantage of it.

So, back to the main question:

Who gave man the right?

Is man the one who gave the right to man?

Where does this right come from? If it is proven that he has no right to establish rights, then what is the alternative?

The religion of Islam established human rights 14 centuries ago:

O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most righteous among you. God is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Hujurat:13).

The religion which say that we have to have a direct connection with the Creator.

  • There is no god except The Only God, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe and its contents.
  • Pray only to Him, and no others (not through priests, saints, Idols, etc) .
  • Believe and follow the messengers (of that period including Jesus and Moses). (The messengers prophesied the coming of last Prophet- Muhammad, and urged their followers to believe in him and follow him if they reach his time).
  • Do good and avoid evil.

Equality between human beings is a moral peculiarity. It is not a natural, material or mental truth.

People from a physical, natural or mental perspective are undoubtedly unequal.

Some of them are tall and others are short, including white and black, for example. It is based on belief in the Creator only. humans can claim equality. Human beings are equal only if man is a creature of God.

God says in Sura Al-Nisa:1:

O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate,1 and through both He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and ˹honour˺ family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.

Ali Izetbegovic says:

“Ethics as a real phenomenon in human life, cannot be explained rationally, and perhaps this is the first and practical argument of religion. Ethical behavior is either meaningless, or it has meaning through the faith of the existence of God. There is no third choice. Either we drop morals as a heap from fanaticism, or to include in the equation a value that we can call “immortality” , if the condition of immortal life is met, and that there is a world other than this world, and that God exists, then the moral behavior of man has meaning and is justified.

What I read and liked to share(1):

“When an atheist denies the existence of God because of the existence of evil, he is contradicting himself. Atheists admit that they do not believe in the existence of God, claiming that they believe only in what is material and tangible. Therefore, they deny the unseen world, (angels, jinn, heavenly messages, prophets and miracles), and they confess in Contrasted with the article “Nature”.

Nature or matter (environment) by their own admission is completely neutral; It is not subject to the inevitability of evil or the inevitability of good, let alone be subject to, or a source of morality. So, if man is the son of nature, and is purely materialistic. Therefore, he who lacks something does not give it to others.

Why was man not also neutral about good, evil and morals?

How can an atheist be proud of his morals, while nature, by his own admission, does not know morals, according to his claim?

This means that the moral concepts that an atheist is proud of are a gift from the Creator Who the atheist denies His existence, the gift in which was planted in us to make us able to receive His message through the messangers.

As for the mind, we communicate by it with the unseen world and the material world:

  • Metaphysical – because an important part of the mind is abstract – so we understand the heavenly messages.
  • The materialistic: To be able to reconstruct it according to the dictates of the moral heavenly message (1).

The British atheist “Richard Dawkins” says in his book: “The River Out of the Garden of Eden”:

“Nature is not evil, but unfortunately it is indifferent, and this is one of the most difficult lessons for man to comprehend, for it is difficult for us to admit that all things are neither good nor evil, neither merciful nor fierce, it is indifferent to all human sufferings, for nature has no Goal”.

Some religions explicitly adopt the caste system in terms of religiosity.

The system which divides Hindus into rigid hierarchical groups based on their karma (work) and dharma (the Hindi word for religion, but here it means duty). (Brahman, Kshatriyas, Vishash, Shadras, Dalits).

All the religions of India believe in “karma” (the condition of man of wealth and poverty depends on his work that he did in his previous life). Therefore, the caste system is adopted by them.

Castes are rigid social groups characterized by hereditary transmission of life style, occupation and social status. 

In addition, Judaism is based on ethnicity: The children of Israel are: “God’s Chosen People.”

While Islam is distinguished from other religions by the absolute equality between the children of Adam.

A Jew once asked me:

Did God not say about you in the Qur’an: You were the best nation ever raised for mankind?

Therefore, you believe in ethnicity just like the Jews.

I said to him:

This verse was revealed on the basis of God’s prior knowledge that Muslims will preserve His message, enjoin good and forbid evil. It is not based on racial discrimination, as the number of Muslims is increasing day by day from all races and nations.

for example:

The principal of a particular school can nominate a student from the school for a scholarship and recommend him by saying: He is the best student I have.

This praise and nomination was based on the principal’s prior knowledge of the student’s excellence and diligence, and not on the basis of ethnicity.

Takeing into account the difference between the Creator’s absolute knowledge and limited human knowledge.

You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious. (Al-Imran: 110).

The Messenger of God said in his farewell sermon:

O people, your Lord is one and your father Adam is one. There is no favor of an Arab over a foreigner, nor a foreigner over an Arab, and neither white skin over black skin, nor black skin over white skin, except by righteousness. Have I not delivered the message?” (Sahih Haith)

… Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds.”


Notes:

The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God.

The word Allah was mentioned in the earlier version of the Old Testament 89 times. (Refer to Genesis 2:4, Book of Daniel 6:20 Hebrew and Arabic Bible).The word ‘Allah’ appears in the original Sanskrit text. (Reg Veda – Book 2 hymn 1, Verse 11).

The reference of God to Himself as WE or US in many verses of the Qur’an denotes Grandeur and Power in Arabic. In the English language this is known as the royal WE, where a plural pronoun is used to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a monarch. For the avoidance of doubt, the Qur’an has consistently reminded us of the SINGULAR pronoun in reference to God, when called upon by His servants

From the book: A Universal Religion. Faten Sabri

(1)Dr. Haitham Talaat

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