Investigating the Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights in Islamic Thought; With a Brief Overview of International Law's Perspective

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Law and Social Jurisprudence, Research Institute of Hawza (Seminary) and University, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

2 Ph. D. Candidate in Public International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Qom, Qom, Iran


The present article seeks to investigate the theoretical foundations of human rights in Islamic thought.  It would briefly overview the foundations of human rights in international law as well. By reflecting on the epistemological, cosmological and anthropological foundations of human rights in Islamic thought we can reach a realistic view relating to human being and his/her identity thereby justify human rights. Divine rights include two collections of rights: statutory rights that are recognized for human beings in the Book and Sunnah and those rights that are originated from Fitrah and nature. From an Islamic point of view, there is no contrast between Divine rights and those originated from Fitrah. Using reason and the revelation, legal school of Islam is one of the most reliable and reasonable sources for clarifying Fitrah and natural rights. Basing human rights on dignity is logical when correlation between human being and dignity is referred to correlation between humanity and dignity. That being the case, potentiality of humanity leads to potentiality of dignity and the actuality of the former results in the actuality of the latter. All of the results of secular human rights are not necessarily in contradiction with Islamic views and there are cases in which, despite difference in foundations, similar results can be seen. Accordingly, most of the articles of UHRD can be confirmed by Muslims.