Human Rights in Islam (book)

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Human Rights in Islam[1] is a 1976 book written by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami.[2]

In the book, Maududi argues that respect for human rights has always been enshrined in Sharia law (indeed that the roots of these rights are to be found in Islamic doctrine)[3] and criticises Western notions that there is an inherent contradiction between the two.[4]

Western scholars have, for the most part, rejected Maududi's analysis. Bielefeldt (2000)[5] characterises Maududi's argument as a "superficial and uncritical 'Islamization' of human rights" that fails to address tensions between human rights and shariah law.[6] In addition, he criticises Maududi for employing a narrow definition of equality that gives no consideration to what Bielefeldt considers "the two main issues over which traditional shariah and modern human rights collide": gender and religion.[6] Carle (2005) terms the book "influential", but echoes Bielefeldt's criticisms.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maududi, Abul A'la (1976). Human Rights in Islam. Leicester: The Islamic Foundation. ISBN 0-9503954-9-8. 
  2. ^ "Jamaat-e-Islami". 2005-04-27. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  3. ^ Maududi, Human Rights in Islam, p. 10. "Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole ... ."
  4. ^ Maududi, Human Right in Islam, p. 13. "The people of the West have the habit of attributing every good thing to themselves and trying to prove that it is because of them that the world got this blessing ... ."
  5. ^ Bielefeldt, Heiner (February 2000). ""Western" versus "Islamic" Human Rights Conceptions?: A Critique of Cultural Essentialism in the Discussion on Human Rights". Political Theory. 28 (1): 90–121. doi:10.1177/0090591700028001005. JSTOR 192285. 
  6. ^ a b Bielefeldt (2000), p. 104.
  7. ^ Carle, Robert (2005). "Revealing and Concealing: Islamist Discourse on Human Rights". Human Rights Review. 6 (3): 122–37. doi:10.1007/BF02862219. Both Tabandeh and Mawdudi proceed to develop a synthesis between human rights and traditional shari‘a that conceals the conflicts and tensions between the two (p. 124).