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Human Rights: A Study of the Universal and the Islamic Declarations of Human Rights

This text authored by Ayatollah Taskhiri focuses on human rights and their conceptual development, and compares the texts of the universal and Islamic declaration of human rights.

Here is a pioneer Islamic presentation whose fundamental articles were presented by the learned scholar, `Allama Shaikh Muhammad Ali Taskhiri, before the Organization of the Islamic conference (OIC).

An official recommendation to record this Declaration was made in 1979, when the 10th Conference of the Foreign Ministers decided to form a consulting committee of Islamic experts to prepare a bill regarding human rights in Islam. It was referred to the 11th Conference which, in turn referred it to a legal subcommittee. The amended recommendations were presented at the 3rd Islamic Summit Conference, which referred it to another committee. The 4th Conference of the Foreign Ministers in Dacca agreed upon the hill’s introduction and Article 1, referring the other articles to a third committee; then followed a succession of conferences which emphasized it.

At last, at the Tehran meeting convened in December 1989 the final format was drafted, and finally approved by the 19th Conference of the Foreign Ministers at Cairo. Thus, the hill was circulated in ten conferences of the Foreign Ministers (held in Fez. Islamabad, Baghdad, Niami, Dacca, Sanaa, Amman. Riyadh, Tehran and Cairo) as well as summit conferences in Ta’if, Casablanca and Kuwait, as well as a number of experts committees the last of which was one convened at Tehran.

Human Rights is something that must be practiced rather than preached as many laws have been drafted and too many hills presented, but they remained merely “ink on paper”, covered with dust, in the tellers of history and disused archives, like the code of Hammurabi engraved on a solid, silent obelisk of ancient times.

It needs sincere purpose and, a determined will to translate the word from its theoretical concept to its practical application in human existence so that man might regain his right and attain complete freedom in life as prescribed by Allah, and time which lie was created.

This present publication is an analytical study of human rights in Islam as a prescription of divine wisdom in a comparison with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights framed according to the unenlightened opinions of human beings. This survey of the two Declarations goes a long way in confirming the foresight of Islam in treating all aspects of human life at all times and places. The prolific and persuasive pen of the well-known Islamic jurisprudent and scholar, Shaikh Muhammad Ali Taskhiri, has fulfilled a compelling need of the moment in elucidating many of the complexities of this fundamentally important international issue.

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