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Text of the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights

The idea of formally committing this Declaration down to writing took shape in 1979, when the Tenth Conference of the Islamic Foreign Ministers decided to form a consulting committee composed of Muslim experts to prepare a hill regarding human rights in Islam.


The first draft was referred to the Eleventh Conference, which in its turn, referred it to a legal committee, subsequently the amended test was presented to the Third Islamic Summit Conference, hoverer, it referred it to yet another committee. The Fourteenth Conference of the Foreign Ministers in Dacca gave approval to the Introduction part and the First Article, then referred tile remaining articles to a third committee.

Then there followed a succession of conferences which approved until the meeting field in Tehran in December, 1989, in which the final draft was presented. It was ultimately approved in the 19th Conference of Islamic Foreign Ministers (in FEZ, Islamabad, Baghdad, Niami, Dacca, Sana’a, Oman, Riyadh, Tehran, and Cairo), three Summit Conferences (at Ta’if, Casablanca, and Kuwait) and a number of experts’ committee meetings the last of which was the Tehran Conference of 1989.

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

“O’ Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Surely, the noblest of you with Allah is the one who fears Allah most.” (The Glorious Quran, 49:13)

Believing in Allah, the lord of the worlds, the creator of everything and the giver of all favors, the one who created man in the highest form, bestowed honors upon him, appointed him his successor on earth, entrusted him with cultivating and reclaiming it, charged him with divine duties, and made subservient to man all that is in the heavens and the earth.

Believing in the message of Muhammad (s.a.w), as the Messenger of Allah who brought divine guidance and true faith as a mercy for mankind, liberator of the enslaved and destroyer of tyranny and oppression, declared equality for all human beings, admitting no superiority for anyone except through piety, abolishing all differences and hatred among all people whom Allah had created from the same spirit.

Starting from faith in pure Tawhid (Monotheism) on which is founded the structure of Islam, and which invites the entire mankind to worship no one but Allah, and to associate no one with Him and to take no other gods besides Allah, and which lays the true foundation for the real freedom of men and their eternal dignity, protecting the faith, the soul, the intellect, the honor, the wealth and the generation, distinguished for its comprehensiveness and moderation in all its attitudes and judgments, thus producing a linkage between Matter and Spirit, gathering reason and heart together.

Confirming the historical and civilizing role of the Islamic Umma, which Allah designed to be the best, bequeathing to humanity a balanced universal order that links this world with the Hereafter, inter-linking science and faith: what is expected today from this Umma is to guide humanity, contused in the middle of diverse competing currents and beliefs, to undo the chronic difficulties besetting the materialistic civilization,

Participating in the ongoing efforts concerning formulation of human rights which aim at protecting man from exploitation and suppression, and for confirming his freedom and his rights ensuring an honorable life in accordance with the Laws of Islam,

Being confident that humanity having progressed in various fields of the physical sciences to a high degree has been, and will remain, in dire need of economic resources for maintaining its civilization, and also in need of an effective deterrent to maintain close watch over these rights,

And believing that the basic rights and public liberties in Islam are it part of the Muslim’s faith and nobody has the right to, wholly or partially, abolish, violate or neglect the divine precepts and duties enjoined by Allah in His Books, and with which He sent His last Messenger, and by which He completed what had earlier been conveyed through divine communications, and whose observance became devotion, and whose neglect or rejection became sin; since everybody is personally responsible for them, and the Umma is, jointly and severally, responsible for them, the member – states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, consequently declare the following:

Article 1

  1. The human beings are all a single family, joined together in servitude to Allah and filiation to Adam. All people are equal in their original human dignity, obligation and responsibility, without any distinction of race, color, tongue, sex, faith, political beliefs, social status or any other consideration. In fact, following the correct faith is the best guarantee for the development of this dignity and the road to human perfection.
  2. All creatures are Allah’s subjects and the most favored by Him is the one most beneficent to His dependents, and no one is preferred over another, except on the basis of Taqwa (Piety) and good deeds.

Article 2

  1. Life is a gift from Allah. It is guaranteed to all. Individuals, communities and states are responsible to protect this right against any transgression. No life may be destroyed without due legal process.
  2. It is prohibited to resort to means which annihilate mankind.
  3. Preserving the continuity of human life, as long as Allah wills, is a religious obligation.
  4. The human dead body must be shown due respect; it must not be violated. It may not be subjected to autopsy without proper legal authority, and the states are responsible to ensure that.

Article 3

  1. In case of war and armed conflicts, it is not permitted to kill those who do not take part in the fighting, such as the old, women and children. The wounded and the sick have the right to be treated, and the captives to get food, lodging and clothing. It is prohibited to mutilate the corpses. Exchange of prisoners should be allowed as well as the rejoining at families separated by the conditions of war.
  2. Cutting trees, damaging seed and breed, destroying the enemy’s non-military buildings and installations through bombing, shelling and similar means is prohibited.

Article 4

Every individual has his personal respect and has the right to protect his reputation during his life and after his death. The state and the society are obliged to protect his body and grave.

Article 5

  1. The family is the basis for building the society, and marriage is the basis of forming the family. Men and women have the right to marry, which cannot be prevented by such obstructions as race, color or nationality.
  2. The society and the state are obliged to remove the barriers from the way of marriage, to facilitate it and to protect the family and care for it.

Article 6

A. Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and she has rights much as she has obligations. She has her civil status and independent financial resources, and the right to keep her name and lineage.
B. The man has to carry the burdens of financially supporting his family and be responsible for it and take care of it.

Article 7

A. Every child, ever since its birth, has the right over its parents, the society and the state for nursing, education and financial, mental and moral care.
Similarly, the fetus and its mother have the right to protection and specialized care.
B. The parents or their substitutes have the right to choose the kind of education they wish for their children, taking into consideration their interests and future in the light of moral values and religious precepts.
c. The parents have rights over their sons, and the relatives have rights over their relatives according to the precepts of the Islamic law.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to exploit his lawful capacity concerning assigning and undertaking obligations. On losing or diminished legal capacity in law, his guardian acts in his place.

Article 9

A. Seeking knowledge is obligatory and providing facilities for learning is an obligation of the society and the state. They have to make provision for it. Facilitate its ways and means, and ensure its diversities to implement the interest of the society and help man to know the religion of Islam, the facts of the universe and how to exploit them for the good of humanity.
B. Everyone has the right upon the different establishments of education and learning, such as the family, the school, the university, the mass media and the like, to have them educate man in religion and worldly knowledge affording a thorough and balanced education, strengthening his belief in Allah, respecting rights and obligations, and safe guarding them.

Article 10

As man is to follow Islam, the religion of the innate nature, it is not permissible to subject him to any kind of compulsion, nor is it permissible to exploit his poverty, weakness or ignorance to force him to convert his faith to another faith or to atheism.

Article 11

A. Man is born free, no one may enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit him; nor force him to servitude to any other then Allah, the Exalted.
B. Imperialism in all its manifestations being the worst kind of enslavement, is totally prohibited, and the peoples suffering from it have the right to free themselves from it and gain self-determination. All states and peoples are duty hound to support them in their liberation struggle aimed at liquidating all kinds of imperialism or foreign domination. All peoples have the right to safeguard their independent identity and to control their wealth and natural resources.

Article 12

Everyone has the right, within the frame-work of Islamic law, to freely move and choose the place of his residence inside or outside his country. In case of being subject to persecution, he has the right to seek asylum in another country. The country granting him asylum is bound to protect him until he reaches a safe haven, provided that the reason for seeking refuge was not a crime forbidden in religion.

Article 13

Work is a right guaranteed by the state and the society for whoever is able to work. Everyone has the right to choose the work most suitable for him, with the aim of attaining his and the society’s interests. The worker has his rights to security, safety and all forms of social insurance. He is not to be ordered to do what is beyond his capacity, nor is he to be forced, exploited or harmed. The worker, male or female, has the right to get a fair wage for his work without delay. He is to enjoy his holdings, allowances and the promotions he deserves. He has the duty to be sincere and strict. In case of a dispute between the worker and their employer, the state is obliged in interface to settle the dispute, remove injustice, establish justice and keep equity with impartially.

Article 14

Man has the right to lawful work without monopoly, cheating or causing harm to oneself and to others. Usury is decisively prohibited.

Article 15

A. Everyone has the right to own by lawful means and to enjoy the right to ownership without harming oneself or other individuals or the society. Arbitrary expropriation is not allowed except for the public interests, but for immediately paid fair compensation.
b. It is prohibited to confiscate or seize property except by order of the law.

Article 16

Everyone has the right to be benefited by the fruits of his practical, literary, artistic and technical labor, and he has the right to protect his relevant literary and financial interests, provided that the said products are not contrary to religious commandments.

Article 17

A. Everyone has the right to live in an environment free from evil and from moral corruption, so as to be able to morally develop himself. The society and the state are obliged to facilitate for them the implementation of this right.
B. Everyone has the right upon his society and state to receive medical and social care through the provision of public facilities needed by him within the available resources.
c. The state is to ensure for everyone his right to an honorable life, sufficiently providing for him and his dependents. This covers food, clothing, lodging, education, medical treatment and other basic needs.

Article 18

A. Everyone has the right to live in security for himself, his faith, family, honor and belongings.
b. Everyone has the right to be independent regarding his private affairs in his house, family, wealth and communications. It is not allowed to spy upon him, have an eye on him or offend his reputation. He is to be protected against all arbitrary meddlings.

C. Privacy of residences is to be respected in all cases, and they should not be trespassed unlawfully and without the owner’s permission. They should not be pulled down, requisitioned, nor should their dwellers be driven out.


Article 19

A: All people, whether rulers or the ruled are equal before the law.
b. The right to resort to the law is guaranteed to all.
c. Responsibility is basically personal.
d. No Offence and no penalty except according to the adjudication by the law
e. The accused is regarded innocent until he is proven guilty in a fair trial ensuring provision of all that is necessary to defend him.

Article  20

No one may be arrested, detained, exiled or punished without due process of law. He may not be subjected to physical or psychic duress, nor to any kind of humiliating, cruel and degrading treatment contrary to human dignity. No one is to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without his consent, and provided that his health and life may not be endangered, nor is it allowed to frame exceptional laws allowing the executive authorities to practice it

Article  21

Taking a person as hostage is prohibited in any form and for any purpose.


Article 22

A: Everyone has the right to steely express his opinion in a way not contradicting the principles of the law.
b. Everyone has the right to enjoin good and forbid evil according to the Islamic regulations.
c. Publicity is a vital necessity for society, but it is forbidden to be exploited and misused, or to abuse sacred religious sanctuaries or show disrespect to the prophets and whatever may disgrace higher values and cause society to be disorganized, disrupted, harmed, or to forsake faith.
d. It is not allowed to instigate national and religious hatred, and whatever may stir racial discrimination in different forms

Article  23

A: Authority is a trust; it is emphatically prohibited to, be despotically practiced; or to be misused, since it is guarantee for basic human rights.
b. Everyone has the right to take part in the management of the country’s general affairs, directly or indirectly. He also has the right to hold public posts according to rules and regulations.

Article 24

All the rights and liberties stated in this Declaration are in accordance with the precepts of the Islamic Law.

Article 25

The Islamic law is the only source for the interpretation or explanation of any Article of this Declaration.

The selection taken from “Human Rights” by late Ayatollah Muhammad Ali Taskhiri.

About Ali Teymoori

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