15 Rights of Minorities in Islam – Obligations
In the era of freedom of justice and equality, people are obligated to be tolerant and respect each other regardless of the race, social status, or religion. It is important to acknowledge that what religion we worship, we are equal to each other.
In Islam, there’s also a special concern regarding to the non Muslims, especially when they become minorities among Muslims. Islam obligates its believer to treat minorities equally. Realizing its importance, here are some rights of minorities in Islam that should not be neglected by us as Muslims.
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- The Rights for Having No Discrimination
Everyone was born equal to each other. They basically have rights to live and not to be discriminated. Discriminating is the act forbidden to do. As Islam is the religion which promotes peace and equality, the believer should implement the basic fundamental characteristic as told in the Qur’an:
“Say: “We believe in Allah and what He revealed to us and what He revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and what the prophets received from their Lord. We do not distinguish between any of them, and we have surrendered to Him.” And if they believe the like of what you believe, they are rightly guided. But if they turn away, then they are in dissension, and Allah will suffice thee against them. He is the Hearer, the knower! (Our religion is) the baptism of Allah and who is better than Allah in baptism?’” (Qur’an, 2:136-138).
2. The Rights for Equality
The rights of equality is also one among some rights of minorities in Islam. Islam don’t categorize people in the hierarchy based on religion. Whether they are Muslims or not, they have equal status as human beings. This phrase commonly describes the equality of minorities in Islam: “the blood of those of our non-Muslim subjects is equal to our blood and his blood money is like our blood money.” (Abu Yusuf, Kitab-ul-Khiraj).
3. The Rights for Freedom in Believing
We have rights to worship whatever we believe. In Islam, everyone has right to do so. Muslims should be tolerant to other religion that people may worship because it is a form of good deed as believer. Minorities among Muslims as non believers have rights to worship their religion without any form of coercion. Allah once mentioned in the ayah below:
“There is no coercion in religion. Verily, guidance has manifestly been distinguished from error.” (Qur’an, 2:256)
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4. The Rights for Privacy
In Islamic state, minorities also have rights for privacy. They have rights not to be interfered regarding to their personal matter. The rights of privacy that are applied to Muslims is equally applied to minorities as non-muslims either. As mentioned before, we need to prevent discrimination towards minorities, giving them rights for privacy also the act of giving them no discrimination.
5. The Rights for Protection
In Islamic state, government has obligation to provide safety and protection to the people. The protection and safety apply to all humankind regardless of their religion. It is told in the Qur’an:
“and if any one of the polytheists seeks refuge with thee, give him refuge so that he may hear Allah’s Discourses, then take him to a place of security.” (Qur’an, 9:6)
Besides that, minorities have rights not to join defense services. It is actually a duty of Islamic states to protect the welfare, live, property, and honor of minorities. Because in the era of Islamic States of our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), the minorities had contributed more to the country in the form of tax.
“(O Glorious Messenger!) Invite towards the path of your Lord with strategic wisdom and refined exhortation and (also) argue with them in a most decent manner. Surely your Lord knows him well who strayed away from His path and He also knows well the rightly guided.” (Qur’an, 16:125)
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6. The Rights for Donation or Other Supports
Under the rule of Islamic state in the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), government has obligation to provide collective maintenance for the welfare of the people whether they are majorities or minorities. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) has told us to donate or support others regardless of their religion, he even donated to Jewish family.
“The Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon Him) gave a donation to a Jewish family and it continued to be delivered even after (the Holy Prophet’s departure from this world).” (Abu ‘Ubaid in Kitab-ul-Amwal)
7. The Rights for Having Business Enterprise
Everyone has right to build business enterprise and have profession spread from many industries. The right also includes minorities. In Islam, minorities also have right to do so. They also can have transaction and negotiation with Muslims. The right of them to have business enterprise as well as adopt profession should be included under the government law. Therefore, there will not be only Muslims who monopolize any resource.
8. The Rights for Proper Education
All humankind HAS the same exact right for knowledge. Therefore, we shouldn’t limit the minorities to have proper education because they also have rights to expand their knowledge. Our Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah may be upon him) said:
“God, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
9. The Rights for Basic Necessities
Everyone has rights to fulfill their basic necessities, including minorities. Minorities have right also to fulfill their basic needs like food, house, clothes, and other needs by working or doing anything that will not harm and cause disadvantages to other people. We also should not forbid them in getting their basic needs as it is our duty to embrace them with mercy.
10. The Rights for Having Justice
Another right of minorities in Islam that we have to highlight is their right to have justice over all the thing. We should show them justice and never distinguish them just because they share different religious background with us. Allah has mentioned about sharing justice to minorities in the Qur’an. Let’s take a look at ayah below:
‘’Allah does not forbid you to deal with those who have not fought against you in religion, and have not driven you from your homes, with benevolence, or to show them justice. surely Allah loves those who are just.’’ (Qur’an, 60:8)
Besides those 10 rights of minorities in Islam that we have found out, there are also 5 other rights we should know in order to trear minorities without any form of discrimination. We should concern to the rights mentioned below:
- The Rights to be Treated with Mercy
- The Rights to be Respected
- The Rights for Sympathy
- The Rights for Peace
- The Rights Not to be Marginalized
Finally, there are 15 rights of minorities in Islam that we have to know. If you find this article useful for you, please like or share to others, as it may bring you mercy from Allah.