Human Rights in Islam : Accountability System in Islam (Hisbah)

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Hisbah is the voluntary accountability system in Islam whereby a Muslim enjoins good and forbids evil to enforce the laws of Shari’ah and to discipline those who publicly commit sins, do shameful acts and practice immoral activities, such as selling, promoting, and trading illegal items, monopolization of basic needs of the people, cheating and many other illegal activities. This is done to implement the command of God in the Qur’an:

(You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.) [3:110]

According to this system, investigators monitor voluntarily the public law and order situation and the maintenance of public facilities to protect individuals against physical injuries in public places.

A Muslim should fear accountability and the punishment of God. Many examples of those who proceeded before us are mentioned in the Qur’an:

(Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. They did not forbid one another from the iniquity: evil indeed were the deeds which they did.) [5:78-79]

In the light of the hadith of the Messenger of God (pbuh), every individual in the Islamic society is required to take an active role in the duty of Hisbah according to his abilities. The Messenger

of God (pbuh) said:

“Whosoever from among you sees an evil act, must stop it with his hand. If he cannot, he should stop it with his tongue. If he cannot, then he should abhor it in his heart, and that is the weakest [level] of faith.” [Muslim, Hadith no. 78]

Every individual in the Islamic society is required to take an active role in the duty of Hisbah according to his abilities.

Correcting any criminal act or vice is not allowed if this causes more harm than good and amounts to making the situation worse. One must use wisdom and discretion in enjoining good and forbidding evil.

The Messenger of God, Muhammad (pbuh) articulates human rights in a single eloquent sentence:

“Truly, your lives, your wealth and your honor are sacred to one another like this sacred Day, in this sacred month and in this sacred town.” [Bukhari, Hadith no. 105]

The laws and regulations of Islam were legislated to preserve and defend the rights and deal sternly with violators.

Most of the human rights mentioned in declarations fall under the above statement, which was delivered in the Farewell Pilgrimage speech of the Messenger of God (pbuh) to the largest gathering of Muslims at that time. The laws and regulations of Islam were legislated to preserve and defend the rights and deal sternly with violators.

Reference : Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, Human Rights in Islam, Usool International Centre, Riyadh, ISBN: 978-603-90936-9-5

Main article : Human Rights in Islam  

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