The “Right to Life” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): A comparative study between the UDHR and the Qur’an and Sunnah
Keywords:Right to life, Qur’an and Sunnah, death penalty, violations, genocide, UDHR
The “Right to Life” has been articulated in the third article of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948”. The Qur’an and Sunnah had also instructed about it centuries before. But the right has been violated throughout the world with impunity despite clear declaration and stern protection by the UN and paramount emphasis in the Qur’an and Sunnah for protecting it. This study explores the articulation of the "Right to Life" in both the UDHR and Islamic texts, examining how it is safeguarded by these entities and whether it aligns with Islamic teachings. The aim of this study therefore, is to explore how this “Right to Life” has been articulated in the UDHR and in the Qur’an and Sunnah; how it is being protected by UN and by the Qur’an and Sunnah; and whether this right is compatible with the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah of prophet (PBUH). Utilizing descriptive, analytical, evaluative, and critical methods, this research delves into the UDHR and the Qur'an to analyze and evaluate the "Right to Life." The study reveals that the UDHR's formulation of this right aligns with Islamic teachings, with no apparent contradictions. Claims that it advocates for the abolition of the death penalty are refuted, as it emphasizes the elimination of genocide, murder, and unauthorized killings, consistent with the Qur'an and Sunnah's preference for diyyah or blood money as an alternative to the death penalty, promoting forgiveness. Also, despite protection of the UN for this right, the violations of it, such as homicide, democide, genocide, extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detentions, are common across the world. The study recommends that if the Qura’nic teachings and protecting mechanisms that clearly bestowed regarding this right be recognised, the violations of it certainly be alleviated.
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