Shariah guaranteed human rights long before Magna Carta

Shariah guaranteed human rights long before Magna Carta
Updated 19 March 2015

Shariah guaranteed human rights long before Magna Carta

Shariah guaranteed human rights long before Magna Carta

After receiving a kind invitation from Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, I attended the Global Law Summit in London as part of the Saudi delegation. The summit attracted delegates from more than 100 countries around the world as well as 30 ministers of justice from various states.
The conference was held to mark the passage of 800 years since the first constitutional document in the United Kingdom in 1215. Known as the Magna Carta, it was the first constitutional document of human rights reform in addition to being a cornerstone in the development of the principle of the rule of law and individual equality before the law. The document also guaranteed basic rights and public freedoms.
The conference listened to the British minister of justice, the US attorney general and others on how the document has evolved over the years to become an integral part of current legal systems in the UK, the US and Commonwealth states.
While listening to these words, I became very proud that Islamic Shariah was a leader in the expression and recognition of fundamental and constitutional rights of the individual. More than 14 centuries ago, before the existence of many conventions and international declarations of laws and governance, Islamic Shariah guaranteed the protection of human rights. Unlike modern-day, human-influenced entities and systems, which can be characterized as having shortages and deficiencies, the principles of human rights in our Islamic Shariah are comprehensive and perfect as they are based on the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him).
I would like to emphasize that we, as a nation, should be proud of the principles of Shariah as they set the precedent for the consolidation and establishment of the principles of human rights.
As I previously described in a piece I wrote for a local newspaper, our religion is completely valid and applies to every situation. For example, it beautifully establishes the smooth and easy transition of power as was recently evident upon the death of King Abdullah and the handing of power to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. This transition of power, as stipulated in the provisions of the Allegiance Law, is derived directly from our tolerant and comprehensive Islamic principles.
Following the London conference, Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani confirmed in his statement to the media that our judicial system draws its power directly from Islamic law. He said this ensured the impartiality of the judicial system and its independence, as clearly stated in the first article of the justice system.
Al-Samaani also pointed out that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that supported the principles of human rights and has agreed to all international conventions and treaties. He also praised the continuous development of the judicial system and its administrative processes which in turn have helped boost its overall efficiency.
Al-Samaani’s important statement about the system of justice in the Kingdom is commendable, as are his efforts to take advantage of international experience in order to exchange ideas related to improving the Kingdom’s overall development efforts. In due time, Insha’Allah, we will discuss how other countries can benefit from the Kingdom’s experiences.

Al-Yaum