Human Dignity (isl.)

 
 Citation link: Human Dignity (isl.)  

(Turk. İnsan Onuru)

Each individual person possesses human dignity from the moment of birth on, as a fundamental property that distinguishes the individual from all other living beings; this dignity cannot be taken away or transferred to anyone else. In the Islamic view, this special property is conferred by God (17:70).

God has not granted any other living being the ability to interpret the world and to behave, historically situated, in a manner that is free and responsible at the same time (33:72). Human dignity is the outcome of the creative will of God. As a unique work of God, every person is evidence of the existence of human dignity. It is not said of any other living being that God breathed of His soul into it (32:9). Even more important is the fact that God has declared humankind alone His representative (2:30; 6:165). This is why the human being is the most venerable of all creatures. Dignity is a property intrinsic to the nature of humankind. It is inviolable and invulnerable because it constitutes the actual core of human being, regardless of religion, race, skin colour, social status, or other characteristics.

No matter how a human being comports him- or herself, even committing offences or crimes, his or her human dignity remains untouched. Where the Qur’an classes individuals into different categories based on their faith and their behaviour, in the end rewarding the good and punishing the evil, this has a bearing not upon human dignity but rather upon insufficient awareness of human responsibility. Every person enjoys dignity from birth on, whereas one’s moral qualities are a function of the individual’s actions. Human dignity is God-given, while many other human properties are acquired. It follows, then, that, simply on the strength of personhood, the human individual possesses fundamental rights and merits unconditional respect.

Mualla Selçuk

Related entries

This post is also available in Turkish.