خوی اسلامی اخلاقی است که در چارچوب اسلام است. اخلاق اسلامی سه بخش اصلی دارد:
در کل ویژگیهای اخلاقی در اسلام بسیار مهم است، به گونهای پیامبر اسلام فرمود: «(به عربی: إنّما بُعِثْتُ لأُتَمِّمَ مَكارِم الأخلاق)» یعنی «تنها برای به انجام رساندن خلق و خوی گرامی برانگیخته شدهام».
صفات وملکات اخلاقی درقرآن[ویرایش]
برای مطالعه صفات خوب و بد در قرآن كریم باید داستان انبیا را مطالعه نمود. برای مطالعه هرفضیلت بایستی ضد آن یعنی رذیلت مربوط را نیز توامان نگریست تا بهتر بتوانیم با محاسن و مفاسد انها اشنا شویم. در قرآن کریم از ۲۹ صفت خوب و بد یاد نموده است.
حسد ارزوی زوال نعمت از دیگریست. در مقابل نصح یا خیرخواهی است كه ادمی طالب بقآ یا افزونی نعمت برای دیگریست.
غرور یعنی خود را فریب دادن و خوب شمردن كه همان نخوت است كه شیطان را از درگاه خداوند راند. در برابر آن كسالت است یعنی آدمی خود را بی جهت خوار و ذلیل نماید. حد وسط این دو فروتنی است.
طول امل یعنی داشتن آرزوهای دور و دراز در مسائل مادی و در برابر آن یاس و ناامیدیست به ویژه یاس از رحمت خدا و حد وسط آن دو امیدواری است كه موجب رشد آدمی است. البته آرزوهای دراز در امور معنوی پسندیده است.
تعصب به معنای وابستگی غیرمنطقی به چیزی تا آنجا كه حق را فدای آن كند در مقابل آن تقلید كوركورانه است یعنی بدون آگاهی و چشم بسته از كسی پیروی شود. حد وسط این دو تسلیم در برابر حق و عدم پذیرش ناحق است. 
جبن یعنی ترس از هر امر موهوم در مقابل آن تهورست یعنی نترسیدن از هیچ چیز و هر دو مذموم است اما میانه آن دو شجاعت است كه پسندیده است. 
توكل یعنی سپردن كارها به خدا و اعتماد به لطف اوست و این امر منافاتی با حداكثر تلاش انسان ندارد برخلاف خودباختگی كه فرد بی اعتماد است و به هر حشیشی متوسل میشود.
غفلت هرگونه بی خبری از شرایط زمان و مكان كه در یك لحظه هستی انسان را مبدل به خاكستر می كند. در برابر آن بیداری و ذكر است. 
بخل یا شح صفتی است كه بر اثر آن انسان از بخشیدن هرگونه دارائی خود به دیگران امساك می كند. در مقابل آن اسراف است كه بی حساب بخشیدن و یا بدون حساب مصرف كردن است و حد وسط این دو جود و سخاوت است.   
عجله وشتاب یعنی اقدام بانجام كاری قبل ازاینكه مقدمات لازم آن فراهم شده باشدمثل اینكه میوه راقبل ازرسیدن بچیند.درمقابل فتورواتلاف وقت است كه موجب هدررفتن وقت وانرژیست ایندوصفت مذمومندوحدوسط اندوصبروشكیبائی است كه بسیارپسندیده است 
جاه طلبی یاریاست طلبی عشق بمقام ونیازباحترام دیگرانست دربرابران تذلل وتواضع است كه بسیارپسندیده است.
لجاجت یعنی پافشاری برامرباطل همانندبهانه جوئیهای بنی اسرائیل امری مذموم است درحالیكه پافشاری برامرحق پسندیده است وانرااستقامت مینامند.
كفرنعمت یعنی پوشانیدن ارزش نعمت وندیده گرفتن انست اماشكریعنی قدردانی وتشكرازنعمتهابقلب زبان وعمل.شكرموجب ازدیادنعمت وكقرآن موجب زوال انست
غیبت انست كه انسان پشت سركسی عیوب پنهان اورااشكارسازددرمقابل حفظ الغیب انست كه همان بیان خوبیهای آفراددرغیاب انهاست.غیبت موجب سلب اعتماد سوءظن ریا وانتقام میگردد.
حسن خلق یعنی گشاده روئی وچهیه شادوزبان نرم وبرخوردخوش باتبسم وابراز كلمات بامحبت است وسوءخلق عكس انست.حسن خلق موجب جلب محبت ارامش روح ورشددرتمامی زمینه هامیگرددوسوءخلق عكس انراموجب میگردد.
امانت یعنی حفظ دارائی دیگری ازجمله بیت المال وخیانت یعنی بی دقتی ویاازبین بردن مال دیگری.امانت موجب اعتماد صداقت ومحبت ودوستا میشود وخیانت عكس انرابهمراه دارد.
وفای بعهدازفطریاتست ومقبول تمامی ادیان وملتهاهمانطوركه پیمان شكنی قبیح است.نقض عهدموجب بی اعتمادی وازبین رفتن اتحاد است
بحث منطقی بهترین راه برای كسب حقایق است وجدال ومراءكه همراه باتعصب ولجاجت میباشدموجب عقب ماندگی ونفرت وجدائیست.جدا ل دروغ دشمنی ونفاق رابدنبال دارد.
درمنازعات مردم وظیفه اصلی هرفرداصلاح بین انانست واین كارپسندیده ایست اما برخی عكس اینكاررامینمایندیعنی بنزین براتش میریزنداین همان سخن چینی ونمامی است.این صفت موجب تفرقه بدبینی ونفرت میشود.
تفسیردرست نمودن ازكاردیگرانرا حسن ظن وعكس انراسوءظن نامند.سوءظن موجب میشوداعتمادازبین برودارامش برهم بخوردودوستان پراكنده شوند.
تجسس یعنی جستجودراعمال دیگران كه بسیارنهی شده است.اماادمی بمحض اطلاع ازمسائل خصوصی دیگران بایستی درحفظ آن بكوشد.
خشم وغضب ازخطرناكترین حالات انسانست كه درصورت رهاشدن بزرگترین جنآیات رامیآفرینددرحالیكه بردباری ادمی راازخطرات حفظ میكند.
عفوهمان گذشت است بهنگام قدرت والارشته انتقام طولانیست وهیچگاه خاتمه نخواهدیافت عفوموجب میشوددشمن تبدیل بدوست گرددحكومت دوام یابدوروح ارامش یابد.
غیرت یعنی دفاع لازم ازعزض ناموس اموال مملكت دین وائین است بخلاف بی غیرتی كه موجب ازبین رفتن همه چیز میشود.غیرت یك نیروی دفاعیست نه تهاجمی
طبیعت انسان جامعه گراست زیرامدنی بالطبع میباشد.انزواطلبی مذموم است چه گوشه گیری موجب انحرافات فكری سوءظن بدیگران ودورماندن ازتجربیات دیگرانست از
در زمینه حقوق بشر، فقهای اولیه اسلامی تعدادی از مفاهیم حقوقی پیشرفته را معرفی کردند که مفاهیم مدرن مشابه در این زمینه را پیش بینی کرد. از جمله مفاهیم اعتماد خیریه و امانتداری از اموال، مفهوم برادری و همبستگی اجتماعی، مفهوم کرامت انسانی و شأن و منزلت کار، مفهوم قانون ایدهآل، محکوم کردن رفتار ضد اجتماعی، اصل برائت، مفهوم "امر به معروف" (دستگیری از تنگدستان) و مفاهیم به اشتراک گذاری، مراقبت، جامعه گرایی، حقوق کاری عادلانه، قرارداد عادلانه، تجارت صادقانه، رهایی از ربا، حقوق زنان، حریم خصوصی، سوء استفاده از حقوق، شخصیت حقوقی، آزادی فردی، برابری در مقابل قانون، وکیل، عدم عطف به ماسبق، برتری قانون، استقلال قضایی، قضاوت بی طرفانه، حاکمیت محدود، تحمل، و مشارکت دموکراتیک است. بسیاری از این مفاهیم به واسطه ارتباط با اسپانیای اسلامی و امارت سیسیل و از طریق جنگ های صلیبی و ترجمه های لاتین قرن دوازدهم در در اروپای قرون وسطی به تصویب رسید.
مفهوم حق مسلم در فقه و قانون اولیه اسلامی یافت شد که حکمران را از: "حق دور کردن افراد خود از حقوقی که در فرد به عنوان یک انسان ذاتی است"، منع کرد. حاکمان اسلامی نمیتوانستند حقوق خاصی را بر این اساس که "آنها به دلیل این واقعیت تبدیل به حقوق شده اند که توسط یک قانون و از یک منبع که هیچ حاکمی نمیتواند مورد سؤال یا تغییر قرار دهد، اعطا شده اند" از افراد خود بگیرند. شواهدی وجود دارد که قاعده بندی جان لاک از حقوق مسلم و حکومت مشروط، که در قرون پیش تر در قانون اسلامی حضور داشتند، همچنین ممکن است متاثر از قوانین اسلامی (از طریق حضور وی در سخنرانی های ارائه شده توسط ادوارد پوکوک، استاد مطالعات اسلامی) باشد.
در قوانین اولیه اسلامی دو مجموعه از حقوق بشر را به رسمیت شناخت. علاوه بر حقوق مدنی و حقوق سیاسی (تحت پوشش اعلامیه جهانی حقوق بشر)، قانون اسلامی همچنین دسته دیگری را به رسمیت شناخته است: حقوق اجتماعی، اقتصادی و فرهنگی. این شاخه آخر در سنت حقوقی غربی تا زمان میثاق بینالمللی حقوق اقتصادی، اجتماعی و فرهنگی، در سال ۱۹۶۶، به رسمیت شناخته نشده بود. حق حفظ حریم خصوصی، که در سنت حقوقی غرب تا دوران مدرن به رسمیت شناخته نشده بود، در قوانین اسلامی، از زمان صدر اسلام شناخته شده بود. در زمینه حقوق زنان، زنان به طور کلی، تا سده های ۱۹ و ۲۰، تحت قوانین اسلامی از حقوق قانونی بیشتری نسبت به سیستم حقوقی غرب برخوردار بودند. برای مثال، "زنان متاهل فرانسوی، بر خلاف خواهران مسلمان خود، از محدودیت های ظرفیت قانونیشان رنج می بردند که تنها در سال ۱۹۶۵ برداشته شد. "نوح فلدمن"، استاد حقوق دانشگاه هاروارد، می نویسد: مانند تبعیض جنسی، نظام رویه قضایی هر گونه حقوق مالکیت و یا در واقع شخصیت حقوقی جدا از شوهران را برای زنان متاهل منع کرد. زمانی که بریتانیا قانون خود را به مسلمانان به جای شریعت اعمال کرد، مانند برخی از مستعمرات، نتیجه محرومیت زنان متاهل از مالکیت بود، که قانون اسلامی همیشه به آن ها عطا کرده بود - پیشرفت کند به سوی برابری جنسیتی پروفسور جان مدیسکی از دانشکده حقوق دانشگاه کارولینای شمالی، در مجله قانون کارولینای شمالی، مقاله "ریشه های اسلامی نظام رویه قضایی"، می نویسد:
در حوزه معنوی دین اسلام شیوه ای که در آن یک عمل از نظر اخلاقی خوب یا بد ارزیابی می شود، از نحوه ارزیابی همان عمل در حوزه مادی قوانین اسلامی که از لحاظ قانونی معتبر و یا نامعتبر است، کاملاً متفاوت بود. قانون اسلامی دنیوی بود، نه معنوی... بنابراین سیستمی متمرکز بر تضمین این که یک فرد عدالت دریافت کند، نه این که یک فرد خوب باشد.
کنت لئون اوستورگ، حقوقدان فرانسوی، شرح زیر را در سال ۱۹۲۷ بر پایه قانون اسلام کلاسیک نوشت:
آن دسته از متفکران شرقی قرن نهم که اصول حقوق بشر را بر اساس الهیات خود، درک از حقوق آزادی فردی و مصونیت شخص و اموال، با آن شرایط بسیار نوشته اند، قدرت عالی دراسلام و یا خلافت را، مبتنی بر یک قرارداد با دلالت بر شرایط صلاحیت و کارآمدی، و لغو آن در صورت عدم پوشاندن جامه عمل به شرایط قرارداد، توصیف کرده اند. نسخه انسانی شفاف سازی شده قانون جنگ که نسخ جوانمردانه متخاصمین خاص در جنگ جهانی اول را خجل خواهد نمود؛ که دکترینی از تحمل غیر مسلمانان را که شدیداً به لیبرال معتقد است، تشریح می کند، که غرب ما باید هزاران سال قبل صبر می کرد تا اصول معادلی تصویب رسد.
برخی از محققان پیشنهاد کرده اند ایده "منشور تعریف وظایف یک حاکمیت نسبت به افراد خود، و همچنین افراد نسبت به حاکمیت"، که منجر به "پیدایش سازه های اروپایی حقوقی" و توسعه ماگنا کارتا شده، ممکن است توسط جنگجویان صلیبی بازگشته و متاثر از آنچه که در لوانت در مورد نظام حاکم، منتشر شده توسط صلاح الدین، آموخته بودند، بوجود آمده باشد. همچنین پیشنهاد شده است که "بسیاری از درک غرب از لیبرالیسم در قانون، اقتصاد و جامعه، ریشه در اسلام قرون وسطی دارد."
یکی دیگر از نفوذ قوانین اسلامی در قانون اروپا، اصل برائت است که توسط شاه لویی نهم، پادشاه فرانسه، پس از بازگشت او از فلسطین، در زمان جنگهای صلیبی، به اروپا معرفی شد. پیش از این، روال قانونی اروپا شامل قضاوت با مبارزه و یا قضاوت با مصیبت بود. در مقابل، قانون اسلامی از آغاز آن بر اصل برائت قرار داشت که توسط شیعیان علیه حکومت خلیفه عمر در قرن هفتم آغاز و توسط امامان شیعه تایید شد. دیگر آزادی ها و حقوق در نظام حقوقی اسلام بر اساس قرآن از زمان پیامبر اسلام به رسمیت شناخته شده، اما در جهان غرب تا مدت ها به رسمیت شناخته نشد، شامل "حق دانستن، انتخاب دین و عقیده، خواندن و نوشتن، حق قدرت و حتی حق انتخاب دولت." .
. نک: نور: 22.
. کافی، ج 2، ص 107، ح 2.
. ملامحسن فیض کاشانی، محجة البیضاء، ج 5، ص 319.
. صحیفه سجادیه، دعای 16 (تضرع در طلب عفو از عیوب).
 من لا یحضره الفقیه، ص 324، ج 5.
. وسائل الشیعه، ج 14، ص 11.
. اصول کافی، ج 2، ص 108، ح 5.
. مجمع البیان، ج 1، ص 505، ذیل آیه 133 آل عمران.
. خانواده در اسلام، صص 144 و 145؛ باقر شریق قریشی، نظام خانواده در اسلام، ترجمه: لطیف راشدی، سازمان تبلیغات اسلامی، 1374.
. عباس قمی، سفینة البحار، بیروت، دارالمرتضی، ج 2، ص 207.
Islamic ethics (أخلاق إسلامية), defined as "good character," historically took shape gradually from the 7th century and was finally established by the 11th century. It was eventually shaped as a successful amalgamation of the Qur'anic teachings, the teachings of the Sunnah of Muhammad, the precedents of Islamic jurists (see Sharia and Fiqh), the pre-Islamic Arabian tradition, and non-Arabic elements (including Persian and Greek ideas) embedded in or integrated with a generally Islamic structure. Although Muhammad's preaching produced a "radical change in moral values based on the sanctions of the new religion and the present religion, and fear of God and of the Last Judgment", the tribal practice of Arabs did not completely die out. Later Muslim scholars expanded the religious ethic of the Qur'an and Hadith in immense detail.
The foundational source in the gradual codification of Islamic ethics was the Muslim understanding and interpretations of the Qur'an and practices of Muhammad. Its meaning has always been in context of active submission to God (Arabic: Allah), performed by the community in unison. The motive force in Islamic ethics is the notion that every human being is called to "command the good and forbid the evil" in all spheres of life. Muslims understand the role of Muhammad as attempting to facilitate this submission. Another key factor in the field of Islamic ethics is the belief that mankind has been granted the faculty to discern God's will and to abide by it. This faculty most crucially involves reflecting over the meaning of existence. Therefore, regardless of their environment, humans are believed to have a moral responsibility to submit to God's will and to follow Islam (as demonstrated in the Qur'an, [Quran 7:172]).
This natural inclination is, according to the Qur'an, subverted by mankind's focus on material success: such focus first presents itself as a need for basic survival or security, but then tends to manifest into a desire to become distinguished amongst one's peers. Ultimately, the focus on materialism, according to the Islamic texts, hampers with the innate reflection as described above, resulting in a state of jahiliyya or "heedlessness." Muslims believe that Muhammad, like other prophets in Islam, was sent by God to remind human beings of their moral responsibility, and challenge those ideas in society which opposed submission to God. According to Kelsay, this challenge was directed against five main characteristics of pre-Islamic Arabia:
These changes lay in the reorientation of society as regards to identity and life of the Muslim belief, world view, and the hierarchy of values. From the viewpoint of subsequent generations, this caused a great transformation in the society and moral order of life in the Arabian Peninsula. For Muhammad, although pre-Islamic Arabia exemplified "heedlessness," it was not entirely without merit. Muhammad approved and exhorted certain aspects of the Arab pre-Islamic tradition, such as the care for one’s near kin, for widows, orphans, and others in need and for the establishment of justice. However, these values would be re-ordered in importance and placed in the context of strict monotheism.
In the 17th chapter, "Al-Israa" ("The Night Journey"), verses [Quran 17:22], the Qur'an provides a set of moral stipulations which are "among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee" that can be reasonably categorised as ten in number. According to S. A. Nigosian, Professor of religious studies at the University of Toronto, these resemble the Ten Commandments in the Bible and "represents the fullest statement of the code of behavior every Muslim must follow". However, these verses are not regarded by Islamic scholars as set apart from any other moral stipulations in the Qur'an, nor are they regarded as a substitute, replacement, or abrogation of some other set of commandments as found in the previous revelations.
Many Muslim theologians see the Golden Rule implicit in some verses of the Qur'an and in the Hadith. The Golden Rule was agreed 1993 also by Muslims as a central unconditional ethical norm in the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.
Early reforms under Islam
Main article: Early reforms under Islam
Many reforms in human rights took place under Islam between 610 and 661, including the period of Muhammad's mission and the rule of the four immediate successors who established the Rashidun Caliphate. Historians generally agree that Muhammad preached against what he saw as the social evils of his day, and that Islamic social reforms in areas such as social security, family structure, slavery, and the rights of women and ethnic minorities improved on what was present in existing Arab society at the time. For example, according to Bernard Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, and adopted a formula of the career open to the talents." John Esposito sees Muhammad as a reformer who condemned practices of the pagan Arabs such as female infanticide, exploitation of the poor, usury, murder, false contracts, and theft. Bernard Lewis believes that the egalitarian nature of Islam "represented a very considerable advance on the practice of both the Greco-Roman and the ancient Persian world."
The Constitution of Medina, also known as the Charter of Medina, was drafted by Muhammad in 622. It constituted a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Yathrib (later known as Medina), including Muslims, Jews, and pagans. The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter intertribal fighting between the clans of the Aws (Aus) and Khazraj within Medina. To this effect it instituted a number of rights and responsibilities for the Muslim, Jewish and pagan communities of Medina bringing them within the fold of one community-the Ummah. The Constitution established the security of the community, freedom of religion, the role of Medina as a haram or sacred place (barring all violence and weapons), the security of women, stable tribal relations within Medina, a tax system for supporting the community in time of conflict, parameters for exogenous political alliances, a system for granting protection of individuals, a judicial system for resolving disputes, and also regulated the paying of blood-wite (the payment between families or tribes for the slaying of an individual in lieu of lex talionis).
Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion. If the prisoners were in the custody of a person, then the responsibility was on the individual. Lewis states that Islam brought two major changes to ancient slavery which were to have far-reaching consequences. "One of these was the presumption of freedom; the other, the ban on the enslavement of free persons except in strictly defined circumstances," Lewis continues. The position of the Arabian slave was "enormously improved": the Arabian slave "was now no longer merely a chattel but was also a human being with a certain religious and hence a social status and with certain quasi-legal rights."
Esposito states that reforms in women's rights affected marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including the West, until centuries later. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam states that the general improvement of the status of Arab women included prohibition of female infanticide and recognizing women's full personhood. "The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property." Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the woman's consent was imperative. "Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives." Annemarie Schimmel states that "compared to the pre-Islamic position of women, Islamic legislation meant an enormous progress; the woman has the right, at least according to the letter of the law, to administer the wealth she has brought into the family or has earned by her own work." William Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad, in the historical context of his time, can be seen as a figure who testified on behalf of women's rights and improved things considerably. Watt explains: "At the time Islam began, the conditions of women were terrible - they had no right to own property, were supposed to be the property of the man, and if the man died everything went to his sons." Muhammad, however, by "instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance, education and divorce, gave women certain basic safeguards." Haddad and Esposito state that "Muhammad granted women rights and privileges in the sphere of family life, marriage, education, and economic endeavors, rights that help improve women's status in society."
Sociologist Robert Bellah (Beyond belief) argues that Islam in its seventh-century origins was, for its time and place, "remarkably modern...in the high degree of commitment, involvement, and participation expected from the rank-and-file members of the community." This because, he argues, that Islam emphasized on the equality of all Muslims, where leadership positions were open to all. Dale Eickelman writes that Bellah suggests "the early Islamic community placed a particular value on individuals, as opposed to collective or group responsibility."
See also: Muslim Agricultural Revolution
Perhaps due to resource scarcity in most Islamic nations, there was an emphasis on limited (and some claim also sustainable) use of natural capital, i.e. producing land. Traditions of haram (site) and hima, an Arabic term meaning "protected place", and early urban planning were expressions of strong social obligations to stay within carrying capacity and to preserve the natural environment as an obligation of khalifa or "stewardship".
After Muslims established themselves in Madinah, Muhammad surveyed the natural resources in the region—the wadis (riverbeds); the rich, black volcanic soil; the high rangelands—and decreed that they be preserved and set aside as a hima.
Several such statements concerning the environment are also found in the Qur'an, such as the following:
The earliest known treatises dealing with environmentalism and environmental science, especially pollution, were Arabic medical treatises written by al-Kindi, Qusta ibn Luqa, al-Razi, Ibn Al-Jazzar, al-Tamimi, al-Masihi, Avicenna, Ali ibn Ridwan, Ibn Jumay, Isaac Israeli ben Solomon, Abd-el-latif, Ibn al-Quff, and Ibn al-Nafis. Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution such as air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination, municipal solid waste mishandling, and environmental impact assessments of certain localities. Cordoba, Al-Andalus also had the first waste containers and waste disposal facilities for litter collection.
"In order to preserve the natural environment by not polluting, plant trees, support environmentally-friendly goods and products, Muslims must rectify themselves through simplicity, contentment, resisting endless desires, and then remembering God as well as following His commands".
Main article: Islamic democracy
In the early Islamic Caliphate, the head of state, the Caliph, had a position based on the notion of a successor to Muhammad's political authority, who, according to Sunnis, were ideally elected by the people or their representatives. After the Rashidun Caliphs, later Caliphates during the Islamic Golden Age had a lesser degree of democratic participation, but since "no one was superior to anyone else except on the basis of piety and virtue" in Islam, and following the example of Muhammad, later Islamic rulers often held public consultations with the people in their affairs.
Fred Donner, in his book The Early Islamic Conquests (1981), argues that the standard Arabian practice during the early Caliphates was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader's death and elect a leader from amongst themselves, although there was no specified procedure for this shura, or consultative assembly. Candidates were usually from the same lineage as the deceased leader, but they were not necessarily his sons. Capable men who would lead well were preferred over an ineffectual direct heir, as there was no basis in the majority Sunni view that the head of state or governor should be chosen based on lineage alone. Al-Mawardi has written that the caliph should be Qurayshi. Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani has said that the leader of the Muslims simply should be from the majority. Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man also wrote that the leader must come from the majority.
Traditional Sunni Islamic lawyers agree that shura, loosely translated as 'consultation of the people', is a function of the caliphate. The Majlis ash-Shura advise the caliph. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an:[original research?]
The majlis is also the means to elect a new caliph. Al-Mawardi has written that members of the majlis should satisfy three conditions: they must be just, they must have enough knowledge to distinguish a good caliph from a bad one, and must have sufficient wisdom and judgment to select the best caliph. Al-Mawardi also said in emergencies when there is no caliphate and no majlis, the people themselves should create a majlis, select a list of candidates for caliph, then the majlis should select from the list of candidates. Some modern interpretations of the role of the Majlis ash-Shura include those by Islamist author Sayyid Qutb and by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of a transnational political movement devoted to the revival of the Caliphate. In an analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Qutb argued Islam requires only that the ruler consult with at least some of the ruled (usually the elite), within the general context of God-made laws that the ruler must execute. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, writes that Shura is important and part of "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, "but not one of its pillars," and may be neglected without the Caliphate's rule becoming unIslamic. Non-Muslims may serve in the majlis, though they may not vote or serve as an official.
Islamic legal framework included religious pluralism. Classical Sharia, the religious laws and courts of Christians, Jews and Hindus, were usually accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Indian subcontinent, and the Ottoman Millet system. Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that was usually forbidden by Islamic law. In a notable example, Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter, was to be tolerated according to Ibn Qayyim (1292–1350). He based his opinion on the precedent that the prophet Muhammad, who did not forbid such self-marriages among Zoroastrians despite coming in contact with them and having knowledge of their practices. Religious minorities were also free to do whatever they wished in their own homes, provided they did not publicly engage in illicit sexual activity in ways that could threaten public morals.
Freedom of expression
Citizens of the Rashidun Caliphate were also free to criticize the Rashidun Caliphs, as the rule of law was binding on the head of state just as much as it was for the citizens. In a notable incident, when Umar tried to investigate a disturbance, by entering a home without permission, he was criticized for his behavior; he was also later criticized for the judgement he gave in that case. There were also numerous other situations where citizens insulted Caliph Umar, but he tolerated the insults and simply provided them explanations. Similar situations also occurred during the time of Caliph Ali. For example, there was an occasion when he was giving a sermon and a Kharijite rudely interrupted him with insulting language. Though he was urged to punish the interrupter, Ali declined on the grounds that his "right to freedom of speech must not be imperilled."
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad quotes a letter by a cousin of Caliph al-Ma'mun, in which he gives permission to a Christian he was attempting to convert to speak his mind freely, as evidence that in Islam even religious controversies were not exempt from open discussion.
According to George Makdisi and Hugh Goddard, "the idea of academic freedom" in universities was "modelled on Islamic custom" as practiced in the medieval Madrasah system from the 9th century. Islamic influence was "certainly discernible in the foundation of the first deliberately planned university" in Europe, the University of Naples Federico II founded by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1224.
In a letter written by the fourth Rashidun Caliph and first cousin of the prophet Muhammad, Ali ibn Abi Talib to his governor of Egypt, Malik al-Ashtar. The Caliph advices his governor on dealings with the poor masses thus:[original research?]
See also: Sharia, Early reforms under Islam, Caliphate, Islamic Jurisprudence: An International Perspective, Women in Islam, and Islamic feminism
In the field of human rights, early Islamic jurists introduced a number of advanced legal concepts which anticipated similar modern concepts in the field. These included the notions of the charitable trust and the trusteeship of property; the notion of brotherhood and social solidarity; the notions of human dignity and the dignity of labour; the notion of an ideal law; the condemnation of antisocial behavior; the presumption of innocence; the notion of "bidding unto good" (assistance to those in distress); and the notions of sharing, caring, universalism, fair industrial relations, fair contract, commercial integrity, freedom from usury, women's rights, privacy, abuse of rights, juristic personality, individual freedom, equality before the law, legal representation, non-retroactivity, supremacy of the law, judicial independence, judicial impartiality, limited sovereignty, tolerance, and democratic participation. Many of these concepts were adopted in medieval Europe through contacts with Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily, and through the Crusades and the Latin translations of the 12th century.[non-primary source needed]
The concept of inalienable rights was found in early Islamic law and jurisprudence, which denied a ruler "the right to take away from his subjects certain rights which inhere in his or her person as a human being." Islamic rulers could not take away certain rights from their subjects on the basis that "they become rights by reason of the fact that they are given to a subject by a law and from a source which no ruler can question or alter." There is evidence that John Locke's formulation of inalienable rights and conditional rulership, which were present in Islamic law centuries earlier, may have also been influenced by Islamic law, through his attendance of lectures given by Edward Pococke, a professor of Islamic studies.
Early Islamic law recognized two sets of human rights. In addition to the category of civil and political rights (covered in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), Islamic law also recognized an additional category: social, economic and cultural rights. This latter category was not recognized in the Western legal tradition until the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1966. The right of privacy, which was not recognized in Western legal traditions until modern times, was recognized in Islamic law since the beginning of Islam. In terms of women's rights, women generally had more legal rights under Islamic law than they did under Western legal systems until the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, "French married women, unlike their Muslim sisters, suffered from restrictions on their legal capacity which were removed only in 1965." Noah Feldman, a Harvard University law professor, notes:
Count Leon Ostorog, a French jurist, wrote the following on classical Islamic law in 1927:
Some scholars have suggested that the idea of "a charter defining the duties of a sovereign toward his subjects, as well as subjects toward the sovereign", which led to the "genesis of European legal structures" and the development of the Magna Carta, may have been "brought back by Crusaders who were influenced by what they had learned in the Levant about the governing system" established by Saladin. It has also been suggested that "much of the West’s understanding of liberalism in law, economics and society has roots in medieval Islam."
Another influence of Islamic law on European law was the presumption of innocence, which was introduced to Europe by King Louis IX of France soon after he returned from Palestine during the Crusades. Prior to this, European legal procedure consisted of either trial by combat or trial by ordeal. In contrast, Islamic law was based on the presumption of innocence from its beginning, as declared by the Caliph Umar in the 7th century. Other freedoms and rights recognized in the Islamic legal system based on the Qur'an since the 7th century, but not recognized in the Western world until much later, include "the rights to know, to choose belief and behaviour, to read and write, the right to power, and even the right to choose government."
Islamic jurists anticipated the concept of the rule of law, the equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land, where no person is above the law and where officials and private citizens are under a duty to obey the same law. A Qadi (Islamic judge) was also not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion, race, colour, kinship or prejudice. There were also a number of cases where Caliphs had to appear before judges as they prepared to take their verdict. The following hadith established the principle of rule of law in relation to nepotism and accountability:
Various Islamic lawyers do however place multiple conditions, and stipulations e.g. the poor cannot be penalised for stealing out of poverty, before executing such a law, making it very difficult to reach such a stage. It is well known during a time of drought in the Rashidun caliphate period, capital punishments were suspended until the effects of the drought passed.
According to Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University, the legal scholars and jurists who once upheld the rule of law were replaced by a law governed by the state due to the codification of Sharia by the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century:
Sunni Islamic lawyers have commented on when it is permissible to disobey, impeach or remove rulers in the Caliphate. This is usually when the rulers are not meeting public responsibilities obliged upon them under Islam. Al-Mawardi said that if the rulers meet their Islamic responsibilities to the public, the people must obey their laws, but if they become either unjust or severely ineffective then the Caliph or ruler must be impeached via the Majlis ash-Shura. Similarly Al-Baghdadi believed that if the rulers do not uphold justice, the ummah via the majlis should give warning to them, and if unheeded then the Caliph can be impeached. Al-Juwayni argued that Islam is the goal of the ummah, so any ruler that deviates from this goal must be impeached. Al-Ghazali believed that oppression by a caliph is enough for impeachment. Rather than just relying on impeachment, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani obliged rebellion upon the people if the caliph began to act with no regard for Islamic law. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said that to ignore such a situation is haraam, and those who cannot revolt inside the caliphate should launch a struggle from outside. Al-Asqalani used two ayahs from the Qur'an to justify this:
Islamic lawyers commented that when the rulers refuse to step down via successful impeachment through the Majlis, becoming dictators through the support of a corrupt army, if the majority agree they have the option to launch a revolution against them. Many noted that this option is only exercised after factoring in the potential cost of life.
Main article: Bimaristan
The ethical standards of Muslim physicians was first laid down in the 9th century by Ishaq ibn 'Ali al-Ruhawi, who wrote the Adab al-Tabib (Conduct of a Physician), the first treatist dedicated to medical ethics. He regarded physicians as "guardians of souls and bodies", and wrote twenty chapters on various topics related to medical ethics, including:
Because Islam views itself as a total system governing all areas, Islamic medical ethics view the patient as a whole. Classical texts speak more about "health", than "illness", showing an emphasis on prevention rather than cure.
The earliest known prohibition of illegal drugs occurred under Islamic law, which prohibited the use of Hashish, a preparation of cannabis, as a recreational drug. Classical jurists in medieval Islamic jurisprudence, however, accepted the use of the Hashish drug for medicinal and therapeutic purposes, and agreed that its "medical use, even if it leads to mental derangement, remains exempt" from punishment. In the 14th century, the Islamic scholar Az-Zarkashi spoke of "the permissibility of its use for medical purposes if it is established that it is beneficial."
Medical peer review
The first documented description of a peer review process is found in the Ethics of the Physician by Ishaq ibn 'Ali al-Ruhawi (854–931) of al-Raha, Syria, where the notes of a practising Islamic physician were reviewed by peers and the physician could face a lawsuit from a maltreated patient if the reviews were negative.
Main article: Islamic psychology
This Quranic verse summarized Islam's attitudes towards the mentally ill, who were considered unfit to manage property but must be treated humanely and be kept under care by a guardian, according to Islamic law. This positive neuroethical understanding of mental health consequently led to the establishment of the first psychiatric hospitals in the medieval Islamic world from the 8th century, and an early scientific understanding of neuroscience and psychology by medieval Muslim physicians and psychologists, who discovered that mental disorders are caused by dysfunctions in the brain.
Main article: Islamic military jurisprudence
The early Islamic treatises on international law from the 9th century onwards covered the application of Islamic ethics, Islamic economic jurisprudence and Islamic military jurisprudence to international law, and were concerned with a number of modern international law topics, including the law of treaties; the treatment of diplomats, hostages, refugees and prisoners of war; the right of asylum; conduct on the battlefield; protection of women, children and non-combatant civilians; contracts across the lines of battle; the use of poisonous weapons; and devastation of enemy territory.
The Islamic legal principles of international law were mainly based on Qur'an and the Sunnah of Muhammad, who gave various injunctions to his forces and adopted practices toward the conduct of war. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad's successor and close companion, Abu Bakr, in the form of ten rules for the Muslim army:
Prisoners of war
Main article: Prisoners of war in Islam
Peace and justice
Main article: Peace In Islamic Thought
As in other Abrahamic religions, peace is a basic concept of Islam. The Arabic term "Islam" itself (إسلام) is usually translated as "submission"; submission of desires to the will of God. It comes from the term aslama, which means "to surrender" or "resign oneself". The Arabic word salaam (سلام) ("peace") has the same root as the word Islam. One Islamic interpretation is that individual personal peace is attained by utterly submitting to Allah. The greeting "Salaam alaykum", favoured by Muslims, has the literal meaning "Peace be with you". Muhammad is reported to have said once, "Mankind are the dependents, or slaves of God, and the most beloved of them to God are those who are the most excellent to His dependents." "Not one of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." Great Muslim scholars of prophetic tradition such as Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and Sharafuddin al Nawawi have said that the words "his brother" mean any person irrespective of faith.
Main article: Bayt al-mal
The concepts of welfare and pension were introduced in early Islamic law as forms of Zakat (charity), one of the Five Pillars of Islam, since the time of the Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur in the 8th century. The taxes (including Zakat and Jizya) collected in the treasury of an Islamic government was used to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled. According to the Islamic jurist Al-Ghazali (Algazel, 1058–1111), the government was also expected to store up food supplies in every region in case a disaster or famine occurs. The Caliphate was thus one of the earliest welfare states. From the 9th century, funds from the treasury were also used towards the Waqf (charitable trusts), often for the purpose of building of Madrassahs and Bimaristan hospitals.
See also: Islam and animals
Concern for the treatment of animals can be found in the Qur'an and in the teachings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, which inspired debates over animal rights by later medieval Muslim scholars. The 10th-century work, "Disputes Between Animals and Man", part of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity, has been considered a classic in this regard. Inspired by the Qur'anic verse: "all the creatures that crawl on the earth and those that fly with their wings are communities like yourselves" (6:38), the Shafi'i jurist 'Izz al-Din Ibn 'Abd al-Salam al-Sulami (d. 1262) formulated the first full-fledged charter of the rights of livestock and animals in his legal treatise Rules for Judgement in the Cases of Living Beings (Qawa'id al-ahkam fi masalih al-anam) which was based on the stories and sayings of Muhammad.
Notes and references