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The Relationship between Natural Rights and the Aims of Nature

In our view, natural and inherent rights have arisen from the divine arrangement according to which the creative machinery, keeping in view its aims, is pushing forward all existing things towards that state of perfection, the capability of which is already hidden in their very making.

Every natural capability is the basis of one natural right and, at the same time, a natural authority for the implementation of that right. For example, every human child has a right to learn and to go to school, but a lamb has no such rights. Why is it so?

It is because a child has the capability of learning and growing wiser, which a lamb lacks. The creative machinery has put the authority for this right within the structure of man, but not in that of sheep. Similar is the case with the right of thinking, voting and having free will.

Some people think that the theory of natural rights and the idea that nature has accorded any special rights to human beings are preposterous and selfish claims. In fact, there is no difference in regard to rights between human beings and non-human beings.

But that is not the reality. Natural capabilities are different. Nature has put every species of all that exists in a particular orbit, and it can prosper only if it moves within its natural limits. The Creator has done so purposely, and this arrangement is not the result of any chance.

The basis of the family rights, which is the point under consideration, should be looked for in nature, like that of all other natural rights. If we look at the natural capabilities of man and woman, we can easily find out whether they should or should not have similar rights and obligations. It should be remembered, as already pointed out, that the controversial point is the similarity of their rights and not the equality of their rights.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"

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