Islam regulates certain rights for roadside and public passages. Allah's Messenger is reported to have said:
Avoid sitting on roadsides [or sidewalks].'
The Companions who were present at the time commented, "O Messenger of Allah! Roadsides are outlets for us where we can sit, enjoy and talk.' Upon hearing this comment Allah's Messenger replied,"If you cannot avoid sitting on sidewalks then give the sidewalks their due rights.' The Companions then inquired, "O Messenger of Allah! What are the rights of the sidewalks?' Allah's Messenger replied, "Lowering your gaze [when a female crosses or passes by], clearing the path from harmful stuff, returning the salaam [Islamic greetings], enjoining good and forbidding evil.
Allah's Messenger is reported to also have said,
Removing any harmful items of the road is a charitable act [which is rewarded and cherished by Allah.].
Besides this, Allah's Messenger is reported to have instructed, "Fear the two acts that cause you to be cursed.' The Companions, who were present at the time, inquired: "O Messenger of Allah! What are those acts that are the cause to be cursed?' Allah's Messenger replied:
The person who answers the call of nature on the public passages or in the shades where people seek rest
In general Islam makes it obligatory on the Muslims to be considerate and caring with each other, no matter where they are. The Prophet said:
The similitude of the believers in their mutual care, love and kindness to one another is like one human body: if one organ aches, this prompts the entire body to become feverish and to remain awake.
And he ordered Muslims to work towards the betterment of their brother Muslims:
None of you is a true believer until he loves for his Muslim brother what he loves for himself.
In the times of need, the Prophet said:
The believers one to another are like a firm structure, supporting one another. He then intertwined his fingers.
Muslims are prohibited to abandon each other, as the Prophet said:
Anyone who does not support another Muslim when his sacred rights are attacked and his honor is demeaned; Allah will forsake him at a time when he needs His help. No one helps a Muslim when his honor is demeaned and his sacred rights are attacked except that Allah will help him when he would need His help.Abu Dawood, Hadith no. 4884.
However, if these rules or rights were not enforced, they would have remained ideals and dreams only in the minds of people. If there is no authority to enforce, they will remain only utopian ideals. It is reported that Allah's Messenger said,
You should stop an ignorant person from doing evil. You should force such an ignorant person to enjoin good, or else, Allah shall soon expedite a speedy punishment against you."Abu Dawood, no.4336 and Tirmidhi no.2169.
The Almighty Allah therefore, in order to preserve and maintain such human rights in the Islamic society, has revealed unto His Messenger pertinent commandments. Allah commands not to exceed these limits and sets punishments and laws, which are known asHudood (prescribed punishments) or capital punishments. He may also impose a specific punishment in the Hereafter.
We will list below only a few of the commandments of "Do'sand "Don'ts that Islam has ordained:
Islam bans killing or murdering any human being. Islam categorizes such an act as one of the major sins. This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'an:
Nor take life, -which Allah has made sacred-, except for just cause. And, if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law).
Islam prohibits all acts of aggression against the honor, the dignity and the privacy of people. In fact, such acts of aggression are known as major sins in Islam. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
Say (O Muhammad): "Come, I will recite what Allah has prohibited you from": join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty, We provide sustenance for you and for them, come not near to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.
Islam, further, bans all types of actions that are categorized as shameful acts, or a means to promote indecency in a society. Therefore, all acts that lead to indecent acts are also banned in Islam. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily it is a great sin, and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).
Allah prohibits all types of aggression against the wealth and property of others. Therefore, all forms of theft and cheating etc. are banned in Islam. This is based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger :
Whosoever cheats us is not one of us.
Usury and all monetary interest is banned in Islam for the injustice it spreads in the economic system harming all, especially the poor. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury.
Allah forbids all kinds of deception and betrayals. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
O you who believe! Betray not the trust of Allah and the Messenger, nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you.
Islam forbids monopoly. Allah's Messenger said:
No one monopolizes except a wrongdoer.
Islam bans all types of bribery and kickbacks. As the Hadithof Allah's Messenger tells us:
May Allah curse those who pay out bribes and the ones who receive it.
Similar prohibitions are imposed on the devious and illegal means through which money is taken. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
And do not eat up one another's property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as a bait for the judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property.
Islam condemns the abuse of power, position and authority to obtain personal gains. In fact, Islam empowers the ruler to reclaim all assets taken through abusive means and deposit them into the Islamic treasury. Allah's Messenger appointed a man called Ibn-ul-Lutbiyyah, as a Zakah collector. When the collector brought the Zakah amount, he said: This is for you (the Islamic Treasury) and this has been given to me as gifts. Allah's Messenger became very upset upon hearing this from the collector. Allah's Messenger said:
Were he sitting in his father's or mother's house, would he have received any of these gifts? By Him in Whose hands is my soul, nobody would take anything from this except that he would be carrying it on his neck on the Day of Resurrection, even if it be a camel. Then he raised his hands until we saw the whiteness of his armpits and said: "O Allah! Bear witness that I have conveyed the Message three times.
Islam prohibits all forms of intoxicants that affect the minds or brains of users. It is commanded in the Glorious Qur'an:
O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication to) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination), so that you may prosper.
All types of injuries to a person or animal such as beating and other vices such as backbiting, tattle-telling, false testimony, etc. are also prohibited. The verse in the Glorious Qur'an warns:
O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins, and spy not, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would abhor it. And fear Allah, for Allah is Oft-Returning, Most-Merciful.
It upholds the dignity and honor of others and forbids slandering them. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.
In Islam great importance is given to the privacy of a person and any type of intrusion is prohibited. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
If you find none in the house, enter not until permission is given to you; if you are asked to go back, go back: that makes for greater purity for yourselves and Allah knows all that you do.
Justice is one of the basics of the Religion of Islam. It is not allowed to be unjust with anyone, even to one's own self. Allah commands in the Glorious Qur'an:
Allah commands justice, the doing of good and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion, He admonishes you that you may take heed. So fulfill the Covenant of Allah when you have entered it, and break not your oaths after you have confirmed them, indeed, you have made Allah your surety; for Allah knows all that you do.
In addition, in a Hadith Qudsi Allah says,
O My slaves! I have banned injustice for Myself. I have declared injustice unlawful among you. Therefore, do not do any act of injustice to one another.
In fact, Allah disapproves injustice done even to those who differ with Muslims in faith and religion. Allah has demanded Muslims to be kind and fair to non-Muslim residents in an Islamic State. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: Verily Allah loves those who are just.
Islam forbids abusing the beliefs of non-Muslims, when it provokes the other party to respond with reciprocal abuse. The Allah says:
Revile not you those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they revile Allah out of spite in their ignorance.
Instead, Allah instructed Muslims to use a fair and well-matured dialogue with such people: Allah says:
Say: "O People of the Book! Come to common terms between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah. If then they turn back, say you: "Bear witness that we are Muslims (submitting to Allah's Will).
Islam, further, bans all types of social, political and moral corruption and mischief. It is commanded in the Glorious Qur'an:
Do no mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, but call on Him with fear and hope, for the Mercy of Allah is near to those who do good.
Islam forbids the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam by force. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
If it had been your Lord's Will, they would all have believed, all who are on earth! Will you then compel mankind against their will to believe!
This does not mean that Muslims should not call others to join the Islamic monotheistic faith by delivering the Message of Allah to people but indicates that Muslims should call to Islam in a wise, kind and comely manner. Islam has an international mission and it is neither a regional nor ethnical call. But the guidance is in the Hands of Allah alone and not in the hands of people.
Islam commands people to run their governments with consultation. The principle of consultation is operative in situations where there are no clear scriptures from the Qur'an and Sunnah. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
...their affairs are conducted by mutual consultation.
Islam commands that all relative rights be given to their deserving people. Islam also calls for full justice among people. The Almighty Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
Allah does command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between man and man, that you judge with justice: verily how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! For Allah is He Who hears and sees all things.
Islam commands people to assist an oppressed person even with the use of force when necessary. This is based on the verse in the Glorious Qur'an, the meaning of which is translated as:
And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect; and raise for us from You one who will help!.