by Najma Moosa
Introduction: Conflicts between human rights and religion do exist. Is this true of Islam? The answer is not as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Although an examination of human rights in an Islamic context will reveal its theocentric rather than secular and judicial basis, this paper asserts that, notwithstanding (later) Islamic law interpretations to the contrary, (original) Islam is compatible with the modern notion of human rights. The fact that some Muslim countries have opted for Western constitutional models because of uncertainty as to what constitutes Islamic constitutional law clearly supports this assertion. On the other hand, because of the Western origin of modern constitutions, countries like Saudi Arabia have no formal written constitution.