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The history of human rights involves religious, cultural, philosophical and legal developments throughout recorded history.

While the modern human rights movement hugely expanded in post-World War II era[1], the concept can be traced through all major religions, cultures and philosophies. Ancient Hindu law (Manu Smriti), Confucianism, the Qu'ran, and the Ten Commandments, all outline some of the rights now included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The concept of natural law, guaranteeing natural rights despite varying human laws and customs, can be traced back to ancient times, while Enlightenment philosophers suggest a social contract between the rulers and the ruled. The world's first Buddhist state in India, known as the Maurya Empire, established the world's first welfare system, including free hospitals and education. The Islamic Caliphate was also a significant leap forward in terms of human rights. The African concept of ubuntu is a cultural view of what it is to be human. Modern human rights thinking is descended from these many traditions of human values and beliefs.[2]

Early history of human rights[]

While it is known that the reforms of Urukagina of Lagash, the earliest known legal code (c. 2350 BC), must have addressed the concept of rights to some degree, the actual text of his decrees has not yet been found. The oldest legal codex extant today is the Neo-Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (ca. 2050 BC). Several other sets of laws were also issued in Mesopotamia, including the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1780 BC), one of the most famous examples of this type of document. It shows rules, and punishments if those rules are broken, on a variety of matters, including women's rights, men's rights, children's rights and slave rights.[3]

The prefaces of these codes invoked the Mesopotamian gods for divine sanction. Societies have often derived the origins of human rights in religious documents. The Vedas, the Bible, the Qur'an and the Analects of Confucius are also among the early written sources that address questions of people's duties, rights, and responsibilities.

Ancient Near East[]


An inscription of the Code of Hammurabi.

The reforms of Urukagina of Lagash, the earliest known legal code (c. 2350 BC), is often thought to be an early example of reform. Professor Norman Yoffee wrote that after Igor M. Diakonoff "most interpreters consider that Urukagina, himself not of the ruling dynasty at Lagash, was no reformer at all. Indeed, by attempting to curb the encroachment of a secular authority at the expense of temple prerogatives, he was, if a modern term must be applied, a reactionary."[4] Author Marilyn French wrote that the discovery of penalties for adultery for women but not for men represents "the first written evidence of the degradation of women".[4][5] The oldest legal codex extant today is the Neo-Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (ca. 2050 BC). Several other sets of laws were also issued in Mesopotamia, including the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1780 BC), one of the most famous examples of this type of document. It shows rules, and punishments if those rules are broken, on a variety of matters, including women's rights, men's rights, children's rights and slave rights.

Persian Empire[]

See also: Persian Empire
File:Cyrus cilinder.jpg

The Cyrus cylinder of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

The Achaemenid Persian Empire of ancient Iran established unprecedented principles of human rights in the 6th century BC under Cyrus the Great. After his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, the king issued the Cyrus cylinder, discovered in 1879 and recognized by many today as the first human rights document. The cylinder declared that citizens of the empire would be allowed to practice their religious beliefs freely. It also abolished slavery, so all the palaces of the kings of Persia were built by paid workers in an era where slaves typically did such work. These two reforms were reflected in the biblical books of Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Ezra, which state that Cyrus released the followers of Judaism from slavery and allowed them to migrate back to their land. The cylinder now lies in the British Museum, and a replica is kept at the United Nations Headquarters.

In the Persian Empire, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups were also given the same rights, while women had the same rights as men. The Cyrus cylinder also documents the protection of the rights to liberty and security, freedom of movement, the right of property, and economic and social rights.[6] In the early 1970s, the Shah of Iran adopted it as a symbol of his reign and in celebrating 2,500 years of Iranian monarchy, asserting that it was "the first human rights charter in history".[7][8][9] The cylinder has also attracted attention in the context of the repatriation of the Jews to Jerusalem following their Babylonian captivity.[10]

According to historian Behzad Hassani:

We saw earlier that men and women were considered equal in terms of job opportunity and wages. Further evidence suggests that many factories and royal workshops were run by women (Koch 1992). At times men worked under the supervision of women, the latter having some of the highest salaries recorded in the tablets (Koch 1992). Women were not usually given jobs which required traveling long distances. Such a matter can be understood in light of the fact that women also had the chores and responsibilities of the household to tend (Koch 1992). There is also evidence that women could take part-time jobs and even take a leave of absence after pregnancy. It is also apparent that when women with new-born babies came back to work, their children were taken care of at a day-care center at their corresponding organization (Koch 1992). Furthermore, it seems that monogamy was the popular theme among the commoners (Koch 1992). Further evidence suggests that the laws of inheritance treated boys and girls equally. Such respect for the identity of women 2500 years ago in the Near East appears to be more of a miraculous cultural revolution than mere ‘decadence’ as some Greek historians would have us believe. Therefore, we have seen here an example of equality between men and women in ancient Persia, a value that we strive to achieve in the modern Western world, and are not always successful at doing so.[11]

Maurya Empire[]

File:Maurya Dynasty in 265 BCE.jpg

Map of the Maurya Empire

See also: Maurya Empire

The Maurya Empire of ancient India established unprecedented principles of civil rights in the 3rd century BC under Ashoka the Great. After his brutal conquest of Kalinga in circa 265 BC, he felt remorse for what he had done, and as a result, adopted Buddhism. From then, Ashoka, who had been described as "the cruel Ashoka" eventually came to be known as "the pious Ashoka". During his reign, he pursued an official policy of nonviolence (ahimsa) and the protection of human rights, as his chief concern was the happiness of his subjects.[12] The unnecessary slaughter or mutilation of animals was immediately abolished, such as sport hunting and branding. The first welfare state was established. Ashoka also showed mercy to those imprisoned, allowing them outside one day each year, and offered common citizens free education at universities. He treated his subjects as equals regardless of their religion, politics or caste, and constructed free hospitals for both humans and animals. Ashoka defined the main principles of nonviolence, tolerance of all sects and opinions, obedience to parents, respect for teachers and priests, being liberal towards friends, humane treatment of servants, and generosity towards all. These reforms are described in the Edicts of Ashoka.

In the Maurya Empire, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups also had rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality. The need for tolerance on an egalitarian basis can be found in the Edicts of Ashoka, which emphasize the importance of tolerance in public policy by the government. The slaughter or capture of prisoners of war was also condemned by Ashoka.[13] Some sources claim that slavery was also non-existent in ancient India.[14] Other state, however, that slavery existed in ancient India, where it is recorded in the Sanskrit Laws of Manu of the 1st century BC.[15]

Islamic Caliphate[]

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,[16] 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.[17][18][19][20][21][22] 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."[17] 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.[23] 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."[17]

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.[24][25] The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter inter tribal 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.[26] 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.[27] 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."[28]

Esposito states that reforms in women's rights affected marriage, divorce, and inheritance.[23] Women were not accorded with such legal status in other cultures, including the West, until centuries later.[29] 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.[30] "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."[31][23] Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the woman's consent was imperative.[31][23][30] "Women were given inheritance rights in a patriarchal society that had previously restricted inheritance to male relatives."[23] 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."[32] 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."[33] 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."[34]

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 is because, he argues, that Islam emphasized 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."[35]

There was an early emphasis on freedom of speech in the Caliphate, as summarized by al-Hashimi (a cousin of Caliph al-Ma'mun) in the following letter to one of the religious opponents he was attempting to convert through reason:[36]

"Bring forward all the arguments you wish and say whatever you please and speak your mind freely. Now that you are safe and free to say whatever you please appoint some arbitrator who will impartially judge between us and lean only towards the truth and be free from the empery of passion, and that arbitrator shall be Reason, whereby God makes us responsible for our own rewards and punishments. Herein I have dealt justly with you and have given you full security and am ready to accept whatever decision Reason may give for me or against me. For "There is no compulsion in religion" (Qur'an 2:256) and I have only invited you to accept our faith willingly and of your own accord and have pointed out the hideousness of your present belief. Peace be with you and the blessings of God!"

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."[37]

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 delibrately-planned university" in Europe, the University of Naples Federico II founded by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1224.[38]

Medieval England[]

See also: Magna Carta

Magna Carta is an English charter originally issued in 1215 which influenced the development of the common law and many later constitutional documents, such as the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Magna Carta was originally written because of disagreements amongst Pope Innocent III, King John and the English barons about the rights of the King. Magna Carta required the King to renounce certain rights, respect certain legal procedures and accept that his will could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — most notably the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

For modern times, the most enduring legacy of Magna Carta is considered the right of habeas corpus. This right arises from what are now known as clauses 36, 38, 39, and 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta. The Magna Carta also included the right to due process:

No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

—Clause XXIX of the Magna Carta

Modern human rights movement[]

File:Us declaration independence.jpg

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776

The conquest of the Americas in the 16th century by the Spanish resulted in vigorous debate about human rights in Spain. The debate from 1550-51 between Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda at Valladolid was probably the first on the topic of human rights in European history. Several 17th and 18th century European philosophers, most notably John Locke, developed the concept of natural rights, the notion that people are naturally free and equal[39][40]. Though Locke believed natural rights were derived from divinity since humans were creations of God, his ideas were important in the development of the modern notion of rights. Lockean natural rights did not rely on citizenship nor any law of the state, nor were they necessarily limited to one particular ethnic, cultural or religious group.

Two major revolutions occurred that century in the United States (1776) and in France (1789). The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 sets up a number of fundamental rights and freedoms. The later United States Declaration of Independence includes concepts of natural rights and famously states "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Similarly, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen defines a set of individual and collective rights of the people. These are, in the document, held to be universal - not only to French citizens but to all men without exception.

1800AD to World War I[]

File:Declaration of Human Rights.jpg

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789

Philosophers such as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Hegel expanded on the theme of universality during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1831 William Lloyd Garrison wrote in a newspaper called The Liberator that he was trying to enlist his readers in "the great cause of human rights"[41] so the term human rights probably came into use sometime between Paine's The Rights of Man and Garrison's publication. In 1849 a contemporary, Henry David Thoreau, wrote about human rights in his treatise On the Duty of Civil Disobedience [1] which was later influential on human rights and civil rights thinkers. United States Supreme Court Justice David Davis, in his 1867 opinion for Ex Parte Milligan, wrote "By the protection of the law, human rights are secured; withdraw that protection and they are at the mercy of wicked rulers or the clamor of an excited people."[42]

Many groups and movements have managed to achieve profound social changes over the course of the 20th century in the name of human rights. In Western Europe and North America, labour unions brought about laws granting workers the right to strike, establishing minimum work conditions and forbidding or regulating child labour. The women's rights movement succeeded in gaining for many women the right to vote. National liberation movements in many countries succeeded in driving out colonial powers. One of the most influential was Mahatma Gandhi's movement to free his native India from British rule. Movements by long-oppressed racial and religious minorities succeeded in many parts of the world, among them the civil rights movement, and more recent diverse identity politics movements, on behalf of women and minorities in the United States.

The foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 1864 Lieber Code and the first of the Geneva Conventions in 1864 laid the foundations of International humanitarian law, to be further developed following the two World Wars.

Between World War I and World War II[]

The League of Nations was established in 1919 at the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I. The League's goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries through negotiation, diplomacy and improving global welfare. Enshrined in its Charter was a mandate to promote many of the rights which were later included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The League of Nations had mandates to support many of the former colonies of the Western European colonial powers during their transition from colony to independent state.

Established as an agency of the League of Nations, and now part of United Nations, the International Labour Organization also had a mandate to promote and safeguard certain of the rights later included in the UDHR:

the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

—Report by the Director General for the International Labour Conference 87th Session

After World War II[]

Rights in War and the Geneva Conventions[]

File:Original Geneva Conventions.jpg

Original Geneva Convention in 1864

File:Geneva Conventions 1864-1949.svg

Progression of Geneva Conventions from 1864 to 1949

{{see also|Prisoner rights in Islam The Geneva Conventions came into being between 1864 and 1949 as a result of efforts by Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The conventions safeguard the human rights of individuals involved in conflict, and follow on from the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, the international community's first attempt to define laws of war. Despite first being framed before World War II, the conventions were revised as a result of World War II and readopted by the international community in 1949.

The Geneva Conventions are:

  • First Geneva Convention "for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field" (first adopted in 1864, last revision in 1949)
  • Second Geneva Convention "for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea" (first adopted in 1949, successor of the 1907 Hague Convention X)
  • Third Geneva Convention "relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War" (first adopted in 1929, last revision in 1949)
  • Fourth Geneva Convention "relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War" (first adopted in 1949, based on parts of the 1907 Hague Convention IV)

In addition, there are three additional amendment protocols to the Geneva Convention:

  • Protocol I (1977): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts. As of 12 January 2007 it had been ratified by 167 countries.
  • Protocol II (1977): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts. As of 12 January 2007 it had been ratified by 163 countries.
  • Protocol III (2005): Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem. As of May 20, 2008, it had been ratified by 28 countries and signed but not yet ratified by an additional 59 countries

All four conventions were last revised and ratified in 1949, based on previous revisions and partly on some of the 1907 Hague Conventions. Later conferences have added provisions prohibiting certain methods of warfare and addressing issues of civil wars. Nearly all 200 countries of the world are "signatory" nations, in that they have ratified these conventions. The International Committee of the Red Cross is the controlling body of the Geneva conventions (see below).

Universal Declaration of Human Rights[]


"It is not a treaty...[In the future, it] may well become the international Magna Carta."[43] Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish text of the Universal Declaration in 1949

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly[44] in 1948, partly in response to the barbarism of World War II. The UDHR urges member nations to promote a number of human, civil, economic and social rights, asserting these rights are part of the "foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world". The declaration was the first international legal effort to limit the behavior of states and press upon them duties to their citizens following the model of the rights-duty duality.

...recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world

—Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

The UDHR was framed by members of the Human Rights Commission, with Eleanor Roosevelt as Chair, who began to discuss an International Bill of Rights in 1947. The members of the Commission did not immediately agree on the form of such a bill of rights, and whether, or how, it should be enforced. The Commission proceeded to frame the UDHR and accompanying treaties, but the UDHR quickly became the priority. [45]Canadian law professor John Humprey and French lawyer Rene Cassin were responsible for much of the cross-national research and the structure of the document respectively, where the articles of the declaration were interpretative of the general principle of the preamble. The document was structured by Cassin to include the basic principles of dignity, liberty, equality and brotherhood in the first two articles, followed successively by rights pertaining to individuals; rights of individuals in relation to each other and to groups; spiritual, public and political rights; and economic, social and cultural rights. The final three articles place, according to Cassin, rights in the context of limits, duties and the social and political order in which they are to be realized.[45]. Humphrey and Cassin intended the rights in the UDHR to be legally enforceable through some means, as is reflected in the third clause of the preamble:[45]

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

—Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

Some of the UDHR was researched and written by a committee of international experts on human rights, including representatives from all continents and all major religions, and drawing on consultation with leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi.[46]The inclusion of both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights[45][47] was predicated on the assumption that basic human rights are indivisible and that the different types of rights listed are inextricably linked. Though this principle was not opposed by any member states at the time of adoption (the declaration was adopted unanimously, with the abstention of the Soviet bloc, Apartheid South Africa and Saudi Arabia), this principle was later subject to significant challenges.[47]


  1. Incorporating Human Rights into the College Curriculum.
  2. Ball, Gready (2007) p.14
  3. Code of Hammurabi
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yoffee, Norman (2005). Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States, and Civilizations. Cambridge University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0521521567. 
  5. French, Marilyn (2007). From Eve to Dawn, A History of Women in the World, Volume 1: Origins from Prehistory to the First Millennium v. 1. Feminist Press, City University of New York. p. 100. ISBN 978-1558615656. 
  6. Robertson, Merrills (1996)
  7. British Museum explanatory notes, "Cyrus Cylinder": "For almost 100 years the cylinder was regarded as ancient Mesopotamian propaganda. This changed in 1971 when the Shah of Iran used it as a central image in his own propaganda celebrating 2500 years of Iranian monarchy. In Iran, the cylinder has appeared on coins, banknotes and stamps. Despite being a Babylonian document it has become part of Iran's cultural identity."
  8. Neil MacGregor, "The whole world in our hands", in Art and Cultural Heritage: Law, Policy, and Practice, p. 383-4, ed. Barbara T. Hoffman. Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521857643
  9. See e.g. T.C. Mitchell, Biblical Archaeology: Documents from the British Museum, p. 83. Cambridge University Press, 1988. ISBN 0521368677
  10. British Museum Website,The Cyrus Cylinder: "Although the Jews are not mentioned in this document, their return to Palestine following their deportation by Nebuchadnezzar II, was part of this policy."
  11. Behzad Hassani (June 2007), Human Rights and Rise of the Achaemenid Empire: Forgotten Lessons from a Forgotten Era, Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies
  12. Chauhan, O.P. (2004).
  13. Amartya Sen (1997)
  14. Arrian, Indica, "This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a whore."
  15. Slave-owning societies, Encyclopædia Britannica
  16. Alexander (1998), p.452
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Lewis (1998) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "LewisNYRB" defined multiple times with different content
  18. Watt (1974), p.234
  19. Robinson (2004) p.21
  20. Haddad, Esposito (1998), p. 98
  21. "Ak̲h̲lāḳ", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
  22. Joseph, Najmabadi (2007). Chapter: p.293. Gallagher, Nancy. Infanticide and Abandonment of Female Children
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Esposito (2005) p. 79
  24. See:
    • Firestone (1999) p. 118;
    • "Muhammad", Encyclopedia of Islam Online
  25. Watt. Muhammad at Medina and R. B. Serjeant "The Constitution of Medina." Islamic Quarterly 8 (1964) p.4.
  26. R. B. Serjeant, The Sunnah Jami'ah, pacts with the Yathrib Jews, and the Tahrim of Yathrib: Analysis and translation of the documents comprised in the so-called "Constitution of Medina." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 41, No. 1. 1978), page 4.
  27. Maududi (1967), Introduction of Ad-Dahr, "Period of revelation", pg. 159
  28. Lewis (1994) chapter 1
  29. Jones, Lindsay. p.6224
  30. 30.0 30.1 Esposito (2004), p. 339
  31. 31.0 31.1 Khadduri (1978)
  32. Schimmel (1992) p.65
  33. Maan, McIntosh (1999)
  34. Haddad, Esposito (1998) p.163
  35. McAuliffe (2005) vol. 5, pp. 66-76. “Social Sciences and the Qur’an”
  36. Ahmad, I. A. (June 3, 2002). "The Rise and Fall of Islamic Science: The Calendar as a Case Study". Faith and Reason: Convergence and Complementarity. Al Akhawayn University. http://images.agustianwar.multiply.com/attachment/0/RxbYbQoKCr4AAD@kzFY1/IslamicCalendar-A-Case-Study.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. 
  37. Sullivan, Antony T. (January-February 1997), "Istanbul Conference Traces Islamic Roots of Western Law, Society", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: 36, http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0197/9701036.htm, retrieved on 29 February 2008 
  38. Goddard, Hugh (2000), A History of Christian-Muslim Relations, Edinburgh University Press, p. 100, ISBN 074861009X 
  39. Locke's Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  40. Locke's Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  41. Mayer (2000) p. 110
  42. "Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2, 119. (full text)". December 1866. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/tribunals/docs/milligan.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 
  43. Eleanor Roosevelt: Address to the United Nations General Assembly 10 December 1948 in Paris, France
  44. (A/RES/217, 1948-12-10 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris)
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 Glendon, Mary Ann (July 2004). "The Rule of Law in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights 2. 
  46. Glendon (2001)
  47. 47.0 47.1 Ball, Gready (2007) p.34