God tells us in the Qur’an: “We have indeed honored the Children of Adam, and provided for them means of transportation on land and sea, and given them wholesome food and exalted them high above the greater part of Our creation” (17:70).
This shows that man by his very creation deserves regard and respect. This respect is man’s natural birthright, regardless of which community he belongs to.
According to a Hadith: “That person is not one of us who is not merciful to our juniors and respectful to our elders.” According to another hadith the Prophet Muhammad said, “One who believes in Allah and the Last Day must honor his neighbors; one who believes in God and the Last Day must honor his guests.”
There are a number of such commands to the believers in the Qur’an and the Hadith which lay great stress on showing due respect to the servants of God. For this is an important area in which we are actually being tested on our faith in God. Our love and devotion for God finds expression in this world in the form of our relations with other human beings. One who is a true lover of God has an inner urge to love God’s servants.
Respect for humankind is one of the basic teachings of Islam. Anyone, be he of one’s own religion or of any other religious tradition, whether he belongs to one community or another; whether he belongs to friendly group or enemy group, in all cases is worthy of respect. According to the teachings of Islam human beings are to be respected, despite their differences. Even where antagonism is displayed, we have to adopt the way of avoidance of conflict and continue to show respectful behavior. In the eyes of Islam all human beings are equal and deserve our respect.