Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Personal Freedom in Islam

Personal freedom is one of the pillars of the "religion" of secularism preached by the West. So what role does personal freedom have in Islam?

Any human being is free to choose or not to choose Islam - they have full personal freedom in this matter. But once they have entered the fold of Islam they are bound to its system of laws. Just like one is not forced to accept a country's citizenship, but once they take that oath of allegiance, they are bound to fully fulfil the rights and obligations that it entails.

The laws of Islam are natural laws and if someone violates them they are going against the forces of nature, thus they must be brought back in line. A farmer is free to plant or not to plant the seeds in the proper season. It is a natural law that not sowing the seeds will result only in the cultivation of weeds. Similarly a Muslim may or may not follow Islamic injunctions. His choosing not to do so will have disruptive natural consequences for himself and the whole society. Since one of the principles of Islam is to protect human rights, property and honor, any violation resulting from following personal whims should be curtailed. Thus unrestrained personal freedom has no place in Islam.

Having said that, there is a lot of personal freedoms in Islam if one stays within the boundaries of its laws. One is free to adopt from a range of options about which the ulema have agreed to have a difference of opinion. Almost all laws depend on the specific circumstances of the individual and punishments can not be implemented except by the Qadi of a just Islamic government - something missing in today's world.

Maybe due to the latter fact, there is a growing global phenomenon among the Muslims in that they are making Islam a personal religion -- just like Jews and Christians have done before them. Rather than referring to the specialists in the field, they are interpreting many allegorical verses from the Holy Quran, while completely ignoring the Sunnah of the Propphet (SWAS). This is a calculated strategy of the opponents of Islam, so that Islam becomes a private religion, while Global Secularism becomes the functional religion of all societies of the world.

On the one hand many born Muslims are leaving the practise of their religion, enticed by the false attraction of unrestrained freedoms of this new functional religion. On the other, many more non-Muslims who have been suppressed by that system are finding true liberation in Islam, by accepting only the servitude of Allah (SWT). In Islam, one has complete freedom -- in fact one is bound to disobey everyone (including one's parents) -- if their obedience means the disobedience of Allah (SWT). In many Muslim societies, we follow decadent traditions instead of authentic Islam. Exploiting the weaker members in such societies has no place in Islam and should always be opposed. Muslims have a duty to filter their traditions and only keep what complies with Islam.

If one surrenders one's will to the natural laws that govern everything in the universe, one will be synergizing with all the natural forces in the world and genuinely feel true liberation. It was this understanding, that led to the triumph of Islam throughout the known world in the 7th century AD and still makes Islam the most practised religion in the world.

The immortal lyrics sung by the late Allan Faqir reminds us of this very idea:

Jissay darya ka pani jeevan day
Ussay dunya ki lehroN say DaRna kya?

Allah Allah kar bhayya
Allah hi say DaR bhayya


For whom the water of the river gives life
What fear should he have for the waves of this world?

Say "Allah! Allah!", Brother
Fear only Allah, Brother


  1. Ok, two questions:

    1. what is your stance on "theory of evolution" vs adam and havva story?

    2. what is your stance on the banning of youtube in pakistan because of blasphemous video on it?

    I would appreciate if you articulate a response, rather than point me to another post of yours.

    1. These blog posts are not related to me or my stance, but rather the implications of a believer of the Quran & Sunnah on modernity. To explore the type of belief I am referring to I invite you to "The Color of Allah (SWT)",

      If one has this belief, the answers to the questions you posed would be obvious.

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