Responsible Freedom

   RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM

Suhaib Ashraf Bhat


BE SURE YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT IT, BECAUSE THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE IS DENYING TRUTH.The Islamic view of humanity is filled with mercy and compassion, and it cannot be otherwise, because the Islamic religion is the last of the religions that were prescribed by Allah swt and He commanded all of mankind to enter this religion. He revealed this religion and sent it down to the most compassionate of mankind, Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah swt be upon him). This is confirmed in the Book of Allah swt, where He says (interpretation of the meaning):“And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)” [al-Anbiya’ 21:107].Praying through the nights, asking forgiveness of his oppressors, encouraging kindness. Refusing wealth and power and persevering with the pure message of devotion to Allah swt alone, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah swt be upon him) endured unfathomable hardship.It is so easy to understand. We’ve been created; Intricacy and diversity will not lead, so follow the One who created us – Simple.The basic principles of human rights in Islam:
1. Establishing the state on the idea of Shura (consultation) starting with the choice the ruler and paying homage to him to continue ruling under the obligation of abiding by Islamic rulings.2. Enforcing the principle of legitimacy through the state executive authority and the judicial authority to protect the rights from all sorts of aggression or transgression and hence to prevent assault, taking captives and revenge.3. Declaring the principle of equality between people, abolishing the system of classes and the habit of boasting with lineage and families, and establishing honour on the basis of piety alone; that is, on the basis of true faith accompanied by righteous work.4. Establishing general freedoms on top of which come the sacredness of souls, honour, and properties along with housing, freedom of religion and opinion, freedom of work, and freedom of education as an obligatory right. It is a duty upon the society and the individuals to cooperate to preserve these rights.5. Freedom of ownership accompanied by the obligation of social justice achieved through the imposition of zakah-charity and other duties on the properties of the rich for the sake of the underprivileged and the needy through the system of maintenance.6. Freedom of making contracts and the obligation of fulfilling them and the freedom of trading and transacting accompanied by the restriction of preventing usury, ghabn (unfair pricing), monopolization, gharar (hazardous sale of uncertainty), and coercion and the exclusion of wills and the obligations of inheritance.7. Fair treatment of women by giving them the right of inheritance, ownership, and discretion together with the basics of honour and equality in rights and duties and establishing marriage on cordiality and mercy. The wife has been given the right of dowry as a sort of honour for her and as discouraging from divorce without excuse. Polygamy was restricted with the condition of just treatment. Marriage of shighar (exchange of daughters or sisters for marriage with no mandatory gift to a bride from her groom), temporary marriage, and burying female babies alive are practices that have been prohibited.8. Regulating penalties and distinguishing between the public right or the right of Almighty Allah swt and the personal right and distinguishing between legal penalties prescribed by the Islamic law and other penalties that are not prescribed but left for the discretion of the judge known as ta`zeer in addition to regulating the conditions of the crime of murdering and deliberate injuries and determining blood money and compensations.9. Setting the foundation of international law of relations exhorting peace and brotherhood and the obligation of fulfilling covenants disallowing aggressive war and allowing defensive war for the sake of repelling aggression against religion, home, and holy places, preserving the freedom of religion, and helping the wronged person even if he is non Muslim.10. Freedom of expression known as enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. This freedom is bound by the dictates of responsibility, for Islam considers the consequences of deeds and words. Thus, there is no freedom of speech to curse others or to disseminate harmful values in the society- it is responsible freedom.11. The right of the poor and the weak in economic protection. Almighty Allah swt says, “Thus they feed with food- despite their own desire for it- the indigent, and the orphan, and the captive [of war]” [76:8] and “Moreover, in their wealth was a rightful share [of charity] for the beggar and the destitute.” [51:19]12. The right of people in fairness and justice. Almighty Allah swt says, “O you who believe! Be ever upright for [the sake of] Allah swt, bearing witness [to truth] with [impartial] justice. Therefore, let not detestation [for some people] induce you to be unfair. [Rather,] be fair! For to do so is, indeed, closer to the fear of Allah swt. Therefore, fear Allah swt! Indeed, Allah swt is all-aware of all that you do” and [5:8] “And whenever you judge between people, you shall judge with justice.” [4:58]13. The right of people on each other to cooperate and have mutual assistance. Almighty Allah swt says, “Rather, you shall help one another to virtuousness and to the fear of Allah swt. But you shall not help one another to sin and to aggression.” [5:2] Others’ right of justice was not known before Islam. Islam was the first to acknowledge these rights regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, or religion.The Gracious Quran speaks about just cooperation that is based on the principle of freedom and the supremacy of the society “Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an equitable word between us and you: That we shall not worship other than Allah swt. And we shall not associate anything in [our worship of] Him. And we shall not take one another as lords apart from Allah swt.”[3:64] explaining this verse Muhammad ibn `Amr al-Razy (544-606/1149-1209) said, “‘An equitable word’ indicates justice and fairness between all of us in terms of worshipping Allah swt equitably.” This means that there should be no extravagance or hegemony of one group over the other. All people enjoy freedom and equality before Allah swt.14. The right to refuse prohibited things; that is, the right not to be forced to commit things prohibited by the Islamic law. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah swt be upon him) said, “No created being should be obeyed in disobedience of the Creator.” Almighty Allah swt said, “He said: The promise of My covenant shall not extend to the wrongdoers.” [2:124] By virtue of this, no ruler can enact the lawfulness of something prohibited or detrimental to people’s interests. The juristic rule is that “the ruler’s management of the subjects is bound by serving their interest.” Similarly, it is not for a powerful state or nation, even if it is a Muslim one, to impose things that cause harm to the interests of small countries.15. Protecting properties. Almighty Allah swt says, “Moreover, you shall not consume one another’s wealth by false means, nor proffer any of it to [bribe] those in authority, in order to sinfully consume a portion of people’s wealth- while you know [it is wrong].” [2:188]16. Preserving human dignity and honour. Almighty Allah swt says, “O you who believe! Men shall not scoff at other men. For those [whom they scoff at] may be better than them. Nor shall women [scoff] at other women. For those [whom they scoff at] may be better than them. Nor shall you slander each other. Nor shall you revile each other by [way of abhorrent] nicknames. Woeful is the ungodly name after attaining faith” [49:11] and “O you who believe! Shun much suspicion. For, indeed, certain kinds of suspicion are sinful. Nor shall you spy [on each other]. Nor shall you backbite one another.” [49:12]17. Protecting private life. Almighty Allah swt says, “O you who believe! You shall not enter homes, other than your own homes, until you take [welcome] permission and greet their people with peace. That is best for you- so that you may become mindful [of the benefit of Allah’s commandments]. But if you do not find anyone therein, then do not enter them until permission is given to you. Moreover, if it is said to you: Turn back! then turn back [and do not persist]. That is purer for you.” [24:27-28]
Islam prescribes stoning for the married adulterer, cutting off the hand for the thief, and flogging for the one who slanders the honour of a woman who is chaste. We do not feel ashamed of these laws; rather we firmly believe that the whole world is in need of application of these laws. If they do that, they will live in an atmosphere of safety with regard to their honour, their wealth and their lives, safe from transgressions against them. Any wise person who ponders these rulings will realise that they were prescribed, first of all, so that no one will dare to do these things. Anyone who looks at the state of other nations, and sees how widespread the crimes of rape, theft and murder are, will realise that there is an urgent need to put a stop to that, and that the rulings of Islam are based on wisdom, mercy, justice and care.
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