LIBERTY AND FREEDOM IN ISLAM

Liberty describes a condition in which human beings can act according to their own free will and take responsibility of their own actions and freedom to choose one’s own pursuit in life.

The Holy-Quran says “There is absolutely no force or coercion for a particular Deen or a way of life. Freedom of choice is the birth right of every human being on earth.

According to the Holy-Quran, everyone has freedom of choice in believing and disbelieving in a particular system of beliefs. It says, “The Truth is from your Lord, whoever wills let him believe and whoever wills let him disbelieve.”

The Holy-Quran gives complete freedom of choice in worship by saying that “Worship what you will”, although it enjoins man worshiping only his Creator. The Holy-Quran also gives complete freedom of choice in actions by saying that “Do whatever you will.” It further says that “Indeed, the Quran is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord.”

The Holy-Quran makes it clear that liberty goes hand in hand with responsibility for one’s actions. It says, “There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord; whoever reflects on it, will do so to his own advantage. On the other hand, those who choose to remain blind to it, will do so to their own disadvantage.” “Whoever disbelieves will suffer from his disbelief, and whosoever does good works then such will prepare a good place for themselves”. “The truth from your Lord has certainly come to you. One who comes to be guided by it will be guided safely. But the one who chooses to go astray will only harm himself.” “If you do the right thing it would be to your own advantage and if you go astray you will have to suffer the consequences of your wrong doings.” “Whoever does righteousness, it is for his own soul and whoever does evil does so against himself.” “Your insolence or transgression is against your own selves”.

‘Liberty’ does not mean ‘License’. “One does not have the liberty to acquire anyone’s wealth or property unjustly or unlawfully.”  The Quran says, for example, “One must not take away anyone’s life unjustly, which Allah has made sacred, because it is a heinous crime that it has been laid down in the Qur’an that “If anyone kills another except as a punishment for murder or if he do so for spreading disorder in the land it shall be as if he has killed all mankind. On the other hand, if one saves the life of a single person it shall be as if he has saved the lives of all mankind”.

The Holy Quran ensures the following types of freedom to all mankind: Freedom of life; belief; worship; (lawful) action; contempt and ridicule, coercion; Freedom of rights and so on.

Note:
“Freedom of one man ends at that point where the freedom of another begins to get restricted and freedom from coercion does not imply freedom from discipline.”

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