The Concept of Freedom in Religion

February 6, 2014 by  


By Salim MuMin

Director of M.A.L.I. (Muslim American Logic Institute)

These imam articles are being presented for the sole purpose of educating our community to its varied leaders.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here may, or may not, express the thoughts or opinions of The Muslim Observer.

Muhammad the Prophet (s), the prayers and the peace be upon him, was inspired by revelation. Revelation is sent by Allah to all of humanity through the Prophet (s) by way of the Angel Jabril (as). Just as the Prophet (s) was inspired by the Qur’an, he is the model, the example for us to be inspired also. The Prophet’s (s) life is the interpretation of the Qur’an. We are not the Prophet (s), but we are to look at his life and see how he interprets the revelation into his life. There are acts, such as the acts of worship that we are to emulate and not change. These acts are rituals that are full of preserved knowledge that is precious, and we are not to change those traditional acts, if so, we would be changing the knowledge that is preserved within.

Also, there are acts that the Prophet (s) performed that we would have to make analogies as we emulate him in those acts. This is one of the main reasons for the establishment of the schools of thought. And that is exactly what they are “schools of thought.”

Religion today is presented to the masses, to the common person as it was presented to the common person over 1000 years ago, not taking into account that the common people have advanced in intelligence. Too many preachers, imams, sheikhs, etc. want to present the religion as it is read on the pages in black and white with no thinking applied. They can’t find the balance between what is religious ritual and what is to be analogous from 1,000 years ago compared with what’s best for today’s application. Therefore we have many who walk away from what we call the religious life.

Religion is supposed to be free for Allah. The Prophet’s (s) life and the community he established is the example of this kind of freedom. Freedom is more than just taking the chains off a person. You can take the chains off the slave in order that he performs his job better. However, he remains in the status of slave, his movements are still restricted.

The true concept of slavery is not just the freedom of physical movement, but the freedom of one’s mental and spiritual makeup to move from the spiritual sacred valley to the highest spiritual horizon as we see in the ascension of Muhammad the Prophet (s). The societal influences that has defined his soul’s identity is not enough to deny him of his true freedom, thereby ascending to the highest heaven and coming down to establish the best community life known for humanity.

We enter into this symbolic sacred valley, we may say, by not being enslaved by anyone. No soul is the ownership of another in anything; all matters are referred to Allah. We are not to presuppose that an individual cannot worship and obey Allah without another individual being over it. Everyone is to work in their places based upon the qualification they have to perform their duties. This is the idea of having inalienable rights. If you have a talent, if you have a profession, if you have even a dream, you have the right to pursue it in the sacred valley.

Your status in this sacred valley also says that you can be trusted to obey the laws in the valley. Your citizenship guarantees the safety for all of its citizens including the plants and animals. You will not oppress the animals; you will not mutilate the plant life, etc. You will not eat pork; you will not drink or take mind altering intoxicants. You will not lie. You will not steal. You will not commit fornication or adultery. You will not violate the rights of any member of society.

The laws that man has made are too weak to discipline the person the way that Allah’s laws have disciplined the character. Following the society that Prophet Muhammad (s) established, the sacred valley does not have prisons; no police force is needed in the sacred valley. No honor guards, no FOI, no militia, none of these enslaving entities will exist, just Allah and the people. The people of the sacred valley will respect their own being and respect what Allah wants best for them and the citizens of this City will not want to disrespect or disobey its Creator.

To ascend to the highest horizon is to be educated in The Education. And what is The Education? The Qur’an in its original language is our first education. We have the same soul as the great thinkers that followed him. We have a soul that can be inspired by the revelation that will take us to the highest horizon of our spirituality. We are not to give up our freedom and be satisfied with just being a slave in this environment. Today, if you are a Muslim and you are not studying the Qur’an from its Qur’anic Arabic text for understanding and application to elevate your intellect, to elevate your spirit, to elevate your consciousness, to free yourself from the shackles of the societal influences that enslave your soul, it is because you have found comfort in being a slave.

The more we look at this government today, the more we should come to the realization that it cannot control the behavior of the people. It cannot keep people safe for society. Every individual in this society is going to have to be given the responsibility for having its own life. We have to come to the realization that it is Allah that gives us our freedom, our choices, enforces our behavior, free mind, free will, free ability to think for ourselves, and Allah gives us this creation to reap from it the beneficial resources for a more comfortable community life. This is the community life that we must choose and establish a model community life for all of humanity to emulate after our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s), the prayers and the peace of Allah be on his soul.

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