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Islam Gave the World the Gift of Liberty

DR.PASHA | November 09, 2008 | Section: Articles | 2727 reads


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Islam, on the other hand, made it clear that human beings were all ab initio – right from the beginning that is, right from the moment they were conceived in the wombs of their mothers – unalterably equal to one another. There were no doubts, questions, hesitations, ifs, buts, vacillations or prevarications about it in the divine culture on earth that Islam fostered and established beginning with the middle of the 7th Century.

Simple Formula of Human Equality

There was a clear and simple formula for universal, unconditional and categorical human equality that was drilled into every Muslim’s head right from the outset. And that never lost its luster or integrity from the day it was first promulgated on earth in its present form in the pages of the Qur’an and through the blessed words of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, 1400 years ago.

Here are broad contours of that formula:

If you are connected to Adam in any shape or form through a single common drop of his blood, then you are all fully and absolutely equal to one another, and you are all, by virtue of that common and exalted ancestry, endowed with inherent dignity and rights in equal measure in a way that no king or commoner, and that no individual or government on earth, can touch, diminish or take away in any form or fashion except through due process.

According to the core message of the Qur’an, that is how all human beings are created and sent into this world through the sperms and zygotes of their parents: absolutely equal in their humanity and absolutely inviolable in their basic dignity and human rights.

Human beings thereafter begin to distinguish themselves based on the kind of character and qualities they bring to the table – qualities of head as well as qualities of heart – and based on the efforts they expend in the pursuit of mental, moral, physical and other forms and types of excellence from a worldly as well as other-worldly point of view.

There! You have it in a nutshell: the theory of basic human equality as well as of human differences.

It is also Islam in a nutshell.

Striving for Liberty:
The Great Human Imperative

Thus, liberty is what Islam is all about. And it was to set humanity free from its chains and shackles of mind, body and spirit that Islam came into this world. And striving to bring to humanity the gift of liberty is Islam’s greatest gift and imperative.

Read the Qur’an and you will know.

Don’t believe me? Here is the Qur’an for you: Yadwa-‘u ‘anhum israhum wal aghlaallati kaanat ‘alaihim.

Paraphrase: “Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, frees them from the chains that bind and shackle them and takes down the burdens that oppressed them and broke their backs.”

Elsewhere the Qur’an holds out activism in the service of liberty as the lodestar of human life. Fa-laqtahamal ‘aqabah, it says condemning those who will not strive in the pursuit of liberty.

Paraphrase: “And he did not make the hard choices.”

Wa maa adraaka mal-‘aqabah?

Paraphrase: “Do you know what that tough decisions is?”

Fakku raqabah!

Paraphrase: “It is setting people free by shattering the bonds around their necks.”

That is Islam for you, folks. It came to set human beings free. And it came to encourage everyone to work to set everyone else free.

If Muslims forgot that or never learned it, and if non-Muslims never found that out about it or pretended not to know it, then it is the fault of neither Islam, nor of the designer of Islam, God Almighty, nor of the Prophet of Islam, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

The responsibility rests entirely on us, human beings of our time, both Muslim and non-Muslim, A, for not knowing it in the first place and, B, for not sharing it with others thereafter.

Lost Souls of Islam – and Non-Islam

Now let us look at some reasons why the world knows so little about Islam

My readers have every right to ask, if Islam is all you say it is, and if the Qur’an contains any or all of these seemingly earthshaking claims you seem to be making in its behalf, how come no one knows about it?

The answer has many parts and here are some of them.

Part One. The main reason why “no one,” as we say, knows about it is because the Muslims have more or less given up telling people about it. There were times when Muslims did it with gusto, tell the people about Islam I mean. Those were the times when Muslims cried from every rooftop about Islam and its beautiful message of love, liberty and uncompromising human dignity and equality.

That beautiful message was the reason why everyone everywhere rushed to embrace Islam, not because, as some so-called scholars, writers and protagonists claim, Muslims went around chopping off every non-Muslim head they could find.

If Muslims had done that, two things would have happened. First, there won’t be any heads left to accept Islam. Second, there won’t be any non-Muslims left in much of the world today, at least in those parts of the world where Muslims were in power to any degree.

So, this was one of the most brazen lies perpetuated against Islam by all those who were opposed to the fundamental message of human liberty and equality that Islam brought into this world and that Muslims tried, at one time, to take to everyone’s doorstep everywhere.

This was done to stop the march of Islam, to slow the progress of human liberty in the world and to keep human beings in bondage and chains everywhere. That is how tyranny over the minds, bodies, souls, lands and resources of human beings came to be so rampant in all these past centuries and continues in one form or another to this day.

 

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