Islam Came To Set Humanity Free
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)
Liberty: That Is Islam?
That is us. That is Islam.
Liberty is what Islam is all about. That is because Islam came to set humanity free.
Read the Qur’an and you will know.
Don’t believe me? Here is the Qur’an for you: Yada-‘u ‘anhum israhum wal aghlaallati kaanat ‘alaihim.
Paraphrase: “He frees them from their chains and burdens.”
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 choice.”
Wa maa adraaka mal-‘aqabah?
Paraphrase: “Do you know what that tough decision is?”
Paraphrase: “Setting people free and breaking the bonds around their neck.”
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.
Islam Is Systematic Thinking
How does Islam confer freedom on people? It does so by teaching them how to think clearly and systematically. That means sorting things out in a systematic manner, one thing at a time.
And yet the fact is that most Muslims are anything but free. And not all Muslims see or understand Islam as the fountainhead or harbinger of personal, social, economic and political freedom for them.
And for the rest of the world.
What is worse, systematic thinking is neither a virtue most Muslims seek. Nor is it a quality they prize. Nor is it, for that matter, a subject they teach in their schools.
Nor is it something they practice and foster in their gatherings.
Degradation and Bondage
That is what has happened to the Muslims. And that is how Muslim culture and intellectual life have been degraded over the centuries.
Bondage for large numbers of Muslims all over the world: intellectual, moral, economic, cultural, political and every other bondage that you can think of.
As a result, far from being free themselves and far from bringing freedom to others, Muslims have ended up being part of the problem that plagues the world.
The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, had a name to describe that kind of people: ghuthaa’ ka ghuthaa-is-saiyl, which means, more or less, like so much useless, weightless foam that forms the crest of a flood.
And now those who are in the business of corralling and controlling Muslims – those to whom Islam and Muslims have become mainly a business – herd Muslim masses in all kinds of directions, except in the difficult and thicketstrewn direction of systematic thought.
And yet, systematic thinking is what Islam is all about. And nothing is clearer or more emphatic on that subject than the Qur’an itself.
Early Arabs Were Systematic Thinkers
To the early Arabs, who were the first and direct addressees of the Qur’an, systematic thinking was routine. It was to them a matter of survival.
The burning deserts, and the barren rocks, with few sources of support and with too many sources of danger, in which they eked out a precarious living, allowed them little room for philosophizing, hairsplitting, nitpicking – and, yes, theologizing.
Generally characteristics, all of these, of dying nations and decadent cultures.
To early Arabs, one plus one always made two. That is how things worked in the trackless sands of which they were both the products and masters. And to them two was very different from three. And never for them could two and three be equal.
For the most part, that was their psychological makeup and cognitive and emotional structure. It was the nature of their faith and philosophy if you want to call it that: simple, straightforward, systematic.
And practical, pragmatic and problem solving.
That is why many of them were genuinely baffled when the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, declared God to be one. “How could he take so many gods and make their sum total come out to be one?” they wondered. The equation – the math – didn’t seem right.
The Qur’an reports them as saying:
A ja’alal aalihata ilaahan waahida. Inna haadha la-shai-un ‘ujaab.
Take godone and godtwo and godthree … and godn and say they all add up to a grand total of God One? That is strange, they said. To their pure minds, trained in the lifelong habit of systematic thought, it simply did not compute.
That is part of the reason why the Christian doctrine of Trinity left most of them cold.
Early Arabs Were Powerful Communicators
Early Arabs Were Masters of Action
With Early Arabs, To Think Was To Act
The early Arabs were the unquestioned masters of their language. It was a language that both suited and reflected their simple yet powerful thought. So, they thought clearly and spoke majestically and powerfully, both in prose and poetry.
Thereafter, it was only natural that with them to think was to act, which made them, above all, a free people. They did not go around in circles in their thinking; nor did they beat about the bush in their speech.
And they were also great doers of things. And in this, they relied on their lifelong friend: their sword.
The question is not whether they were or were not a violent people. The fact was that in the environment of ceaseless action and counteraction in which they lived, the logic of the sword was the only thing that seemed to work or make sense.
That is why when it became clear to them that Islam made more sense than anything else, including their sword, they not only embraced it, they also placed their sole source of support in this world – their sword – at its disposal: to deter all those who would do it willful and malicious harm.
Those who would by force deny or deprive humanity the right and fruits of free and systematic thought and prudent, pragmatic life.