Star Gazer

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
This is a humble attempt on my part to try to present the freedom in Islam as I have been able to understand it and am amazed at the depth and tenacity.

Freedom, one of the most sought after value in every era,age, culture, religion, all peoples and nations. Definition of freedom is " The condition of being free; Power to act or speak or think without externally imposed constraints." And Liberty is defined as " Positive enjoyment of various social, political or economic priviliges."
Of the inumeraable blessings that Islam bestows on us freedom is but one. How is that possible within a religion which imposes so many restrictions? This may seem like a very pertinent question and some may even think that they do not have to read beyond this , but please take a minute read on and see for yourself.
In the first place there is no society which is free without co-existing laws! All the laws are man made and USA is considered to be the most legislated country in the world(The exploring spirit,by Daniel J. Boorstin.(1976)) and yet the most free and champion of freedom. Now the difference is the choice of the source of the laws and some differences that may exist among the laws that the western liberated and the Islamic liberated might have. Leaving this comparison here I will try to explain the concept of 'Freedom' in Islam.
To me the most important of all forms of freedom is the freedom of thought. This is the most fearful freedom for those who want to be the masters of man, control the thoughts of men/women and they are in command.
Allah gives every man/women the freedom to read, educate and do as they see fit within the guidelines set by Him, and if we study, Allah has set very few guidelines but the concept of each individual being responsible for his/her actions and the measure being the Neeat is so powerful that any one who truly believes in the Day of the Judgement is incapeable of doing wrong knowingly.
Because a muslim believes he/she is answerable to Allah, is thus liberated from the chains of tradition,culture, worldly gains and relationships. The only desire is to please Allah and be able to stand infront of Him and say "Allah I tried and you know it."For this is all Allah wants from us, He is the true master of all universe and everything happens because He so desires,not because we so tried. This deep desire gives the individual the courage and confidence to speak the truth even infront of the most tyrrinical of the powers since only Allah is in command. Freedom which is fearless, freedom that is equal, freedom that is universal and total, freedom which does not bow to any other force, freedom that becomes all consuming to the point of extreme selfishness from which, like the phoenix, emerges the absolute selfless state. Is this not Allah's rehmat that selfishness negates itself to become the counter force and yet remains a driving force. For at this stage the momin is seeking Allah's pleasure only and the teachings of Islam are selfless and compassionate for all creatures are Allah's creation and equal in their rights.
Obviously when such a powerful force is unleashed upon the human mind it has to be guided,principled and controlled,so the Being that bestows this gift also lays down the laws and guidelines, for without law there is no freedom and without justice there is no law.
Freedom given thus to individuals is also a unique unifying force especially for all those who believe. This is possible because we all follow the same divine principle and those are not ambigous, no confusions, and even if there is some differences in explainations then again the desire to please Almighty leads to a peaceful resolution.
Pertaining to the question of sources of the given laws, I will only briefly mention the fact that unequivically Hazrat Mohammad (SAWWS) is considered the first lawgiver in the history of mankind and the laws that he gave to us come from God. Keeping this fact in mind and the traditional and cultural freedom that is now recognized world over no one should have problem with Islamic laws. Having said that we muslims also need to present our system of governence and social and economic equality to the world in a better way. For ours is the right to struggle and persevere without presurising. (All power rests with Allah Almighty.)