Question:
Would you please mention some of the articles of freedom in Islam which have an edge over Western counterparts?

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Answer:
1- Freedom of belief and religion: Man is free to accept a religion or otherwise reject it according to Western values; however, man is free to choose a religion in ontological stage but he has to accept that which brings about felicity and perfection legislatively and bows down to its sacred orders. Otherwise, he will be reckoned in Divine court. 2- Freedom of thought: The holy Quran encourages people to reasoning, contemplation and reflection. Like this holy verse which states," There is good news for those servants of Mine who listen to the word of Allah and follow the best sense of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided"(1) The beginning of verse urges challenge and scrutiny on humans in different areas but following words of the verse clarifies that the freedoms on listening to different talks are for finding the best of words and pleasant expressions. Therefore, it is clear Islam has not been offered to humans in a closed circuit. Rather, it has claimed its righteous state through discussions, debates and arguments. As such, the initiatives for and destination of contemplation in Islam is crystal clear. Its purpose is the accomplishment of ultimate sublimity and perfection whereas freedom in Western fashion is for the sake of freedom, not anything else. 3- Another article of freedom is political freedom. According to Islam, humans are bound to obey a government which is in pursuit of the truth. But in Western thought, people are not obliged to follow such rules in electing the kind of government and the authority. This has inflicted irreversible damages on material and spiritual life of human race for a long time and it still persists. Grand Ayatullah Javadi states," Humans enjoy a kind of pseudo-freedom in democratic systems because they are exonerated from Divine verdicts of Allah whereas freedom of people is granted in return for responsibility before God in an Islamic government." 4- Another article of freedom is freedom of speech. From Islamic point of view, people enjoy freedom as long as it is not in contrast with the material and spiritual sublimity and perfection of mankind; rather, it leads to the perfection and sublimity. In the West, freedom of speech does not know any limit. As Allameh Jafari refer to absolute unconditional freedom of speech as repugnant to human dignity and reverence. He states," Freedom of speech is admired provided it does not belittle man`s honor and dignity. This is man`s attitude towards freedom which is the most important blessing of God for the pursuit of perfection and sublimity. Unfortunately, human rights from Western perspective do not follow such an important condition concerning freedom in genral and freedom of speech in particular."

Refrence:

1) Surat al-Zumar, verses 17, 18 ------------------------------ Source: www.andisheqom.com The translation of Qur’anic passages is adopted from Sayyid ‘Alī Qulī Qarā’ī, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.] Translation by: AhlulBayt News Agency (a.s) (Abna.ir) Please refer to the text`s Persian version in order to view footnotes of this question and answer.


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