Shayk Ibn Uthaymeen:
“Islam does not restrict freedom, but it is a means of regulating and channelling it in the correct way, such that the freedom of one person does not clash with the freedom of another. This is what occurs when freedom is granted without boundaries, because any person who desires absolute freedom without any boundaries will inevitably fulfil this at the expense of other people’s freedom. As a result of this, discord occurs when people’s freedoms clash, chaos spreads and corruption sets in. It is for this reason that Allah named the injunctions of the religion “limits” (hudood)…
…Therefore, there is a difference between the restriction of freedoms that this group of people assume, and the channelling and regulating of these freedoms that the Most Wise, the Most Acquainted, legislates for His servants. Consequently, there is no reason to raise such an issue, as systematisation is a reality in all domains, and man is by nature submissive to this systematic reality. He is submissive to the sway of hunger and thirst, and to the organization of his food and drink. Thus, he is forced to organize his food and drink as far as quantity, quality and type is concerned, so that he may safeguard his health and welfare.
In the same way, he is submissive to the system that his society lays out for him, holding on to the customs of his country in his dwellings, garb and modes of transport… If he does not subject himself to this system, he will be considered as being abnormal, and he will be treated in the way abnormal people are treated.
Consequently, life is by nature a form of submission to specified limits, so that everything may progress according to its intended purpose. Since this submission to a social system is something necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the community and prevent chaos, similarly, submission to the system of Islamic legislation [in matters of worship and dealings] is a necessary matter for the uprightness of the Islamic nation. So how is it that some people become dissatisfied with it and deem it to be something which restricts their freedom? Verily, this is a great untruth and a false, evil presumption.
Furthermore, Islam does not suppress people’s capabilities. On the contrary, it is a comprehensive way of life that encourages physical, rational and intellectual advancement …
…Islam calls people to reasoning and reflection, so that mankind may contemplate, and their minds and thoughts may develop… However, it does not confine itself to calling towards contemplation and deep thought. Rather, it also denounces those who do not observe, contemplate and use their sense of reason.
Allah the Most High says:
- “Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and everything that Allah has created?” [7:185]
And Allah the Most High says:
- Do they not reflect upon the creation of their own selves? Allah did not create the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, except in truth, and for an appointed term. [30:8]
The order to observe and ponder is but an unfastening of the mind’s ability to think and reason; so how can some people say that it restricts people’s capabilities?
- Mighty is the word that issues forth from their mouths. They utter nothing but a lie. [18:5]
For Islam has indeed rendered lawful for its adherents all things which do not harm the individual’s body, religion or intellect…”
From: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Min Mushkilaat ash-Shabaab, pp. 21- 25, Daarul–Manaar.
Source: From the Book “Sacred Freedom” by Haneef Oliver
http://salaf-us-saalih.com/2014/05/05/i ... t-freedom/