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    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         1

      Freedom!

      Western fixation on freedom has a long, crystallizing history. In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed in England, which ended the unilateral authority of the King. The King was imposing heavy taxes on the barons, who were wealthy aristocratic men, to fight a failed war. The barons rebelled against the King, and demanded that a committee of barons be established. The King would need to consult this committee before introducing new taxes. Certain legal rights were also introduced to the barons. This was the first big step towards freedom.

      Fast forward to the 1500s; a new continent was "discovered" (i.e. Europeans found out about it). A major motivation for men to risk the high seas and migrate to an entirely New World was to avoid taxation and government overreach. They were able to seize vast, fertile properties without much nuisance. Freedom.

      Around the same time, the Protestant Reformation was taking place, and most North-Western Europeans were using it as an opportunity to break away from church tithes and indulgences. Freedom.

      Fast forward to the 1700s. The American Colonies rebel against the British because of "taxation without representation." Freedom.

      Then in the 1800s. The Confederates rebel against the Union to prevent the North from intervening in their textile industry. The Union abolishes slavery. Freedom.

      Here, we see a crystallization of yeomanry in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) culture, which peaks in the American South. They have a strong distrust in government, public programs, and taxation. There is a strong "what's mine is mine" culture, where clichés like "the only things you can't avoid is death and taxes" thrive. "Conservative" to them mostly means "smaller government, lower taxes". In short, they believe that the freer they are, the happier they will be. Debates in American politics, from abortion to gay marriage to taxes, are all based on conceptions of freedom. It is also the theme of so many Hollywood films.

      Feminism is rooted in the same freedom-seeking individualist liberalist mindset. Whatever gets in the way of women's liberation - even if it is God Himself - must be cast aside.

      Freedom in Islamic literature would be "huriyya", which is really just a legal technicality - you are either a slave, or you are "free". Otherwise, our books do not take much stock in the concept. We do have treatises on "huquq", which is often translated as "rights", but a more accurate translation is "responsibilities towards". For example, the haq of a woman is the responsibilities of an Islamic society towards that woman. It is an onus.

      Responsibility and duty often fly in direct contradiction to freedom. Yes, we have free will, but Islam legislates things that we *should* and *ought* to do, and there are consequences to not fulfilling those responsibilities.

      Does freedom lead to happiness? It is actually our responsibilities that often make us happy. There is no growth in a care-free life with no schedule, no family, no commitments, and no work. These things tie us down, but they also build us up, fulfill us, and make us better people. No pain, no gain. Likewise, despite the fact that women's rights have increased over the past few decades, women's happiness has decreased according to many studies. Individualism teaches us that self-sufficiency is the key to happiness, when in actuality, success is sometimes found in submission.

      Islam literally means Submission, because it is the recognition that we are all imperfect servants. We do not choose which family we are born into, nor our race, nor our health, nor our age, nor our genes, and often, not even our social conditions. None of us are truly free, and the most free of us is not necessarily the happiest. Rather, true, heartfelt contentment is in knowing God. We are born to look for Perfection; we seek it in our looks, our grades, our power, our status, our spouse, our children; but we all - sooner or later - realize that Perfection lies only in Him alone. Trust in Him gives you that true contentment, the ability to let go of the wheel, fear nothing but Him and accept all that He allots for you. Contentment.

      If you are a believer, then your worldview should reflect your belief. We cannot import a cultural ideology that convolutes our belief. In many respects, jahiliyya represented what many of us today consider to be "freedom". But the Prophet Muhammad (s) came with accountability, and that turned the entire world around.
       
    • By Qa'im in Imamology
         3

      If Islam is measured with liberal democratic criteria, it will not be fully consistent.

      Western colonial powers reached a point of hegemony in the 19th and 20th centuries. Through hard power (direct intervention) and soft power (media influence), they imposed their standard of morality onto the rest of the world. This moral framework is not Christianity, it is Western Individualism.

      Secularism, humanism, and feminism are all just logical conclusions of Individualism. They are branches from the same tree. But to what extent can we say that Individualism is the objective truth? Did the original philosophers of this ideology even intend for it to be the objective truth? Go through Hobbes or John Stuart Mill, they don't claim that Individualism is an objective universal truth, but rather that they are experiments of freedom that are most practical. So measuring Islam by this would be like measuring an object with a stretchy ruler - you'll never get a precise measurement.

      Just a few years ago, gay marriage was illegal in America, and now there is all this noise about homophobia and transphobia. Just a few years ago, marijuana was taboo, but it is now gradually being legalized. Some bite-the-bullet secularists are even questioning whether incest should be illegal, because certain forms of incest are not "directly harmful". Of course Islam will not be compatible with a measurement that is constantly fluid, changing, and in flux. Liberalism does not even attempt to falsify itself, rather it is focused on falsifying others. It salvages aspects of Greco-Roman civilization and Christianity that is consistent with individualism, and it discards everything else.

      The liberal thesis prioritizes the human being above everything else. The Islamic thesis prioritizes Allah.

      So what is the root of this tree of Individualism? Funny enough, it actually may be the Christian concept of Imago Dei - that man was created in the image of God. It is this idea that makes the individual the centre of the universe, whose will is sanctified above everything else. Hence, you have the concept of human rights, which itself is a contradiction, because rights are bestowed onto people by a higher power, not arrogated by the same people onto themselves. Humanism itself is a quasi worship of the human being, because everything including God Himself is cast aside in the name of human rights, liberty, democracy, and freedom.

      This is why I always say that secular humanism actually grew out of the carcass of Western Christianity. It uses Christian concepts of the soul and the divinity of personhood to build an entirely new moral framework that discards its root. It is a paradox.

      The identity of man in Islam is that he is a created servant. This is the same identity as all biotic and abiotic elements around us. We are a part of the ayah that is the great ayah of the creation. All is fleeting and all will perish but the face of Allah (28:88), which is simultaneously everywhere that we turn (2:115). He is recognized everywhere and behind everything, for He is the Apparent (al-Thahir) and the Hidden (al-Batin). The cosmological Creator, the everlasting Sustainer, and the ontological Perfection that we are all after. The individual is powerless on his own, and is only empowered by the Powerful.

      أعوذ بالله من كلمة أنا
      I seek refuge in Allah from the word "me".
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      هر کجای این جهان آشوب و جنگ
      آه مظلومان زند بر قلب چنگ
      آن که بنیان ستم باشد از او
      مرگ بر او, ننگ بر او, نفرین بر او
      ....
      ....
      *"شیعه یعنی لا فتی الا علی"
      پیروی از حق و بیعت با ولی
      از نوای نخل و شیونهای چاه
      سرخ رنگ میگردد فلک هر بامگاه
      ترک کن این قوم بی فرهنگ را
      این سرای ننگ پر نیرنگ را
      یاد کن محراب خونین رنگ را
      بوسه ی سرخ سروش مرگ را
      پیکر بی سر, گلوی پاره را
      شام تلخ مردم آواره را
      اشک لیلا, ناله ی شبگیر را
      دست و پای در غل و زنجیر را
      ....
      ....
      شیعه یعنی انتظار و صبر و درد
      خالقان عشق, مردان نبرد
      کربلا, عاشوریان بی قرار
      شیعه یعنی شور رفتن سوی یار
      ای تو هارون رهنمای راه راست
      سامری آمد بگو موسی کجاست
      سامری بدعت به دین انداختست
      گر نباشی کار مردم ساختست
      تا به ظهر آمدن در التهاب
      در تب و تاب ظهور آفتاب
      چون به فردا آید آن شاه وزین
      جهل را راند از روی زمین

      میکشد آن که ضعیفان را بکشت
      ابلیس را, آنکه بر حق کرد پشت

      آنکه بشکست حرمت ناموس را
      واپسین فرزند دقیانوس را

      پرده برمیدارد از رازی گران
      فاش میگردد حقیقت بر جهان
      شهسوارا! مردمان مستت شوند
      همچو مومی نرم در دستت شوند
      ...
      ای خیال شوم ابلیس لعین
      نایب الشیطان بر روی زمین
      ای به رنگ خون, انگشتان تو
      استخوان مردمان بر خوان تو
      کرده پر از خون, هوس, جام تو را
      شوم میبینم فرجام تو را
      از چه لذت میبری؟ از سرکشی؟
      از خیانت, ظلم, نامردی, حق کشی؟
      بر ضعیفان و یتیمان تاختن؟
      پرچم حق را به زیر انداختن؟
      رایت ظلم و ستم افراشتن؟
      کیسه ها از مال خلق انباشتن؟
      کاخ خود را روی کوخی ساختن؟
      یا که از روی هوس, دل باختن؟
      ...
      ای خداوند جهان بیکران
      ای فراتر از مکان و از زمان

      ای خداوند رحیم و رحمدوست
      ای که افسار جهان در دست اوست

      بارالها طاقت دنیا کم است
      روزگارش مملو از درد و غم است

      پرده افکن از رخ خورشید شرق
      تا بیاندازد به دلها نور و برق
      زود گردان ای خدا دیدار را
      برشکن فرهنگ استکبار را
       
      * مصرع عاریتی
       
    • By Sisterfatima1 in Fatima
         0
      I’m sorry today that your father wouldn’t let you talk to your sister 
      it broke my heart and I cried for you 
      I know you didn’t deserve it today and you are not strong enough to speak out 
      i will always be your voice and I will not stop fighting for your rights 
    • By shadow_of_light in From Earth to Heaven
         0
      St.12.   Part3
      عصایی و سنگی و فلاخنی و بتی شکسته و سبدی خالی که روان است بر روی آب
      خودش نیست تا بتوان او را دید
      ولی ردپایش که هست تا بتوان به دنبالش رفت.
      ....
      I had forgotten God, but He never did. During the time when I was in that mansion, God sent hoopoe there everyday to remind me of my rendezvouz. Hoopoe came, sat at the window and waited for me to pay attention to it. But I was so busy that I didnt see it. It pecked the window, but the song of the statue prevented me from hearing it.
      Whenever hoope returned hopelessly, God scolded it for not trying more.
      Hoopoe itself, to whom God taught my language as a reward, later narrated it to me.
       
      Finally,...
       
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