Peace, one and all…
True freedom is not the ability to fulfill my every passing whim. True freedom is the ability to choose a course of action without compulsion. After all, God says in His glorious book: ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ (Quran 2:256). Freedom is the ability to make full and open choices, without being driven by the physical, mental, social, political, economic, religious and cultural contexts in which I live and move. True freedom is the ability to act and to accept the consequences of that act, whatever they might be.
True freedom is not therefore external. It does not come from outside of ourselves. Rather, it emerges from deep within. Nor does the existence of external law necessarily inhibit our freedom. A law is only a law if we choose to follow it. Not that law necessarily equates to compulsion (which is something I have begun to learn only recently). True law is thus guidance in our dealings with one another. That is, law (like freedom) must be put into practice if it is to live. Law must be engaged with as a living force; it cannot maintain its vigour if it is treated as merely a set of dry, poorly understood rules.
Strangely, the more I move towards freedom, the more conscious I become of my limitations, the more aware of consequences I become – especially in the inter-personal realm. I could act in that way, but actions bring questions: what are the consequences of that act: who do they affect? Who do they injure? Am I expanded or lessened by this deed?
Wa akhiru da’wana an il hamdu lillahi rabbil alameen.