Rafed English

Freedom from the Viewpoint of Islam

Adopted from the book : "Freedom; The Unstated Facts and Points" by : "Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi"

From the viewpoint of Islam, man is a locomotive being; in other words, a traveler who is moving from his point of origin to a certain destination, which is his ultimate perfection and bliss. The span and extent of life is like a route, which must be treaded in order to reach the destination. Let me cite an example so that the readers could understand better the subject.

Let us assume that a driver wants to move from a city, let’s say Tehran, toward Mashhad. If the hands and feet of this driver are paralyzed, naturally he cannot drive. He can only drive if his body limbs are sound, having the free power to choose and select.

Otherwise, he cannot tread such a path leading toward perfection. Therefore, God, the Exalted, has endowed man with freewill and the power to choose so as to tread this path with the feet of his own “choice and volition” and arrive at the destination. Otherwise, he will not arrive at the destination.

As such, if one would think that in a state of compulsion he could tread this path of perfection and arrive at the destination, he is wrong. Man must be free and have the power to choose so as to tread this path.

The more man is free in his choice, his deed becomes more valuable. For the driver to merely have a sound physique is not a guarantee that he would arrive at his destination.

It is because possibly, out of recalcitrance, whim and caprice, he would choose a wrong way, and without being under compulsion he would turn the steering-wheel by his hands, push the accelerator pedal by his feet, and fall on a canyon. So, to have choice and volition alone is not enough for man to attain bliss.

Instead, it is a necessary requisite to have the comprehensive cause. In other words, the sufficient requisite for the attainment of bliss is that man should pay attention to the road signs and properly observe the driving rules and regulations in order to arrive at the destination. One who would say that he is a powerful being having volition, and he wants to move in violation of driving rules and regulations, and that no one also should put a stop to his move, should be aware that his path will end in falling to the abyss of canyon.

So, apart from the fact that man should have a sound physical constitution, he should also know the route and observe the rules. Driving rules can be divided into two: the first group is the set of rules, which if not observed, will cause harm to the driver himself. For example, if he deviates from the highway, he would possibly fall into a canyon or fall from the bridge—harms for the driver himself and his vehicle.

In order to evade those dangers, warning signs will be posted such as “Dangerous curve,” “Move from right,” “Drive slowly,” etc. so that the driver would not drive in violation of the driving rules and be cautious to remain safe. Yet, in the second set, violation of the traffic and driving rules will not only endanger the life of the driver but also endanger the lives of others and give rise to accidents, which sometimes endanger the lives of hundreds of people.

It can sometimes be seen in some expressways and highways, especially in some countries where high speed is allowed, that violations of rules are responsible for the hundreds of cars to hit one another, and as a result, putting in danger many lives of people. It is sometimes written in the newspapers that, for example, in an accident in Germany 150 cars bumped one another.

Naturally, in such happenings it will not suffice to give warning and advice to observe precaution; in fact, they would also post traffic lights and more powerful warning signs; they would assign surveillance cams, automatic cameras, and occasionally, policemen in order to pursue, fine and punish the offending drivers.

Violation in the first case would lead to the deviation of the vehicle from the highway, its turning upside down and breaking of the driver’s hands and feet. In this way, they will no longer fine the driver because he has harmed himself. But in the second case, the violations would endanger the lives of others, and it is on this account that the police will pursue the violator and penalize him.

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