Although the definition is apparently quite intuitive, it might be beneficial to explore the progression of the concept of liberty through the age groups. The current concept of freedom is closely inspired by Locke and Isaiah Berlin; but what about the Islamic viewpoint regarding freedom. With this report I am going to attempt to compare the several views of John Locke and compare it with the concept of freedom in Islam.

John Locke

Locke presumed that liberty was “to be under no restraint but regulations of aspect. ” The old concept of liberty that was identified by Aristotle and Machiavelli essentially advocated the imposition of self-control through the federal government. The new concept was to have none of them of this and it moved its target towards individual rights.

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Locke began his research by assuming circumstances of dynamics. He stated that state is essentially the point out of liberty. People’s privileges are most obvious in this talk about of nature. However, people are not in this status of nature due to the presence of civil federal government. Having established individual rights as the basis of liberty through his idea of the state of characteristics, Locke had a need to reconcile this with the lifetime of federal government. While Aristotle had emphasized on virtue and Machiavelli on virtÑ”, Locke performed likewise with individual privileges. He says: “the end of legislation is not to abolish or restrain, but to maintain and enlarge freedom. “

One of the criticism of John Locke is his assumption that liberty is merely apparent in the status of naure which brings about the final outcome that the civil culture is bad. However, that is not the truth since only through a precise guideline and establishment we can seek to establish means and a way of protection of individuals’ right. Hence civil culture endorses liberty unlike the condition of dynamics since it has a check and balance mechanism against individuals’ encroaching after other peoples liberty.

Freedom in West

The first discovery in freedom in the western was the independence in religion and its speech, conscience and relationship. As the aftermath of the thirty years war (1618-1648) which was primarily ignited by the Protestant Reformation, a peace treaty was agreed upon, known as the ‘Peace of Westphalia. ‘ The treaty offered religious independence of some kind, by allowing Catholics and Protestants to coexist peacefully only as the established religions of different states. However, this was merely a need of this time and was a compromise of sorts somewhat than a perfect scenario or example of freedom.

England was struggling with its own battles which were essentially a politics struggle between your king and the Parliament. The thought of religious flexibility materialized by means of freedom of the individual. The have difficulties for constitutional authority in 1689 was accompanied by the ‘Glorious Revolution’ which guaranteed the dominance of Parliament and its own faith whereby the religious beliefs was declared as free.

Religious Liberty in Christianity

In a well renowned move around in 1965, the Catholic Chapel published a report titled on spiritual freedom which was titled Dignitatis Humanae (Of this Dignity of the Human Person). The crux of the document was that humans experienced the right to religious liberty which is essentially imperviousness to coercion in civil world. The most important things of the declaration were as follows:

The fundamental right to religious liberty

“Every individual has the right of spiritual freedom. Folks are free to seek out the truth in any religion they deem to be representative and correct. This freedom means that all men are to be immune system from coercion on the part of individuals or of social organizations and of any individual ability, in such sensible that no-one is usually to be forced to act in a way unlike his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether on it’s own or in colaboration with others, within credited boundaries. ” (Quoted from Vatican sources)

The responsibility of the state

The government can do all within its to guard the right of all citizens to protect the rights of all residents. It is discriminatory of the federal government if it imposes any constraints on any religious beliefs. “Religious freedom is exercised in modern culture, therefore is subject to certain regulatory norms, again to guarantee the common welfare. Liberty and responsibility must balance and spiritual freedom will need to have as its aim to promote persons behaving with greater responsibility. “

Religious flexibility and Christianity

The Bible proclaims freedom for the visitors to follow their faith widely. Therefore, Christians should respect and advocate religious independence. God has respect for the dignity of most human beings which may also be interpreted from the actions of Christ himself.

Freedom in Islam

History of freedom in Islam

The first illustration of freedom can be observed when ALLAH created Adam (A. S) and trained him right and wrong and the liberty to choose between them. It really is disclosed in the Quran: “Then He proved him what is wrong for him and what’s befitting him. ” This verse uncovers that liberty is the right of everyone and no one’s right is be curtailed or harmed in any manner. When Pharaoh abused this right, ALLAH sent Hazrat Moosa (A. S) to free the Israelites.

We have another great example one of the Seerah of Holy Prophet P. B. U. H. When he started preaching Islam to the Quraish, used a liberal approach where no person was obligated to convert to Islam. Even after the conquest of Makkah, when the power of Muslims was at its pinnacle, people were given complete flexibility as far as their religion was concerned. Even at Medina, the prophet P. B. U. H agreed upon a pact with the Jews where both edges were supposed to be allies and help one another in times of war and turmoil. Islam contributes to the flexibility of belief, since it distributed its origins through invitation and persuasion. People are to embrace it based on sound judgment, fact and it goes without saying, without coercion. On a similar word, Ibn Qudamah, the renowned Hanbali jurist has written:

“It is not permissible to compel a disbeliever into professing Islam. If, for example, a non-Muslim resident (dhimmi) or a person of protected position (musta’man) is compelled to simply accept Islam, he is not considered female unless it is established that his confession is a result of his own choosing. If the individual concerned dies before his consent is known, he will be considered a disbeliever. The reason behind the prohibition of duress here will be the words of God Most High that there shall be ‘no compulsion in religious beliefs. “

Concept of freedom

An International Discussion on Islamic regulation, which was placed between the ulema of Saudi Arabia and Europe, issued this assertion. “The average person is free in regard to the creed he wants to embrace, and it is unlawful to compel anyone to embrace a religious beliefs. ” This affirmation comes from Quran which declares that ‘there is not any compulsion in religion’ (2:256), and ‘Got thy Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Do you then force visitors to become believers?’ (10: 99).

These teachings of the Quran were also upheld in the 1952 convention of the ulama of Pakistan who issued a statement named ‘The Basic Rule of Islamic Status’. Among its procedures were: “The resident shall be entitled to all the privileges, he shall be promised within the boundaries of regulations of freedom of religious beliefs and belief, liberty of worship “. In the same way, the Common Islamic Declaration of People Rights, given by the Islamic Council of Europe provides: ‘Every person gets the right to flexibility of conscience and worship relative to his religious values. ‘ (Artwork XIII. ) These have grown to be the basis for formulation of rules in many Muslim countries such as Malaysia & Pakistan. The Constitution of Malaysia 1957 state governments the next in Article (II) entitled ‘Freedom of Religion’:

(i) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religious beliefs, and subject to clause to propagate it.

(ii) No individual will be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated entirely or partly for the purposes of an religion other than his own

The 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, similarly, asserts in its section on Fundamental Rights and Liberties that:

“At the mercy of law, general population order and morality: a. every resident shall contain the to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and b. every spiritual denomination and every section thereof have the right to set up, maintain and manage its religious institutions. “

The Prophet P. B. U. H didn’t treat conversion from Islam as a proscribed offense. Rather, he forgave many those who had embraced Islam, then left behind it, and then embraced it again. Included among these was Abd Allah ibn Abi Sarh, the foster sibling of Usman ibn Affan, whom the Prophet forgave when Usman pleaded on his behalf. Other situations include that of al-Harith ibn Suwayd, and an organization of individuals from Mecca who embraced Islam, renounced it later on, and then embraced it again. Their lives were spared too. (Kamal 1999)

Ibn Taymiyyah, who have documented these details in his publication, has written these incidents are renowned to the scholars of Hadith. Ibn Taymiyyah also published that the Companions come to a arrangement (ijma’) on this. If the Prophet P. B. U. H passed away, some of the Arabs, reverted, including many enthusiasts of the personal- declared ‘prophets’, Musalimah, al-Anasi, and Tulayhah al- Asadi. They renounced Islam and were subsequently fought by Hazrat Abu Bakr and other Companions until they came back to the trust again. These were not persecuted because of their repudiation of Islam.


From the aforementioned discussion, it can certainly be seen that Christianity & Islam have similar views as far as religious freedom is concerned. Sadly, the modern day Muslims and Christians, misguided as they are, often engage in persecution or discrimination between different religions. The banning of hijab in France and the persecution of Christians and shiahs in Pakistan are stark types of a harsh certainty. More needs to be achieved to align the motives of these parties in order to ensure harmony between people of different faiths.

Additional Resources used

https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Liberty

https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Dignitatis_Humanae

http://www. vatican. va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en. html

globalwebpost. com/farooqm/islam/independence/freedom. doc

http://home. swipnet. se/islam/articles/concept-freedom. htm

http://www. ipedr. com/vol17/21-CHHSS%202011-H10000. pdf

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