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Islamic scholarship has approached the subject of freedom from three standpoints: Those engaged in philosophy who have focused on free will and predestination. Mystics who have devoted their attention to spiritual freedom from the desires and illusions of the self. The study of social freedom in Islam – a more recent phenomenon (and more relevant to the counseling subject). Mutahhari distinguished spiritual freedom, based on a God-human relationship that aims to liberate the soul, from social freedom which he defines as freedom in connection with other individuals in society. But he and other notable scholars have shown that in Islam, the two are inextricably linked. Absolute submission to God, the Most Powerful, liberates the conscience of the believer from servitude to any other power. Among the evidence cited to support this is the Qur’anic verse that invites humankind to affirm that “We worship none but God and we associate no partner with Him, and none of us must be slaves of one another other than God.” Al-Imran (3:64).

Referring to the hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have declared that “Every child is born in ‘fitrah’ – the natural Adamic spiritual state of purity.” (Bukhari 1385, Muslim 265810)

Muhammad al-Ghazali and Fathi Uthma, have concluded that Islam sanctifies the liberty of the individual and makes it an integral part of the dignity of people. However, individuals enjoy this liberty provided they do not violate the liberty of others and the collective interest of the community. As Kamali explains, in Islam freedom is not individualistic. It is egalitarian since freedom is not enjoyed at the expense of causing harm to others and it is also communitarian because where individual interest clashes with that of the community, the resolution is often in favor of the latter within the bounds of social justice.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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