Liberty, Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness

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 This is the secular way of life the West invites us into; it is so void of morals that you will remember hearing every competing and incoming President of the United State affirming to their people that at any cost they will not let anyone destroy or disrupt ‘their way of life’; they will never say what way of life this is, because it is relative, redefined every day; and because it is shallow, ungodly, empty of pride.

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Why are all anti-religion concepts based on terminologies that are open-ended, unlimited and literally indefinable?

Secularism, which is being imposed upon our nation from all possible hit-points, be it social networking media; be it the IMF-driven policy-making, which has already given autonomy to the provinces to use discretion in school/college syllabus in adaptation to this new idea; or be it the born-again Muslim liberals, with their own set of dogma about what Islam should really have had been, who infiltrate the NGO sector, the social work sector and the mainstream Media. Even so, the whole international journalism seems to have enshrouded upon itself the cloak of the holy men who want to deliver Pakistan from all its vices, simply by injecting Secularism in and dejecting Islam out.

But why be so conservative, why not accept goodness wherever it is coming from; after all, what is bad about liberty, equality and happiness? If religion is in any way snatching away your liberty, coercing you to act in definite ways, imposing age-ridden dogma and the burden of ritualistic practices on you, limiting your agency to act, can’t you see that religion is being fascist upon you; if religion is provoking hate for other sectors within you and telling you to hate other human communities that differ from you ideologically or racially, why don’t you forsake such a religion and embrace ‘love of humanity’ on the basis of ‘everything is good’? Also, why should anything come in the way of your happiness, why is being happy such a vice in the orthodox eye, why does it ask you to be ever encloaked in sobriety and yester times?

These are the fallacious accusations that are used to crucify belief, falsely concealing the very need of constraint upon society for safeguarding the liberty of the individual, and the need of constraining the individual for safeguarding the liberty of the society; falsefully concealing, also, the need of defining higher goals as the way to positive progression, and deliberately ignoring the fact that equating everything with everything will only end in a demoralized skepticism.

Let us consider how and where Islam has a conflict with these beautiful slogans of so–called progress, in real life. Freedom, as espoused by the West, has disastrous effects by our standards. Western thinkers have yet not come up with a consensus as to how to definitely define liberty and as to where and how it is to be bracketed. For instance, according to Hobbes, “a free man is he that… is not hindered to do what he has the will to do.” So that, he has, at least, the liberty to do with his life, property and his body whatever he wills. In the idea of the ‘social contract’, the individual liberty is taken as the fundamental reality, which, in the ideal state, would be as expansive as possible, and the evermore demanding job of the legislature is ‘to ensure a fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control’, giving maximum precedence to the individual. On the contrary, Islam vouchsafes upon us that our body, our property and our life are not just ours, but are given to us for temporary safe-keeping and usage; you are not allowed to go nude even when alone, as you are never alone, you are always with yourself; you affect yourself. You are not allowed to destroy your own property, even if it is equal to a particle of salt; it belongs to the whole ecosystem, the whole universe. You are not allowed to take your life, it is sacred as much as it is beautiful, it also belongs to everybody around you; they invest in you, you invest in them; they owe you, you owe them. Islam also inculcates in us the value that while we have the right to earn as much as we can, returning it back to the society is better; therefore, the liberty to act is redistributed, with the redistribution of the power to act.

Equality is the very foundation of the Islamic way of life. Islam promotes equal treatment to all people and sectors of the community. It promotes equality before law, racial equality, and equality in freedom of speech, in property rights, in access to security, in social services, and above all, it ensures equality in opportunity and conditions by its redistribution principle. But it does not allow equality between Right and Wrong, equality of good and bad intention, equality in the physical nature of the male and the female, equality of social status for the homosexuals and others exhibiting similar deviation from the natural laws, equality of the child’s rights with his father’s rights.

Now, what is this ‘pursuit of happiness’? By definition, it is anything that would make a man happy. Possibly a man may find happiness in divorce or a woman may find happiness in not raising a family. Some may find happiness in alcohol, some in music, some in homosexuality and some in adultery. Morals will, then, not give allowance to Happiness; rather, Happiness will dictate what morals are. Happiness will be taken as the standard and Morality will be relative to it. Will and consent shall make the act noble, unwillingness shall make it ignoble.

By throwing all moral values in the dungeon of skepticism, the West had to forsake its subjective inner self, for there was nothing left in it but shame and disgust; the only way to proceed in the pursuit of happiness was material, sensual, physical and monetary. Therefore, arose out of this culture of self-pleasure, individuality and materialism – a capitalistic socialism – outwardly vibrant and abundant but inwardly vacant and retarded, scientifically advanced but morally set back to barbarism. Wherein the father, the mother, the son and the daughter all stand equal in the court of law against each other. Wherein the manners of speech and table have risen high, but the manner in which Man will react to his old, dying father is the same as the lions do to the old, dying king of their pride.

While the strong ones grew stronger, (not by God’s grace, of course, but owing to their own sweat and intellect!) a class of special people was cultured, a people not God-fearing and altruistic, but rather under the espoused culture of freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness arose the elite – the superclass; law could not stop them from accumulating wealth, morals could not make them redistribute it, religion could not tell them that it is not theirs to take. Now they have the resources to buy everyone, the will to control everything, the freedom to reach wherever their locomotives can take them; by consent they can kill you, drug you, drone you. They decide what is good for you and what is not and they are always mighty right!

This is the secular way of life the West invites us into; it is so void of morals that you will remember hearing every competing and incoming President of the United State affirming to their people that at any cost they will not let anyone destroy or disrupt ‘their way of life’; they will never say what way of life this is, because it is relative, redefined every day; and because it is shallow, ungodly, empty of pride.

This way of life may be filled with equal opportunity of freely deciding your course of action according to what makes you happy, but at the cost of some precious values; at the cost of the institution of belief and the institution of marriage and family; at the cost of a standard, workable, social/moral system, based on returning and sharing, not just on ‘having’.

In a community where the individual is conditioned to behave selfish, will they not behave so as a nation? Is this the higher moral ground you push us onto and you call it ‘love of humanity’ and the ‘bliss of democracy’? You call it liberty, equality and pursuit of happiness; when you see with your eyes that the liberty of the individual has made him king and killed the equality; that the equality of the man and the woman has kidnapped the happiness of the family; that the pursuit of happiness has robbed the heart of its inner peace and tranquility.

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is a writer at PKKH.tv and can be contacted at [email protected], she tweets @AneelaShahzad

Discussion5 Comments

  1. This long anti western diatribe has completely missed the point…individual freedom is what the west is famous for and it is the lifestyle that people there want and enjoy…including Muslims!…in the west people are free to practice their religion as they like regardless of which religion it is…they are also free to not practice religion…the pursuit of happiness is an individual freedom that allows you to do what makes you happy..as long as it does not infringe on another persons happiness….this is why people are migrating to the west instead of Muslim countries…you say equality is the foundation of Islamic societies?…please…what woman is equal to a man under sharia law?…if she is raped it can only be proven by 4 male witnesses?…you are in denial if you think this is equality…American Muslims are the happiest Muslims in the world because they can practice their religion freely..without some uneducated mullah telling them how they must dress or which sectarian branch of islam they must hate…perhaps the author needs more experience and education about western ways…suggest you take a close look at how Muslims in the free world are living and you may get answers to solve the problems of Muslims in Pakistan..

  2. Bombed-to-the-soul-man

    how about let the Muslims stay in their homes , and the equal westerners stop attacking us state by state, spilling our blood and spreading terror all around..

    • Raphay…take a look around you…there are no westerners attacking Pakistan….it is radical Muslims who are causing sectarian violence and extremists who want jihad that are causing all the problems…you are being misled by anti western propaganda like this article filled with misinformation…

  3. Have you lived in SA been there.
    If not shut up.

    Great country and great people.

    Focus on India and the poverty, starvation, lack of education…
    Where’s the freedom in India.. Rather live in SA then in India.

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