Does Islam curtail freedom? An analytical approach

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Hamza Tzortzis

Channel: Hamza Tzortzis

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smilla rahmanir rahim in Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Brothers and sisters and friends. This is Hamza undress, do this and today we're going to be covering the question does Islam cartel freedom

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and we're gonna use an analytical approach. Now the first thing I want to say is that I pray that every single one is with good health and high faith high emaan. And I pray to Allah Subhana, WA, to Allah that He accepts today's seminar, and that is effective and makes an impact in your individual and public lives, especially in the context of sharing Islam academically and intellectually, which is a key focus of Sapiens Institute, we really want to get people to understand the importance of showing us some intellectually and academically, but also for them to be empowered to do so. And this is very important because we want to see a world that

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that basically has the message of Islam, but they are given the message of Islam and that, in our world, you have people who are able to share a song academically and intellectually so today's question is, does Islam qatal freedom, we're going to use an analytical approach, and we're gonna basically cover the following points today.

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The first thing is, we're going to cover why this discussion is important. And obviously, I'm gonna elaborate on the existential spiritual dimension of freedom, I'm not going to get into it too much, because we have a previous seminar called born to worship, which really unpacks that further by just wanted to speak about because it's very important, then we're going to talk about the idea of freedom. And by the way, we're not talking about, we're not talking about political conceptions of freedom at this stage, we're talking about the philosophy core idea of freedom rather than political conceptions. And there is a distinction here. So we're going to talk about freedom and coercion. And

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we're going to articulate why. And under the understanding of freedom is basically the the fact that you don't have coercion, that there is an absence of coercion, and then we're going to unpack what coercion actually means.

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Then we're going to talk about the two main theories, the non empirical account and the empirical account. Now, after that, we're going to talk about why the empirical account is incoherent, and why the non empirical account is actually more robust. And it's going to show us that freedom is really connected to rights, that freedom is when your rights have not been violated. And that's easy to say now, but we're going to go through this kind of intellectual journey to show you why freedom is really just about rights. And if your rights are not violated, then you're free. If they are violated, then you're not free. You've been subjugated, or you're oppressed from that perspective.

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But this raises a very important philosophical question, well, what sort of rights because there are different conception of rights, you have the kind of positive view of rights, the negative, your negative view of rights, like the libertarians, and you have the positive view of your rights, like the socialists, for example, then you have the Islamic conception of rights. So what is the correct set of rights? And if you understand that correctly, then you understand when you are free, and when you are not free when you have been subjugated when you're not subjugated.

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So we're going to be able to answer the question, does it sound Qatar freedom in a very easy way, because it's some gives us rights. And if those rights are not violated, then you're free. And Islam also has mechanisms in place to preserve those rights and to protect those rights. So by definition, Islam

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gives you freedom, right. But the question that's very important is actually a dour question. And that's what we're going to focus on at the end, is to get you to realize not to fall for the wrong foot foot for the trap. I'm not saying it's a deliberate trap, but in some cases, cases is, but you don't want to basically adopt a conception of rights that is alien to the Islamic tradition. And you don't want to adopt, therefore a conception of freedom that is against the Islamic tradition, because Islam is a worldview. Islam has his own understanding of rights. Yes, there are overlaps and there are commonalities for sure. I'm not seeing you know, it's night and day difference. Of course

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not. There are some, you know, there is some commonality, commonality and some shared understanding of rights. But the point here is we have a fundamental, you know, different philosophical theory of philosophical intellectual basis, the core and prophetic traditions, and our conception of rights come from that in

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Intellectual tradition, the intellectual Foundation, we could prove that foundation to be true. So in a dour context, we're going to get you basically to take intellectual leadership, and not to basically adopt false assumptions or the wrong assumptions. Because when you do that, especially in adult context, when you're sharing a slum intellection, academically, when you do that, what happens? It creates a lot of inconsistencies. And you actually start to contradict it from itself. So it's very important for us to have this kind of intellectual courage and leadership to be able to show to people, okay, well, what do you mean by freedom? Freedom is the absence of coercion. And the

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absence of coercion really means the non violation of rights. And this raises the question, what sort of rights are the right set of rights to have, and that would allow you to link it to the essence of Islam, which is tell heed affirming the oneness of Allah submission to a submission to Allah subhanho wa Taala. And you'll be able to link it to the intellectual foundations of a song to prove that the Quran is true, and Allah exists, and so on and so forth, and to show them that our rights come from this intellectual Foundation, and which is true, and whatever comes from truth is true. So you could use this question to give them a correct understanding of rights, which is the

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Islamic conception, and also to show how Islam is true at this in the same in at the same time. Now, obviously, this is just a summary. But I just wanted to take you to what we're going to be covering today. So first thing to understand is why is this discussion very important? Well, there are a few reasons why this discussion is very important. You have, you know, lots of ideological attacks in our current social political environment against Islam. You have politicians and ideologues to frame the discussion as the free world versus the unfree world, and the unfree world is the Muslim or the Islamic world, right? And you have this a lot. And you know, these ideologues and politicians, you

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know, they don't really mean that what they mean is

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the liberal world and the non liberal world, generally speaking, right? That's what they mean. They don't mean free and unfree. None that they might be in certain cases, because in some parts of the world, there is subjugation and oppression for sure, obviously, it's not always black and white. But the point here is that what they really mean is a liberal conception of freedom. Right? What they mean here is, you know, secular liberal values versus non secular provide is not necessarily it may do some time, but don't necessarily mean free world versus the unfree world, right? Because they have a particular conception of freedom, which is based on their own philosophical foundations and

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is based on the own conception of rights. Nevertheless, they frame the discussion in that way. And it affects the kind of discourse right yeah, affects the perception of Islam and Muslims, specifically, the Islamic tradition. You know, you have a picture here of this, this incoherent and immoral individual called Gert Wilders, he's the Dutch politician, right wing politician, he said, I believe that Islam and freedom are incompatible. And if you unpack that, philosophically, what he's trying to say is Islam. And, you know, my version of secular liberal values, or my version of rights are incompatible with the small, right, that's what he's trying to say, from that perspective, and

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you can understand that a little in a few minutes when we unpack this idea further.

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Also, you know, there are social psychological implications as well, because, you know, sometimes some of you know, the, the Muslims, our brothers and sisters in our community, what they do, sometimes they like to react to concepts. So there will be like, no, Islam hates freedom, right? Islam is anti free, which is, in my view, every kind of incoherent and not very wise, or even rational approach to this topic, right? You know, don't define yourself by this reaction to everything. You know, it's that's not how you articulate a positive case for, for the Islamic tradition. Because when you understand the context that we live in, and I'm talking from a kind of

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Western context, people living in the West, or people living in an environment where there is no Muslims, we cannot articulate Islam, compassion and intellect and intelligence to them. When you live in that type of environment. You know, you have to understand the connotations of terms you have to understand the social psychological implications. And you have to have hikma you have to have wisdom. So just you know, if, for example, this is idea of freedom, you know, in a certain culture, don't be sitting and say, Oh, no, we don't believe in freedom this ridiculous because that's not even even in line with Islamic tradition. Anyway, especially what you learn today is all

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about rights. Right? Are you going to say that Islam doesn't promote rights, that's a ridiculous thing to do, because in the classical tradition, you even have the concept of hokku a, that the rights of the individuals you have the understanding of, you know, preventing oppression, subjugation, so on and so forth. You have the understanding of the rights of the wife, the rights of the family, the rights of our last panel, what to add

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rights of animals, the rights of non Muslims, the rights of your fellow human beings, this is these these ethics and these principles are embedded in our tradition, are you going to reject rights? Because what you learn today is that freedom and coercion is fundamentally about rights. So if you say no, there is no freedom in Islam, well, you actually rejecting his song from that perspective, because, you know, its equivalent of rejecting the notion of rights, which would be a ridiculous thing to do. So don't react ideologically in that way be new it understand what the Quran and Sunnah actually say, and respond appropriately. And that's from a social psychological point of view, you

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to understand that in liberal societies, people value this idea of freedom, even in a popular sense, even if it's incoherent, you know, for example, you have this kind of, you know, popular idea of that no one can do what they like, as long as they don't hurt anyone, which is a philosophically not very nuanced notion or principle, because had, you know, the implications of your action

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on society and on individuals now, and in the medium to long term future, you just don't know. Right? Right. You might not harm someone immediately. But how do you know that, for example, your particular action now doesn't create some kind of harm? So you know, is it kind of

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undo its notion, but it's a popular notion, and even the idea of how, what does what does home mean? Right? You know, how do you define home, right? individual collective home, what is home, and so on, and so forth. So the big philosophical discussions here, but anyway, notwithstanding, I'm trying to show you there is a social political atmosphere where people value freedom, and you don't want to be, you know, antagonistic to it in a way that's ideological, because this is not the Islamic way of doing things. You need to appreciate this idea and use hickmott and wisdom and show them yes, we agree, one should be free. But what do you mean by freedom? And then you could articulate what we're

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going to be talking about today? Well, freedom is centered around the idea of the absence of coercion. But let's, let's be nuanced, and understand what this really means. Well, really, the absence of coercion is not having

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is about the non violation of rights, right? It's about the non violation rights. It's not about having, you know, the best possible options available, right. And we're going to show some full experiments to show that you can be basically somehow forced to take a particular option. And that's not the option that you wanted to choose. And it has negative consequences. But it doesn't mean you're coerced, you're only coerced, if someone has violated or an entity has violated your rights, and we're going to discuss what we mean by this.

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So before we get into the philosophical idea of freedom, and unpack what I've just said, I think it's very important to understand that there are different kinds of perspectives on liberty and freedom. And there is a very powerful perspective, which is an existential, spiritual perspective, which I really just want to summarize. But if you want to know more about this, go to the seminar that's on our YouTube channel. It's called born to worship. I think I delivered that six weeks ago or something.

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And what is this idea? Let's summarize this idea. Well, basically, essentially, everyone is enslaved. Right? You have this existential slavery from that perspective. And, and this kind of argument is derived from the Quran in chapter 12, verse 87, when Allah subhanho wa Taala says, God puts forward this illustration, kind of man who has for his masters, several partners at odds with each other be considered equal to a man devoted wholly to one master. All praise belongs to God to Allah, the Most of them do not know. So this argument is derived from because always Allah subhanho wa Taala, essentially telling us here, so let's ponder over this verse was interesting, Allah is

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trying to say to us that if you don't worship Allah, the One who knows you better than you know yourself has more affection for you than your own mothers, right? Who is the source of of goodness, who's the one who's actually worthy of servitude, the one who's worthy of worship, if you don't worship Him, you're gonna worship many other slave masters or deities, and they are, they're crawling with one another, they don't really know what's good for you, right? They don't have the same affection for you, and so on and so forth. And this is why it's, it's very critical to understand what this means from an existential perspective, Allah is basically telling us that you

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can't run away from the idea that you're going to be at service to something you're going to worship something as the is the Muslim thinker, mighty Ling's he said, Man cannot not to worship meaning man is in a state of worship, whether they believe in God or not. Now for you to understand this you have to have to unpack what worship actually means or entails. Now worship means to know something the most which is really to focus on something the most and, and, and to, you know, really revolve your life around something the most is to love something the most is

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To obey something the most direct acts of worship, like gratitude, ultimate gratitude and ultimate praise to something the most. Obviously, from the exam perspective, we want to know Allah, who knows a lot, we want to love Allah the Most. And we love Allah the Most. And we want to, we want to, we have to obey Allah the Most. And we believe that we have to direct all acts of worship to Allah alone, the internal acts of worship, the actions of the heart, and the external, actual worships, like the actions of the limbs. And obviously, the actions of the limbs also have an internal element as well, because you have to have the correct intention, and so on and so forth. But basically, the

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external internal acts of worship must be directed to Allah alone.

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Now, if you don't worship Allah, you're going to be worship worshiping something else, for example, an ideology, a celebrity, a culture, a nationality, or whatever the case may be, the point is, you're going to be basically worshiping something the most, because it only be one thing, he might be many things take, for example, you might be in love with their right wing, nationalist ideology, right. And all you want to do is know about the history of your nation. And your whole focus revolves around the idea of, you know, your, your nation, or your ethnicity, and so on and so forth. And you love it the most to the degree that you break natural relationships, because of your

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ideological infatuation. Right, you know, you won't be friends with decent human beings, or you may break family relations, because they don't have the same nationalistic right wing ideas as you and that shows that you love this ideology more than you'd love people that you should love, right? And you obey the dictates of the ideology, or what it basically you know, wants from you, or even the kind of figureheads, or the symbolic figureheads, like politicians or the representatives of this ideology, if they tell you to do something, you would do it almost in this kind of blind obedience, right? So you would obey the dictates of the ideology, the most more than anything else, and you

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direct acts of worship, maybe you won't pray, maybe you're an atheist, but you're going to have ultimate gratitude for the nation, you know, and you're going to have extensive praise for the representatives of this ideology, you're going to have extensive praise, for, you know, the nation itself and the right wing ideology, that so from that perspective, you know, you're basically worshipping this right wing ideology. Now, to unpack this further, please go to the seminar that we delivered, which is called born to worship, but this is just like a summary. So the point here is, in order to attain this liberation to be truly free, is that you have to worship Allah subhanho wa

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Taala. Because if you don't worship Allah, you're going to be worshiping something else, or something else, or some things else, right, you're gonna be worshiping many other things, and then they don't know what's good for you. They're not the source of all goodness, they don't have the same affection for you, and so on and so forth. So from that perspective, if you don't worship Allah, you're worshiping something else. And what's very interesting, the Arabic word for soul in the Quran, is the war. And the word war shares the same root as the word the raw, which means liberty and ease. So it's as if the Lord the soul can only achieve that liberty and ease if it

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connects itself and he's enslaved. And is that service to the one that created it to created the soul, to to worship Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, if you don't worship, worship Allah, you're worshiping something else. And that's just a summary from that perspective to show that, you know, you know, human beings cannot not worship so choose your worship, and if you worship a lot, then you're truly liberated. If you don't worship a loving and slave to the shackles, all of these other forms of deities, if you like, it could even be yourself as Allah says, In the Quran, Have you not seen I want to take his own desires as his mood, you can have this egocentric megalomaniac kind of

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approach to yourself and life you could be a narcissist You know, that's a form of self worship, right? You could you could worship other human beings Allah says, you know, don't be like those who took their rabbis and their monks as the Lord's so you know, I do worship is not just about bowing down to an idol. It's also the the worship of you know, that you can you can worship concepts or other people, or even yourself, but that's something I'd want to get into too much. Please watch that seminar, bone to bone to worship, which really unpacks this much further. So,

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freedom and coercion, the philosophical idea of freedom. So the coherent and uncontroversial definitions of freedom is really centered on the idea of the absence of coercion. So in order to understand freedom, you have to understand what coercion is not only that in order to respond to the question, does it sound cartels

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Freedom is Islam anti freedom, you have to understand what coercion is. So, there are two main theories when it comes to coercion you have the empirical theories, and the non empirical theories. And by the way, I've termed it myself non empirical theories only because one of them is called empirical theories. So, I just felt the other one should be called non empirical theories, you don't have to call it non empirical theories, but it's just for ease okay. So, you have the empirical theories and the non empirical theory. So, the empirical theory is defined coercion from the point of view that a person has no reasonable alternative or choice, but to act in accordance with what

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another person or entity has asked for, okay? Now quotes the non empirical theories of coercion, the person may have no reasonable option, but still remains uncoerced is still free. So one theory of coercion basically says, you don't, you're not allowed to make the choices that you want. Essentially, the other theory of coercion is says no, you may be forced in some way to make choices that you don't want to make, but you're still free. And I basically focus on these two elements of these two theories, because it's important when we unpack in a few moments, in order for you to understand this point further. So let's start with the non empirical account. Okay. So, the late

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Harvard University Professor Robert nozick, he argued for the non empirical account of corrosion, just to remind you, in the literature, from my understanding, it's not called the non empirical account, by I've called it that just to contrast the empirical account of the non empirical account, okay. So nothing was concerned with the notion of whether a person's actions of voluntary in the context of facing severely limited options Okay, so what is his basic argument? He basically argues that look to understand if someone is coerced, you have to understand what limits the person's alternatives. Okay, what limits the person's choices. So if you want to understand coercion, and

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therefore freedom, you have to understand what limits the person's choices. So this understand the context here within an example, say, for instance, one of the limiting factors is an act of nature. So me as a free agent, as a free human being, I'm walking down, I'm hiking, and I want to and I meet a fork in the road, there's a road that's going left and a row that's going right, I freely choose to go right, I want to go right. But what happens is my friend calls me and basically says, there is a tornado coming from that coming towards that direction. So now I am forced in some way to actually take the left road, the left fork or the left part, the left direction.

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Now, according to nozick, because now you've been limited in your choices, you're still not, you're still not coerced, you're still free. Why? Because your rights have not been violated. Okay? So nozick argued that someone is coerced to do something, if it is based on other people's actions, placing limits on one available opportunities, but in what way that they would they would be coercive, if they did not have a right to act in that particular way. And if they violated your rights, and this is very important to understand. So let's go through nozick four experiment, which I have written down here to read out as well. And not for experiment is very small, and shows that

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just because you have you have factors that limit your choices, and you're maybe forced rather to make a particular choice, that is not your ideal choice, or is always a choice that you didn't want to make. It doesn't mean you're not free. It doesn't mean you've been coerced now, okay, as long as your rights have not been violated, and the limiting factors on your choices, that agency or those people that put those limiting factors on your choices, they didn't act in a way that they weren't allowed to act in that particular way. Okay. That they basically have not that they did not that they acted in a way that it was in accordance to their rights, that they did not, it's not the case

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that they acted in a way that they had no right to act in that way. That's basically the point. Yeah. So let's read the the thought experiment is a very good thought experiment. So he nozick basically articulates the thought experiment in this way. He says there are 26 men and 26 women who are seeking spouses don't get married. So both sex groups are ranked. One group has been ranked A to Zed and the other a apostrophe to Zed apostrophe, okay. Now the ranking is based on their marital appeal right then

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Marriage appeal.

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A and A apostrophe decide to marry each other. However, B has also considered a apostrophe as the person that they would most like to marry. But given that a apostrophe is now married, be married be apostrophe. Now, the action of a has obviously limited the alternatives. But since there is another person they still would consider in marriage, that actions are not coerced. Or in Nadex terminology not made involuntary event eventually this concludes with Zed and Zed apostrophe marrying. Now Zed and Zed apostrophe has no other alternative other than to marry each other. But their marriage is still voluntary. No corrosion has taken place and nozick says the fact that the only other

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alternative is in their view much worse, and the fact that others chose to exercise their rights in certain ways, thereby shaping the external environment of options in which Zed and Zed apostrophe choose does not mean they did not marry, they did not marry voluntarily. So nozick basically maintain that since other people have made decision based on their Right, right, to choose whom they wish to marry, and there was no violation of anyone's rights. Zed and Zed apostrophe have not been coerced. And he continues and says,

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A through to y, each acted voluntarily and within their rights, a person's choice among different degrees of unpowered. unpalatable alternatives is not rendered non voluntary, by the fact that others voluntarily chose and acted within their rights in a way that did not provide him with a more palatable alternative. Basically, just because you have an alternative, or you even have only one choice, now you don't have many choices, you only have one choice. And that choice is not palatable, is unreasonable. You don't want to make that choice, or you didn't want to make that choice. But since now, you have to make a choice, you've made a choice to marry someone who you would not in a

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million years marry. But since you want to get married, and you only have one choice, and you're making that choice, just because you've made an unpalatable choice, based upon limiting factors that have been somehow imposed by other people's choices, if they haven't acted in a way that they shouldn't have had effort have acted, and they haven't infringed upon your own rights, and they've acted in, you know, within their own rights, then you're not coerced. Right? You're still free, because they've acted in accordance to their rights. And they haven't infringed upon your rights. Yes, it could be the case. But in many scenarios, you know, you may have an ideal choice, but

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because of other people acting within their rights, and they haven't infringed upon your rights, you end up making a choice. And you have, you have more limited choices, and you're making a choice, that is not your ideal choice. But that doesn't mean you're not free.

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As long as they haven't violated your rights. And as long as they haven't acted in a way that is not within their rights and haven't acted in a way that is is basically wrong, or they have or they they act in a way that's within their rights. And they didn't act in a in a way that, you know,

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was was an infringement upon your rights. And they had no right to act that way. Right, as long as they acted in an appropriate way and within their rights and then infringe upon your rights. Then even if, as a result of the actions and what they've done, you have limited options, even just one option that's unpalatable. You're still free, you're not coerced.

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Now, the empirical account really challenges the non empirical account. So you have the political philosopher syrena, author reti, she basically dizzy disagreed with nozick. And she argued for an empirical conception of coercion. So what does she basically say? She says, she postulated that when a person has no other reasonable choice, their freedom is actually curtailed. That was her view. Now we're gonna understand that this is incoherent,

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and in many cases impractical from a socio political perspective. But what what she's basically saying is that if a person had no other reasonable choice, then they've been coerced. Right? their freedom is, is curtailed. So she makes a distinction. She basically says that Zed and Zed apostrophe were free in choosing to get married, that is true, so they're not coerced in choosing to get married. However, and this is very important to understand. She specifically says that you have to understand the specific topic.

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You have to understand with Zed married Zed a posture free free of coercion that specific choice of Zed meringues, Zed apostrophe. Were they free of coercion when they made the choice to married each other? So she's talking about specific choices in general, yes, Zed, and Zed a plus three of free and choosing to get married. But the particular choice that they made, were they free to make that choice? Or were they coalesced in making that choice.

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She She articulates that doubt is not whether they made voluntarily, rather the doubt is whether the married that particular partner, that is whether they voluntarily choose to marry that particular partner that they married. So already, for example, she slightly changed mosaics for experiment to include that not getting married would lead to unreasonable a negative alternative, such a strong social ostracism, attached to being unmarried. And I think in a previous statement, I think you have to double check, I think she said not getting married would would result to death. Right. So say, no game mode would lead to unreasonable negative alternatives, they had no choice to marry. To marry

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each other, meaning Zed had to marry that apostrophe. Because if they don't get married at all, it would lead to unreasonable negative alternatives. And the only option they have is to marry each other because there are enough has been married off. And the unreasonable negative alternatives has forced them to marry each other. They've been coerced. And that's her counter argument to nozick. But we see how, how incoherent she is, or even from a practical new philosophical perspective. When you start to understand Alan, why time has argument right? Now. The political philosopher, he wrote the book, coercion, his name is Alan white heimer. And according to academics, this book basically

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solved the problem of coercion. It's actually a really good book to read. If you're interested in political philosophy, and these ideas, I suggest you read it. So why time he basically argued against the empirical kind of corrosion. And he did that by stating that the outcome of a choice proposal is based on a particular context. And what he said was that what matters is not the negative alternatives. And we've heard this before. He said, what matters is whether or not there is an infringement of one's rights, whether or not the proposal or the choice is being made, or the limited factors is an infringement of someone's rights. So let me give you an example with another

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thought experiment. And I've got this written down here. And this one of the examples include a patient that has to undergo a life saving operation. So for example, consider a patient that has to go there has to have a life saving operation, the medical staff proposed that the patient has to undergo surgery to ensure the survival in order for the surgery to happen, that patient has to sign a consent form. In this context, that patient has no other option other than to sign the form, otherwise, they'll die. The consequences of not doing so would lead to an untenable situation which is the demise now under the empirical account, the patient is forced to sign right because they have

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no other option that is that is desirable, right.

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So, the point here is so they have the because yeah, they have no other option as desirable and the end to basically not sign it would lead to an undesirable option which is death. However, when this scenario is considered under the rights based approach, the problem is solved. Even though the patient has no other option than to sign the consent form. He still does so without coercion. Because their rights have not been violated, their rights have not been violated. Now their rights would be violated if the surgeon were to operate without consent, then that would be tantamount or equivalent to assault or abuse. Now this example many other examples show and even in real life, you

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could think of them yourself like even buying house, you could you when you think of them, just because you have an undesirable option, right and not undesirable option actually, forces you need some way to take another option that that you may not want to take but you you want to take it because the other alternative is actually undesirable. It doesn't mean you're not free. It doesn't mean you've been coerced, you would only be coerced if your rights have been violated in some way. So this is very important to understand. So this, this unpack this with another example of buying a house. Imagine, you know you're buying a house you live in a city and there are for example,

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1000 houses that are to be sold. Now 999 people before you go in there faster, they saved money faster than you. And they basically bought all of the desirable 999 houses and only one house left. And that house is not the desired choice that you wanted to make. In actual fact, you wouldn't buy that house at all. But since you have to live somewhere, because we call it in this social context, if you don't buy a house, you're going to be homeless, since the alternative option being homeless is is not desirable at all. And it has negative consequences, then you have to now buy that house, even though you don't like that house, and you would never bought that house anyway, even, you know,

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even if someone told you even if your mother told you to buy that house, right? You wouldn't do because it's not a nice house, you don't like it doesn't fulfill your requirements. But you need a roof over your head, if you don't buy a house, in this example, here in this social context, you'll be homeless. So yes, it's an undesirable alternative being homeless, and therefore you have to choose the undesirable choice of buying the house number 1000, which wasn't a very nice house. But that is a better option than being homeless. Now, just because now the peep the 999, people who bought all the other houses, they've acted within their rights, and they haven't violated your

00:36:25--> 00:36:38

rights in this context, even though you have no other option, right? In some way, you've been forced to buy the house, if you don't, if you're homeless, in this context, you're not coerced, you still have freedom because your rights have not been violated.

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So what does this teach us brothers and sisters, that freedom is really about rights. Freedom, is about rights. So the question we could ask is, well, what conception of rights. But before we get into that, take into consideration two distinct conception of rights, the negative and the positive. So negative understanding of rights basically, is that you don't impose any obligation on others, to provide you with anything. And the rights are really just limited. They're based on life, liberty, and property. And this is really a close the libertarian approach to rights, they have a negative rights understanding. Another conception of rights is the positive rights and what do they what they

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say is that yes, people should be provided with certain things. Now, this implies that we have obligations to each other. And this is the kind of socialist understanding if you'd like. Now, these obligations do not involve do not only involve not interfering with other people's people's rights, but ensures that one gets whoever has the rights to so the society has to come together in a social way, in order to ensure that we have our rights fulfilled, okay. And that can include housing, health care, and so on and so forth. So that would be the positive conception of rights.

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Now, this leads to circular argument in what way because if someone basically says freedom is the absence of coercion, which is true, the absence of coercion is when rights are being violated. Therefore, freedom is when rights are not violated. Fair enough. Yeah, we don't necessarily disagree with this. But the point here is, if they assume and negative human rights, they're going to basically say, well, the negative view of rights is the current human rights, therefore preserving someone's negative rights protects their freedom. But that's a second argument.

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That's a circular argument on also known circular reasoning, also known in Latin as circulus in pandal, right? It's a circular argument. Why? Because in this case, the libertarian, the advocates and negative human rights has presuppose that these rights are true, the negative conception is true. This means that the premises of the argument requires much justification as the conclusion because when they say, the absence of coercion is what is when rights are not being violated. They are talking about a negative human rights, but they have to actually prove why those negative that negative human rights is actually the correct conception of rights. So whether you're a socialist or

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whether you advocate a positive human rights or negative human rights, you can't just assume that if your negative rights have been preserved, and they haven't been violated, that you're actually free, because that presupposes that the negative human rights actually correct, but you have to actually show that's the case.

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So let's, let's break it down again. So libertarians, for example, they argue that positive rights could curtail freedom, it's against freedom, because people are obligated or imposed to to facilitate there's an imposition on them to facilitate other people's rights. And what they basically see is that the negative human rights is the correct view on rights, okay? So they would say, freedom is the absence of coercion. Number one, freedom is the absence of coercion number two,

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The absence of coercion is when rights are not violated. And they're assuming here the negative human rights. Number three, therefore freedom is when rights are not violated. But here they're presupposing a negative human rights. So they're basically saying is for the negative your rights, the negative view is the correct view and rights. Number five, therefore preserving someone's negative rights protects the freedom. But these these these this actually presupposes than negative human rights which is a circular reasoning what they have to do is to show that the negative human rights is actually the correct conception of rights. And you could apply the same argument here to

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the positive human rights to the socialists as well.

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So this is why this discussion so far allows us to ask the following key question, Who has the correct conception of rights? Is it those that advocate negative rights that like the libertarians, or those that call for positive rights like the socialists? Or is the Islamic conception of rights correct? Now, obviously, so from from the perspective of today's question, since coercion involves a violation of rights, and therefore freedom is based on coercion is basically the violation of rights, then one's view of freedom would change based on a different conception of rights. Now to answer the question, does, you know does Islam control freedom who say no, because Islam has its own

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conception of rights, you have in our tradition, from the Quran, and the center, the idea of Alabama, the rights of individuals, the rights of animals, the right to your neighbor, the rights of society, the rights of Allah Subhana, Allah to Allah, the rights of animals, right? We have a detailed ethical, value based tradition that's come from an intellectual foundation that is true. And whatever comes from truth is true. We have a set of rights, if those rights are preserved, and they're not being violated, then by definition, you are free.

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So we would say no, some doesn't tell freedom because Islam has its own conception of rights. And the understanding of freedom is based on coercion. And coercion is not just being forced to do something or, or force to take an option that you didn't really want to take. It's more about that someone hasn't acted in a way that they had no right to act in that way, and that they basically didn't violate your rights. As long as your rights are violated, then you're free by definition.

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Oh, but I, you know, I Islam doesn't allow you to do this. And Islam doesn't allow you to do that. So but we don't have a right to do that. So our rights haven't been violated. All you're assuming a libertarian view of rights. I see. Do you see now you've unpacked their assumption. So what that allows you to do is to really bring it back to the intellectual foundations of Asana show how Islam is true. And we're going to discuss in a few moments when we talk about context. So just to summarize, you know, the answer is question, does it sound qatal? Freedom? No, it doesn't. Because according to the Islamic intellectual tradition, you know, God's existence is a self evident truth

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and it's a truth that can be inferred, that can be affirmed through rational investigation. And Allah grants us rights. And the Quran is the miraculous text book of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And the Quran and the Sunnah, and the prophetic traditions give us our rights. And these rights have come from the one who is maximally perfect he is a robot is the source of all goodness, Allah says in the Quran, he is the source of all of all goodness, in chapter three, verse 28, Allah has the picture, we just got the pixel, he understands what's truly good for us. And he's perfectly fair and just and Allah has given us right, so some of those those rights are preserved and not being

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violated, then we are free, because we already discussed freedom is the absence of coercion. But what is coercion? coercion is not having limited factors to the point that you only have one choice that you have a choice, that you have to make a choice that you didn't really want to make no, it's about someone or an agency or individual or collective have acted in a way that they shouldn't have acted

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that they had no right to act in that way.

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Or they have basically infringed upon your rights. As long as they haven't infringed upon your rights. They haven't violated your rights. And as long as they have acted in the way that they had a right to act in that way, then even if you have one option that's that you didn't want to make originally. And you're you're almost forced to make the option because the alternative is unpalatable. You're still free because your rights haven't been violated.

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So since it's about rights, then we could ask the question, well, what conception of rights are true? And we could say well, since Islam has its own understanding of rights, yes, there could be some similarities with other traditions and worldviews, but generally speaking, we have our own understanding of rights and our own priorities as well. Then we should say because Satan know Islam doesn't control freedom. Uh, you may disagree with this because you may disagree with the Islamic conception of rights and this is now how you could articulate a kind of positive

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For the Islamic tradition, because you could use this question to bring it to the essence of Islam, which is the submission to Allah subhanho wa Taala, the submission of to God, and you could show to them that the intellectual foundations of Asana, they're true. And that's how we have to take intellectual leadership and challenge false assumptions. We can't, for example, assume a libertarian or socialist conception of rights, just to you know, make Islam look good. This is a huge disservice to our tradition. And Islam doesn't need to be made to look good. Islam is good because it comes from the one who is the source of our good and that's what we need to understand. So we need to

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obviously do with intelligence and with compassion, you know, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said in an authentic hadith narrated by Buhari you could find this in today. Al Kabir love for Lynette Arabic is leanness for the people for humanity, what you love for yourself. So we have to, and this means we have to be committed to the goodness and guidance of our people. And this echoes the teachings of the classical scholar and never we and also of the Maliki scholar, even topic I read. The point here is we must be committed to goodness and guidance of our people, the well being of all people. And in this context, we need to articulate this in a positive,

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compassionate, intelligent ways he know is some doesn't can tell freedom, because freedom is the absence of coercion and the absence corrosions about the non violation of your rights, even though you may have only one option. And it's unpalatable. The point is just because you have restricted choices, as long as your rights have been violated, then you're still free. You're not uncoerced, therefore you're free. And Islam has its own conception of rights. And since it preserves those rights, and it tries to protect those rights and ensure those rights, then by definition, Islam does not curtail freedom. Now, obviously, you're going to say why disagree with the Islamic conception of

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rights, not from like, I disagree with the libertarian conception of rights. So how do we know which one is true? We'll go to the foundations I can show you that God exists I could show you the Quran is from from the divine from God, and associate the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu. wasallam is the final prophet. And this is the kind of intellectual basis of the foundations if you like, in which forms the kind of grounding of foundations for our rights, and this foundation is true. And whatever comes from truth is true. So these rights are true because they've come from this true intellectual foundation. So what now you're what you're doing now is bringing people to the intellectual

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foundations are solid and in to tauheed. Because you make them realize that once you understand that God exists in the Quran is from Allah. And then what does the Quran and the prophetic teachings teach us about Allah, he's maximally perfect to the highest degree possible, his names and attributes have no deficiency and no flaw. And one of his name is Albar, he is the source of goodness. And his goodness is maximally perfect. He is the just, he is the wise, he's al Hakim, and he has given us rights. And therefore by virtue of who Allah is, the rights that he's given us are going to be the correct view on rights, and the most, in the true view, view and rights that we must

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have. And as long as those rights are preserved, and those rights have been protected, and they haven't been violated, then by definition, as we've just discussed in the seminar, we are free, his son doesn't control freedom. And we know these rights are true because they come from God and we could prove God's existence and they come from the Quran, or we could prove the Quran is from God Himself. Do you see how you could link in the context, but that this requires intellectual leadership, and some kind of intellectual bravery? Because when you consider the social psychological implications of this discussion, when you're talking about freedom, sometimes

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psychologically, like, Yeah, I agree with you. Yeah, you know, you know, yeah, it's my freedom to dress in a particular way. And it's, it's me, and I'm free to, to do this or to do that. But in some cases, in the Islamic tradition, actually, Allah hasn't given that right to make that particular choice, because the essence of Islam is the submission to Allah subhanho wa Taala. Right. So this is very important, we can't fall for the epistemological trap or the metaphysical trap, if you like, don't fall into the epistemological and metaphysical lizard hole. We don't adopt false assumptions. You don't have to be a libertarian just to make a sound sound good or socialist does to make some

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sound good. And now it's time to speak for itself. Understand this in an intellectual way, and understand that freedom is not just a libertarian understanding of rights or a socialist understanding of rights. It's about rights itself. Well, what are the correct conception of rights? It's not the libertarian it's not the socialist is obviously the Islamic Why? Because Islam came from the one who knows everything Allah it came from Allah subhanho wa Taala, who is a maximally perfect being that created us and has more affection for us on our own mothers and is a source of goodness and he he he sent down the Revelation the Quran, which is true and we could prove to be

00:49:50--> 00:49:59

true and he sent down the process Salaam and we know he is the final prophet for so many reasons. And these things gave us all rights. And this is a no

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Intellectual foundation that is true and what comes from truth is true. This is what we should be talking about to liberate humanity. And even from a practical perspective, when people appreciate the Islamic conception of rights or the true conception of rights, as long as they're preserved, and they're not violated, then not only intellectually, they could understand that they're free, but they will actually feel that freedom, they'll feel that liberation, though, taste the sweetness of Islam. This is what we need to do take this type of leadership Don't fall for the kind of epistemological metaphysical trap that you have to adopt their false assumptions. Oh, you remember

00:50:36--> 00:50:43

what we said? It's a circular argument. Yes, freedom is the absence of coercion, the absence of coercion is a non violation of rights, right?

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And therefore, as long as your rights are not violated, then you're free. But the libertarian would make the argument but assume a libertarian conception of rights, which is basically a circular argument, right? Because they have to justify the premises as well as the conclusion. So the point here is, don't adopt that false presuppositions, you know, hold on a second, we don't have a libertarian view, we have an Islamic humanism view actually say, and how can we show to people that that view is the correct view, you have to show them that Allah exists that is worthy of worship, that the Quran is from Allah, the purpose of them is to find the Prophet, teach them about who Allah

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is, is maximum perfection, and in His perfect wisdom has given us this, these these, these, these, these rights, and as long as they're preserved and not violated, then we're truly free. And yes, from a news perspective, a lot of the rights that Islam talks about, you know, are shared with other worldviews, but there's many distinctions and clear distinctions and even the way we prioritize those rights as well. So that's why it's very important to understand it from this perspective, brothers and sisters.

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So here's the bibliography for you, Alan white, white, white heimer, his book called coercion about nozick, his famous book, anarchy, state, and utopia. syrena, also reti her book Liberty does and the market, and so on and so forth. These slides should be a very few in the near future in sha Allah. So any questions, brothers and sisters?

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Any questions?

00:52:22--> 00:52:24

So let's take some questions.

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Let's take some questions now. So go back to the foundation.

00:52:38--> 00:52:41

Okay, so you're saying Wouldn't that be a circular argument to

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wouldn't might be a second argument to are you saying you can't prove rights logically? No, no, we're not saying that. What we're saying is, if someone's a libertarian, or a socialist, or they have a particular conception of rights, if they basically say, well, freedom is the absence of coercion, the absence of coercion is when your rights have not been violated. Therefore, freedom is when your rights have not been violated. That's true. However, the libertarian would push that argument to actually prove a libertarian conception of rights, because what rights are they talking about? In order? In order for it not to be a circular argument, they have to show why the

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libertarian of human rights actually true. So yes, Islam has a conception of rights. We can't just use the argument a basic way, we have to actually show why the Islamic conception of rights are true. And that enables us to link it to tell him to link it to the foundations to link it almost a panel with Allah cube to actually call people to Islam uses question to call people to Islam, which is the work of the NBA or the work of the prophets and what we should be doing in our discussions even of this nature, even when it sounds political or ideological, or whatever the case may be, use it as a nice to bring them to the foundations to bring them to the fact that they need to submit

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themselves to align worship Allah. And you could do it in this discussion. So yeah, no, it's not a second argument as long as you show that your conception of rights are actually true, and we can do that in the Islamic context.

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Okay, so let's take more questions.

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Any questions? Any other questions, but those are sisters.

00:54:32--> 00:54:34

Swing for some questions.

00:54:38--> 00:54:39

Okay.

00:54:42--> 00:54:43

Does the fact this put this up?

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Does the fact that if you don't follow other than Islam, you go to hell? A coersion, just in the example of Zed. Zed apostrophe

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Does the fact that if you don't follow up on Islam, you go to her recursion. Okay, so if you remember the example Zed mindset apostrophe, they were not coerced. Yes, they may have had no other reasonable alternative because they wanted to get married. And they had no other choice other than to marry each other. But as long as the other the as long as an agency or individuals, they acted within their rights, and Zed and Zed Prosser his rights have not been violated, then they are not. They are not coerced, they still uncoerced, they're still free. And that's the point here. So I think you got the question mistaken? So if you're saying that just because you know, Allah says that

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if you don't follow Islam, if you don't worship Allah subhanho wa Taala, then the spiritual consequences that you're going to hell, you are using that as a form of coercion? No, because your rights have not been violated, the water rights have been violated here. Do you see my point? So in the context of our discussion, there's more to say about this. And I really recommend that you listen to Abdullah andalusi, his clip on the whole notion of hell and if it's just on off,

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I saw it on suborder meds YouTube channel, there is a clip, there's a very powerful articulation. And I think but some Zawadi has written a piece, I haven't read it, so I can't advocate but I trust him. And he's written some really good pieces, especially on these and give give that piece every you can find on his academic.edu profile. He's written a piece on that. I don't want to unpack this now because your question is in the context of that example. So hopefully, I've clarified it from that perspective.

00:56:40--> 00:56:42

Okay, so

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it's bear with me. Any other questions?

00:57:00--> 00:57:40

Yeah, absolutely. So the question here is, so this in a nutshell, prove prove that Islamic rights is the true conception? Because there is no question. Okay. I think the way I think maybe the question could have been articulated a little bit better. But what I think what you're trying to say is, in a nutshell, as long as you can prove that Islam has its own conception of rights, and those conception of rights are true, and if they're preserved and not violated, then therefore, you're free from this philosophic idea of freedom. Absolutely. Absolutely. That's all you need to do. And if you do it, without falling for a libertarian view, or socialist view, and jumping into, you know, false

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ideologies, if you do it correctly, there'll be an amazing opportunity to call them to Allah subhanho wa Taala, that He is worthy of worship that you must submit to Him, and that you should believe in Allah and His messenger and you believe in his books, you believe in the Quran, because in improving the rights, the Islamic conception of rights you have to show in certain contexts and many condoms that exists that is worthy of worship that something is the final prophet in the Quran is actually a divine miraculous book.

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Any other questions brothers and sisters?

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Sorry for it being quite heavy. By the way, if you want to, obviously you could revisit and rewatch this seminar is going to be up online. But also there is an essay on the Sapiens Institute website. If you go to writings and you go to articles, essays and articles. I think it's the last one if you scroll down is called.

00:58:45--> 00:59:20

Does Islam Qatar freedom is the same title I think I wrote the I wrote the piece. It was originally taken from my postgraduate essay, Al Hamdulillah. Got a distinction for it. And I wanted to tailor it in a dour context. And I think and we don't really talk about this in the idea of philosophical idea of freedom. Usually we talk about political conceptions like libertarianism, socialism, all that stuff, or even from an excessive ideological point of view, but I think this is a very powerful approach, if done properly, obviously with the right people. It could be quite a powerful, powerful perspective in sha Allah.

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Okay, so any other questions?

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I'll put this up because it's quite funny. Just want to say thumbs up being full of you following you since 2017. not physically Don't worry. Allah bless you bro. May Allah make you follow much better people than me they're much more worthy to follow as well of course, which is quite obvious. And you know, anything good that I do has come from a loss of panel or to Allah and any bad ideas come from my ego and shaytaan and please, you know, overlook

01:00:00--> 01:00:04

Forgive me for my faults and take me to account and incorrect us and help us improve.

01:00:07--> 01:00:09

case so

01:00:15--> 01:00:19

we're Where are we? Where are we so well if it is true because

01:00:24--> 01:00:37

Okay, this question. So he says, well if the Islamic Islamic conception of rights is true because it comes from a true from true argument, then I would say it's a genetic fallacy any proposition that comes from true doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

01:00:39--> 01:01:19

Yes, but let's now focus on even without thinking a question properly. Let's say you're right, this is irrelevant to the argument because what we're saying here is, what is this true foundation? These rights have come from Allah subhanho wa Taala. What is the nature of Allah, He is maximally perfect, his names and attributes are to the highest degree possible. So his he's a Hakeem. So his wisdom is to the highest degree possible, he has no deficiency and no floor, his knowledge his early in his DeLorean, he has the totality of knowledge, Allah has the picture we have a pixel, Allah is Allah, He is the source of goodness. So when you understand who Allah is, not only could you prove a light

01:01:19--> 01:01:37

is true, meaning that He exists, but you can show this is what Allah is by proving the Quran, then any rights Allah has given you are going to be true by definition, not just because of, of, of, you know, the source happens to be true, but because of who Allah is, right?

01:01:38--> 01:02:16

Allah is a maximally perfect being. So a maximally perfect being that is a source of goodness that knows or knowledge or more or knowledge, if you like, has all full of wisdom, has the picture, we just got the pixel, when this being gives you something tells you something, then by virtue of that it's going to be correct and true. So don't strawman argument, it's important to understand that when we say the intellect, the intellectual foundations of Islam are true. What are we really saying we're saying that God exists, the Quran is true, and the person is true. But what does that truth mean? It means that there is divine revelation, what does divine revelation mean? It means it's come

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from the one who is maximally perfect, who has full knowledge full of wisdom is a source of goodness. And when this divine revelation in the form of the Quran, and the statements of the Prophet sallallahu and if something gives you rights, then they're going to be true. So it's not as simple as what you just said, may Allah bless you deserve to have

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any other questions brothers and sisters.

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All right, we'll just leave it at that then May Allah bless every single one of you hope you have benefited. anything good has come from a loss of pan or to Allah. Anything that is wrong or inaccurate has come from my ego and chiffon

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mela bless you as salaam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh