From all corners of the globe, slogans of freedom are constantly chanted. The call for freedom of speech, children wanting their freedom, women demanding freedom, etc, are commonly heard. The demand for freedom has spiralled out of proportion to such an extent that children want ‘freedom’ from their aged parents. Parents want ‘freedom’ from their children. As a result in most instances there is gross neglect of responsibilities which eventually ends up in a total breakdown of the structure of society.

The demand for freedom has further progressed into the sphere of religion. No longer do people wish to be ‘restrained’ by religion. Instead, there is a general crave for freedom. At times, it is a desire for total freedom from religion, whilst in other cases the demand is for some form of ‘relaxation’ in some aspects of religion. Statements like, ‘orthodox’, ‘old fashioned’, ‘backwards ‘ etc are all the products of this drive towards freedom.  Deen is not the invention of any human. It is not something that can be fashioned according to a person’s taste. Allah Ta`ala declared the Deen of Islam to be perfect. Hence, demanding some form of relaxation means that –Allah forbid- Deen is incomplete.

Careful reflection will reveal that this world has been designed in such a way that it is impossible to enjoy total freedom. No government or organisation advocates complete freedom. Instead, there is and will always be some degree of restriction in order to have a balanced society. Today, the promoters of freedom themselves hold their heads in bewilderment over the ‘monster’ they have created. The thirst for freedom can never be quenched. It goes on until the individual demands complete freedom- freedom to do whatever he or she pleases. Freedom from marital obligations, from morals, modesty, freedom from everything including-Allah Forbid- even religion and God!

Let us take a cursory glance at those communities that have embraced this ‘free culture’. What is the result? Daughter impregnated by her own biological father. Mother mercilessly murdered by her own child for a few pennies of life insurance. Innocent children abused for the satisfaction of desires. Why? All this is the result of the ‘free culture’ wherein there is absolutely no restriction as to what an individual may do in order to gratify himself. Over and above all of this is the effort made, again in the name of ’freedom’, to justify some of these heinous, hair rising, despicable acts!

Perhaps this drive has been fuelled by the passion for entertainment and desire for enjoyment. The focal point of people’s lives has become entertainment. A holiday barely comes to an end when the next is already planned. Families are sacrificed for the sake of entertainment. Problems creep into a new marriage when the husband is too busy with his friends entertaining himself. Children are discarded in day care centres because their parents ‘need’ to have some time to themselves. Jobs are jeopardised because of entertainment, etc, etc.

Complete freedom will be enjoyed only in the hereafter. Every person, in his or her capacity, has some level of responsibility in this world. A husband has the responsibility of his wife. Parents have the responsibility of the correct upbringing of their children. Children have the responsibility of taking care of the parents. Teachers shoulder the responsibility of the students. An employee has the responsibility of performing as per the demands of the job. Thus there is no escape from responsibility. Nabi r is reported to have said, “Each one of you is a shepherd and each one of you will be questioned regarding his flock”.

Whilst there is no objection to entertainment when it is within the parameters of Shariah, the culture of fun and entertainment which has erupted is in NO way justifiable. Likewise, the ‘free culture’ as well is in contradiction with the teachings of our pure and pristine Sharia`h.  Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have said, “The world is a prison for the Believer and paradise for the disbeliever”(Muslim). Just as a prisoner cannot behave as he wishes, likewise a mu`min cannot do whatever he pleases in this world. He is bound and restricted by the command of his loving Master, Allah Ta`ala.