Haitham al-Haddad – Freedom of religion in an Islamic state

Posted on January 27, 2014


“This matter (freedom of belief) in Islam is attacked heavily by many non-Muslims. They say you, as Muslims, you do not have freedom of religion, freedom of belief. We say we have to be careful, what do we mean by this, freedom of religion?”

“You are free to go and steal but the law says if you steal what will happen? There will be consequences. You are free to cross the speed limit, to go beyond the speed limit, you can do it can’t you? But what will happen? You have to pay the penalty or the fine. So, in other words you are not free because if I am free to do something and then you are telling me that you have to pay the consequences, then I am not free. Same thing we say about religion. Any person who wants to believe in Christianity, he can. Anyone who wants to believe in Hinduism, he can. Anyone who wants to believe in atheism, he can. But he has to what? To bear the consequences. Now the consequences of having any religion other than al-Islam, some of those consequences are in the dunya [wordly life] and some of them are in the aakhirah [afterlife] OK? Let us understand this topic carefully. Some of those consequences are in the dunya and some of the consequences are in the aakhirah. Now in the dunya, some of those consequences can be applied directly, some of them cannot be applied directly, some of them have to be applied after a court of law or after a certain procedure, and some of them are not, yeah? This is in the dunya.”

“Now, in this dunya, freedom of religion, from one aspect, as we said, you have the free will to choose whatever you want to do but from another angle there are some consequences in this life. Those consequences in this life we cannot apply them unless there is an Islamic authority to apply them. The consequences of what? Disbelieving in Allah. There has to be what? An Islamic authority to apply them because if there is no sovereignty, if there is no authority for Islam, who is going to apply those consequences that are related to disbelieving in Allah? Who? No one? Are you following this? Sisters are you following this? Yeah? Brothers, yeah? OK, so, if someone says that he wants to be whatever he wants to be, we said there are consequences. If you are living under the Islamic state you have to be aware of those consequences. If you are living in a non-Muslim state we have no authority over the Muslim state, Islam has no authority over the state, Islam has no sovereignty. So, then they will ask the question ‘What about in a Muslim country? What about in an Islamic state?’  We say in an Islamic state, because sovereignty belongs to Islam, then you have to abide by the rules of Islam, by the sovereignty in this country as you have to abide by the rules of any country? Agree or not?”

“If you are living in China then you have to abide by the rules of China. You have to follow the law there. You cannot go against it. So why if you are living in an Islamic state do you want to have freedom to do whatever you want to do? It is impossible. This is one thing. Clear?”

“Disbelief is an insult to Allah. The person is insulting Allah by worshiping someone with Allah or by disbelieving in Allah. And that’s why the Islamic state has an obligation towards who? Towards Allah, first. Yes? And it should not allow people to insult Allah under its jurisdiction because the sovereignty in the Islamic state belongs to Allah. In fact the whole globe belongs to Allah, so how come Allah created you and how Allah is the controller of everything, and you insult him? So the Islamic state is responsible to make sure that no one insults Allah, OK? So, this freedom of religion, yeah, why do we take it as a value without no restrictions? Yes? Who said that it is an absolute value? No one said that it is an absolute value? Sorry, if you say that it is an absolute value, I don’t accept it. It is not an absolute value. Why are you judging me according to your values? Why don’t I judge you according to my values? And when they say no, this is the human rights that has been approved by United Nations, we say that United Nations has been controlled by just one school of thought but we totally disagree with this. Is it clear? So you don’t say that it is just a basic human right – freedom of belief. I disagree with this. Is the point clear? Yeah? This is how to articulate it. Now, sharia is looking after the rights of Allah and in a sharia state, yeah, the sharia state has to look after the rights of Allah.”

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