It is natural that a state of deadlock and rejection of renewal reflect a dangerous state of belief that thinks it has the absolute truth. This is combined with belief in the past alone, and the respect of old ideas that contradict with the spirit of the present time.
The discussion of an important issue such as freedom of speech and expression in Islam faces problems that go beyond the surface phenomena.
The first problem
It is concerned with overlap between the theoretical and practical aspects in dealing with the Islamic heritage. The texts of the Quran and the Sunna provide theoretical foundations that raise human rights and allow freedom of expression without restrictions. In contrast, the history of Islamic practices offers a practical behavior that is radically different from that of the theoretical framework. In this context, some researchers confirm that a former modern Islam with international conventions, which calls for human rights and freedom of expression, but they base their judgments to reading the texts alone, in isolation from the historical context.
The second problem
It is in need of attention to the distinction between freedom of expression in the context of religious commitment, and freedom of expression in general framework which is related to political, economic, social and cultural affairs in our everyday life.
Freedom of expression may mean the right to due diligence and the difference in terms of religious exchange, but the launch of the right collide with a lot of obstacles that restrict freedom objectively, and put sacred reference that should not be exceeded.
Hence, non-Muslims may go on to say that the concept of freedom of expression in Islam means the right of Muslims alone to embrace different visions that reflect the differing understanding of the religion and hard work in the interpretation on the basis of affiliation to Islam and thereby the right of expression is not available to all. It does not mean to exceed what is religious to what is secular.
The third problem
This problem is embodied in the selective reading by many Muslims who read Quranic verses and prophetic traditions and interpret them as they please, and each team looks for evidence to prove his point of view and have a victory.
This study seeks to identify Objective on the concept of freedom of opinion and expression in Islam as the basic foundation without which all branches of the civil State fall. The study is carried out within the framework of a rational diligence, aware of the seriousness and the importance of the three problems that we have mentioned above, and in this context, the study includes three sections.
First: the Quran and the freedom of opinion and expression.
Second: The Sunna of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the freedom of opinion and expression.
Third: freedom of opinion and expression in Islamic thought.
The target of the researcher is to have his diligence useful in shedding light on a serious issue, related to Islamic thought on the one hand, especially those misunderstood by many ignorant people who raise slogans falsely in an attempt to achieve their wicked plans including the establishment of a religious state, and related by Muslims and their future on the other hand, on the basis that they are part of the overall humanitarian system.
This intro is intended to discuss some of the terminology and substantive issues for the proper understanding of the concept of freedom of opinion and expression in Islam.
Holy Quran valued the rights of humans, as they are the successor of God on earth.
“When your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know." – (AL-BAQARAH:30)
The humans are mentioned in dozens of Quranic verses, and many studies that stopped in front of the image of humans in the Holy Quran (Mahmoud Abbas Akkad: Human in the Quran), and the important characteristics of this image:
1 – Humans are the successor of God on earth.
2. They are responsible for the reconstruction of the universe.
3 - Such important task not opposing the human being limits.
4. Good and evil are mixed in the depths of humans, because they are neither angels nor devils.
5. This mix makes humans unique, who have the ability to distinguish between good and evil.
The strange thing that deserve to pay attention to it that the Quran provides a number of rights that are not recognized by those who think they are guardians of Islam.
Coercion and choice
Coercion and choice is one of the controversial issues in Islam, and there are a group of Islamic scholars who say that the humans are forced, and another group who believes that humans reap the fruits of their work and choices in this world.
The differences and diversity between people are what Allah wants, as Islam believes in all previous messages and calls to respect believers from other religions. There is no punishment in this world on humans who leave their religion and convert to another one.
Why the Muslim community reached this level of extremism and ideas that force others to particular thoughts? Closing the door of diligence in front of Muslims led us to this tragic situation that millions of people of this nation will pay its prices.
The meaning of diligence and its importance
Diligence, ordered by the numerous texts from the Quran and Sunnah, means to do mental efforts in identifying legitimate verdict in some issues.
The origin of diligence was established by Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) himself, as he ordered his companions to be diligent in his presence and absence.
In the second half of the fourth century, the diligence door was closed; forcing people to only imitate one of the four imams.
Is it conceivable that the Muslims remain to deal with non-Muslims according to the ideas and opinions that were formulated to suit the state of war that existed at that time?
The Sharia law is different than Fiqh, and religiosity is different than religion. Sharia is the provisions of Allah and his Prophet (peace be upon him), which govern the actions of the people according to Quran and Sunnah, but the Fiqh is the human understanding of the Sharia as well as deciding on new legal matters where there is no such ruling in the Quran or Sunnah.
One of the strange things in our Arab society nowadays that some people demand to express their opinion freely, but they prevent others from having the same right, and opening the door for diligence will end this phenomenon as well as avoiding the existence of extremists that believes in their opinion only.