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Reviews

“Oliver has done an exceptional job of highlighting the flawed logic in use in religious arguments today on all sides of the issue of faith.”

“In this slim, well-written volume, Oliver presents an Islamist view of the world that should be read widely by people of all faiths for a greater understanding of Islam. Oliver has used passages from the Qur’aan to illustrate points of view that are poorly, if at all, understood by Westerners; his careful work has resulted in an excellent book, eminently readable and clear.”

- Marlene Satter, ForeWord Magazine

Sacred Freedom: Western Liberalist Ideologies In The Light Of Islam by Haneef Oliver is about conflict between Western attitudes and Islamic thought as manifested in the illusive ideologies of the democratic constructs of Western philosophy. Introducing a fascinating examination of atheism, humanism, pluralism, democracy and secularism, Sacred Freedom thoroughly grasps the wisdom of the Islamic faith and its way of life through many quotes from the Koran, as well as an extensive progression through the pluralistic and material world of the west. A welcome addition to the reading lists for students of Islam, Philosophy, Sociology, Middle Eastern Politics and Culture, Sacred Freedom is a very strongly recommended and informative addition to academic and community library Islamic Studies reference collections.”

- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review

Sacred Freedom isolates a number of broad themes within what we can call the Western tradition, and then questions them from an Islamic standpoint. The authority for Haneef Oliver’s critique comes, as one would expect, from the Koran. Oliver correctly identifies passages from the Koran that appear to answer the points raised in his critique.”

- Nick Fielding

Senior Correspondent, The Sunday Times

“I have read Sacred Freedom (in Arabic) and found it to be beneficial and effective in dealing with its subject matter, particularly for non-Arabic speakers. Answering the thoughts and beliefs of those he is addressing, the author manifests the realities of Islam while clarifying the error of those he is replying to.”

- Shaykh Muhammad ‘Umar Bazmool (Ph.D.) Professor,

Umm al-Quraa University, Makkah

“A work of contemplation … In his critical work Sacred Freedom, Haneef Oliver touches on various aspects of Western society which any fair-minded person would have to agree with … Overall, I found this to be a fascinating work which I’m sure will provoke discussion due to its many glittering ideas and thoughts.”

- Wilson John Haire (playwright, novelist)

Within Two Shadows (Royal Court Theatre, London)

Lost Worlds (Nation Theatre, London)

Starting Point

For non-Muslims www.Islaam.ca

For Muslims www.troid.ca

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All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, without prior permission from the publisher.

E-Book Edition: April 2013

ISBN: 978-1-927012-22-2

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Setting our own bounds of freedom appears to be liberating and attractive like the limitless nature of a gleaming, bright sky. However, what really lies behind this image that we create for ourselves?

Contents

Introduction

Why Do Muslims Reject Atheism?

image People’s Beliefs About the Existence of God

image Signs of the Creator’s Existence

image A Revealing Illustration

Why Do Muslims Reject Worshipping Others Along With God?

image Ingratitude

image The Greatest Crime Imaginable

image The View of Liberalist Ideologies Towards Polytheism

Can Mankind Rightfully Formulate Their Own Religion?

image A World Without True Meaning

image One God, One Way

image An Inability to Comprehend Our Purpose of Existence

image A Cause for Disorientation, Discord and Discontent

image Cutting and Pasting Religious Views

image Creating Moral Anarchy

image A Conclusive Proof

How Does Islam Enlighten People?

image The Contributions of Islamic Civilization

image Humanism: The Cause of Straying in Western Thought and Belief

image A Forgetful and Unbalanced Approach to Science

image An Imbalance That Leads to a State of Confusion

image How Islam Encouraged Nations of People to Acquire Knowledge For Over a Millennium

image A Prevailing Doubt in the World Today: “Look at the State of Affairs of the Muslims!”

image A Return to a Balanced Approach in Acquiring Knowledge

Is Islam a Regressive Religion and Way of Life?

image The True Causes of Decline

image The Flowering of a Great Civilization

image Leaving Off the Correct Practice of Islam: A Historical Turning Point

Understanding Freedom, Diversity and Tolerance

image The Coerced Freedom to Accept Western Values

image Forming Consent to Serve an Intolerant Ideology

image The Realities of Liberalism

image The Freedom to Disobey the Creator

image A Point of Agreement

image Ensuring Injustice and Exploitation Through Perceived Freedoms

image Creating Ethical Limbo

image The Migration of Ethics From Law

image Determining Mankind’s True Criterion in Resolving Problems

image Safeguarding Legitimate Rights and Freedoms

Is Democracy the Answer to Mankind’s Woes?

image Liberalism and Democracy Through Occupation and Coercion

image The Realities of Democracy

image A Lurking Threat to Mankind

image Democracy Encourages Seeking Fame and Authority

image Seeking Fame and Authority: A Corrupting Force

Is Secularism a Sound Ideology?

image Does Secularism Exist in the Bible?

image Marginalizing the Creator’s Religion

image Altering God’s Religion According to Desire

image The True Reality Behind Secularist Thought

image A Glaring Lack of Trust and Certainty

The Consequences of Following Incorrect Beliefs and False Ideologies

image A Creation Brought Into Existence Without Knowledge, Will and Ability?

image The Doubts of the Polytheists

image The Source of All Liberalist Ideologies

image The Danger of Blindly Following Others

image An Unsubstantiated Doubt Surrounding the Coming of The Day of Judgement

image The Arrival of This Day

image The Final Outcome

Introduction

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After the events of September 11, I saw the need to compile a book about terrorism and religious extremism in the world today. After publishing this book, it occurred to me that another subject - that of negligence in religious affairs - was also in desperate need of being addressed for both Muslim and non-Muslim readers.

On a daily basis, we are being inundated with different kinds of manmade liberalist ideologies in the mainstream media. Because of the sheer volume and almost monotone voice of many media outlets, people are given the impression that these ideologies must be accepted by every living individual and society in the world today, and that the validity of these ideologies is not open to question.

At present, Westerners and liberalists in general are intrigued as to why people are still turning to Islam for enlightenment in this modern age. This is particularly intriguing for those who are convinced that Islam is something that impedes progress, and that Islamic civilization has proven to be inferior to other civilizations as a result of its adherence to Islam. This subject has been addressed in this book as a response to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s remark that Islamic civilization is “stuck where it was 1400 years ago.”1

I have also analyzed the two main reference points in Western humanist thinking throughout the book. The first of these is the belief that people are free and responsible for deciding their own actions, and therefore, that God should only have a personal, marginal place in their lives. The other important point of reference for Western policy and societal orientation is the belief that the opinion of the majority should act as mankind’s principle criterion in shaping human behaviour and legislation.

One of the major points of contention that liberalists have with Islam is the reluctance the Muslim world has shown in embracing these two principles. Some liberalists take a more militant approach in trying to spread these two principles in the Muslim world, while others censure these tactics, hoping that more temperate policies will win the Muslims over to contemporary humanist values. Whatever the method, the message remains the same: Muslims must change their beliefs and eventually conform to this ever-changing series of humanist values.

After reading this book, the reader will be able to judge whether the devotion that people have towards these two principles is deserved, and whether there is any basis for people’s opposition to the principles of Islam.

The reader will notice that the first two chapters establish certain essential matters that are referred to later on when discussing issues related to contemporary Western ideologies. The first chapter deals with the subject of how we can know that a Creator does actually exist, while the second chapter deals with why this Creator deserves to be worshipped and served alone in our lives.

It should be noted that the concept of worship in Islam is much broader than just a limited set of religious rites. Prayer, charity, good treatment of parents, decency towards people and excellence in the workplace are only a few examples of how a Muslim is expected to worship the Creator.

In order to substantiate what I have written from an Islamic perspective, I have quoted quite extensively from the texts of Islam. In quoting verses from the Qur’aan, I have avoided using archaic English as is found in some Biblical and Qur’aanic translations, as it tends to render some of the subject matter obscure. What has been written below the Arabic verses found in this book is a “translation of the meaning” of the Qur’aan, as opposed to a literal translation.

In certain rare instances, I have included some verses from the Old and New Testaments. Muslims believe in the scriptures that were given to the former prophets. However, they do not believe that the scriptures that are in circulation today amongst the present day Jews and Christians are exactly the same as they were when they were originally revealed. Consequently, Muslims neither accept nor reject their contents, unless a matter can be confirmed or negated by a verse of the Qur’aan or an authentic hadeeth (prophetic narration).

It is my hope that this book will contribute to a better understanding of Islam, and I welcome any kind of feedback from anyone who finds any points of contention within it.

Haneef Oliver

1425/7/6

21/08/2004

1 Berlusconi: The West must conquer Islam, Associated Press: Salon, September 26, 2001.

Why Do Muslims Reject Atheism?

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People’s Beliefs about the Existence of God

Atheism can be described as the belief that no creator exists, and that the universe was not brought about by divine knowledge, will and ability. Although many famous people have claimed to be atheists or agnostics2 throughout history, they have often been found to be a minority within their communities.

On October 16, 2003, Opinion Dynamics Corporation released a national poll showing that “92 percent of Americans say they believe in God.”3 Indeed, a large portion of mankind affirms some kind of belief in the existence of God, as this is something that is known to mankind by way of the natural disposition that God has given mankind to know instinctively about His existence, and that He was the cause of their coming to being.4

Even those few who deny the existence of God, do so only by covering up this natural disposition which they were given, allowing pride and doubt to dominate their instinctive awareness of their Creator. This was the case of the Pharaoh who oppressed Moses (image)5 and the Children of Israel. Pharaoh not only denied the existence of Allaah,6 but he also claimed to be the Lord of the worlds. In the final revelation given to mankind, Allaah said:

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Then he (Pharaoh) gathered (his people) and called out, saying, “I am your Lord, Most High.”

[79:24]

This statement by Pharaoh was not made out of true conviction, but rather, out of arrogance:

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And they rejected those Signs in iniquity and arrogance, though their souls were convinced thereof: So see what was the end of those who acted corruptly.

[27:14]

Pharaoh’s arrogance was swiftly terminated when Allaah parted the sea for Moses (image) and his followers, and Pharaoh was made to see that he was going to die, and meet the One whom he denied:

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We took the Children of Israel across the sea; Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook him, he said: “I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of those who submit (to His Will in Islam).”

Now (you believe)? And you had disobeyed (Us) before, and were one of the corrupting evildoers.

So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a Sign to those who come after you. And verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs.

[10:90-92]

Likewise, when faced with life or death situations such as being in a plane that is about to crash, those who claim to be agnostics or atheists often find themselves instinctively supplicating to their Creator to relieve them of their distress. Their resorting to pray to their Creator only occurs when all other worldly means have been exhausted, knowing that no pilot, motor or parachute can help them. This is the time they lift the veil of self-deceit and turn to their Creator alone, although it was their Creator who had always been controlling all the affairs they had previously been relying on.

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Say (to them, O Muhammad): “Who is it that delivers you from the dark recesses of land and sea, when you call upon Him in humility and silent terror: ‘If He only delivers us from these (dangers), (we vow) we shall truly show our gratitude?’”

Say: “Allaah rescues you from this and from all (other) distresses, then you worship others besides Him.”

[6:63-64]

When these people who claimed they were agnostics or atheists single out Allaah, praying to Him in their dire time of need, they suddenly come to the realization that He exists, and that only He can help them. This realization comes about as a result of their awareness that Allaah is the One who possesses all power and ability as regards all things, that He is all encompassing, fully acquainted with them, and controlling their affairs.

Signs of the Creator’s Existence

To illustrate this necessary conclusion, a simple analogy can be drawn. Prosecutors are known to bring forward evidences such as DNA samples, footprints and fingerprints, to find people guilty of certain crimes that nobody has actually witnessed. Just as footprints in the ground point to the fact that a person had once walked in that place, examining Allaah’s Signs within His creational arrangement proves conclusively that every single thing that exists within the universe came about by a Most Wise Creator.

Indeed, one can come to this realization by turning to the created things and reflecting upon their nature, in order to conclude that they did not come about by themselves. Only One who possesses infinite knowledge and the capability to create would be able to bring the universe and all it contains into being, and to balance and administrate all of its affairs in such a stable manner.

Allaah invites mankind to reflect upon the creation and its sophistication in order to conclude that only a Most Wise and knowledgeable Creator created them, and that as such, nothing deserves to be worshipped or served except Him:

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Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.

[3:190]

Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaaaq al’Abbaad, a contemporary academic, said: “Contemplate the night and day; they are amongst the most amazing Signs of Allaah. See how He made the night for resting and as a covering. It envelops the world causing the cessation of activities. Animals retire to their dwellings and the birds to their nests. The souls relax and take rest from the pains of their labour and fatigue until when the souls are reposed and have slept, they now look forward to their livelihood and its disposal. The Splitter of the morning (image) brings forward the day, His army giving glad tidings of the (coming of) the morning. It vanquishes that darkness and tears it asunder, unveiling the darkness from the world. Thereafter, the inhabitants are able to see. The animals then circulate about the land and proceed to manage their livelihood and welfare, and the birds depart from their nests. What a returning and arising, which is so indicative of Allaah’s capability (to assemble the creation) for the Major Return.7

Now ponder over the delicate and fine air that is held captive between the sky and earth. It is sensed through feeling when it blows; its substance is felt but its form cannot be seen. It runs between the sky and earth; the birds circle and fly in it, swimming with their wings just as the fish of the sea swim in water. Its sides and gusts collide against each other when in commotion, just as the waves of the ocean clash.

Consider how Allaah (image) forms with this wind, clouds that are held between the sky and earth. The wind excites the clouds causing them to rise and become dense. Allaah then combines the clouds together and merges them, and drives them by the wind to the land in need (of rain).

When they rise and ascend above the land, their water falls upon it. Allaah dispatches the winds whilst the clouds are in the atmosphere. The winds scatter and separate the clouds so that they do not harm or destroy what they would if the water were to descend upon it all at once. Once the land takes its fill and need, the clouds leave off the land and disperse. Thus, these clouds water the earth and are carried by the winds.”8