Human Freedom Under Shariah Law
When we talk of human freedom to act then we must understand this freedom as existential freedom and freedom under a legal jurisdiction. You may be free to believe that drug is good. You may be even be free to take drugs when possible, but this existential freedom contradicts legal freedom and sometimes also both existential freedoms agree with legal freedom. So, when Quran states freedom to belief in Quran 18:29 then it is existential freedom because apostasy is textually prohibited under law.
Islamic legal system and Islamic governance must consider these two types of freedom when legislating and governing. There are misconceptions that Islamic laws are only for Muslim people even under Islamic jurisdiction. No this is wrong as everyone is obliged to follow Islamic law under Islamic legal system and jurisdiction.
Muslim is not only mukallaf but any human being with mental capacity, adulthood and ability to follow law is mukallaf. Yes, ritualistic worship or any religious acts which are purely between God and human require faith hence Non-Muslims under Islamic laws are not required to perform Islamic acts of such nature as there is no compulsion in religion in Quran. Even in Islamic marriage you need to utter Islamic religious statements hence Islam allows non-Muslim marriage by their family laws. Jizya is one example of non-faith based Islamic law for non-Muslim subjects under Islamic rule.
Adding further discussion to Jizya needs attention. Oriental narrative has been that Jizya is oppressive and translates to second class treatment of non-Muslim Islamic subjects. There is nothing in Quran or Sunnah says that Jizya has to mean mistreatment of non-Muslims. Jizya is just a simple tax. Non-Muslims cannot expect to be free from state duties and obligations such as tax. They cannot expect free service from the government just like Muslims cannot expect. Both Muslims and non-Muslims must pay tax in the form of Zakat and Khumus for Muslims and Jizya for non-Muslism.
So Islamic laws which are for benefit of the people overall, and for maintenance of security and order then such must be followed by non-Muslims as well. Islam gives both a spiritual model and a human model. Examples include Islamic criminal laws, trade and business laws, moral laws for moral health of society, foreign policy laws etc. Non-Muslims don't need to believe in Allah to adhere by these but only belief in security, order and public interest.
Islamic law allowing non-Muslim to abide by their religious laws even in matters of crimes, trade and business is only a mercy and not an obligation for all these cases and even then, such freedom must be limited within the confines of non-Muslim interaction and must not affect the public as a whole or impede implementation of Islamic state policies or other Islamic laws for example.
Muslims today think they need to satisfy the liberal bar to implement Islamic laws. We must first understand that liberalism is not a religion as well as a contradiction of major world religions in many aspects. Islamic legal system must not see the liberal freedom in the same degree as religious freedom of non-Muslims.
The aim of Islamic law is to protect the five aspects of human existence: Islam, life, wealth, mind and lineage. Some people include honor as well. What I have discussed gives an objective in achieving these aims of Islamic law. Eroding Islamic law from public life of Muslim countries is harmful for Muslim society and existence of overall people.
In a secular democratic existence, we think that there is an objective definition and objective measurement of tolerance. Well this is wrong and deceptive to believe in but nonetheless we believe in it due to colonial legacy and colonial mentality. In truth tolerance is a compromise among different ideologies and groups rather than objective, and for Muslim people God has defined the extent and standard of this compromise but the we Muslim people abandoned God. What kind of tolerance is that where one group has to sacrifice and give up most of their God defined demands even though they are the majority? This is nothing but slavish submission and definitely not compromise.
When Muslims rightfully state that a country is Muslim people get mad because they are confused thinking that claiming a country as Muslim is intolerant and exclusionary to non-Muslims there. They fail to see that if you call a country even without religious identity it remains in the same characteristic of a unique identity similar to when you called a country Muslim. Say you are not using the term Muslim country, but you are using nationalistic, geographic or by other ideological identities such as secular country/communist country/democratic country and you identify yourselves as Malaysian or Turkish or Iranian for example. Do you think by using these identities you are being inclusive of all people? No, you are not. Each of these identities have their meanings and connotations. People are expected to accept to be identified by these unique connotations even if they do not agree with these ideologies and its features.
Do you think everyone in China is a communist? Do you think everyone in Malaysia is a secularist? Do you think everyone in Turkey a liberal? Do you think everyone in Iran an Islamist/Muslim? What happens to the voters who lose? What happens to their rights and desires they expected from their representatives? What happens to those who do not have a say because they are overpowered? So definitely not everyone is adhering to the same identity or getting the same demands fulfilled but still these countries will identify themselves by some political or cultural ideological affiliation. Also, when you identify yourselves as Malaysian or Turkish or British or Iranian what are you implying by these invented terms? Often what is implied is a cultural identity rather than a legal or geographical one. When you say I am British for example you are implying yourself of a certain culture accepted by most people located in Britain. In the same way when you imply that a country is Muslim you are also implying the same.
No one can escape existence of a dominating culture, belief and governing system. In west this is the western liberal culture. Overwhelming number of people in west irrespective of their racial or national or religious backgrounds adhere by this white liberal culture. There is no diversity in this regard. The only diversity is the diversity which you have not created yourself such as your skin color. Your belief system, way of life, practice and action (praxis) in western context of existence is mostly adhering to white liberal culture. Even then you are hated by the fascists because you are not white enough. In west you are encouraged and even required to believe in free sex, LGBTQ, freedom to consume harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco, freedom to dress promiscuously, required to follow a dress code, required to adhere by cultural specific protocols and actions among other actions and beliefs. You celebrate valentine’s day, Halloween, Christmas, Eid for example but you are only given holiday for Christmas and other exclusive white celebrations for example.
So, you see freedom is always favored and preferred to a single system or sets of values and beliefs i.e. There is always one dominating culture, belief and system of law, governance and outlook in a nation. So do not come here and tell me that a country cannot be called Muslim or Islamic.
We can surely agree on the fact that Islam gives less freedom to acts and expressions publicly than liberalism however unlike liberalism Islam considers and manages not only physical harm but also mental, social and demographic harms of people as part of protecting five aspects of Islamic law. We need to study these issues of Islamic morality and law statistically specially through regression techniques.