Freedom of Expression in Islam
By AROOSH MALIK
The freedom to express our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, opinions and expressions is an important part of human’s life. When in our daily life, we talk and write, our ideas and opinions are freely participating in a society regardless of any medium.Freedom of expression must be available to every one without considering the person’s race, color, richness or poorness. Suppose in a society, if you are allowed to believe and think but not to share anything with others, then your freedom is totally restricted and in this case no one can judge his strengths or weaknesses properly.
Freedom of expression and freedom of speech have a very close link with each other but with a little difference. Freedom of speech means to speak freely without any limitation. So, the freedom to express views or thoughts is polished due to awareness and communication with others. Islam also emphasizes on this freedom. Freedom of expression in Islam is not only for freedom to express our thoughts in Islam but also Islam provides guidelines on social behaviors. Only due to Islam, for the first time in the history, the revolution of freedom of expression came in to lime light.
Before Islam there was no concept of freedom to express ones own thoughts because freedom of expression is a great cause of ones progress. The utmost benefit of the freedom given by Islam is to enable human beings to achieve the highest virtue which in the Holy Quran is called as “fearing the unseen” which means without any pressure imposed by God. So, we freely acknowledge Almighty Allah and lead our lines according to the principles laid down by Islam, by keeping His fear in our minds and without this freedom no one can experience such a great spirituality.
According to Islam, the freedom of expression is a basic human right and Islam strongly condemns about spreading lies or wrong information to others. In any expression of thoughts either by words, drawings or other mediums one should observe and keep in mind the values of Islam while presenting them.
An other great advantage of freedom of expression is that it saves human beings from hypocrisy. On the other side this freedom is also related with creativity. A society with free freedom of expression will produce creative human beings in comparison with a society with no freedom of expression. So, our success is also a major cause of this freedom which encourages us to have a distinction between good, bad, right or wrong. According to Hadith “it is a part ofbelievers to accept the truth without any reservation when it is presented tothem”. By the virtue of truth, when a person is pointed out his faults he accepts them without any complexity which is due to his perfect sense being caused by only freedom of expression.