Freedom of Speech in Qur’an
September 18, 2011 Leave a comment
What is the use of talking? Does talking help us in achieving anything? Who has the right to speak?
1) Speech, Argument, Proof – Qur’an encourages to talk reasonably and logically to resolve disputes. Not only Mullahs and scholars but common people and even non-Muslims have a right to speak and argue on certain matters. Questions are also the part of speech or argument. Only those who lack intellectual capabilities to understand a question and a wisdom of how to respond usually avoid facing discussions and issue fatawah (their final decision without consulting the scholars of different sects).
There was a time when people knew what to teach their children. The elders in the family use to watch youngsters’ behaviour. Now, what a newborn in a Pakistani family might hear right after his birth is azan and then most probably an Indian song. At the age of 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5, he/she is thrown to a place called a nursery, where they start their learning with the sound of animals or strange phonics. That is the beginning of a long trail known as “schooling”. Children learn to “shut up and do your work” at homes, at schools, at tutors.
Where do they learn “the freedom of speech”? No where. And then we ask each other surprisingly the causes of extremism and barbarism in our society.
> “The Most Gracious (Allah)! It is He Who has taught the Qur’an. He has created man. He has taught him speech (and intelligence)” ….. Surah Ar-Rahman/The Most Gracious 1-4
> “When a (courteous) greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things” …. Surah An-Nisa/The Women 86
> “Invite (all) to the Way of Your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for Your Lord knows the best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance” … Surah An-Nahl/The Bee 125
> “Or, Who originates creation, then repeats it, and who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah. Say, “Bring forth your argument, if ye are telling the truth!” …. Surah An-Naml/The Ants 64
> “And they say: “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful” … Surah Al-Baqarah/The Cow 111
> “Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah. and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things)” …. Surah Al-Mujadilah/The Pleading Woman 1
2) Vain Talk, Humour, Offensive Nicknames, Suspicion, Back-biting – Qur’an discourages what may heat up the discussion or create issues and suggests how to respond in such situations.
> “And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant” …. Surah Al-Qasas/The Story 55
> “And remain steadfast in the face of their utterances, and disregard them in a nice manner” ….. Surah Al-Muzammil/The Enshrouded One 10
> “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong…… O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful” ….. Surah Al-Hujraat/The Apartments 11,12
> “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint,- none but persons of the greatest good fortune. …. Surah Fussilaat/Signs 34,35