Page 28 - Islam In Focus

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In Islam, there are major and minor sins as there are sins against God and sins against
both God and man. All sins against God, except one, are forgivable if the sinner
sincerely seeks forgiveness. The Qur’ an has stated that truly God does not forgive the
sin of shirk (polytheism, pantheism, trinity, etc.). But He forgives sins other than this
and pardons whom He wills. Yet if the polytheist or atheist comes back to God, his
sin will be forgiven. Sins against men are forgivable only if the offended pardon the
offender or if the proper compensations and / or punishments are applied.
In conclusion, sin is acquired not inborn, emergent not built-in, avoidable not
inevitable. It is a deliberate conscious violation of the unequivocal law of God. If man
does something that is truly caused by natural instincts or absolutely irresistible drives
and uncontrollable urges, then such an act is not a sin in Islam. Otherwise, God’ s
purpose will be pointless and man’ s responsibility will be in vain. God demands of
man what lies within the human possibilities and reaches.
The Concept of Freedom
Freedom, both as a concept and as a value, has been denied to many individuals,
groups, and nations. It has been often misunderstood and abused. The fact is that in no
human society can man be free in the absolute sense of the word. There must be some
limitations of one sort or another, if the society is to function at all.
Apart from this general idea, Islam teaches freedom, cherishes it, and guarantees it for
the Muslim as well as for the non-Muslim. The Islamic concept of freedom applies to
all voluntary activities of man in all walks of life. As already stated, every man is born
free on the fitrah or in a pure state of nature. This means that man is born free from
subjugation, sin, inherited inferiority, and ancestral hinderance. His right of freedom
is sacred as long as he does not deliberately violate the Law of God or desecrate the
rights of others.
One of the main objectives of Islam is to emancipate the mind from superstitutions
and uncertainties, the soul from sin and corruption, the conscience from oppression
and fear, and even the body from disorder and degeneration.
The course which Islam has enjoyed on man to realize this goal includes profound
intellectual endeavors, constant spiritual observances, binding moral principles, and
even dietary regulations. When man follows this course, religiously, he cannot fail to
reach his ultimate goal of freedom and emancipation.
The question of freedom with regard to belief, worship, and conscience is also of
paramount importance in Islam. Every man is entitled to exercise his freedom of
belief, conscience, and worship. In the words of the Qur’ an, God says: Let there be no
compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error. Whoever rejects Evil and
believes in God has grasped the strongest bond that never breaks. And Gods knows all
and hears all things (Qur’ an, 2:256).
Islam takes this attitude because religion depends upon faith, will, and committment.
These would be meaningless if induced by force. Furthermore, Islam presents the
Truth of God in the form of an opportunity and leaves the choice for man to decide