At the time of Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), human beings were living under all kinds of oppressive systems.
The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) liberated human beings from these oppressions and opened the door of true freedom for humanity. The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam)’s mission (and therefore his Sunnah) was to establish the unity of humankind.
كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ [البقرة: 213]
”All men used to be a single ‘Ummah’ (i.e. on a single faith). Then (after they differed in matters of faith), Allah sent prophets carrying good news and warning, and sent down with them the Book with Truth to judge between people in matters of their dispute. But it was no other than those to whom it (the Book) was given who, led by envy against each other, disputed it after the clear signs had come to them. Then Allah, with His consent (permission / will) guided those who believed to the truth over which they disputed; and Allah guides whom He Wills to the straight path.” (Al-Baqarah 2:213)
This was a necessary consequence of the belief in the unity of God i.e. Tauheed (Monotheism).
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ • اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ • لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ • وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ [الإخلاص: 1-4]
”Say: ‘The truth is that Allah is One. Allah is Besought of all, needing none. He neither begot anyone, nor was he begotten. And equal to Him has never been any one.” (Al-Ikhlaas 112:1-4)
The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) did not achieve this high goal by rituals and dogmas alone. Nor did he accomplish it by supernatural means. He and his Sahaabah (Companions) persevered and struggled to bring change in human society through Quraanic education and character-building. Islamic teachings, in theory and practice challenged the secular, tribal, and temporal forces of exploitation and corruption. They torched the path to freedom by removing the chains placed on human beings by these forces:
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ [الأعراف: 157]
”those who follow the Messenger, the Ummiyy (unlettered) prophet whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Injeel , and who bids them what is fair and forbids what is unfair, and makes lawful for them good things, and makes unlawful for them impure things, and relieves them of their burden, and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him and support him, and help him and follow the light sent down with him, those are the ones who are successful.” (Al-A’raaf 7:157)
This struggle of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) and Sahaabah gave unimagined freedom to oppressed human beings. Thus the darkest period in human history (quotation from Denison) was turned into a most enlightened one.
Under the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam)’s leadership and his Sunnah, the world was transformed briefly, as people were given freedom to develop their human potential. Even today, historians and philosophers marvel at how the most backward and barbarous people became the most advanced, most civilized in such a short time. Yet, sadly enough, today, instead of being astonished, we are perplexed at how the succeeding Muslim generations came to lose that glory. Muslims are oppressed in their own homelands. Why? Could it be that we have extinguished the light of freedom borne by our Prophet and his Sahaabah, the light that liberated common people from exploitation and subjugation? If so, how can we bring back that luster? How can we enlighten the present consciousness of Muslims, as well as non-Muslims?
The only way to do that is for us to return towards the pristine message of Islam — based on Quraan and Sunnah — in our lives. We must remove the un-Islamic dust that has settled over Islam through centuries of “ignorance” — because of undue focus on worldly arts and sciences of various era — and “deviations” due to influences of Indian, Persian and Western cultures — resulting in the suppression of that very fruit Islamic teachings, which our Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) gave to humanity.
It is important to note that the ability to think differentiates human beings from animals. But this more important to keep this thought process within the limits set by Wahi (Divine revelation) scripted in Quraan and narrated in Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam). Otherwise the human beings descend to the level of animals who are not accountable on the Day of Qiyaamah (Resurrec-tion) under the parameters of Shar’ah. The only way of salvation in this world and in Aakhirah (Hereafter) is the path, truly in accordance with the Quraan and the Sunnah of our Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam).
If we turn back the pages of history and observe the struggles of past nations, or if we study the present social and political movements, we find one common thread: the human urge for unlimited freedom based on limited wisdom.. Human beings, no matter when or where, will invariably rebel against oppression and yearn for way out. However, it must be bounded, otherwise, like an uncontrolled flood, it, too, will lead to destruction, anarchy and chaos.