Slavery is the biggest oppression a person has done to another person. No other creation has oppressed mankind more than humans themselves. Enslaving humans is an old tradition. If a group discovers energy and power resources, it attacks its brothers to enslave them. In case power fails, this group uses other ways to mentally and psychologically enslave their brothers and sisters.
In the modern times, the curse of physical slavery is finished, however, the mental and psychological slavery still exists. This problem is of great importance in the Muslim Countries and majority of the Muslims, either practicing or non-practicing, are seen to be a victim of such slavery.
Muhammad Mubashir Nazir
Chapter 1: Islam and Psychological Freedom
Psychological Slavery before Prophet Muhammad (May God bless him)
Islamic Reforms about Ideological Freedom
The Qur’anic Massage
The Attitude of Prophet Muhammad (May God bless him) about Freedom of Thought
The Attitude of the Guided Caliphs about Freedom of Thought
Chapter 2: Psychological, Intellectual, and Ideological Slavery in Muslim World.
Evolution of Intellectual Slavery in the Muslim World
Blind Following & Imitation (Taqleed)
New Relationships between Teacher & Student and Mentor & Disciple
Chapter 3: Psychological Slavery in the Modern Age
The Process of Psychological Enslavement
Campaign to Sanctify Religious / Political Leaders
Preparing a Special Team of Propaganda
The Apparent Mission and Secret Agenda of the Religious / Political Leaders
The Process of Presenting One’s Message as it is God’s Message
Monopoly on Theology
Discouragement of using Wisdom, Knowledge and Intellect
Lack of Tolerance against Disagreement
Creation of “Opponents”
Practical System of Brainwashing
Statements of Special Preachers
Lack of Complete Information
Social Reinforcement and Emotional Blackmailing
Appeal to Emotion instead of Intellect
Special Meeting with Important People
The Test of Loyalty
Change of the Name of Follower
Discouragement of Questions
Detachment from Society
The Use of Religion as a Tool for Brainwashing
Confession and Repentance
The Transmission of Psychological Slavery to the Next Generation
Chapter 4: How to Get Rid of Psychological Slavery?
Global Movement of Freedom of Thought
The Difference between Islamic and Atheist Freedom of Thought
Practical Steps required for Freedom of Thought
Ability to Distinguish between Sincere and Selfish Religious Leaders
Improvements required in the Religious Education System
Focus on the Qur’an during Religion Studies
Critical Analysis & Context in the Hadith Research
Teaching Methods of Comparative Studies
Education of Modern Sciences
Online System of Certified Religious Education
The Process of De-Conditioning
Deconditioning: The Process of Freeing a Psychological Slave
The Role of the Preacher of the Truth in De-Conditioning
Psychological Up and Down after De-Conditioning
Religious leaders used to have the religious authority before Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him, 571-632CE.) These groups existed in all parts of the world and used to socially and governmentally influence the societies. This style of governance is called Theocracy. Polytheism was the major religion of the world at that time and almost every country had created the mythologies of gods and goddesses. Every citizen of the state was obliged to believe in these mythologies. If anyone dared to differ, he/she faced religious brutality and was punished according to the severity of the difference.
Contrary to the religion of polytheism, there were People of Book comprising of Christians and Jews who were the preachers of religion of monotheism. Although, these people were monotheistic and had declared polytheism a major sin, but polytheism existed in them in the form of Hero Worship on a subliminal level. Christians practiced polytheism by declaring Prophet Jesus (May God bless him) as son of God. Similarly, some Jews practiced polytheism by considering Prophet Ezra (May God bless him) as the God’s son.
The religious leaders used to enjoy the same status as the leaders of polytheists. These religious leaders still maintain that status but they have lost their political power. According to the report of the Prophet Muhammad (May God bless him) explained the state of such psychological slavery during his time:
Narrated ‘Adi Ibn Hatim Companion: “I came to the Prophet (ﷺ) while I had a golden cross around my neck.
The Prophet said: “O ‘Adi! Remove this idol from yourself!” I listened him reciting from the Qur’an: “They assumed their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allah (9:31).”
The Prophet said: “As for them, they did not worship their leaders, but when they made something lawful for them, they considered it lawful according to God, and when they made something unlawful based on God, their followers considered it unlawful (without checking them.)” (Book, Jami’ At Tarmidhi, Report 3095)
In reality, still we consider exactly the same scenario as portrayed in this Hadith Report, if we study the bibliography literature of saints in Christians, Jews & Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad (May God bless him) mission was to finish all type of slavery. He purchased huge slave men and women and give freedom to them. He developed a relationship of friendship with his slave or free Companions (May God peace be upon them) instead of becoming a Master and assuming others have servant. Companions (May God peace be upon them) used to listen and obey what was revealed by Allah Almighty to the Prophet (May God bless him) but in the case of non-religious issues, it was normal for the Companions to have a different opinion.
Even in the case of revelations from Allah, people were not expected to follow it blindly, they were allowed to get questions and develop its understanding instead of blind following. The Qur’an calls Muslims to discuss and understand the wisdom of Allah’s delivered to them. You can see in the Qur’an:
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لأُولِي الأَلْبَابِ۔ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ. (اٰل عمران 3:190-191)
[“Why demand of humanity to believe about God?] In reality, in the creation of the universe & the earth and in the alternation of night & day, there is evidence for logical persons. Those logical persons who remember about God whether standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and keep reflecting on the creation of the universe and the earth. [Their prayer is:] “Lord! You have not created all this universe without a purpose. You are exalted that You cannot do anything without any purpose. Please save us from the torment of the Hell.” (3:190 – 191)
In case of difference of opinions, The Prophet (May God bless him), rather than suppressing the contradictory thoughts, He (May God bless him) used to think about it and at times preferred His Companion’s opinion over Him. If the Prophet (May God bless him) finds their opinions disagreeable, He used to convince them positively in extreme kindness.
The Prophet (May God bless him) had clearly told His Companions to follow him in religious matters only and they are allowed to have a different opinion in other issues as long as your opinions are not being violated against Islamic Commandments. Following are the few samples of such freedom of expression of freedom:
Rafi’ Ibn Khadij (May Allah peace be upon him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (May God bless him) came to a garden at Medina City and the people were grafting trees of dates. The Prophet asked: “What are you doing?”
They replied: “We are grafting them.”
Then the Prophet said: “It may be good for you, if you don’t do it.”
These persons avoided this practice (and the date-palms) began to yield less fruit. They explained the result (to the Holy Prophet.) At that time, the Prophet said: “I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it. But when I give an opinion to you about a thing out of religious issue, keep it in mind because I am a human being. You know better about your worldly affairs.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith Report 6127)
It should not give the perception that the Prophet (May God bless him) did this out of his modesty only because number of other events understand that it was a routine of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him) and his Companions. You can observe that whenever the Prophet planned for a strategy or worldly affairs, Allah said in the Qur’an.
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ.
[O Prophet!] It was thanks to God’s mercy that you are kind to them [all Muslims who may mistakes.] Had you been ill-tempered and hard-hearted, then all these would have surely deserted you. Therefore, ignore their mistakes, pray for forgiveness about them and consult them in affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in God because God loves only those who trust Him. (Al-Imran 3:159)
وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ.
Those persons who have responded to the invitation of their Lord, they pray diligently, their decision making is based on their mutual consultation and pay [for Allah’s cause] from the sustenance, We have blessed them. (Shura 42:38)
Historical evidence, you can study that during the war of Badr at 2H/624CE, once there came a point when the Prophet (May God bless him) changed his strategy, as per the advice of Companion Habab Ibn Manzar (May God peace be upon him):
“Habab Ibn Manzar (May God peace be upon him) suggested: “O Prophet! The location you are standing is not suitable. We should move in the downward location because I know this place and I know this water is sweet at this location. We will change the flow of water and turn it into a pool and we will drink water from it. During fight, only we will be able to benefit from it and enemy will not be able to get water.”
The Angle Jibril, came down to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “Habab’s opinion is correct. Please got up and acted on that opinion.” (Tabqat Ibn e Saad, Battle of Badr)
When large soldiers of enemies travelled, the Prophet (May God bless him) planning for war Uhud at 3H/625CE. During planning, different opinions suggested by Companions (May God peace by upon them.)
The opinion of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was that we should not go out of Medina City to fight. It was also the strategy according to His dream and the Prophet (May God bless him) asked His Companions for give opinions.
Abdullah Ibn Abi (the leader of hypocrites) and the Elders Sincere Companions (May God peace be upon them) suggested that we should not go out of city and fight. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) decided to stay in Medina City and leave the children and women in a safe place.
The new young boys who had not taken part in the battle of Badr last year, they were demanding the Prophet (May God bless him) to go out and fight the enemy. These persons had a strong desire for martyrdom. They requested: “Let us go out and fight the enemy.”
The opinion of those who wanted to compete by going outside city (due to the majority of opinions) prevailed and the contest was made by going outside city.” (Tabqat Ibn e Saad, Battle of Badr)
In the war of Trench at 5H/627CE, the Prophet (May God bless him) decided to dig a trench on the opinion of a former slave person, Salman the Persian (May God peace be upon him). The Companions (May God peace by upon them) were astonished to hear this method of warfare because this method of warfare was not common in Arab Countries. You can see that how the attitude of the Prophet (May Allah bless him) about freedom due to getting opinions.
Each Companion had an equal right to give his/her opinion regardless of their status. Although, in old Arab culture, the status of existing or former slave persons status was low but the Prophet (May Allah bless him) give equal status to all persons whether normal or slave persons.
You can further review enough evidence about freedom, that the Prophet (May God bless him) give status of Osama Ibn Zayd (May God peace be upon him) as the Commander of a military. Some new Muslims objected because they had old culture about former slaver persons. The Prophet (May God bless him) convinced new Muslims in a positive manner.
Narrated `Abdullah Ibn ‘Omar: The Prophet sent an army under the command of Usama Ibn Zaid. When some people criticized his leadership, the Prophet said to them: “If you are criticizing Usama’s leadership, you did criticize before his father’s leadership. By Allah! He was worthy of leadership and he is one of the dearest persons to me and I liked his father Zaid.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Report 3730)
Before travel of army, the Prophet (May Allah bless him) got death and his Companion Abu Bakr (May Allah peace be upon him) become the Head of Government (Caliph.) He instructed the army to move towards Jordon because the Prophet (May Allah bless him) planned for it. The Caliph took the rope of camel of ‘Usama and moved by foot while ‘Usama was hiding on camel. He was requesting the Caliph to please don’t do it because it is not your status but the objective of the Head of Government was to improve the status of former slave person.
When Ayesha (May God peace be upon her) purchased a slave girl Barira (May God peace be upon her) and give freedom to her. She had the right under Islamic Law to separate from her husband after getting freedom. She disliked her husband dearly while her husband loved her very much. On this occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) suggested her to keep the marriage, then you can see the situation.
Narrated Ibn Abbas (May Allah peace be upon him): Barira’s husband was a slave whose name was Mughith. I am seeing him now, going behind Barira and weeping with his tears flowing down his beard.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said to (his uncle) Abbas: “O Abbas! Are you not astonished at the love of Mughith for Barira and but Barira hatred for Mughith?” The Prophet (ﷺ) then said to Barira, “Why don’t you keep with Mughith?”
She said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Do you instruct me to do so?”
The Prophet said: “No, I only suggest for him.”
She said: “Sorry, I don’t like him and I don’t need of him.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Report 5283)
Some people have tried to create the illusional ideas from the Qur’an that the Prophet (May God bless him) did not like it to ask questions about useless ideas. The sentence is mentioned in the Qur’an as follows:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِنْ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ وَإِنْ تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ.
“Believers! Don’t ask questions about [illusional] ideas. If made known to you, would burden you and if you ask them while the Qur’ān is being revealed to you, they will be made evident to you. [At this time,] Allah has forgiven these things because God is Forgiving and very Gracious.” (Al Maidah 5:101)
To conclude from this verse of the Qur’an, that asking questions or reflecting on things is forbidden in Islam is absolutely wrong. It is very clear from the Hadith Reports of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that the questions that are forbidden in this sentence.
Narrated Sa`d Ibn Abi Waqqas (May Allay peace be upon him): The Prophet (May Allah bless him) said: “The most sinful person among the Muslims is the one who asked about something which had not been prohibited in Islamic-Law. But it was prohibited because of his asking.” (Sahidh Bukhari, Hadith 7289)
Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushani (May Allay peace be upon him) reported that God’s Messenger saying: “Allah has made clear instruction, so don’t cause them to be lost. He has prohibited certain law, so do not violate them. He has fixed certain limits, so do not transgress them. God has not explained further law, so do not search about it otherwise you will get confusion.” (Mishkat Al-Masabih, Hadith 197)
The Prophet (May God bless him) never discouraged positive thinking. At the time of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, it was forbidden to ask such questions which would make something “Unlawful” which will make a trouble & confusion to the Muslims. Where Allah Almighty has chosen silence, one should remain silent so that there is a choice for the people and they won’t be questioned by Allah in such matters.
As far as positive questions are concerned, there was absolutely no restriction on asking such questions. If we look at the whole collection of Hadith Reports, it is clear that the Companions used to ask a lot of questions to the Prophet (May God bless him) except the things that are already declared Lawful or Unlawful according to the Qur’an.
Same behaviour like the Prophet Muhammad (May God bless him) was practiced by the Caliphs. To illustrate this, we are giving some examples of the behaviour of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. When Abu Bakr (May Allah peace be upon him) became the 1st caliph, he stated his policy in the 1st sermon to the public:
When Abu Bakr became the caliph, he addressed the public. In his sermon, after praising God Almighty, he said: “O Mankind! I have been made responsible for your affairs but I did not desire this responsibility. The Qur’an was revealed and the Prophet (May God bless him) established Sunnah (Religious Practice), based on how we learnt the religion. Know that the best dress is the dress of take care of Allah. The greatest foolishness of all is the foolishness to commit sin.
The one person (Administrator of Govt.) who is the strongest among you, then he is the weakest to me until I get the responsibilities from him. The weakest common person is the strongest to me, until I deliver him/her due right. O Persons! I am only a follower of (religion) and not an innovator in religious law. If I do good, you will help me, and if I do wrong, you have authority to correct me.” (Tabqat Ibn Sa’d, Chapter: Abu Bakr)
The last point of this sermon was not only humility but also the action of the Companions (May Allah peace by upon them.) Whether it happened huge wars against “Persecution at Roman & Persian Super Powers”, in every case Abu Bakr (May God peace by upon him) get advisory from all the Companions and all persons had the freedom to express their opinion openly.
The 2nd Caliph, Omar (May God peace by upon him) set the same examples. During Friday Sermon, it was the responsibility of the Caliph to conduct sermon. At that time, common persons had the right to stand during the Friday sermon and hold him accountable in the in front of a huge crowd. It is a well-known fact that during Friday Sermon, some common people asked him: “You have given one sheet of cloth of all persons, but how did you take 2-sheets of cloth?”
Instead of answering himself, he requested his son Abdullah Ibn Umar to give answer. He got up and said that he had given his share of the cloth to my dear father because his body is tall. The “Head of Government” did not give any punishment to objectors.
At one time, Caliph Omar (May God peace by upon him) intended to set a limit on the amount of gift during marriage because he wanted to minimize huge expenses at marriage. During the Friday Sermon he informed common persons but a lady strongly disagreed with him and she said during sermon: “When the Prophet (May Allah bless him) did not establish a law on limit on gift, how can you minimize it?” In reply, Caliph Omar said: “Madam! Your opinion is right and my opinion is wrong.” He changed his mind and did not call this woman as arrogant lady.
According to the common law of Arabian tribes, that after getting victory, the land was given to soldiers. During the government of Caliph Omar (May Allah peace be upon him), huge victory got war against Roman & Persian Empires. They get huge fertilized land from Iran to Egypt whose owner were the kings. After the victory, the soldiers asked the government to divide us the land. Caliph Omar asked all the persons from different tribes and 5 days discussed to make a decision about such fertilize land. Caliph Omar give opinion based on the Qur’an:
وَمَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْهُمْ فَمَا أَوْجَفْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَيْلٍ وَلَا رِكَابٍ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَلِّطُ رُسُلَهُ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ. مَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ. لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنْصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ.
Whatever wealth Allah granted to His Prophet. But you neither used your horses or camel on them [so you cannot claim to it.] Allah who gives Prophet’s authority over whomsoever He plans because God has power over every thing. [For this reason of victory,] whatever Allah granted these cities to His Prophet shall remain specifically for:
b. The Prophet & his family
d. Destitute Persons
e. And Travelers
So that it does not circulate only in the rich among your persons. The Prophet whatever he gives you, accept it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it and keep fearing God. In reality, God is hard in retribution. This fund is especially for those poor immigrants who have been driven out of their homes and their properties. They have come seeking Allah’s reward and pleasure, and they want to support Allah and His Prophet. In reality, they are the truthful persons. (Al-Hashr 59:6-8)
Based on the opinion of Caliph Omar (May Allah peace be upon him), all the persons agreed with him and they have established the “Financial Law” based on the Qur’an.
The Decision about the Govt Land (20H/641CE)
a. Canal System to Develop Agriculture
b. Give Job to all the Non-Muslim Farmers = Salary of Farmers is 50% of Production
c. Division of the 50% Income of the Govt = Salary to Govt Employees + Orphans + Destitute Persons + Travelers (The Law of Govt Treasury كتاب الاموال, Chief Justice Abu Yusuf 113-182H/713-798CE)
Whether it was the matter of managing land, preparing for war, spending money on the welfare of the people, distributing booty, the people had the right to express their views in every matter. The government decision would have been enforced on the opinion of the person who had succeeded in convincing the majority of the members of the Majlis. You can see that Caliph Omar (May God peace be upon her) used to encourage others common persons to hold the Caliph accountable to persons.
Omar asked from persons: “Is I am a king or a caliph?” Salman Farsi replied: “If you receive one dollar or more or less from the land of the Muslims and spend it unjustly, then you are a king and not a caliph.” When Omar heard this, he conducted weeping.”
Omar said: “I don’t know whether I am the caliph or the king. If I am a king, it is a serious issue.” Someone said: “O Head of Government! There is a difference between the two. The caliph is the one who does not collect unjust taxes and does not spend it unjustly. By God! You are like that caliph. The king collects taxes by force and spends it as he want to us it but you are not a king.” Omar became silent on hearing different persons. (Tabqat Ibn Sa’d, Chapter: Caliph Omar)
For a long time after becoming the caliph, Omar (May Allah peace be upon him) did not receive a salary but continued to spend from his personal wealth. When he ran out of money, he asked the Companions (Govt. Parliament) what I should do with my house? On the advice of Caliph Uthman and Sa’id ibn Zayd, Omar began to take money from the treasury for the needs of food and clothing of the family of Omar. A common person, Ibrahim informed that during caliphate, Omar used to get only 60 $dirhams but my salary was 180 $dirhams.
During government of the 3rd Caliph Uthman (May God peace be upon him), a gang wanted to change the Caliph and they give false propaganda to different cities. When the Caliph Uthman informed, he announced all the claims during sermon and asked common persons that such propaganda was right? If you give evidence, please let me know and I will resign and give me punishment based on the law.” Huge persons in million did crying and said with consensus that such propaganda was false and span.
Another example of further Caliph Companions (May Allah peace by upon them), a Jew made a claim against 4th Caliph Ali (May God peace be upon him) in the court of Judge Qazi Sharaih who was appointed by Ali (May God peace be upon him). Ali presented two witnesses in his favour whose name was Hassan and Qandar. The judge refused to accept the testimony of the two persons because one Hassan (May God peace be upon him) was the son of Ali and the other was the freed slave of Ali. Therefore, the court decision was given in the favour of the Jew.
The Jew converted to Islam after hearing the verdict that it is a sign of justice that a judge is ruling in favour of a Non-Muslim against the Caliph of the time. Obviously, when such freedom of expression was allowed in the matters that relate to the Caliph of that time, same is expected with other normal people.
This explanation shows that Islam freed its followers from psychological slavery by closing all other idols of patriarchy, Hero-worship and intellectual slavery. It is a sad fact that after 300 or 400 years, many Muslim leaders fell victim to the same psychological slavery from which Islam tried to free all human persons. In the next chapters, you will identify the reasons in which Muslim leadership started psychological slavery.
After the death of the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him), many persons become the “Head of Government” and used the same word “Caliph” but in reality, they were the kings. Muslim kings were very fond and appreciative of knowledge. With the exception of a few rulers like Mamun al-Rashid (Reign 813-833CE), no ruler has tried to enslave Muslims ideologically and intellectually. They had great value for “freedom of thought” and “freedom of expression” and were ready to make all kinds of sacrifices.
In the following centuries, two changes took place which led to the introduction of intellectual and ideological slavery among the Muslims. One of these changes was the promotion of blind imitation of old scholars. Similarly, the relationship between teacher and student become guru and disciple. The purpose of commenting on these two social changes is not to deny or endorse anyone. We are describing these details as merely a historical books.
In Arabic language, the word “Taqleed” means imitation which has the implication that blind following which is the real situation of “Psychological Slaver.” In the literal sense, the meaning of “Taqleed” among Muslims has been started using blind following of different scholars of the past should be followed without knowing reason. In the fourth century of Hijri Calendar (301-400H/914-1010CE), it was decided that every person should choose one of the 4 famous schools of thought in jurisprudence whose names were Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Schools of Thought.
How did the social attitude of “Taqleed” began and evolved? Indian scholar, Shah Waliullah (1114-1176H/1702-1762CE) has written an entire chapter in his controversial book “Hujjatullah Al-Balghah.” Waliullah writes about the attitude of Muslims in the first three centuries (1-300H/622-913CE) whose translation is as follows:
“You should know that before the 4th Hijri Centuries, people did not agree to follow any particular school of thought. Abu Talib Al-Makki (d. 388H/998CE) mentioned in his book “Qut al-Qulub”: ‘These books and collections are new things. In the 1st and 2nd centuries, people were not accustomed to Establishing one’s opinion based on the views of different scholars. They were getting opinions about issues; they try to get a strong opinion of one’s scholar and quoting his views in every issue.’
My opinion is that, in later centuries a new thing was born known as scholars tried to get different opinions of different old scholars in inductive logic. As the study of historical knowledge, the scholars up to the 4th century did not agree to blindly follow the school of thought of a particular “Founder of School of Thought.” It makes the only thing to ponder over old scholars and identified their reasons.
As far as the common people were concerned, the matters in which there was a consensus among the majority of Muslims. They did not imitate anyone except the Prophet (Peace be upon him). They used to learn the method of ablution, bath, prayers, Zakat etc. from their parents or the scholars of their city and acted accordingly based on their knowledge. Whenever they encountered a particular question, they visit to a “Jurisprudence Scholar” and ask him the question. They get queries without tagging themselves from a particular school of thought.
As far as the superior scholars (Khas) are concerned, they also had experts of Hadith Reports. They had the Hadith Reports of the Holy Prophet (May God bless him) and the relics reports of the Companions of the Prophet. There was no excuse for them to leave a Hadith Report or the opinion of the majority of the Companions and they did not like to avoid it.
In case they are not satisfied on an issue, they would refer to the opinion of previous scholars. If they found two different opinions, they would choose the one closest to being right on reason. They did not think differences that opinion from scholars of Madinah or from other cities was more important but their focus was on the logical reason of each scholar. These people also include the ones who practiced deductive reasoning.
When they did not find a clear point in an issue, they would perform “Ijtihad (logical reasoning)” within the confines of a particular school of thought. Such people were considered to belong to a particular school of thought and it was said that such and such was a Shafi’i (d. 204H/820CE) or such and such was a Hanafi (d. 150H/767CE) School of Thought.
Some of the Hadith Researchers are also attributed to one school of thought because most of their opinions are in accordance with that particular school of thought. For example, Scholar Nisa’i and Bayhaqi are attributed to the Shafi’i School of Thought. Any judge or a jurist must require to conduct research based on logical reason and it was not possible to become a judge without Ijtihaad (logical reasoning.)” (Shah Waliullah, Hujjatullah Al-Balghah)
Waliullah describes the changes in this practice in the next centuries:
After these periods people started to move around. They started to conceive new issues. They differed on the issue of jurisprudence. According to Ghazali’s (d. 505H/1111CE) mentioned that when the era of the (Companions) Caliphs came to an end, the government was hired to those persons who were incompetent and weak in matters of rulings and judgement. They were compelled to seek the help of the jurists (to run the government) and to make them their allies in every situation.
(At the same time) there were scholars who adhered to the old method and considered it necessary to maintain the dignity of the religion. When they were summoned (in government affairs), they would move around and try to avoid it. Due to these objections (from worldly affairs), the honour and status of the scholars and researchers of that time remained intact.
Later persons were born who began to acquire knowledge in order to gain Govt. position and status. After that, the jurists became seekers instead what they should do. Those previous persons who get honour became they stay away from kings, but now new generation became humiliated because they gathered around them except for those persons who get rid of going to kings by help of Allah’s grace.
Before them they were persons who wrote books on Islamic Scholastic Theology (Ilm al-Kalām). These people became more and more involved in gathering different opinions on this knowledge, quoting them, answering questions, and arranging procedures for discussion and debate. As a result, the knowledge which was going on heart to heart but now began to open in books.
The kings, for their own entertainment, started to use financial fund based on debates on jurisprudence. Especially, they debated based on the Great Schools of Thought of Abu Hanifa (d. 150H/767CE) and Shafi’i (d. 204H/820CE) may God have mercy on them. The persons abandoned theology and other scientific knowledge and began to specialize in special issues based on debate between Shafi’i and Hanafi Schools of Thoughts.
Oppositely, they avoid the Schools of Thoughts of Malik (d. 179H/795CE), Sufyan al-Thawri (d. 161H/778CE) and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 240H/855CE) although they were equal to Hanifa and Shafi’i. Their idea was that they were doing all this in order to find the deepest knowledge in the law. They wanted to point out the shortcomings of different schools of thought and to formulate the principles of the knowledge of issuing jurisprudence opinions.
They got too much involved in this attitude and started to write books more than which required but they were still doing it. I don’t think that the purpose of Allah’s Religion during such useless debates in later periods but anyway, that’s what happened.
Some of them were those scholars who were satisfied with blind imitation. Unconsciously, imitation spread like an ant in their mind and such imitation slowly became a part of their personalities. The reason for this was that the jurists were competing with each other and arguing with each other (unnecessarily). Whenever one person expressed his point of view, another scholar would another issue with opposite opinion with objective of reversing opinion of first scholar. Their debate on this would continue until someone put forward a clear opinion of one of the ancient scholars.
One of the reasons for increasing blind following based on cruelty of judges and kings. When judges began to make unjust decisions and they avoided professional honesty, their decisions were not in accordance with old court right decisions. Therefore, such unethical judgements were not accepted by common persons.
Another reason (for the increase in imitation) was the goofiness of religious leaders. People started asking for legal opinions from those so-called scholars, who had neither the knowledge of Hadith Reports nor the method of expulsion (the method of applying existing laws to the new situation). This is something you can see common in later times. Ibn Hammam (d. 861H/1457CE) and others have warned against this situation. This was the time when lack of capacity of logical analysis, they began to be called jurists.
Among them were people who tried to go deeper into every art (more than necessary). There were those scholars who assumed themselves that they were laying the foundation of the knowledge of Asma–ur–Rijaal (The Bibliography of the Narrators) to confirm whose narrators were reliable persons and who were unreliable persons. For this they started to collect ancient and modern history. There were some scholars who began to investigate strange traditions (making them their goal) even if they were merely fake traditions.
Some scholars began to debate (unnecessarily) on the principles of jurisprudence. Each began to adopt rules and regulations concerning their method (from the results of the thinking of the elders of their own school of thought). These people collect such issues, investigate them, prepare questions and answers about them and classify them unnecessarily and engage in long and short debates.
Some other scholars began to assume imaginary situation to create questions, but in reality, now person was able to think about illogical questions. They will make such questions and generalized conclusion out of it which can neither satisfied a mind of scholar nor of a common person.
Then began the age of pure imitation. People stopped differentiating between truth and falsehood & between interpreting God’s ruling and debating over these rulings. Now the jurist became the person who speaks more, argues carelessly, remembers the strong and weak opinions of the ancient scholars without any difference and narrates it with full enthusiasm. A Muhaddith (Specialist of Reviewing Old Reports) became a person who memorizes all kinds of authentic and unauthentic reports and narrate with other persons with great enthusiasm carelessly by power of their jaws.
I’m not saying everyone was like that. There is always a class of servants of Allah who are not harmed by the ignorance of such people. Despite of being few in number, such people are the God’s proof in the land.
In the times that followed, tribulations abounded, blind imitation became common, and honesty began to emanate from the hearts of the people. People were satisfied that meditation on religious matters should be abandoned. They said, “We found our forefathers following a particular way, and we are following in their footsteps. (Qur’an, Al-Zukhruf 43:22)
From that time until today, the four schools of thought (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali) whose issues have had been written, related to consensus of all Muslims, whoever wants to relate any sect can start imitating it. There are also some benefits that are not hidden. At one point when determinations became very weak and scholars had become accustomed to their own desires. Everyone began to choose opinions according to their own desires (so it was decided to imitate which result in sectarianism.)
Ibn Hazm (d. 456H/1064CE) disagreeing on this issue and said: ‘Blind following should avoid. It is not right for a person to accept the words of a person other than the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) without any evidence. As far as these jurists (e.g. Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, may God peace be upon them) were concerned as they told to their students to not blindly follow us. In reality, whoever tried to imitate them, then he/she opposed their great scholars.
If it was necessary to imitate one of them, then don’t deserve more e.g. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, or Umm al-Mu’minin Ayesha (Companion Scholars, may God peace be upon them)? If imitation was permissible, it would be more correct to imitate one of them than the other.’ (End of Ibn Hazm’s Speech)
There are some ordinary people among them who blindly follow the jurists and think that he cannot be wrong and that what he said is absolutely correct. They are so reluctant to abandon the blind following of this scholar, even if there is a clear argument against him. This is the case as Hadith Report by Tirmidhi (d. 278H/892CE) from Companion Odai Ibn Hatim. He said that he listened the sentence of the Qur’an from the Allah’s Prophet (May Allah bless him): ‘They associated their scholars and monks with other than God.’ The Prophet said: ‘They did not worship these scholars and Sufi masters, but when they called something lawful, they would declare it lawful, and when they called it unlawful, they would also declare it unlawful (against religion).’
There are some among persons who consider it impermissible for a Hanafi to ask a question from a Shafi’i scholar ask a question from a Hanafi scholar. They consider it wrong for a Hanafi to pray behind a Shafi’i Master. Although this is against the consensus of all scholars in 1st century i.e. the Companions and their Students. There is no room for following other scholars of the next centuries.” (Shah Waliullah, Hujjatullah Al-Balghah)
This practice of blind imitation was not limited to the common persons but also victim of those leaders who claimed that they are religious scholars but in reality they are not. From then on, this practice was not only limited to religion. Gradually, its effects spread to all sciences and arts. Not only the Master of Jurisprudence, but also the ancient thinkers of worldly sciences like Logic, Philosophy, History, Geography, Chemistry, Biology became sacred.
Disagreeing with these thinkers was considered a crime and anyone who tried to do so was considered a “Infidel” and an atheist. Famous philosophers and scientists like Ghazali (d. 505H/1111CE), Ibn Sina Avicenna (d. 1037CE) and Ibn Rushd Averroes (d. 1198CE) became victim against negative comments of blasphemy etc. Shah Waliullah himself, a great Sufi Scholar, was sentenced to disbelief for daring to translate the Qur’an into Persian.
This trend is still continued at different Muslim countries. This can be gauged from the fact that in the syllabus of different religious schools are oldest books of medieval philosophy and logic. These philosophy books are considered very sacred like the authentic Hadith Reports of the Prophet (May Allah bless him.)
If this situation is compared with the Christian world, then the difference is that amidst the Muslims those who disagreed with the majority’s point of view were oppressed at the societal level but the action against them at the governmental level was greatly reduced. In the Christian world, on the other hand, such thinkers were legally punished by the Inquisition courts. We will explain this in the next chapter.
If we look at the thinking of Muslims for the last 150 years, it is clear that this way of life of imitation is now declining.
In Islam, self-sanctification is fundamental which is simply the betterment and training of one’s personality. The Qur’an considers the sanctification of human beings as the purpose of the arrival of its Prophets and Messengers (May God bless all of them) in the world. The main purpose of religion is self-sanctification. A study of the entire biography of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) reveals that he always sanctified his companions and played the most important role in building their personality.
The relationship of the Prophet (May Allah bless him) with his companions was not based on “Slavery of the Mentor” but his attitude towards his companions was friendly and fraternal. This concept of “Self-Purification” of Islam was changed to “Muslim Mysticism” by some Sufi Masters.
After the Prophet (May God bless him), his Companions (May God peace be upon them) conducted training of the next generations to develop their personality. The trained students of the Companions did the same with their next generation and this trend continued forever. In the time of Companions, there was no concept of getting associated with a single teacher or a special mentor for personality development.
People used to become students of a Companion Scholar and learn the Qur’an and get Hadith Reports from the Companion Scholar. Then they used to go to other Companions and learn the Qur’an and Hadith from them. They were purified through the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah (Practice of the Prophet). Many people used to travel from far places to the scholars, companions and their students of other cities in different countries. The relationship between these companions and their followers was based on friendship, love and fraternal relations.
Muslim governments focused on improving the economy, which led to the spread of wealth in the Muslim world and people became oblivious to religion in the race for wealth. In response, there started a movement among Muslims to disassociate from the worldly activities and associate to religious activities only so that to purify themselves.
Large number of countries became part of the Islamic Empire as a result of the conquests against Roman and Persian Empires. These countries already existed a strong tradition of their own Sufism. On one side was Iranian Mysticism plus the Greece and Christian Monasticism. Within a short time, non-Muslim influences due to great attitude of Muslim Scholars. Now, new Muslims created self-sanctification movement in which they had already existed Mysticism and Monasticism.
Iranian Mysticism existed Iraq, Iran and Central Asia. Christian monasticism existed in Syria, Palestine and Turkey. And Indian Mysticism existed in India made a number of influences in new Muslims. As a result of that, the “Self-Purification Sufism Movement” was created that were completely foreign to Islam. According to Islam, self-purification was a part of studying the Qur’an and practice of the Prophet (May Allah bless him) only and it was not allowed to create some other methods for self-purification. In the present era, what we find in the name of “Sufism”, although a part of it is the self-purification of Islam, but the element of Iranian, Indian and Turkish Sufism make the major part of it.
Since the subject of this book is not Sufism but our focus about Phycological Slavery only. We will examine here only that aspect of the prevailing and existing Sufism which promoted Psychological Slavery. In all mainstream orders of Sufism, the belief has been unanimously accepted that it is obligatory for every person to have a “Single Special Mentor” as get his guidance. That follower must get training of Practice of Sufism from only the “Special Mentor” and don’t contact with any other mentors. The follower must get the Sufism Practice and his/her behaviour under bland following from the Mentor.
I do not need to go back a long way in history to explain this “Master-Disciple” relationship. The tradition of Sufism to the India and Pakistan is strong that we can find the details of it in the books of recent Sufi Scholars. We must avoid any bias against any persons but we should review the books of Sufi Scholars in open-minded way. To avoid any bias, I translation of some Sufi Scholars without mentioning their name.
“The pledge of allegiance is that the disciple should relinquish his and get authority and surrender himself completely to the truthful mentor, accept him as his absolute master and ruler, walk the way he tells. If he finds some of the orders of his master wrong, he should understand these orders as the doings of Angel Khizar and should blame his wisdom. The disciple must not doubt on anything against his master’s sentence.”
Someone wrote the rights and decorum of “The Complete Master.” He declared all the rights to be in accordance with the Qur’an, Hadith Reports, and instructions of great scholars. The scholars have written additional rights of “The Master”. Mentioned below is the detail of rights and decorum but I have not mentioned the names of persons who wrote it but you can get the same decorum in any book of Sufism:
1. You must join with “One Mentor (Mentor)”. Your priority about attention with your mentor only so that you get blessing from your mentor.
2. You must keep obedient with your Mentor and you must serve him through your life and property because you cannot get guidance from your Mentor without your love with him.
3. Immediately do whatever the Mentor instruct you and if you do not follow this instruction then you must get permission from the Mentor. Sometimes the Mentor will instruct appropriate to your status and if you don’t do so, then it will be life-threatening for you.
4. Listen the words and sentences that the Mentor and you must follow it. Whether the Mentor instructed you or someone else told you.
5. In the presence of the Mentor, everyone should pay attention to him.
6. Except for obligatory prayer, do not perform any religious readings or supererogatory prayers without permission of the Mentor.
7. Do not stand in such a place that your shadow falls on the body or clothes of the Mentor.
8. Do not step in the place of worship of the Mentor.
9. Do not eat, drink or perform ablutions in front of the Mentor. But, if he allows, then it is OK.
10. Do not talk to another person in front of the Mentor nor even look at anyone.
11. Do not spread your legs towards the place where the Mentor is sitting. Even if he is not there available but you should do not even spit to that side.
12. Do not disagree with the Mentor. If you cannot understand the comment of the Mentor, you must assume that as Angel Khizr discussed with Prophet Moses (May God bless all of them.)
13. Do not wish to observe miracles from your Mentor.
14. If any doubt passes in your mind, you should be asked immediately with the Mentor. If that doubt does not get resolved then consider that you don’t have capacity to understand something. If the Mentor does not answer you, you assume that I am not worthy of getting answers.
15. Whatever you observe something in a dream, you should tell the Mentor so he will explain the interpretation of your dream.
16. Do not go out from the Mentor without his permission.
17. Do not raise voice louder than the Mentor and do not speak to him loudly. Speak as less as possible and wait for the answer very carefully.
18. Narrate the sentences of the Mentor to other persons who are able to understand the sentences of the Mentor.
19. Do not reject the instruction of the Mentor even if you think that you are right and it was the mistake of the Mentor to instruct you.
20. Whatever is your condition, bad or good, should ask the Mentor because he is a doctor of treating your mind and he will instruct you whenever he want to instruct you.
21. Whenever you get a revelation, you should give to the Mentor and get his instructions and do not ignore it.
22. Do not get engaged in supplications while sitting next to him. If you want to read something, read it secretly and you must start supplications based on instructions of the Mentor.
23. Whatever esoteric grace reaches him, consider it as the grace of the Mentor. If one dreams of other teachers blessing him, one must perceive it as a result of his Mentor’s teachings.
You can find similar instructions about Mentors in religious, political and terrorism parties. Such instructions are not limited in Muslims but you can find the same instructions in other religions in different countries. One Sufi scholar wrote in his book:
The Mentor has unlimited rights on his disciples. In short, the disciple is alive only in the hands of the Mentor. Consider Mentor’s pleasure is equal to the pleasure of God. Similarly, unhappiness of the Mentor is equal to the displeasure of Allah Almighty. You must consider his Mentor is the greatest Mentor in the world today. If you get some benefit, you must think that such benefit is get based on the prayer of your Mentor. Be ready to sacrifice wealth, children, lives and everything on instructions for Your Mentor.
Do not disagree any of Mentor’s sentence and activity, even if it seems to be a deadly sin or against religious law. Neither give place to suspicion in your mind against the Mentor, rather believe that it’s are my misunderstanding. Do not request to avoid the instruction of the Mentor but you must fulfilment the order of the Mentor.
According to Muslim Sufism, it is a guide to all the Mentors to avoid any sin activity against the Shari’ah, the Islamic Law. But even if the Mentor speaks against the Islamic Law, the disciples must consider it as the case of Prophet Moses and Angle Khizer (May God bless them) and consider Mentor’s mistake better than his correct statement. Each disciple must assume that his body is in control of the Mentor which is similar that a dead body of a person with control of a funeral director. The disciples do not think that his Mentor conduct a sin even if a disciple observe it.
In addition to these rights, this highly author mentioned more etiquettes of a Mentor:
- The rights of the Mentor are more than the rights of the father of a disciple.
- The father is the father of the earthly body and the Saint Mentors are the father of the soul.
- It is not permissible for a disciple to do anything against the will of the Mentor.
- It is forbidden to laugh in front of the Mentor.
- It is forbidden to speak without the permission of the Mentor.
- It is not allowed to conduct attention to any other person than the Mentor in his assembly.
- It is forbidden to sit in Mentor’s chair of sitting in his absence.
- It is obligatory to respect the children of the Mentor, even if a disciple is in any problem.
- It is obligatory to respect the clothes, bed and house of the Mentor.
- It is not allowed to hide any of your situations but you must give authority to the Mentor to control your body and property.
According to the view of the Sufism, in order to reach the destination of “Fana fi Allah” (extinct in the will of God), a disciple must first go through the places of “Fana fi Shaykh” (extinct in the will of your Mentor Saint.) According to a Sufi Writer, he mentioned in his Urdu book:
The first step towards attaining the highest and greatest reward of being close to Allah Almighty is annihilation in front to the Mentor. That is, a disciple should not consider himself separate from the Mentor. Rather, he should think that the movement of my body is in the hands of my Mentor. And only my Religious Mentor can understand me and can correct me from inside and outside. The disciple should show in his own way that he has no control over his own existence and should stay away from hypocrisy and selfishness in his behaviour. But keep in mind that the first destination of “Extinction in the will of the Mentor Saint” is to get control of the Mentor in body and property of disciple.
Remember! That is until the disciple loses himself in the self of his Mentor, he will not be able to find a way forward. In order to succeed in the concept of Mentor, the disciple must cultivate the love of Mentor in his heart. The more love there is, the easier it will be to imagine. Should try to make the essence of the Mentor, the axis of his thinking, look carefully at every style, every habit and every action of the perfect Mentor and try to adopt it. At all times, the appearance of the Mentor should remain in his mind. If the Mentor walks, so the disciple must take their style. Similarly the disciple should take the style on everything similar to the Mentor. Wherever he gets an opportunity, he should narrate the sentences of the Mentor, publish his golden sentences and mention the blessings that appear to him as a proof of love for the Mentor.
The Sufi Scholar describes the concept of Mentor based on old Sufi scholars:
In solitude, the disciple should face in house of the Mentor Saint. If the Mentor has passed away, then sit on the side of the shrine of the Mentor. Just imagine the face of the Mentor in silence, complete humility and submission to him. The disciple should think that the benefit is getting from God and His Prophet based on the heart of the Mentor. And my heart, is in a state of begging under the heart of the Mentor, and the jewels of success and prosperity is reaching my heart with power and force.
All these matters have not been confined to a single school of thought of the Sufism, but you can read further books about tradition of Sufism. An important Sufi Saint of another school of thought of Sufism states:
Mullah Ali Qari said: “He who disagree with his Mentor and looked at him with contempt, then the disciple could never prosper. Two units of prayer of Sufi Saints is much better than our 100,000 units of prayer. Their sleep is better than our waking, and their sleep is better than our prayers.”
Another Sufi Scholar said: “2 units of prayer of a saint are much better than 100,000 units of prayer of common persons. Any person who disagrees against a saint, then that person will be deprived.” Sorry! People did not understand the important of “Slave of Saints”
The same writer has narrated his incidents an example of his slavery of the Mentor. Once there was no arrangement for his Mentor to heat water for ablution at winter night. The author warmed the water in the early hours at winter night and closed the pot of water, wrapped it in a mattress and kept it under his stomach all night to keep the water warm. In the same way, during the scorching heat, he used to carry an iron pitcher on his head for ablution and bring water from a mile away. His Mentor used to have breakfast at one o’clock in the afternoon. The writer suffered breakfast from dawn to afternoon because he did not want to eat before the Mentor. Dozens of such examples of slavery filled with love can be found in all schools of thought of Sufism.
The only difference between the two schools of thought mentioned above is that according to the second school of thought, after the death of the Mentor, the chain of his blessings gets cut off. That is why it is necessary to make someone else a Mentor.
All these matters are not only written in books but are also practiced wholeheartedly in the Sufi cultures in different countries. Those who want to observe can observe it by participating in any gathering of Sufis.
After quoting these passages from Sufi Scholars, it does not need to be said that this voluntarily slavery as a result of affiliation with Sufism depicts such a form of slavery against which legal slavery seems worthless. We cannot find an example in the legal system of slavery or feudalism in which the disciples consider themselves the lowest of the low in front of their Mentor and are ready to follow his every gesture. That is why many disciples take pride in calling themselves “dog of so-and-so Mentor”.
This movement of Sufism was no stranger to Muslim societies but it was the culture of Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. In the Middle Ages, this movement had an extraordinary effect on Muslim societies. In the last 1000 years, billions of Muslims from Turkey to India have become part of this movement and this process continues until today with full force. This movement of Sufism usually involved less intelligent or people of average intelligence but as an exception, this movement succeeded in influencing some of the most intelligent people in the Muslim history like Ghazali (d. 1111CE) and Shah Waliullah (d. 1762CE).
For the last 1000 years, the intelligentsia of the Muslim world which is responsible to write, speak, and think has been suffering from psychological slavery due to Taqlid (blind following) and the common Muslims have been suffering from psychological slavery due to Sufism. Throughout the history of the Muslim world, there has been a severe shortage of people who tried to think outside the box. Some of the great scholars have tried to think in a way different from traditional way of thinking, but their thinking has not been generally accepted in Muslim societies.
All of these gentlemen faced tremendous resistance in their lives. Many of them were declared infidels and out of the realm of Islam. One section may have been influenced by unconventional thinking, but its impact has generally been limited in Muslim societies. It is true that, unlike the Christian world, our “freedom of thought” is limited not by the power of law and the rod, but by the power of most personalities.
You can read the history of Europe and Muslim world. You can find that whenever Europeans had culture of bland following, they did not have power in the earth and they called as Dark Ages (500-1300CE.) But during Renaissance and Enlightenment with open minds at 1300-2022CE, they became superpowers in the earth. The Muslims were thinking in open-minds, they became the superpower of the world at 609-1258CE. But they get psychological slavery and bland following, they get fall and become followers of the Europe at 1300-2000CE.
From this detail it is fully understood why no movement to get rid of psychological slavery in the Muslim world? Right now, many intellectual Muslim persons are trying to get help of other Muslims to get rid of psychological slavery but it exists today because common persons are using the habit of 1000 years. Existing political and religious leadership are trying to continuous getting slave followers to their leaders get benefit.
In the next chapters we will try to find that under what motives western societies decided to abolish the movements to get rid of slavery.
In modern times, Muslim Societies are generally in the grip of psychological slavery. As we have stated, psychological slavery is a form of slavery in which a person is legally and socially free but becomes a slave to a person and as a result of getting or being influenced by him/her. Now this person has no thoughts of his/her own but becoming followers of their leaders. He/she begins to think with his/her master’s mind instead of his/her own mind. He/she does not care if his/her master takes him to the heaven or take it to the hell.
A person is born free in nature. He/she wants to be free, but some teachers or leaders push him/her into their mental slavery. Some people are sensitive by nature and have an extraordinary ability to accept someone’s influence. These people are special victims of mental slavery. Mental enslavers use such tactics as a result of which a good and smart person gradually gets trapped by them.
Not all enslavers consciously enslave others. Some of them are sincere to religion and humanity but they subconsciously keep enslaving others. We should know the process of our enslavement so that we can get rid of such slavery.
The methods used to enslave human beings are the same as those used for brainwashing around the world. At this point, it is important to explain these methods in detail so that the readers become well acquainted with the method and how their leaders brainwash them.
It is important to note here that not all leaders are the same persons. Some leaders brainwash people and some think it’s ethically bad. People who adopt the method of brainwashing are not limited to any particular school of thought, sect, nation or religion, but there are people in every sect and nation who use brainwashing to enslave people mentally by using the method of intellectual enslavement.
These details are not intended to target any particular group or leader. We leave it up to you to analyse your mentors and leaders to check whether you are getting victim of slavery or not and who are sincere leaders and who are not. We can divide the process of intellectual enslavement into following topics:
- Campaign to Sanctify Religious / Political Leaders
- Preparation of Special Team of Propaganda
- Creation of a Sacred Mission
- The Process of Presenting their Message and show that it is the Message of God
- Discourage Reasoning from You
- Opposition to Disagreement
- Creation of “Opponents”
- Process of Brainwashing
- Use of Religion for Brainwashing
- Transmission of Psychological Slavery to Future Generations
Psychological slavery starts in such a way that one person is given extraordinary importance. This person is usually the head or spiritual leader of a circle, party, school or college, organization or a sect. Inevitably, the person who is given the status of a leader has some good qualities in his personality. In addition to these attributes, some other attributes are also attributed to the person which are not present in him.
A propaganda machinery is set up to impress you from the leader. People who are affected by this are strongly advised to listen only to the speeches of this leader, read his books and do not look in any other direction. If they do so, they will be deprived of the grace of “The Greatest Leader.” People are told that the “truth” is what “The Greatest Leader” has discovered, and all other people, no matter how good they are, do not have the same thing as our leader said.
Some people who claim to avoid individualism usually run campaigns to promote multiple personalities instead of one. The problem with these people is that they divide the party if two leaders happen to have disagreement between them. That is why most of the groups invest in only one personality to avoid dividing the party.
To make their personalities more effective, religious leaders claim with extreme humility that “We are nothing. It is all the grace of my so-and-so mentor religious mentor.” Sometimes these people claim to be related to a great person of ancient times e.g. my relation is with the Prophet (May Allah bless him), or a great scholar of history. They say that we are the well-wishers of such and such a being and are presenting their views.
Some of them claim to have a direct relationship with this personality through dream, and who are relatively rational claim that we are presenting these ideas from the books of this great personality of old history. In reality, all such claims are just a “false propaganda.”
It is difficult for a leader to define himself in public, although some leaders manage to do so. For this reason, a regular propaganda team is formed for the campaign to sanctify the personality. The members of this team are called the “close associates” or special members of the leader.
The members of this team continue to propagate the piety, personal attributes and miracles of the Leader everywhere in public gatherings, organizational meetings and private gatherings. They tell such incidents which make people are motivated. People who are influenced by this personality become part of this campaign themselves and begin to pass on the same events. They gradually propagate the miracles of the Leader whose propaganda become more frequent to different persons.
The personality of the Leader is usually removed from the public, creating a halo of sanctity between him and the common people. It is not possible for an ordinary disciple to contact this leader, but such ordinary disciple was able to see only a circle of “close associates”. This group of close associates also guides the Leader and tells him how to appear before in the public. How to behave in front of people? What to say and what not to do? The Leader’s personal life is made completely hidden from common people.
Strange and mind-boggling miracles associated about the Leader are created. If any important incident ever happens by chance, then the special team of associates disclose it a miracle of their Leader and propagandize it to motivate common people.
These people deliberately ignore the fact that Allah Almighty did not even give His Prophets (May God bless all of them) the authority to perform miracles whenever they wanted. According to the Qur’an and the Bible, it is mentioned that Allah Almighty kept the control of such miracles and whenever God want, then such miracle was happened. The purpose of these real miracles was to tell leadership of the nation that they were indeed the true Messengers of God.
After the end of prophethood at the time of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him) at 632CE, no prophet can be born because God has mentioned in the Qur’an that prophethood series is finished. It is not possible for any pious person to have a mind-boggling event. Any unique events happen to all persons whether they are pious or not.
The Leader usually stirs up his followers by claiming supreme goals like religion preaching, welfare of humanity etc. to be his missions. Many times, he himself, sometimes with real and sometimes with artificial humility, claims that he is a humble servant of this mission and he does not care if he dies for this mission.
Apart from this fake mission, there exists also the “Secret Mission” of the Leader. This secret mission is neither written nor disclosed, but all the activists of the movement are aware of this secret mission and are involved in the struggle to achieve it. In many movements, for example, the apparent mission is “Religious Preaching”, but behind the scenes, “preaching one’s ideology and creed” is present as the real mission. Anyone with common sense can get acquainted with this secret mission by spending a little time with these movements. Usually the objective of such secret mission was getting more and more power.
Then the Religious Leader quotes from the Holy Qur’an, the Bible, the Hadith Reports of the Prophet (May God bless him) and the ancient elders and says that what I am presenting to you is the Message of God.
The Leader constantly fears if someone starts to study the Qur’an, the Practice of the Prophet (Sunnah) and Authentic Hadith Reports to test the claims of the Leader. The members of the propaganda team inform to common followers that you do not have capacity to study the Qur’an and Hadith. You need to study in a special school of though only and read only the books of the scholars of their sect.
These members of the propaganda inform that you should not study the Qur’an otherwise you will go astray. In order to study the Qur’an, it is necessary to have a thorough knowledge of 21 sciences, then you will be able to study the Qur’an. If you are very fond of studying the Qur’an and Hadith, then do so only under the supervision of the scholar belonging to your own sect and avoid the books of the scholars of other sects or other schools-of-though.
When that a person does so, as a result, the followers of the Leader distort the true teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah so these teachings could match the teachings of their Leader. Instead of speaking on this subject, I am quoting the sentences of Akbar Shah Khan Najibabadi of India who was a great scholar and historian of the 20th century:
No one can deny the fact that the Prophet (May God bless him) did not restrict the preaching of Islam and the preaching of the truth to certain circles and the door to Islamic education was equally open to common people of low calibre or those persons have highest calibre. By establishing true equality, Islam opened the way of equal approach to God for all human persons. Israelites declared themselves superior on the basis of their race. In India, the Brahmins (Hindu Religious Cast) made religion their property and made great arrangements to keep other nations under their control in worship and religious practices.
The Muslims of India, have accepted the influence of India because any influence is very much visible in the gatherings, fairs, wedding ceremonies of India. The narcissistic religious leaders of mosques and money-seeking teachers also managed to steal many things from the Brahmins of India.
They claim that reciting the Qur’an on food was authority of religious masters only. They claim that no one having the right to recite the Qur’an other than the religious masters of the Mosque. These masters being paid a handsome amount for recitation of the Qur’an for forgiveness of the dead but they don’t understand the meaning of the Qur’an. There are hundreds, in fact thousands of rituals, including lighting the ghee lamp and keeping money with it, filling the niche of a mosque, etc.
Which these so-called masters of mosques and teachers of religious schools have established among Muslims following the priesthood of Brahmins and they established that without these so-called respected men and Gurus, these ritual ceremonies could not be performed. Therefore, there is a proverb that says, “it is only permissible with the permission of the religious master.”
Seeing all these colours, high-ranked scholars and jurists, knowingly or unknowingly, followed the footsteps of the Brahmins and started to make the knowledge of religion their property. Most obligations were sought by blind imitation of persons. Then hero-worshipping was made obligatory. While writing religious decision, the translation of the references from old books like instead of the Qur’an. These old books were intentionally written in Arabic without writing their translations so a common Muslim could not understand the meaning and make objections.
If a person is trying to understand an issue, the first question is from whom did you learn the knowledge and do you have a certificate or not? If he does not have the certificate of religious schools, then he is not worthy of speech, although it is not easy to find anything more harmful than the stupidity of these certified stupid people. The most painful and cursed attempt of these people is that they want to keep people away from understanding of the Qur’an and consider the publication of the translation & interpretation of the Qur’an.
About 200 years ago (and now 300 years ago) in the same India, the religious masters issued a Fatwa of disbelief against Shah Waliullah (d. 1762CE) only because, he translated the Holy Qur’an into Persian and gave common people the opportunity to understand the meaning of the Qur’an. Praise be to God, that situation is no more, but now there is another thing like it, i.e. why the translation is not done according to our tradition. (Akbar Shah Khan Najibabadi, Meyar Ulema).
As situation of India was mentioned by the scholar Akbar, it exist in the same situation of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and many other countries.
Usage of intellect is strongly discouraged by Religious Leaders and the idea that Satan has gone astray because of his intellect, is repeatedly stated. If you use your intellect, you too will go astray. These gentlemen may not know that Satan went astray not because of the use of his intellect but because of his arrogance. If he had used his intellect, he would not have been rejected in the sight of Allah Almighty.
The strange thing is that these gentle persons prevent their followers from using their intellect but they themselves use their intellect to the fullest in every matter. If his followers use their intellect to follow these gentlemen for their secret mission, then this person is fully encouraged, but if the person uses his intellect to compare the ideas of this Leader with the ideas of another leader, they claim to that person of disbelief, apostasy and atheism etc.
You can find huge false propaganda now in the Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and many other tools.
It is instilled in the minds of the followers that it is a major sin to disagree with their Religious Leader. They claim that any disagreement with their Leader, then you will be deserved for Hell. Disagreements are declared as anti-unity and banned altogether. The views of the Leader are considered sacred and even the slightest disagreement is not tolerated. If a person disagrees even a little bit, a storm is raised against him. He/she is subjected to psychological torture. From the anger of the Leader to the expulsion from the circle is sentenced. Some people even face physical violence from their brothers / sisters in their party.
One of the features of the invitation of these gentlemen is that it artificially targets a particular person, group, sect, country, or religion and. The leader uses strong words in the form of speeches and writings against them is raised. Allegations that the group contain some truths are heavily exaggerated and are mixed with false claims. This process is made holy by naming it as “Jihad War against so-and-so.”
By taking the immense sanctity of the leader’s personality and ideological framework into the veins, the followers are brainwashed and made complete slaves of the leader. The procedures adopted for this purpose are described below.
Special training sessions are held for people associated with the leader. These sessions are held in a closed environment. These sessions exclusively prepared for their followers and reject those outsiders who are not affected by these training sessions.
These sessions have a fantastic style of film sets. An atmosphere is created that creates an extraordinary unconscious effect on the followers by using different symbols extensively. Slogan and banners are used everywhere. The session organizers control the participants’ sleeping, waking, sitting, eating and drinking etc. and this whole process is done in the name of “self-restraint” or discipline.
On training sessions and other occasions, lectures are given by special preachers belonging to a special circle close to the leader. Speeches of special preachers include details of the secret mission, propaganda about the leader’s personality and they use references to ancient literature.
The peculiarity of these speeches is that senior colleagues are already told to demonstrate during the statements of the leaders, albeit artificially, by saying special Sufi rituals, so it’d show that the effect is happening. This makes a huge impact on newcomers. Although musical instruments are considered a sin in many religious circles, prose speech as well as poetry without instruments is widely used because the effect of music is more profound on the emotions but Sufi circles use the tools of musical instruments.
The various gatherings and sessions of this movement usually place more emphasis on fantasy than on facts. Complete information is not provided but incomplete information is given which presents only one side of the picture. The other side of the picture keep hidden which presents a different picture from the real objectives of the movement. Even if rational and logical arguments are stated, they are not emphasized much, but instead their blind imitation is emphasized by narrating events and showing their videos.
Great love and affection are created among the followers of the circle within this party. The spirit of sacrifice for one another is created. In this way all the workers are transformed into small families who are part of the same big family. Naive followers develop affection for each other like real brotherhood while clever leaders artificially pretend to love them.
If a follower makes the mistake of deviating from the real goals of the party (not the apparent mission), he gets emotionally blackmailed. Sometimes his mistake is deeply regretted, sometimes his guilt is touted and sometimes he is socially boycotted.
Leader gets angry at some mistakes and his followers propagate the horrible consequences of this anger in such a way that the followers fall at the feet of the leader, plead and try to wash away their mistake with tears of remorse. In the beginning, the close associates deliberately make mistakes and pretend to apologize to set an example and encourage people to do so, and then the true followers start this series with sincerity.
In extreme cases, such a person is excluded from the community. All these punishments cause such a great emotional blow to the followers that the majority of the followers do not even think of the slightest deviation.
Leaders usually appeal to the emotions of their followers rather than their intellect. This is because one needs arguments to convince oneself rationally, which is the weak point of these gentlemen. On the contrary, it is a very simple task to inflame one’s particular emotions, including pride, anger, love, devotion, sex, etc., and take the follower under one’s complete control.
In order to stimulate the spirit of the follower, the events of the leader victories and defeats of the opponent in different scenes or arenas are described with exaggeration. This work is done by the circle of close associates in a strong manner and with humble leadership.
There are people in every group who hold important positions religiously or secularly. These people usually have a good ability to get their point across. Trainees have special meetings with such important people.
Though the meeting conducts one-on-one but not on a friendly basis. According to the times and status of this important personality, an image of him has already been instilled in the mind of the trainee, due to which that person becomes intimidated and impressed by this personality even before the meeting. That is why these meetings are so effective. If a person becomes more important, a special meeting with his senior leader is arranged and he is rewarded for his services.
Leaders at various levels sometimes test the loyalty of their followers. In this test, they have to prove that they are really loyal to their leader. This test can range from small sacrifices to the sacrifice of life. For example, Hitler tested his troops by taking their lives. Our religious leaders have many examples exist you can observe in YouTube. Suicide attacks are the ultimate form of sacrifice in modern times which is used by terrorism parties.
In order to make their followers psychologically submissive, some leaders even change their good names. Psychology is distorted in such a way that the follower proudly reveals his new name to his/her friends and says that it is a grace of my lord that he chose me to change my name. The purpose is to remove the old personality of the follower and create a brand new one who is a complete psychological slave of the leader.
At this point, the question may arise that the Prophet (May God bless him) himself had changed the names of some of the Companions, so what was the reason for this? The fact is that the Prophet (May God bless him) never changed the good name of any of his Companions. There are, however, a few instances happened that new Muslims were asked to change their names because their name had a polytheism idea. In that case the Prophet (May God bless him) advised that person to change his name so that this aspect of moral evil or polytheism can be removed from the name.
Many groups are also banned from asking too many questions from the leader. Questioning is rarely liked in a circle. The question that the leaders cannot answer is called “stupid” and the question that they have the answer to is exaggerated. The goal is to prevent people from getting too used to thinking and using their intellect to get their followers somewhere else.
People are usually cut off from their old environment, such as parents, teachers, friends and relatives and made part of the new circle of their new friends. For such a person, the importance of old relationships is minimized and new relationships are exaggerated. Having a minor relationship with someone who has a different point of view from this group is considered a “grave sin”.
In some groups you can observe some Fatwa (legal comment) to avoid detachment of a person. For example, giving an order that his marriage is dissolve due to his such activities e.g. he did greet or shake hands with a person who have a different point of view. In terrorism groups, you know that they killed their followers.
Some groups use this method to prepare their followers to follow a certain pattern. The goal of the group is to separate itself from the rest of society and acquire a specific identity. Every effort is made to prove this situation to be religious instruction although it was not available in the Qur’an nor asked the Prophet (May Allah bless him.)
If a follower adopts this condition once, then he/she can only get rid of it by being dead. On the contrary, in some quarters it is encouraged that the shroud should be given in the same condition. If a follower violates this condition, he/she is forced to re-adopt it through social reinforcement methods.
Many religious leaders often use religion as a weapon to enslave people. This practice is not limited to any particular religion but many leaders of different religions use the tools of brainwashing. You can see some examples of Muslim Religious Leaders.
Concept of Bridge – God > Religious Leader > Common Human Persons
There is this idea in many religions of the world that a servant cannot communicate directly with his/her God. But in order to do so, it is very important for him/her to resort to a special person of God who are the “Religious Leaders”. Although it is clearly stated in the Qur’an and the authentic Hadith Reports that every person can contact directly to Allah Almighty. Every person can repent, he/she can ask for his/her needs only from God only. Opposite to that, many religious groups have developed the idea that it is not enough to do so, but common persons should request from their religious leaders and then the leader will request from God. Such concept is nothing except a tool of brainwashing.
Many religious leaders use the spam Hadith Reports to use as a tool of brainwashing and they misuse of authentic Hadith Reports by impairing understanding. You can see example of many authentic Hadith Reports, it is mentioned that the Prophet (May Allah bless him) has commanded obedience to “Ameer” which was the government so that people will get rid of anarchy and lawlessness. The leaders interpret the Arabic word “Ameer” by assuming that it means the leader of party or gang.
In reality, the Prophet (May Allah bless him) did not command to conduct bland following with the leader of your party or gang. In the time of the Companions (May God peace be upon them) and their followers, the Arabic words “Ameer” or “Olul Amr” always meant the ruler and the Arabic word “Jamaat” meant the government.
Unfortunately, religious leaders interpret these words to use brainwashing of their followers. People of different sects that emerged among the Muslims by misusing the command of the Prophet (May Allah bless him.) During history, you can find a lot of examples that a leader want to conduct rewalt against the government, they misused by changing interpretation.
For example, a party was established who conducted rewalt against the Government of Caliph Uthman. They killed the Caliph, then the next Caliph was Ali (May Allah peace be upon him.) The rewalt party killed him as well. Then the next Caliph became Hassan who deliver the government of Mu’awiyah (May Allah peace be upon them) who controlled the rewalt party. Then all the Companions of the Prophet (May Allah bless him) declare the Arabic words “Aam Al-Jamai’ah” which means “The Year of establishing the Stable Government.”
We can share two authentic Hadith Reports.
حدثنا حسن بن الربيع. حدثنا حماد بن زيد عن الجعد، أبي عثمان، عن أبي رجاء، عن ابن عباس، يرويه. قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “من رأى من أميره شيئا يكرهه، فليصبر. فإنه من فارق الجماعة شبرا، فمات، فميتة جاهلية.” (مسلم، كتاب الامارة، حديث 4790)
Reported by Companion Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (May Allah bless him) said: “Any person who will observe that the “Ameer” something which that person dislike it, then he/she should keep patience. Because that person who separated (by rebellion) from the main body of the Muslims Community, then he/she will get be died, then his/her death will be equal to the death of ignorance before Islam.” (Muslim, Kitab al-Emirat, Hadith 4790)
وحدثنا شيبان بن فروخ. حدثنا عبدالوارث. حدثنا الجعد. حدثنا أبو رجاء العطاردي عن ابن عباس، عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. قال “من كره من أميره شيئا فليصبر عليه. فإنه ليس أحد من الناس خرج من السلطان شبرا، فمات عليه، إلا مات ميتة جاهلية.” (مسلم، كتاب الامارة، حديث 4791)
Reported by Companion Ibn Abbas that the Prophet (May Allah bless him) said: “Any person who dislikes anything in his/her “Ameer”, then he/she should be patient over it. Any person withdraw from the people from the government, even to the extent of a handspan revolt and he/she is died, then such death will be equal to the death of ignorance before Islam.” (Muslim, Kitab al-Emirat, Hadith 4791)
The Qur’an declares those persons will deserve the Paradise who believe in Allah, His Messengers and the Hereafter and follow the moral principles and the Shari’ah (Islamic Law.) Religious leaders use this ideology to their advantage in such a way that after obedience to this leader, they will enter into the Paradise and any follower will not be obedient to the leader, then he/she will be enter into the Hell. These leaders claim that any person does not follow me, then he/she has a sin and he/she will go into the Hell.
Such followers does not match the instructions of their leaders to the Qur’an. Without checking, then conduct bland following although the instructions of their leaders are against the Qur’an.
Catholics have the idea of confessing their sins to get from religious leader. Though there is no concept of confession in the Torah, the Gospels and the Qur’an, but some religious leaders have continued this practice among Muslims in the form of collective repentance for their followers. Many religious leaders use this humility to their advantage by instilling humility in their followers. Followers are made to believe that they are sinners. That is why they request from their leaders to do repentance for us and then the leader do so, they assume that our repentance is done.
As a result of this tearfulness and repentance, the participants definitely get spiritual pleasure and purity. This spiritual bliss is used to strengthen the relationship with the leader instead of establishing a relationship with God Almighty. Followers are told that this purity has been bestowed on them by this guide and that they must come to the next gathering to regain it.
According to the Qur’an and Authentic Hadith Reports, every person should directly contact with God and conduct repentance directly. The fact is that if a person repents in solitude in front of his Lord, confessing his sins, then it is confirmed in the Qur’an that repentance will be accepted by God.
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ.
[O Prophet!] Inform to all My servants, who have been unjust to their souls [by associating partners with Me,] do not lose hope in God’s mercy. God shall forgive all the sins. Undoubtedly, He is very Forgiving and Ever-Merciful. (Az-Zumar 39:53)
In many religions of the world, people receive spiritual experiences under the guidance of a leader, including good dreams and get vision of the Prophets, descent of angels, spiritual pilgrimage to holy places etc. These religious leaders influence the minds of their followers through various psychological sciences such as hypnotism and telepathy in a specific environment and lead them through spiritual experiences, including visits to holy places such as the Makkah, or Madinah or Jerusalem.
I saw a gentleman himself who made his followers so anxious to visit holy places that the image of holy places was there all the time in the imagination of these followers. The inevitable result was that they would occasionally see these holy places in their dreams. They used to call this pilgrimage. The disciple whose mind has been influenced by the leader and the rest of the people request: “When will they have the pleasure to visit the Holy places in dream? We will visit to the leader in the next gathering to get such pleasure.”
In reality, dreams are coming in our personal concentration which we can use in the “Self-Hypnosis” but common followers think that it is a gift of our leader.
Not only are followers enslaved, but they are also encouraged to bring their children to the leader’s party. In this way, the process of brainwashing is repeated on raw-minded children. Many details of this process of promoting psychological slavery remain in the next generation.
The purpose of giving these details was only to make people aware of the deceptions of their religious and political leaders and to avoid them. I will suggest you to check all the leaders and see that whoever is using the tools of psychological slavery, avoid it in future. Today, you can see a lot of observations in You Tube and Facebook etc.
Psychological slavery is so widespread in our countries that no class or sect of religious people is safe from it. People use such titles in different languages about the leader whose objective is to change their students to become their slaves. They ask the students that you must use these titles about their teachers e.g. ‘Hazrat’ (Greatest Leader), ‘Shaykh’ (Greatest Scholar), ‘Ustad’ (Great Teacher) and sometimes the title is used as ‘Peer’ (Sufi Guru) etc.
Some persons try to get rid of slavery, they started using criticism about other leaders with negative comments but in reality, it was not the solution. The slave followers of a leader debate with other slave followers of other leaders who result in enemies against each other. You can observe that such extremism result in terrorism against other sects and started killing each other.
In my humble opinion, this method of abolishing psychological slavery is very ineffective and useless tools. In this way, a person cannot be freed from psychological slavery. The real solution is that each person must improve his/her knowledge without using any bias against others. Each person should not conduct any debate with other persons but both persons should check their own attitude about bias. Once they understand that we are not slave persons of any leaders, then they should discuss with each other without any bias. They should still love each other although they have religious disagreement.
Discussions can only change a person who is not an intellectual slave of any leader of any sect. That person should conduct detailed analysis without any bias against each point of each. Check the reasons of each different point of view without any prejudice.
Any person who has become someone’s intellectual slave needs a long and patient process to get rid of this trench. The Psychological Solution is called as the “De-Conditioning”. The basic steps that need to be taken to prevent psychological slavery can be summarized as follows:
- Global Movement of Freedom of Thought
- Ability to conduct detailed Unbiased Analysis on all Leaders to identify who is sincere and who is selfish?
- Get detailed Depth Knowledge on Religious Concepts
- The Process of Deconditioning
The first three steps to help those persons to preventing them who are still safe from psychological slavery. They can get rid of such slavery in future leaders. The fourth step relates to those persons who have fallen into the clutches of psychological slavery and they want to get rid of it now.
For the complete abolition of all forms of slavery, it is essential that we make freedom of thought a positive value in our societies. Our secular classes are already running a movement for intellectual freedom. For them, this movement is not based on insight, but on blind imitation of the West. In the present age, it is necessary for the religious class to start a movement for intellectual freedom, following the example of the Companions of the Prophet (May God bless all of them). As we have stated in the previous chapter, the concept of freedom of thought in Islam is very different from the atheist’s concept.
The current secularism ideology of freedom of thought is based primarily on the idea of a “godless” universe. That is why they have no idea that something is “holy.” According to Islamic thought, this universe was created by only One God. God’s books, His morals, and His laws are sacred to us. The sanctity of the Shari’ah Law does not mean that it is forbidden to think about it but only the Shari’ah Law is sacred which is mentioned in the Qur’an and the practice of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him) only.
Whatever “Islamic Law” is created by different scholars of different generations, it was human effort and it may be right or it may be wrong. Throughout Muslim History, there has been a strong tradition of conducting critical analysis on Islamic Laws prepared by scholars. For example, the greatest jurist scholars were Ja’far (d. 148H/765CE), Abu Hanifa (d. 150H/767CE), Malik (d. 179H/796CE), Shaf’ii (204H/820CE) and Hambal (240H/855CE) conducted huge critical analysis which is available in their books. In the next generations, their students continuously conducted intellectual analysis about opinions of their teachers.
The Shari’ah Law given by Allah Almighty is very short and simple in the Qur’an. It is not possible for the human intellect to object on any principle mentioned in the Qur’an. You can find that some orientalist scholars wrote criticism on the Shari’ah Law but in reality, their criticism is not available in the rules and principles in the Qur’an. Their criticism is only available in the opinions of human scholars only but their mistake is that they use word “Islamic Law” but in reality it was just opinions of jurists only.
The science of jurisprudence, is called as “Islamic Law”, but it is not completely the “Shari’ah Islamic Law” revealed by Allah Almighty through His Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him). It came into being as a result of human efforts to understand the “Divine Islamic Law”, which has the potential for error. I have tried to examine these objections in particular and I explained them in detail in my other books and lectures of “Muslim Jurisprudence”. The summary of the conclusions, I have reached is that rational objections to a jurisprudential law can only be made if:
- A law is based on the personal effort (Ijtihad) of a jurist scholar instead of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
- These jurists differently apply a sentence of the Qur’an or any Hadith Report of the Prophet (May Allah bless him). Their differences appear due to lack of understanding the Qur’an or Hadith because some jurist did not understand the “Context” and he/she applied a global law which was related to some situation only.
- Using false speculation on the law so new law can be derived.
- Without reading the content of the Qur’an and Hadith, a jurist conducted legislation.
The Qur’an also urges Muslims to understand the Islamic Law. Except this short sphere of Shari’ah, Muslims have been given complete freedom to run their thoughts as they wish on worldly issues. The Qur’an does not only allow it, but repeatedly urges on it to use your intellect. Right now, you can read the Qur’an from start to end, you will find it the important of intellectual freedom. I share some sentences of the Qur’an.
یُنۡۢبِتُ لَکُمۡ بِہِ الزَّرۡعَ وَ الزَّیۡتُوۡنَ وَ النَّخِیۡلَ وَ الۡاَعۡنَابَ وَ مِنۡ کُلِّ الثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ . وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الَّیۡلَ وَ النَّہَارَ ۙ وَ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ ؕ وَ النُّجُوۡمُ مُسَخَّرٰتٌۢ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ. وَ مَا ذَرَاَ لَکُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مُخۡتَلِفًا اَلۡوَانُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّذَّکَّرُوۡنَ .
From it, God grows for you crops, olives, dates, grapes and fruits of all types. Surely, in it, there is a great sample for those persons who reflect. It is God Who has put the night, day, sun and moon into your service, and it is at His behest that the stars also serve you. Surely, in it are many evidence for those persons who use their intellect. And these things of various types that He has scattered for you in the earth, also undoubtedly have great evidence for those persons who can be reminded about God. (Al-Nahl 16:11-13)
بِالۡبَیِّنٰتِ وَ الزُّبُرِ ؕ وَ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ الذِّکۡرَ لِتُبَیِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ اِلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ
We had sent them with evidence and with the Holy Books. Now, We have revealed this reminder to you so that you may mention to these persons what has been revealed to them so that they may reflect. (Al-Nahl 16:44)
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغۡ قُلُوۡبَنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدَیۡتَنَا وَ ہَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ رَحۡمَۃً ۚ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡوَہَّابُ
[These intellectual persons request from God:] “Lord! Do not cause our hearts to go astray after You have guided us and grant us mercy through Your own grace; Without doubt, you are the Giver. (Al Imran 3:8)
اِنَّ فِیۡ خَلۡقِ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ اخۡتِلَافِ الَّیۡلِ وَ النَّہَارِ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ
In reality, in the creation of the universe, the earth and in the alternation of night and day, there are many evidence for logical persons. (Al Imran 3:191)
The main difference between the “Freedom of Expression” of the Atheism and Islam is that Islam’s concept of freedom of expression is bound by moral boundaries. There is an established principle of freedom that everyone is free to the extent that he/she does not interfere in the freedom of other persons. In the name of freedom of expression, the people of the West and Muslim countries interfere in the freedom of others, and this interference is expressed in the form of insulting the dignity of other religions & holy figures. In Islam, scholarly criticism and revision of any thought is allowed, but there is no room for any insult to any religion or its philosophy and sacred figures. But unfortunately, we observe that many people are not following according to the ethics of Islam.
Western freedom of expression, especially in the case of the relationship between men and women, has been exploited so much and are explicitly reflected at their beaches. This kind of freedom of expression has no place in Islam because it is no longer a private matter but it is a public affair as well.
The same fact is stated by the great leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, in the words: “If a man and a woman establish a marital relationship publicly, it does not remain a private matter but becomes a public affair.” The mistake of the atheists’ approach to freedom of expression is basically that they use it indiscriminately and consider it their right to interfere in the freedom of other persons.
To end the current psychological slavery and avoid its future revival, we must promote the Islamic concept of freedom of thought in our societies. The reforms that are needed in this regard are basically:
- To recognize Freedom of Thought as a great moral value
- Religious leaders, social thinkers and the media play their part in spreading freedom of thought.
- Recognize that psychological slavery is an evil that is licking our society like termites. Intelligent sections of the society should be mobilized to finish psychological slavery.
- The new generation should be trained in such a way that they use their intellect. This requires drastic reforms in the education system.
To the best of our ability, we are working to make these measures a reality. Readers who have read my other writings will testify that I strive for the psychological freedom of my readers in each of my writings. If other persons start making the same effort, this process of psychological and intellectual freedom will accelerate. Up to some extent, such scholars are working on it and we observe freedom in the next generation.
What is most needed is the ability of the persons to distinguish between sincere and selfish religious leaders. In this regard, very little has been written and spoken by our religious circles and many religious scholars conduct critical debate against each other’s. Some secular minded people have tried to do so but their impact on the general public has been very limited due to their different aims.
Here are some ways to differentiate between sincere and selfish religious leaders. Friends who are interested in liberating ordinary people from psychological slavery are requested to try to convey these methods to your friends in any way possible.
The main difference between sincere and unfair religious leaders is that unlike selfish leaders, sincere leaders never exploit a follower emotionally, psychologically, socially and economically, but dedicate their lives to benefit them only.
Here are some examples to analyse about sincerity of religious and political leaders. Based on such examples, you can check every leader before becoming his/her follower:
- Self-centred leaders keep an apparent and secret agenda. The focus of their efforts is on their secret agenda. All the goals of a sincere leader are clear and definite. They have no secret agenda. They speak clearly, and there is no contradiction in what they say or do.
- Selfish leaders use various tactics to enslave their followers, which we have described in detail in the previous chapter. On the contrary, sincere leaders never use any tactics to enslave a person but try to give them freedom of thought.
- Self-centred leaders or their team of close associates, always urge the followers to don’t listen or read the speeches and books of scholars who have different views. Oppositely, sincere leaders suggest to all persons to understand both perspectives and to adopt the approach that is closest to the Qur’an and Sunnah.
- Selfish leaders present their case as a command of God and explain people that disagreement with our point of view is an error, disbelief and atheism etc. Oppositely, sincere leaders present their message, as “I think this is God’s command. If you think so’ follow it, even if it is really God’s command. If you don’t find any error, please avoid it and suggest me to improve myself.”
- There is always a team of selfish people (Close Associates of the Leader) who is engaged in promoting their leader by tools of propaganda. Even the disciples of a sincere teacher, then the followers consider the teacher as “a man and a scholar only.” They never consider his personality as the final truth and he is free of error.
- The circle of close associates around selfish leaders keeps them away from common people. They are made mysterious by covering their personalities. There is no such circle around sincere leaders exist and they keep mingle with common people.
- Interested leaders sometimes claim their spiritual connection with the soul of a great figures e.g. some saint or prophet etc. While sincere leaders make no such claim. They claim to use great personalities only through sensory means such as reading their books only.
- The miracles of selfish leaders are widely propagated, but you don’t find any claim of miracle by a sincere leader.
- In the circles of selfish leaders, reasoning is rejected. They tried to motivate your emotions are aroused in every possible way. It is emphasized that people should trust the intellect of the leader instead of their own intellect. Wisdom is paramount to sincere leaders. By associating people with knowledge, they are brought to such a mental level that they can use their own intellect to decide what is right and what is wrong.
- All their energies are used to denial and give negative comments against other scholars or group. They declare the scholars of different opinions, as it is vested interests. Sincere leaders do not criticize a particular scholar or group, but criticize ideas and actions only instead of personality.
- Insincere leaders give most importance to “events” as a proof instead of giving written documents. Whereas, arguments are given more importance by sincere leaders in order to raise the mental level of ordinary people and make them accustomed to using their intellect.
- Insincere leaders never provide complete information. In their case, only one side of the picture is presented and the other side is ignored in such a way that it does not exist at all. But sincere scholars give both sides of the picture so that the readers can conduct intellectual analysis.
- Disagreement is considered as a crime by an opportunist leader while a sincere leader values and encourages the difference of opinion.
- The event of a mistake by a follower of vested interest leaders causes a strong reaction and every effort is made to correct the person by every means, from the anger of the leader to his expulsion from the community. In the case of sincere leaders, if a follower makes mistake, he/she is gently and lovingly addressed, arguments are given and if the matter is still not correct, the person is left further debate.
- Opportunist leaders artificially show love to their followers. In case of any deviation, they blackmail them emotionally. This love is broken when the follower disagrees on an issue about the leader. A sincere leader’s relationship with his/her followers is based on sincerity. They have no idea how to emotionally blackmail.
- Every effort is made to create sentimentality in the circles of selfish leaders. Sincere leaders generally avoid emotionalism. Even if there is an attempt to arouse their emotions, it is usually done to encourage some proven good deeds such as prayers, Zakat, etc. In their case, especially in matters of disagreement, only arguments are exchanged decently and don’t attempt is made to create sentimentality.
- Selfish leaders try to have complete control over their followers. In training sessions, in particular and in general life, followers are encouraged to follow the instructions of the leader in all matters e.g eating, drinking, sleeping, waking, getting up, sitting, dressing etc so that you keep follower in everything. Oppositely, sincere leaders never try to control their followers.
- Interest-seeking leaders try to make their followers forget their old identities and suggest a follower to change his/her name. That is why they often change the names of their followers. Sincere leaders never do that. Yes, if there is a moral flaw in a person’s name, then they advise him to change his own name.
- Selfish leaders try to cut their followers off from society. They force them to adopt a certain style. It is inculcated in the minds of the followers that the leader is the spiritual father and has a higher status than the real father. The relationship of spiritual brothers becomes more important than the real brothers. Oppositely, sincere leaders do not do this, but they work to unite hearts of all persons.
- Emotionalism is highly valued by selfish leaders, so there is an imaginary fantastic kind of atmosphere. People usually escape from reality and become happy in this imaginary environment. Sincere leaders make people realistic.
- Interest-seeking leaders usually create an artificial atmosphere in the style of movie sets in their meetings to impress people. Senior followers are encouraged to behave impressively in front of junior followers. Honest leaders usually influence by arguments rather than artificial tools.
- Questions are discouraged by selfish leaders while questions are encouraged by sincere leaders.
- Selfish leaders, through their words or body language, call themselves as that he is the bridge between followers and God. While sincere leaders call themselves an inferior servant of God only and merely perform the duty of a normal teacher.
- Selfish leaders use religion to build their personal status, while sincere never do so.
- Interest-seeking leaders use psychic sciences such as witchcraft to intimidate, while sincere leaders run away from it.
- The title of such selfish leaders is used as “The Saint” so that the followers think that we will get religious or worldly benefit in this life. While in the case of sincere leaders, it is termed as “grace of Allah” only in this life and in the hereafter.
If you observe any one or more point in a leader, they you should confirm that such leader is not sincere to you and he/she is a selfish person. You should conduct analysis and ask questions from the leader. If he/she has a reasonable justification for this behaviour and he gladly decides to change his behaviour, the you can assume that the leader is a sincere person. On the contrary, if he/she gets angry and rebuke to you who is drawing attention, then it should be known that the leader is not sincere.
It is also possible for a person to be sincere in the beginning and later for some reason start playing a selfish role. For this reason, religious leaders, in particular, should be monitored and their mistakes should be addressed in isolation in a timely manner so that they can correct themselves. The reason for this constant investigation is important to get rid of psychological slavery in future.
During your investigation, if you get an error, then you will be able to correct it in future. According to a famous Hadith Report of the Prophet (May Allah bless him), a Mujtahid (Diligent Logical Analyst) will be rewarded for this mistake as well.
We are fortunate that we have the right guidance of Allah Almighty in the form of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (May God bless him). We have a huge collection of guidance given by the Hadith Reports of the Prophet (May God bless him). We should read only authentic Hadith Reports and avoid any false spam reports. You can read the “Hadith Research Methodology” and you can conduct detailed analysis of any Hadith Report to get rid of any spam reports.
Moreover, we have a huge collection of work done by scholars for the last fourteen centuries. With all these resources, the only thing that is lacking is the true access to this vast amount of knowledge which need to be given to the students of religion and the common people. Obviously, it is easier to give this access to people who like academic study of religion. General public can be given this religious education in an informal way. Some reforms can be implemented in this as well.
For the correct teaching of the Qur’an and Sunnah, we need comprehensive changes in the formal and informal system of religious education. Much has been written and said about the proposed changes in the education system. Here, instead of relying on the suggestions of other scholars, I will mention only those proposed changes that are related to the abolition of mental slavery. These changes are required:
- Arabic Education
- Focus on the Qur’an during religious studies
- Importance of Critically Analyzing Hadith Reports
- Teaching Method of Comparative Studies of different Schools of Thought
- Education of Modern Social Sciences
- Online System of Religious Education Certification
- Muslim History on Civilization, Religious Movements, Politics & Economy
You can observe that I have tried to prepare a “Religious Education System” in my website in Urdu and English. Please review it at https://mubashirnazir.org/?cat=28 and feel free to send you suggestions to improve it.
The biggest reason for psychological slavery is that some religious leaders recite the sentences of the Qur’an and some Hadiths Reports which is available in Arabic. Scholars translate the meaning but insincere leaders change the meaning. To solve this problem, it is necessary to develop a high level of proficiency in the Arabic language among the students of theology. For this, they need to be taught the literature of the time 603-632CE of the Prophet (May God bless him) because all languages change in time.
It is important to make the common people familiar with the Arabic language so that no one can deceive them. For this purpose, the method of teaching language through grammar is completely useless to us. This method not only creates boredom but also the vocabulary of the language and styles can’t be presented well either. The best way is to teach Arabic is the one in Arab countries. According to this, Arabic should be taught as a language and the rules of grammar should be kept in mind while studying literature.
Some books are prepared in English, Urdu and Turkish languages.
Unfortunately, the Qur’an is not the focus of our religious education system in different countries. Education in religious schools begins with grammar. Many years are wasted on the study of medieval logic and philosophy. The education of one particular school of jurisprudence usually starts in the 1st or 2nd year and it continuously studied in remaining years. Medieval theology debates are also usually taught in the 3rd or 4th year. Qur’anic education usually begins in the 5th year but it is taught as a small part of the Qur’an.
As a result of this whole process, by the time the student reaches the study of the Qur’an, he/she has become particularly prejudiced about any school of jurisprudence or theology. He/she now looks at the Qur’an through the small part of his/her particular ideology, which results in the deprivation from the true guidance of the Qur’an. The purpose of teaching the Qur’an to students in general is to try to prove their jurisprudential or theological doctrine only.
The disadvantage of this style of teaching is that the Qur’an has become secondary important in our curriculum. Oppositely, medieval philosophy and jurisprudence have become paramount in this education system. Obviously, as a result of this practice, psychological slavery is created in such education system.
We have to start a campaign to make the Qur’an the focus of religious education. The basic teaching of the Qur’an should begin in the elementary classes and one should be trained to read the text carefully instead of reading it without thinking. The Qur’an should be taught as a masterpiece in the Arabic Language education. The Qur’an should be taught as the primary source in the teaching of jurisprudence and special attention should be paid to the sentences related to the rules and regulations.
The Qur’an should have the same status in theology. In the teaching of Hadith Reports, it should give the status of practical application of the Qur’an. In this way, the Qur’an should be presented as a judge and criterion on all other disciplines.
Common people must be made aware of the basic teachings of the Qur’an; beliefs, ethics and Shari’ah in their own languages. Along with this basic Qur’anic teaching, the Qur’an should also be used to teach them the Arabic language.
I have prepared the books and lectures in English at these links:
One of the major causes of psychological slavery in our societies is the dissemination of fake spam Hadith Reports. There has been a time in our history when people belonging to every sect on a large scale fabricated fake hadiths and tried to spread them in the society. The aim was to make people psychological slaves of their sect through such fake Hadith Reports.
May Allah have mercy on the Muhaddith Researchers whose extraordinary efforts resulted in the creation of a collection of information related to the examination of the Hadith Reports. They conducted scrutiny which is unparalleled in the history of any nation. You can review their research and now you can also apply in each Hadith Report to confirm whether is it authentic or a spam.
There is a need to teach Hadith and related disciplines in detail to the students of the religion and make them go through practical exercises of Hadith Reports. By the grace of Allah, it has already started in many religious schools. In addition to teaching Hadith Reports to the general public, they need to be made aware of the fact that people belonging to different sects try to enslave people by using fake Hadith Reports.
One problem in understanding the Hadith Reports is that often the narrators narrate only a part of the whole report and they did not provide the context. Therefore, many people conduct an error because they applied till Hadith Report globally which was not valid to them. That is why the context of the Hadith Reports is very important for understanding it. This problem can be solved by combining all the Hadith Reports of the same topic which can collected from different Hadith Books.
This research method is available in my lectures and books:
The method of teaching jurisprudence and theology in our country is generally that each religious school belongs to a particular school of jurisprudence and theology. Its books are taught in the early years of education and students are made accustomed to the school of thought through brainwashing. After this, some discussions of other sects are taught through books written in response to them, instead of the books of the scholars of that sect, which exposes the weaknesses of these sects. In this way, an army of narrow-minded and bigoted scholars is formed whose aim in practical life is to defend their school of thought and refute other school of thoughts.
The best method of education is the one which exists in neutral institutes. According to this method, all the notable schools of jurisprudence and theology should be taught on the basis of “as they are” through their own books and all the strong and weak aspects of each sect should be described without prejudice. Students should be trained to compare different disciplines on the basis of arguments and to adopt the best approach.
This issue should not be limited to the schools of thought within the Muslims, but a comparative study of other religions and their various schools of thought, as well as secular systems of life, should be implemented in a systematic manner. The most important thing in this regard is not to distort anyone’s words, but to understand it as it is. In this way, we will be able to broaden our view and eliminate prejudice and ignorance.
We think that there are two reasons why traditional scholars are not interested in this method. One reason is the sectarian prejudice that has engulfed the Muslim religious studies. The second reason is that we have a fear of the unknown “Xenophobia” which is very widespread. Many biased scholars are afraid that if they start studying other religions and secular systems of life, then their prejudice will be finished and our slave student will become independent.
Scholars who have done this comparative study are well aware that doing so does not cause any side effects. This is because all the major religions are in fact the religions revealed by Allah Almighty. Since these religions have been distorted and altered in later periods, they have incorporated many beliefs and practices that are based on utter irrationality.
Similarly, there are many gaps in the secular system of life due to which they can never be superior to Islam. The reason for this is that Islam is based on divine Intellect while these systems of life are based on the human intellect. For this reason, we can say with full confidence and satisfaction that the study of these philosophies strengthens man’s confidence in Islam. Therefore, we must take every fear out of our hearts and make a comparative study of all things.
Although secular sciences are not directly related to religion but they can be of great help in applying religion to worldly affairs. Now if we want to introduce a system in the world that is free of interest, we have to study economics, social sciences and psychology. Our ancient scholars were well aware of this fact. For this reason, they have included the secular sciences of their time in the curriculum of logic and philosophy.
The worldly sciences that are of great importance in the present age include sociology, economics, politics, psychology and modern philosophy. All of these sciences have been taught in the ancient curriculum under the title “Philosophy”. In the present age, these sciences should be taught to the students of religion up to a moderate level. In addition, the basics of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics should be included in their curriculum. In modern times, the use of information technology for religious preaching is of utmost importance. For this reason, the latest discussions of this knowledge should also be made a part of the curriculum for students of religion.
Studying these sciences will broaden the mind, eliminate irrational ideas and as a result student will be freed from prejudices and psychological slavery.
There are many certifications in the world to prepare specialists in various professions. These certifications are issued by professional bodies. The procedure is that students are provided with textbooks through the Internet. Students study this material on their own or the professional body starts a series of regular classes for them in different cities.
Online exams are conducted by professional bodies in different cities around the world. In addition to passing the exam, professional training in an institution is also required for some time. Upon completion of the training, students are issued a certificate and made a member of the professional body. To keep their members’ knowledge up to date, professional bodies require them to continue their education and training (Continuous Professional Education) and keep updating their knowledge.
This method has not yet been widely used for teaching Islamic Sciences. In order to prepare specialists for the Islamic banking industry in Bahrain “Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI)” was founded. Certified Islamic Professional Accountants and Certified Sharia Auditor & Advisor Programs were started under this organization. These programs are just limited to Bahrain. Similarly, Academy for International Modern Studies in London has also started some similar programs.
It is important to start a series of similar certifications for all Islamic studies. I believe that with the advancement of knowledge, ignorance and prejudice will be eliminated, and psychological slavery will be eradicated. Up to some extent, we have prepared such Online Islamic Studies Program in English and Urdu and some books are in progress.
The proposals for the abolition of psychological slavery that we have described above are aimed at a new generation of persons who have not yet suffered from psychological slavery. These tips are to prevent these persons from going into psychological slavery. For those who have already suffered from any form of psychological slavery, there is only one way to get rid of it, which some psychologists call it “De-Conditioning.”
By de-conditioning, we mean the process by which any person who has been psychologically enslaved is tried to be brought back to his/her normal free state. We now describe this process in detail:
As a result of the deconditioning process, only those who have the potential to be free can be freed from psychological slavery. It is very difficult to release a person who does not have this potential. The potential for freedom means that a person, even if temporarily enslaved, has certain characteristics:
- This person has a special love and pride for righteousness. He/she wants to be attached to the truth. He/she may have been associated with a thought only because that thought was ‘right’ in his/her opinion.
- This person wants to find answers to the questions that come to mind. On the other hand, a complete mental slave does not bother to find answers to the questions that arise in his/her mind. He/she simultaneously believes in contradictions and divides his/her mind into different boxes. If a question arises in his/her mind, he/she ignores it by acknowledging it as whisper of the devil.
- This person does not tolerate contradictory thoughts. For example, he/she cannot believe that something can be completely black and completely white at the same time. An example of this in practical life is that it is very difficult for him/her to believe that there is any moral defect in his/her leader.
It is possible for a person who has this potential to be free from psychological slavery. The practical form of this is usually that an event or accident happens to that person which causes a contradiction in his/her mind. This state of contradiction becomes unbearable for him/her. He/she tries to resolve this contradiction and when he/her fails, he/she is freed from intellectual slavery. We illustrate this with an example:
A gentleman was a follower of a great saint and was very devoted to him. This devotion had reached such an extreme that despite knowing that his peer has the habit of adultery and he does not even spare his female disciples, the man kept possessing love for him. His saint had put in his mind that whatever saint does is permissible for him.
Once that saint seduced the sister of follower, who was also his disciple, and committed adultery with her. Now the follower regained consciousness and he came to a religious scholar and put the matter before him. The scholar told them that your saint is an open devil. Now the fog of his mind began to clear and the process of de-conditioning his mind began open. Slavery was so ingrained in his psyche that the process of de-conditioning continued for several months, after which he decided to break his pledge of allegiance.
Sometimes a person, instead of the character of his leader, finds out about an error in his leader’s and realizes that these ideas are defective. He would not have considered this a mistake. After that, the belief he had in his leader does not remain the same. He now begins to analyze every view of his leader, compares it to the views of other leaders, and as a result becomes aware of his leader’s mistakes.
In the process, the shell of slavery slowly begins to unravel, and it feels as if the knots of a net are unraveling one after the other. The process of defeating old ideas begins and new ideas start to emerge in their place. Resultantly, in a short period of time, he gets freed from the bondage of psychological slavery.
This process of de-conditioning is not easy. A person who is going through this process, sometimes, has the feeling of woman going through labor. He has to admit two contradictory things at the same time. Some people divide their minds into boxes to avoid this pain. One thing in one place and the contradictory thing in another place. They try not to think too much about the contradictions. It is temporarily possible to operate in this way, but it becomes impossible to tolerate this condition for a long time.
Some people become permanently mentally ill because they cannot tolerate these conditions. People who have more endurance eventually emerge victorious from the campaign that rewards them with psychological freedom. If a person is consciously going through the process of de-conditioning, he enjoys the condition to the fullest.
The duration of this process of de-conditioning varies from person to person. Since I have had the opportunity to go through this process twice in my life, I can recount my experience that the first time it took me six years and the second time five years. The first-time de-conditioning proved to be very painful while the second time I enjoyed the process to the fullest.
At the end of this process, man gives up many of his previous ideas and new ideas begin to emerge. Relationships with old friends begin to break down and relationships with new friends begin to form. Old values are shattered one by one and new values are born. The old way of explaining different events is disappearing and now events are being seen in a new context.
My personal experience is that debating is completely useless and pointless when it comes to de-conditioning of a person. There is hardly a person in the world who can start the process of de-conditioning through a debate. Many zealous preachers of the religion, who wish their addressee to change their point of view in a matter of hours, adopt the method of debate and when they fail miserably, then the addressee fights and comes down to quarrel. In my opinion, a person who is not a psychological slave to anyone (the preacher), must take care of these guiding principles in order to make his mentally enslaved brother get rid of psychological slavery:
- The preacher must have sincerity in his intentions. The purpose of his invitation (dawat) should not be to overwhelm a person and convince him of his point of view. The goal should be to communicate what he thinks is right to his other brother. The preacher should be kind to his addressee.
- The preacher should prepare himself for the fact that if his addressee is on the right side instead, then he should be ready to accept it with an open mind.
- The preacher must examine himself first to see if he is a psychological slave to another leader.
- The preacher should never act hastily. As we have stated above, the process of deconditioning can sometimes take years.
- The preacher should never directly criticize his addressee or his leader. This would result nothing but stubbornness. As a result of selfishness and stubbornness, the intensity of psychological slavery of the addressee increases.
- The preacher should try to create a sense of righteousness in the personality of the addressee. Many people claim to be righteous but in practice they cling to their leader and his ideology. Through the examples, which are not related to the addressee’s leader and his ideas, the preacher should try to instill a true sense of righteousness in the addressee. When the spirit of righteousness awakens then that person automatically will begin to be freed from the psychological slavery of his leader.
- The way to start the process of de-conditioning is to put some questions in front of the addressee in a direct way which can start the process of melting ice in his mind. It is not appropriate to ask questions directly to the audience. Instead, a better way for the preacher is to give his addressee to the books of free-minded scholars to read. In this regard, care must be taken that the author of the book himself is not an intellectual slave to any other leader.
- A recent study has found that if the addressee is allowed to meet a third party who has suffered severe difficulties due to the addressee’s ideology, addresses can initiate the de-conditioning process himself. An example of this is that a person was a severe psychological slave of his sect. Divorce law was very strict in his sect. He once met a man who had emotionally divorced his wife and now had problems with his children. The feelings of this person started the process of de-conditioning inside him and he started to get frustrated of his sect and finally reached the state of free mind.
- The preacher should not impose the process of de-conditioning, instead he should give him enough time to change. At the same time, friendship and sincerity should be maintained in other matters.
As we have stated, de-conditioning is a painful process for any psychological slave. When this process is complete, the addressee goes through an “empty period” before admitting anything. During this time, his ideas continue to evolve and deteriorate. After a while his thoughts become more assembled and more profound.
One true believer should know that even after correcting his thought process if he is ever reminded of his mistake, he should accept the truth in all circumstances.
If these issues are taken care of, we can greatly help our brothers and sisters who are suffering from any form of psychological slavery. (Muhammad Mubashir Nazir)L0019-Intslavery-Download