By Umer Raza
Slavery was abolished in all its physical forms, or known physical forms by 1960s from the world. Not long ago, just around 50 years ago. Ironically it took those people to abolish it, so many years that Islam abolished 1400 years ago. However, human are such, as they want to keep, those who seem lesser humans to them then themselves, under control and under their authority. Slavery was abolished in physical forms and not in other forms. What are these other forms?
The slavery of want: The more we spread our wings the more air we consume. As we grow in size and stature in community, in office, in our social setup and in our status we need more. Or we tend to want more. If we are content, to say the least, we still want to maintain the same status that we are enjoying. We cannot go back from the status that once we gained. The constituents of this status are broadly, size of our house, size and model of our car, quality of our living, standard of our eating and outing and way we come across through our dressing. All these things are part of the status that we have gained. All these are also the chains that bind us to maintain this status. To maintain these we need to keep doing the same stuff that helped us gained these. If we want to do the same thing we tend to become a slave of our wants. If we do not do certain things, if we do not meet certain people, if we do not reach at a certain place, if we do not earn a certain amount of money, if we do not obey a certain kind of boss/superior/authority figure we fear to lose that status that we gained after our genuine hard work and sincerity. This fear binds us in a slavery to want.
Slavery of lack of knowledge: Those who have knowledge are in a better position to slave those who do not have knowledge. It is a known fact though that when Muslims had knowledge they were ruling the world (not slaving the world). Now those who have knowledge are ruling the world, the west that is. It is an unwritten rule that those who have greater knowledge command the greater power. They have a better capacity to argument and a better means to substantiate their arguments with evidence. Simply stated those who can teach can gather a crowd of people and through their knowledge of different aspects of human behavior can enslave people who dare not seek knowledge and bank upon the knowledge of the person who taught them a certain aspect. True, a teacher must be obeyed, listen to and must be followed. However, it is the duty of the students as well to enhance their knowledge and try to leave the shore of the teacher to not only put the teachers learning in practice but also to attempt to discover new grounds where their teacher could not reach. This is no disobedience; this is merely an acknowledgement of the teacher’s training that his/her student is breaking new grounds. A teacher, who attempts to maintain his/her authority over his students and wishes to enslave them because he had taught them something which they didn’t know earlier, may not only lose the respect of the students but also the respect of very profession that he/she is in (Teaching).
If we want to break free from the slavery of lack of knowledge, there is no other way but to gain knowledge. The knowledge is not merely getting the news items from journalistic sources; the knowledge is the deep-rooted search of truth behind any aspect of life. There are many medias that can enhance your knowledge, yet it is you who can best decide what best suit you. The objective however, must be to break free from single source of knowledge in order that you may not be enslaved.
The Slavery of mindset: You are not slave, you know you are not slave and you are told that you are not slave, you are also told that one who is your authorized leader is not enslaving you, you are free you are free and you are free. That authorized dealer does any thing necessary to maintain the composure around you that you may not feel like a slave and you move as freely as a free man. You are told that you are free to go anywhere you like, whenever you like, do what ever you like. However, you are given a certain guideline to do any thing, even a smallest of thing and when you do against those guidelines you are even not punished, but you feel that certain thing that is happening with you (some illness, some family misfortune, some lack of earning etc.) that is all because you did not follow the code given to you. Hence next time, you do not even attempt or think of doing and thinking otherwise than the guidelines (command) that are given. This lack of personal will to do otherwise, the fear of losing, the fear of being left alone, are the things that keep you enslaved. You become willing to even consider that one person is the ultimate source of guidance, wisdom and knowledge. Forgetting that he/she is only a source and is also guided by one who is master of all ALLAH. It is not the mistake of the authorized leader that people start blindly following him; it is mistake of the people that they have created their mindset in a way that stops them from thinking any other thing. Thus making their mind enslaved.