The Harm Principle

Taken from here

“Shaytan used rationality to refuse prostrating to Adam عليه السلام. His argument was: He is created from the elements of earth, I was created from the elements of fire. Therefore, I am better than him, therefore, it was incorrect to ask me to do sajdah… Therefore my refusal to do sajdah was not a sin.

We do this same thing.

I’m a good person, I don’t steal. I don’t lie. Therefore, these other things that I do are not really sins. Therefore, it is excusable… Therefore, it is ok… I am not harming anyone. This is a classic Urdu line you hear: “mein kisi ka nuqsan toh nahi kar raha.” By the way, this is classical secular humanism.

This is the liberal philosophy of secular humanism that was articulated by John Stuart Mill called the harm principle. Liberalism will allow human beings to do anything they want, as long as they don’t harm anyone. All of secular humanistic morality was built on this premise; you don’t have to look at Allah SWT, you don’t have to look at God or scripture or religion. You don’t need anything to tell you what is morality. Simply use the harm principle… Anything you do, if you are harming someone, what you are doing is wrong, and if it doesn’t harm someone it is not wrong. This was an ideology formed by people to remove deen, remove religion, remove Allah from morality! And today, this is the very same sentence being used by Muslims.

It is amazing… It is absurd… You have to think that I harm myself. I harm myself spiritually. I’ve become distant from Allah SWT. I just did something that my Rabb didn’t want me to do. I just did something that our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم spent his entire life trying to teach this entire ummah, of which I am a member, not to do! I’ve done an incredible harm… I’ve hurt and harmed my Prophet. Did you ever think of that? I’ve harmed and hurt my Prophet. Now how will you say I have not harmed anyone. Who is “anyone”.  Our “anyone” does not include our Prophet! Allahu Akbar. We did harm someone. We let somebody down… Yes, we cannot hurt or harm Allah سبحانه و تعالى; but our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم …when Allah SWT used to Reveal to him that there would be members of this ummah in jahhannam, that there would be members of his ummah who would sin, that there were member of his ummah who would not follow his path, sometimes he would be silent for hours… for days… when he heard these things. Now, we don’t want to be part of that hurt. We don’t want to be part of that harm…

Allahumma ja’alna minal muttaqqeen, wa ja’alna mina at-Tawwabbeen. Ya Allah, restore us to our fitrah, restore to us our furqan. And Save us from the deceptions of Shaytan. Ameen thum ameen.”

(Transcription of an excerpt from ‘Leaving Sin’, Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed)

This entry was posted in Fear of Allah, General Bayans, Issues faced by Muslim Ummah, Leaving Sin, Muslim Youth, Nafs. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Harm Principle

  1. Serenity Pearls says:

    MashaAllah, beautifully explained. Often we are subconsciously following the harm-principle, without even realizing it. May Allah swt protect us and may He grant you the best rewards for your efforts, and those contributing to this beautiful blog, inshaAllah =)

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