“Freedom should be “freedom of the dome.” This is the “free dome” on top of the house, on top of the temple. The President sits in the Oval Room, a big dome. Churches and Mosques like to have in their design’s big domes. It all started with the head, the brain. An open area is really a reference to the sky. Country dwellers, when they wake up in the morning, don’t look at buildings and all of this that obstructs the view. They look at open land, and it seems as if the sky is coming down and touching the earth — like it is one big dome over the earth.
That is the freedom we want, the freedom to engage the total environment with our brains. All of us won’t be interested to do that. But those who will be interested, we want them to do that. Who takes over the responsibility to do something about it? What part of me does that? It is my brain. So, when the Prophet said each of you is a leader in his own right, entitled to his own opinions, the Prophet was giving us an idea of freedom in Al-Islam. We have a concept we call Shura, and that Shura is a governing body.
We are told in our Holy Book, the Qur’an, that the believers, the Muslims, conduct our affairs by Shura. This means having members in a body qualified upon their good character and knowledge and experience as Muslims, how to judge a matter, how to contribute to decision making on all levels of concern, from the smallest to the biggest. This is required of Muslims. If we address an issue in our life, we should address it with respect for one another, those who have knowledge, experience and good character and can make a contribution to a discussion and to coming to a decision. It is called Shura Baiynihum. That is respect for each other’s character and intelligence. A lot of us forget that intelligence evolves man; it evolves even man’s moral life. Intelligence evolves man’s romance with females. Without intelligence, his romance would be disgraceful in a human society.
We tend to want to separate moral life from intelligence or rational life. We can’t do that. Moral life is intelligent life, if it is advancing. There is intelligence in every aspect of the human form. There is intelligence in my hands, in my ears, in my skin. If something gets on my skin and my skin tells me it is uncomfortable, that is intelligence in my skin. Man’s whole life is intelligence.“
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed on W. Deen Mohammed and Guests)