Authorities and restricted to wearing uniforms during and outside school hours. Our lives were programmed- we were told what to eat, when to eat it, when to sleep, wake up, have our baths, play and so on. Our movements were restricted, there was a limit to what we could buy with our money; even our parents could not visit us outside the periods stated by the authorities. Such schools did not come free; some parents had to pay lots of money to keep us there, yet, they sent us there instead of saving themselves the time and energy to come visiting us or worrying if we were alright.

Why did they do that? Now, lets take a look at Prisoners. We all know that in our society, criminal offenders are sentenced to serve various jail terms depending on their offences. While some spend a few months, others spend years. Some however would spend the rest of their lives behind bars. Why do you think the Government put such punitive measures in place? Why not just ask the offenders to probably cut down a thousand palm-trees within a certain period but return home to their families every night? Why take them into custody at the expense of the taxpaying citizens? I hope you are beginning to see freedom from another point of view. In my opinion, Allaah created the human as a free being. Man is not naturally to be restricted or caged like animals.

Your pet parrot for instance may be perfectly content to spend time in a cage but the human being cannot be locked up in a place for long without the urge to be let out. Being sent into a room by ourselves as punishment as kids was simply our parents way of restraining and correcting us. Any normal child who is afraid of being alone in a room would think twice before doing whatever it was that landed him or her in that room in the first place. Our sojourn to the Boarding School- though convenient for very busy parents- is an attempt to get us in line and ensure that we receive discipline from those who may not nurse unnecessary sentiments or sympathy for us.

It is however supposed to help us to be independent and plan our time properly in future. As for the prisoners, their real punishment lies in being unable to move around as they would have liked. Knowing that others are moving about freely and going on with their normal lives while they are stuck in one place being controlled and forced to do things they would normally not have done is enough to demoralise any normal person. The difference in these three scenarios is simple; the little child is eventually let out after a short while especially if he or she is good at crying or screaming to win attention and sympathy. The Boarding school student goes home for festivals, midterm and end of term holidays.

The Prisoner however goes nowhere until his sentence is completed; no holidays, breaks or festivals would see him stepping outside the prison walls; he is trapped there except he gets pardoned by the government. What situation are you going through that makes you want your freedom so badly that you think you cant stand it anymore? Can it be as bad as the prisoners situation? Of course you may think that the prisoner earned his sentence but are you aware that some innocent people are sometimes wrongly accused and sentenced to prison? We do not pray to find ourselves in such a situation but should we not still be grateful to Allaah?

What of those who are ill and are confined to their beds? Those who see the rays of sunlight coming in through the windows but cannot go out and enjoy the wamth of the sun directly on their heads? Are we better than them too? Whatever your situation is, always give thanks to Allaah for the freedom to breathe, eat and do so many other things without hindrance; indeed that is the true freedom! "Which of the favours of your Lord do you deny?" -Soorah Ar-Rahman (55)

As-Salam Alaikum Kindly check up the words encroachment, scenarios and punitive in the Dictionary.

 This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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