basically teach followers to do good deeds.
Why should a person only follow Islam? Can
he not follow any of the religions?
ALL RELIGIONS TEACH MEN TO BE RIGHTEOUS, THEN WHY FOLLOW ONLY
difference between Islam and most other religions
All religions basically exhort mankind to be righteous and
eschew evil. But Islam goes beyond that. It guides us towards practical
ways of achieving righteousness and eliminating evil from our individual
and collective lives. Islam takes into account human nature and the
complexities of human society. Islam is guidance from the Creator Himself.
Therefore, Islam is also called the Deen-ul-Fitrah (the natural religion
2. Example - Islam commands us to shun robbery and also
prescribes method of eliminating robbery
a. Islam prescribes method of eliminating robbery
All major religions
teach that theft is an evil act. Islam teaches the same. So what is the
difference between Islam and the other religions? The difference lies in
the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is evil, shows a
practical way of creating a social structure in which people will not rob.
b. Islam prescribes Zakaat
Islam prescribes a
system of Zakaat (obligatory annual charity). Islamic law prescribes that
every person who has a saving that exceeds the nisaab level i.e. more than
85 grams of gold, should give 2.5% of that saving every lunar year in
charity. If every rich person in the world gave Zakaat sincerely, poverty
will be eradicated from this world. Not a single human being would die of
c. Chopping off the hands as punishment for robbery
chopping off the hands of the convicted robber. The Glorious Qur’an says
in Surah Maidah:
"As to the thief, male
or female, cut off his or her hands:a punishment by way
of example, from Allah,
for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power, full of wisdom."
[ Al-Qur’an 5:38]
The non-Muslim may say,
"Chopping off the hands in this 20th century. Islam is a barbaric and
d. Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented
America is supposed to
be one of the most advanced countries in the world. Unfortunately it also
has one of the highest rates of crime, theft, and robbery. Suppose the
Islamic shariah is implemented in America i.e. every rich person gives
Zakaat ( 2.5% of his savings in charity above 85 grams of gold every lunar
year), and every convicted robber has his or her hands chopped off as a
punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in America increase, remain
same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Moreover the existence of
such a stringent law would discourage many a potential robber.
I agree that the amount
of theft that takes place in the world today is so tremendous that if you
chop off the hands of all the thieves, there will be tens of thousands of
people whose hands will be chopped off. The point here is that the moment
you implement this law the rate of theft will decline immediately. The
potential robber would give it a serious thought before jeopardizing his
limbs. The mere thought of the punishment itself will discourage majority
of the robbers. There will barely be a few who would rob. Hence only a few
person’s hands would be chopped off but millions would live peacefully
without fear of being robbed.
Islamic Shariah is
therefore practical, and achieves results.
3. Example: Islam prohibits the molestation and rape of
women. It enjoins hijaab and prescribes capital punishment for a convicted
a. Islam prescribes method of eliminating
molestation and rape
All the major religions
declare the molestation and rape of women as grave sins. Islam teaches the
same. What then is the difference between Islam and the other religions?
The difference lies in the fact that Islam does not merely preach respect
for women, or abhor molestation and rape as serious crimes, but also gives
clear guidance as to how society can eliminate such crimes.
b. Hijaab for men
Islam has a system of
hijaab. The Glorious Qur’an first mentions hijaab for the men and then for
the women. Hijaab for the men is mentioned in the following verse:
"Say to the believing
men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will
make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all
that they do."
The moment a man looks
at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he
should lower his gaze.
c. Hijaab for women
Hijaab for women is
mentioned in the following verse:
"And say to the
believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty;
that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must
ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their
bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their
fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons...."
The extent of hijaab
for a woman is that her complete body should be covered. The only part
that can be seen, are the face and the hands up to the wrists. If they
wish to cover, they can even cover these parts of the body. However some
Islamic scholars insist that even the face should be covered.
d. Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason why Allah
has prescribed Hijaab for the women is given in the Qur’an in the folowing
verse of Surah Al-Ahzab:
"O Prophet! Tell thy
wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their
outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient,
that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is
Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful."
The Qur’an says that
Hijaab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as
modest women this would prevent them from being molested.
e. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who
are twins and who are equally beautiful, walk down a street. One of them
is wearing the Islamic Hijaab i.e. the complete body is covered except for
the face and the hands up to the wrists, and the other twin is wearing a
mini skirt or shorts. Around the corner there is a hooligan who is waiting
for an opportunity to tease a girl. Who will he tease? The girl wearing
the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the mini skirt or shorts? Dresses
that expose more than they conceal, are an indirect temptation to the
opposite sex for teasing, molestation and rape. The Qur’an rightly says
that the hijaab prevents women from being molested.
f. Capital punishment for rapist
The Islamic shariah
prescribes capital punishment for a convicted rapist. The non-Muslim may
be horrified at such a stringent punishment in this age. Many accuse Islam
of being ruthless and barbaric. I have asked a common question to hundreds
of non-Muslim men. Suppose God-forbid, some one rapes your wife, your
mother or your sister and you are made the judge. The rapist is brought in
front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said, "we
would put him to death." Some went to the extent of saying, "we would
torture him to death", If your wife or your mother is raped you want the
rapist to be put to death. But if someone else’s wife or mother is raped,
capital punishment is a barbaric law. Why the double standards?
g. U.S.A. has one of the highest rate of Rape
The United States of
America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world.
An F.B.I report in the year 1990 says that 1,02,555 cases of rape were
reported. It further says that only 16% of the cases of rapes are
reported. Thus, in order to know the actual number of rapes that took
place in 1990, the reported figure should be multiplied by 6.25. We get a
total of 6,40,968 rape cases that took place in the year 1990. If the
total is divided by 365 the number of days in a year, we get an average of
1,756 rape incidents everyday.
Later another report
said that an average of 1900 cases of rape are committed in U.S.A every
day. According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice
Statistics (U. S. Dept. of Justice) in 1996 alone 3,07,000 cases of rape
were reported. Only 31% of the actual cases of rape were reported. Thus,
3,07,000 X 3.226 = 9,90,322 rapes took place in 1996. That is, an average
of 2,713 cases of rape took place everyday in America in 1996. Every 32
seconds one rape is taking place in America. Maybe American rapists got
bolder. The FBI report of 1990 continues and says that out of the rape
cases that were reported only 10% of the rapist were arrested, that is
only 1.6% of the actual rapes committed. Out of those arrested, 50% were
let free before the trial. This would mean that only 0.8% of the rapists
faced a trial. In other words if a person commits 125 rapes the chances
that he will get a punishment for rape is only once. Many would consider
this a good gamble. And the report says that of those people who faced
trial 50% received sentences of less than a year’s imprisonment though the
American law says rape carries a seven year sentence of imprisonment. For
a rapist, the judge is lenient to first time offenders. Imagine a person
commits 125 rapes and the chances of being convicted is only once, and 50%
of the time the judge will grant leniency and give a sentence of less than
h. Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented
Suppose the Islamic
shariah is implemented in America. Whenever a man looks at a woman and if
any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze.
Every woman wears the Islamic Hijaab, that is the complete body is covered
except the face and the hands upto the wrists. After this if any man
commits rape, he gets capital punishment. The question is, will the rate
of rape in America increase, will it remain the same or will it decrease?
Naturally it will decrease. Islamic Shariah gets results.
4. Islam has
Practical Solutions for the Problems of Mankind
Islam is the best way of life because its teachings are not
doctrinaire rhetoric but practical solutions for the problems of mankind.
Islam achieves results both at the individual and collective levels. Islam
is the best way of life because it is a practical, universal religion not
confined to any ethnic group or nationality.