Question:All religions basically teach followers to do good deeds. Why should a person only follow Islam? Can he not follow any of the religions?
Answer : 1.Majordifference between Islam and most other religions
All religions basicallyexhort mankind to be righteous and eschew evil. But Islam goes beyond that. Itguides us towards practical ways of achieving righteousness and eliminatingevil from our individual and collective lives. Islam takes into account humannature and the complexities of human society. Islam is guidance from theCreator Himself. Therefore, Islam is also called the Deen-ul-Fitrah(the natural religion of Man).
2. Example- Islam commands us to shun robbery and also prescribes method of eleminatingrobbery
a. Islam prescribesmethod of eliminating robbery
All majorreligions teach that theft is an evil act. Islam teaches the same. So what isthe difference between Islam and the other religions? The difference lies inthe fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is evil, shows a practicalway 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 asaving that exceeds the nisaab level i.e. morethan 85 grams of gold, should give 2.5% of that saving every lunar year incharity. If every rich person in the world gave Zakaatsincerely, poverty will be eradicated from this world. Not a single humanbeing would die of hunger.
c. Chopping off thehands as punishment for robbery
Islam prescribes 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 ofwisdom.”
[ Al-Qur’an 5:38]
The non-Muslim may say, “Chopping off the hands in this 20th century.Islam is a barbaric and ruthless religion!”
d. Results achievedwhen Islamic Shariah Implemented
America is supposed to be one of the mostadvanced countries in the world. Unfortunately it also has one of the highestrates of crime, theft, and robbery. Suppose the Islamic shariahis implemented in Americai.e. every rich person gives Zakaat ( 2.5% of his savings in charity above 85 grams of goldevery lunar year), and every convicted robber has his or her hands chopped offas a punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in Americaincrease, remain same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Moreover theexistence of such a stringent law would discourage many a potential robber.
Iagree that the amount of theft that takes place in the world today is sotremendous that if you chop off the hands of all the thieves, there will betens of thousands of people whose hands will be chopped off. The point here isthat the moment you implement this law the rate of theft will declineimmediately. The potential robber would give it a serious thought beforejeopardizing his limbs. The mere thought of the punishment itself willdiscourage majority of the robbers. There will barely be a few who would rob.Hence only a few person’s hands would be chopped offbut millions would live peacefully without fear of being robbed.
IslamicShariah is therefore practical, andachieves results.
3. Example: Islam prohibits the molestation and rape of women.It enjoins hijaab and prescribescapital punishment for a convicted rapist.
Islam prescribes method of eliminatingmolestation and rape
All the majorreligions declare the molestation and rape of women as grave sins. Islamteaches the same. What then is the difference between Islam and the otherreligions? The difference lies in the fact that Islam does not merelypreach respect for women, or abhor molestation and rape as serious crimes,but also gives clear guidance as to how society can eliminate such crimes.
Hijaab for men
Islam has asystem of hijaab. The Glorious Qur’an first mentions hijaabfor the men and then for the women. Hijaabfor the men is mentioned in the following verse:
“Sayto 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 withall that they do.”
Themoment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes tohis mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijaab for women
Hijaab for women is mentioned in the following verse:
“Andsay to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard theirmodesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what(must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over theirbosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers,their husbands’ fathers, their sons….”
Theextent of hijaab for a woman is thather complete body should be covered. The only part that can be seen, are theface and the hands up to the wrists. If they wish to cover, they can even coverthese parts of the body. However some Islamic scholars insist that even theface should be covered.
Hijaab prevents molestation
The reason whyAllah has prescribed Hijaab for the womenis given in the Qur’an in the folowing verse of Surah Al-Ahzab:
“OProphet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women,that they should cast their outer garments overtheir persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known(as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful.” (Al-Qur’an 33:59)
TheQur’an says that Hijaabhas been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest womenthis would prevent them from being molested.
Example of twin sisters
Suppose twosisters who are twins and who are equally beautiful, walk down a street.One of them is wearing the Islamic Hijaabi.e. the complete body is covered except for the face and the hands up tothe wrists, and the other twin is wearing a mini skirt or shorts. Aroundthe corner there is a hooligan who is waiting for an opportunity to teasea girl. Who will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijaab or the girl wearing the mini skirt orshorts? Dresses that expose more than they conceal, are an indirecttemptation to the opposite sex for teasing, molestation and rape. The Qur’an rightly says that the hijaabprevents women from being molested.
Capital punishment for rapist
The Islamic shariah prescribes capital punishment for aconvicted rapist. The non-Muslim may be horrified at such a stringentpunishment in this age. Many accuse Islam of being ruthless and barbaric.I have asked a common question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. SupposeGod-forbid, some one rapes your wife, your motheror your sister and you are made the judge. The rapist is brought in frontof you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said, “we would put him to death.” Some went to theextent of saying, “we would torture him to death”, If your wifeor your mother is raped you want the rapist to be put to death. But ifsomeone else’s wife or mother is raped, capital punishment is a barbariclaw. Why the double standards?
U.S.A. has one of the highest rate of Rape
The United States of Americais supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world. AnF.B.I report in the year 1990 says that 1,02,555cases of rape were reported. It further says that only 16% of the cases ofrapes are reported. Thus, in order to know the actual number of rapes thattook place in 1990, the reported figure should be multiplied by 6.25. Weget a total of 6,40,968 rape cases that tookplace in the year 1990. If the total is divided by 365 the number of daysin a year, we get an average of 1,756 rape incidents everyday.
Lateranother report said that an average of 1900 cases of rape arecommitted in U.S.A every day. According to National Crime Victimization SurveyBureau of Justice Statistics (U. S. Dept. of Justice) in 1996 alone 3,07,000 cases of rape were reported. Only 31% of the actualcases 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 rapetook place everyday in Americain 1996. Every 32 seconds one rape is taking place in America. MaybeAmerican rapists got bolder. The FBI report of 1990 continues and says that outof the rape cases that were reported only 10% of the rapistwere arrested, that is only 1.6% of the actual rapes committed. Out ofthose arrested, 50% were let free before the trial. This would mean that only0.8% of the rapists faced a trial. In other words if a person commits 125 rapesthe chances that he will get a punishment for rape is only once. Many wouldconsider this a good gamble. And the report says that of those people who facedtrial 50% received sentences of less than a year’s imprisonment though theAmerican law says rape carries a seven year sentence of imprisonment. For arapist, the judge is lenient to first time offenders. Imagine a person commits125 rapes and the chances of being convicted is onlyonce, and 50% of the time the judge will grant leniency and give a sentence ofless than a year!
Results achieved when Islamic Shariah Implemented
Suppose theIslamic shariah is implemented in America.Whenever a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thoughtcomes to his mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic Hijaab, that is the complete body is covered except the faceand the hands upto the wrists. After this if anyman commits rape, he gets capital punishment. The question is, will the rateof rape in Americaincrease, will it remain the same or will it decrease? Naturally it willdecrease. Islamic Shariah getsresults.
4. Islam has Practical Solutions for the Problems of Mankind
Islam is the best way oflife because its teachings are not doctrinaire rhetoric but practical solutionsfor the problems of mankind. Islam achieves results both at the individual andcollective levels. Islam is the best way of life because it is a practical,universal religion not confined to any ethnic group or nationality