Islam: Isn’t It Just a Religion?

Islam is the best way of life because it is a practical religion with a universal message.

Islam is the best way of life because its teachings are not doctrinaire rhetoric but it puts practical solutions for the problems of mankind.


All religions basically teach their followers to stick to good deeds. Why Islam is the rightest choice? What is different in Islam?


Most of religions basically exhort people 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 the characteristics of human nature and the complexities of human communities. Islam is guidance from the Creator Himself. Therefore, Islam is also called the deen al-fitrah (the natural religion of man). I am going to touch on two crimes, showing the Islamic treatment and prescription to these evils.

1- The Crime of Robbery:

All major religions teach that theft is an evil act and Islam teaches the same. So, what is different between Islam and the other religions in this regard?

The difference lies in the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is an evil, Islam puts a practical way of creating a social structure in which people will not rob.

Islam Prescribes Zakah:

Islamic law prescribes that every person who has a saving that exceeds the nisab (the amount upon which zakah is obligatory) has to pay zakah on an annual basis. If the rich in the world gave zakah, poverty will be eradicated from this world. Not a single human being would die of hunger.

– The Punishment of Robbery:

Islam enjoins chopping off the hands of the convicted robber. The Glorious Qur’an says in Surat Al-Ma’idah:

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-Ma’idah 5:38)

A non-Muslim may say that Islam is a barbaric and ruthless religion! Yet, if one thinks about the results achieved from the application of this punishment, one will be fully content about the effectuation of Islam’s punishments for crimes.

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 zakah 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 the same or decrease? Naturally, it will decrease. Moreover the existence of such a stringent law would discourage many potential robbers.

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 and there will barely be a few who would rob. Hence, only few hands would be cut whereas, on the other hand, millions would live peacefully without fear of being robbed.

Islamic Shari`ah is therefore practical, and focusing on results.

2- The Crime of Molestation and Rape of Women:

All the major religions declare molestation and rape of women as grave sins. Yet, Islam is distinguished by the fact that it 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 get rid off these evils.

– Lowering the Gaze:

The Qur’an commands men to lower their gaze and be modest while speaking to women. Almighty Allah says:

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. (An-Nur 24:30)

Hijab for women

Hijab 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…. (An-Nur 24:31)

The hijab is not restricted to the headscarf but it means that the woman has to be properly and modestly dressed in. The only parts that can be seen are the face and the hands up to the wrists. Yet, they may cover these parts if they are supposed to cause temptation.

The reason why Allah has prescribed hijab for the women is given in the Qur’an in the following verse of Surat 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. (Al-Ahzab 33:59)

The Qur’an says that hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women this would prevent them from being molested.

Capital Punishment for Rapist:

The Islamic Shari`ah prescribes capital punishment for a convicted rapist. The non-Muslim may be horrified by such a stringent punishment in this age. Many accuse Islam of being ruthless and barbaric.

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 every day.

Later another report said that an average of 1900 cases of rape is 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 every day in America in 1996. Every 32 seconds one rape is taking place in America. Maybe American rapists got bolder.

Suppose the Islamic Shari`ah 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 hijab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands up to 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. The Islamic Shari`ah is focusing on results.

3- Islam has Practical Solutions for the Problems of Mankind

Islam is the best way of life because its teachings are not doctrinaire rhetoric but it puts practical solutions for the problems of mankind. Islam aims at the achievement results both at the individual and collective levels. Islam is the best way of life because it is a practical religion with a universal message.


Taken with kind permission from www.irf.net.

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