Throughout history, humans have adopted many standards. These standards range from social, cultural, political, to economic and juridical. Human standards or laws can sometimes be useful or beneficial if they adhere to the divine standards. As these standards get further away from the religious laws, they produce benefits only to limited special interest groups, with the public as a whole suffering or at least not benefiting from these laws. Most people judge situations or other people based upon certain preconceived ideas and rules that they accumulated in their past. Often times, these judgments may not be universally fair or righteous. Generally speaking, there are three different kinds of standards that humans follow when facing different issues:
Divine Standard: these are the set of laws, behaviors, and actions that are prescribed by God upon all humans regardless or race, color, wealth or gender. These laws are pathways to piety and absolute justice.
Society standard: the laws and the morals that specific societies impose upon themselves that are supposedly for the welfare of the whole society at that time. However, no society standard could include all the issues that affect its people. This leaves open issues that cause major differences in opinion. For example, The American society is almost evenly divided on major issues such as abortion and gun control with no side being able to convince the other.
Individual standard: This is the standard that an individual adopts to satisfy his own needs and desires regardless of its effect on others. Many people judge an event or action based upon their own standard that can be totally impious.
It will be shown that the Divine standards and values in Islam are far superior to any other society or individual standards. One of the functions of a religion is to teach humans a set of rules and standards that are universally beneficial at all times. However, a liberal society or person may find the divine standard too restrictive and against human rights! Someone may condemn the Islamic laws of flogging or amputation of hands of criminals without entertaining the idea that these laws can protect the whole society. This is regardless of the fact that many social or human standards are always accused of being biased and unfair.
The multitude of the stories in the Holy Books is for a divine wisdom. For example, Moses (Pbuh) was a fascinating choice as a messenger of Allah. One of a prophet's human qualifications is his ability to speak and convince people with the religion. However, Moses could not speak clearly, he used to stutter. So he asked God to make his brother Aaron a co-messenger to help him with the Egyptians. God accepted the plea of Moses. When Moses went to the pharaoh to deliver the message of God, he was accused that he could not speak clearly and would not be able to "sell" the message of God. By the human standard, a stuttered prophet may not do a good job in delivering the message. But by God′s standard, His mercy can be given to anyone regardless of his physical ability and he will succeed with the help of God. As a matter of fact, Moses is considered as one of the most recognized prophets in the three monotheistic religions, and he miraculously achieved a great deal.
Crime is rampant and prevalent in the United States as well as the Western World at large. The USA is the country that has the highest number of churches on earth. At the same time, it is the country that has the most violent crimes. It is also the country that has the highest number of prisons on earth. The Federal Bureau of Investigation in USA in its 1987 Annual statistical summary reported that a major crime occurs every 3 seconds and a murder every 27 minutes. National surveys conducted by universities and governmental agencies indicate that most citizens of the USA feel that the existing criminal justice system is too soft on criminals. The major problem as envisioned by social scientists is that the goal of the criminal justice system is not punishment but correction. Hence, the prisons are called "Corrective Facilities", and the prisoners to a large extent are pampered and spoiled. When judges and juries convict criminals, sometimes the punishment is sadly inadequate. For example, a life sentence for killing a person would be in a corrective facility, and in most cases not for the remainder of the criminal′s life! A life sentence equates to merely a 33 years prison term, but the murderer may be set free after serving just one third of the sentence, or 11 years for good behavior. On the other side, if the murderer is sentenced to death, the method of execution varies from state to state in the same country USA; there is no standard for executing murderers. Execution can be performed by lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, firearms, or hanging. The different methods of execution are chosen based upon which one is easier and faster. Obviously it may well be that no one really knows the easiest way of killing murderers. And the irony is that the justice system is trying supposedly to find the easiest way for execution whether or not the victim is killed in a violent or an easy way. Furthermore, Gangs′ crimes are raging in the USA. It was reported that in one city (Fort Worth, Texas), there were about 5000 gang members committing all kinds of crimes from shooting innocent people at random, to fighting against each other. Crimes committed by children in schools, teenagers′ suicide and pregnancy, drug overdose, killing for the adrenaline rush, etc., are quite common that psychologists, religious and government spokesmen have no clues for the reason of this phenomena.
And yet, the western person considers the Islamic Laws and traditions, dealing with criminal matters not only uncivilized but also barbaric. In a rather interesting book entitled "The Arabs", by David Lamb, Random House, New York, 1987, the author reports of the tremendous disparity in the crime rates between the whole Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and city of Los Angles during the calendar year 1982. Both Saudi Arabia and Los Angles had a population of 7 Million, and their respective crime statistics compares as follows:
|Crime Category||Los Angles||Saudi Arabia|