On "Cruel Laws" Part 1 of 2

 بسم الله

The proverbially strange similitude
of those who were charged to bear the Torah,
yet incredibly bore it not,
is like the strikingly strange likeness
of a donkey laden with great tomes of enlightening wisdom:
Vile a similitude indeed
is that of a people who cry lies
to the very verses of Allah Himself!
And Allah guides not the people of the wrongdoers. (The Quran Beheld 62:5)

I recently received a question from Pakistan that concerned responding to those who criticize the Sharia as it is implemented there.

The questioner described two murder cases. In both cases the perpetrators were from a higher social stratum and the next of kin of the victims forgave the perpetrators who were set free as a result.

Media outlets then publicized reports claiming that in both instances the next of kin were threatened by the perpetrators.

As a result, secular-minded commentators are claiming that the Sharia provision which places the perpetrator’s fate in the hands of the next of kin is “cruel”.

If the media reports are indeed true, then the clearly appalling outcomes of those cases are the result of perversion of the law by the powerful against the weak. And that is evidence of the immorality or cruelty of the persons involved. The intent of the law itself is clearly not cruelty, but the upholding of the rights of the next of kin and placing the final legal outcome in their hands.

When laws are perverted in that manner it is prudent to reexamine the procedures and apparatus associated with them with a view to making it difficult for the perversion to take place. It would also be prudent to examine the underlying social and moral problems that contribute to the prevalence of corrupt character and lawlessness.

Placing moral judgment on the law itself is, however, hardly helpful.

I view such unhelpful reactions as misguided and born of incorrect beliefs concerning God, the Law, and the world in general. Those are the same maladies, by the way, that produce the crimes and outrageous perversions of the law in the first place.

You see, those who reject God reject the reality of His Perfect Judgment and Condign Punishment on the Final Day. That rejection produces criminals who are irredeemable, and law-abiding folk who honestly believe that perfect judgment and condign punishment are consistently obtainable in this world if only they could get their way.

In reality both groups are criminals, and the latter may well be even worse than the former.

In my next post I’ll attempt to explain why insha Allah.

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