Effect of Prescribed Penalties on Individuals and Society

The enforcement of the prescribed penalties has major benefits for the individual, the community, and the whole nation, the most important of which are the following:
1. Uprooting corruption from the world and preserving people’s properties.
2. Realizing the Shari`ah objectives, namely, the preservation of religion, life, mind, property, and progeny.
3. Getting Almighty Allah’s blessing through obeying Him and enforcing the prescribed penalties.
Sheikh `Abdur-Rahman `Abdul-Khaliq, head of Heritage Establishment Committee in Kuwait, states the following: When Adam disobeyed his Lord the Almighty in Heaven, Allah made him descend to earth. Then Allah spoke to him: (Go down hence, both of you, one of you a foe unto the other. But if there come unto you from Me a guidance, then whoso followeth My guidance, he will not go astray nor come to grief. But he who turneth away from remembrance of Me, his will be a narrow life, and I shall bring him blind to the assembly on the Day of Resurrection) (Taha 20:123-124). This verse clarifies that Allah’s law for Adam and for the prophets after him is the preserver from going astray in this world and from suffering in the Hereafter. For this reason, Allah’s law for prophets is not limited to the acts through which they worship Allah; it rather comprises the regulation of all human affairs such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, financial dealings, and whatever the human being needs to establish a good, pure life on earth.

However, the devil, who has taken upon himself animosity toward Adam and his offspring, has succeeded to make a large number of people deviate from their Lord’s path and replace His law with other laws which they have invented for themselves, through which evil, corruption, and injustice occur on earth.
If the previous ages of humanity have not witnessed enough tests to compare the results of applying Allah’s law to the results of applying Satan’s laws, in this age of ours there is a long history for Islam and the many sorts of ignorance. So one may see how great a difference there is between applying Allah’s law—where light, justice, and rightness prevail—and applying Satan’s law, where all sorts of corruption and injustice spread.
No doubt the law of Islam revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the perfect form of Allah’s law, in which Allah has removed the restrictions He previously ordained on past nations and has not imposed in it any hardship on us whatsoever. The Almighty says: (and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship) (Al-Hajj 22:78).
Moreover, Allah has made His law complete to encompass each and every aspect in our life, so we do not need anything other than it or anything besides it. Allah says: (This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion Al- Islam (Al-Ma’idah 5:3). He also said: (And We reveal the Scripture unto thee as an exposition of all things) (An-Nahl 16:89).
Applying Allah’s law and prescribed penalties has great benefits such as the following:
Getting Allah’s Blessing
It is similarly doubtless that the blessings of the pure Divine Law are numerous, the first of which is that Almighty Allah has made goodness in this life dependent upon applying His law. He says about the People of the Book: (If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet) (Al-Ma’idah 5:66). Although this verse concerns the People of the Book, it is applicable to us, too. The Almighty also says: (And if the people of the township had believed and kept from evil, surely We should have opened for them, blessings from the sky and from the earth. But (unto every messenger) they gave the lie, and so We seized them on account of what they used to earn) (Al-A`raf 7:96). Thus, each messenger reminds his people that obeying Allah is the way toward having his mercy in this world. For instance, Noah said to his people, (Seek pardon of your Lord Lo! He was ever Forgiving. He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain, And will help you with wealth and sons, and will assign unto you Gardens and will assign unto you rivers) (Nuh 71:10-12). Hud also said to his people, (And, O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn unto Him repentant; He will cause the sky to rain abundance on you and will add unto you strength to your strength. Turn not away, guilty!) (Hud 11:52). That is nearly what Allah has declared about the religion sent to Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as He opens a surah of the Qur’an saying, (Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture the revelations whereof are perfected and then expounded. (It cometh) from One Wise, Informed, (saying): Serve none but Allah. Lo! I am Unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings. And (bidding you): Ask pardon of your Lord and turn to Him repentant. He will cause you to enjoy a fair estate until a time appointed. He giveth His bounty unto every bountiful one. But if ye turn away, Lo! (then) I fear for you the retribution of an awful Day) (Hud 11:1-3). Believers certainly believe in Allah’s promise and know for certain that the goodness in this world and the Hereafter is in obeying Him.
Founding Society on the Bases of Virtue
Some people may not believe this promise or see a relation between performing Prayer, giving zakah, and fasting on the one hand and the coming down of rain, the abundance of crops, and the circulation of trade on the other. However, there are material relations between them which all people—the believers and the non-believers—can see. First, performing Prayer and fasting educate and purify the human conscience and direct it toward benevolence, righteousness, and doing good. Such traits qualify one to perfect one’s trade, avoid deceit and bribery, and preserve public property. In a society where most of its individuals are of that sort, welfare and abundance will surely prevail. Second, giving zakah is the greatest benefit for augmenting money and putting an end to revolts and enmities that paralyze the economy and lead countries to destruction. Finally, Hajj is an act of worship whose excellence is undeniable; it brings the Islamic nation closer so that friendly feelings prevail and commercial, industrial, and agricultural benefits are accomplished. The whole world incessantly tries to hold such a conference as Hajj, where all differences between people vanish, but in vain.
Uprooting Corruption From the World
As regards transactions, Allah’s law has a greater impact on people’s life, as it aims at stopping evil and establishing justice on earth. No doubt that corruption entails ruin, and justice conduces welfare and development. Therefore, establishing the law of Allah on earth certainly means abundant blessings and bounties. In addition, every sane person, a believer or a non-believer, knows that applying the prescribed penalties or hudud is one of the most substantial reasons for the increase in blessings and bounties; for example, cutting off the thief’s hand means that money is preserved and available for use in trade, agriculture, and industry. It is well known that secu
rity must be guaranteed for any business to flourish, but if theft and oppression spread, people tend to hide or invest their money elsewhere. Moreover, it is doubtless that killing murderers is an effective deterrent against committing such a crime, which results in ruining any development and splitting communities.
As for the prescribed penalty for fornication, it eradicates fornication, prostitution, and wasting money. It also prevents the birth of illegitimate children.
A Muslim society that possesses such purity is certainly a society of goodness, blessing, and growth. So why do you deny the obvious connection and direct relation of cause and effect between applying the purified Shari`ah and material welfare and worldly happiness? Almighty Allah says: (Whosoever doeth right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily We shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do) (An-Nahl 16:97). That is why it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Applying a hadd (prescribed penalty) on earth is better than having rain for forty mornings” (An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah).