By Dr. Mohammad Aleem
A very intellectually stimulating discussion took place in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, recently with many scholars of repute in attendance. The topic of discussion was the concept of the afterlife in major religions like Islam, Christianity and Hinduism and its role in curtailing the crime in the society. The scholars comprised from three major religions who spoke at length that how the fear of afterlife can help in restraining the crime.
It is a fact that if there is a fear of God in one’s heart, he or she stops himself or herself from committing any crime. If they do so, they feel soon repentance and seek forgiveness of God. If there is no concept of God and there is no fear of punishment in our afterlife, people can easily commit the crime. It is also seen that in those places, where the punishment is severe and bitter, the crime rate is quite low.
In our country or even in the capital city, Delhi, where every four hours, a rape takes place and killing of human life is rampant. Leave other crimes like thievery, robbery, stalking and snatching etc. As a whole, this is the case in almost all over the world. It raises then a very pertinent question that why it is so and why the world is unable to do anything substantial in this regard. How this earth could be made a safer place to live, not only for human, but other living beings also?
It is the need of the hour to inculcate some basic human values of life like preserving the dignity and respect of others. God, no doubt, helps us in making a good human being through His divine teachings sent to us through His Prophets and Messengers from time-to-time.
The interesting thing to note here is that the speakers were not mainly religious scholars of different faiths and beliefs, but a social worker, professors, lawyer of the Supreme Court of India, Police officer and businessman. They included Dr. Hanif Khan Shashtri (a national awardee for communal harmony), Dr. S. Farooq (President, Tasmia Educational and Welfare Foundation, and a successful businessman), Manoj Kumar Mishra (Hindu Scholar) Prof. I.P. Pandey (Scientist), Dr. Thomas (Christian Scholar) Maulana A.R. Shaheen Qasmi (Gen. Secretary, World Peace Organization), Makran D. Adkar (Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Dr. Shafeeq Ahmad Khan Nadvi, former Head of the Department, Arabic, Jamia Millia Islamia; A. R. Agwan, President Muslim Majlis Mushwerat (Delhi Chapter); along with many other scholars and intellectuals among participants.
The discussion was lively and animated based on the experiences of the life of the speakers. A retired Police officer, Mr Jawed Siddiqui, former DIG, Manipur also spoke about a study carried out by the Ford Foundation in which he was an active member that how the religion and fear of punishment after death helps in stopping or minimizing the heinous crimes like rape and murder in a society. He gave many examples of the Muslims countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar etc. where the crime rates are quite low in respect of many developed countries in the world. Why Brazil is considered the most unsafe place on the earth? Why India lags far behind in stopping the crimes altogether?
The need of the hour is to make people strong morally and ethically giving equal importance to all other rightful worldly endeavors and careers. Until we do that, we can’t make our society a better place to live.
This discussion was organized by the World Peace Organization, New Delhi, which endeavors hard in propagating the peace and communal harmony in the society, which is so devoid of these precious things these days. The organization also works among prisoners to make their life better spiritually.
[Mohammad Aleem regularly contributes to India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. His works can also be seen on his website at www.mohammadaleem.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]