In an environment without religion, the first concept to be eliminated
is that of the family. Values such as loyalty, fidelity, allegiance, love,
and respect, which sustain the family, are totally abandoned. It must
be remembered that the family is the foundation of society and if the
family collapses, so does society. Even the state and the nation have
no reason to exist, since all moral values that underpin the state and
the nation have been obliterated.
Furthermore, in irreligious societies, there is no reason left for anyone
to feel respect, love or compassion for anyone else. This leads to social
anarchy. The rich hate the poor, the poor hate the rich. Anger develops
against those who are handicapped or needy. Or aggression towards different
nations rises. The workers become aggressive towards their employers and
the employers towards their workers, fathers turn against their sons and
the sons against their fathers.
The reason for continuous bloodshed and the "third page news"
in the newspapers is irreligion. On these pages, every day, we see news
coverage about people who heedlessly kill each other for very insignificant
However, a man who knows that he is going to be accountable in the hereafter
cannot point a gun at somebody else's head and shoot him. He knows that
God has forbidden men to commit crimes, and his fear of God ensures that
he will avoid divine retribution.
Do not corrupt the earth after it has been purged
of evil. Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. God's mercy is within reach
of the righteous. (Surat al-A'raf: 56)
The cause for suicides being so common is also irreligion. One who commits
suicide in fact commits murder. For instance, someone who attempts to
commit suicide because his girl friend has left him should ask himself
these questions: Would he think of committing suicide for that girl, if
she became disabled, or became old, or if her face had been badly burned?
Of course, he would not; he overvalues her in his mind when he sees her
as elegant and healthy and he ascribes her as a partner to God, thinking
her to be more important than God, the hereafter, and religion. He risks
dying for her.
But someone who is guided by the Qur'an would never do such a thing.
He would not even give it a moment of thought. A believer lives only for
God's approval and exercises patience in the face of all the difficulties
and problems God afflicts him within this world. And he does not forget
that he is going to be rewarded for his patience both in this world and
the hereafter many times over.
Stealing too is very common in irreligious societies. A man who steals
does not think of how much trouble he causes to the person he steals from.
He takes ten years of his victim's earnings in a single night and doesn't
worry about how much he will suffer. As he inflicts pain on the other
person, he may also feel pangs of conscience. But if he does not, this
is an even worse state of affairs. It means that the thief has become
hardened to committing all kinds of immoral acts.
In irreligious societies, values like hospitality, making sacrifices
for each other, solidarity, and generosity totally disappear. First of
all, people do not value each other as the human beings they are, because
they see each other as beings that have evolved from monkeys. No one wants
to welcome, serve, honour or offer nice things to anyone he thinks has
evolved from an ape. People sharing this thought do not value each other.
Nobody thinks about the health, welfare, or comfort of others. They do
not worry about anybody getting hurt nor do they try to prevent such a
thing. For instance, in hospitals people who are about to die are left
lying on stretchers for indefinite periods; nobody cares about them. Or
the owner of a restaurant operating under extremely dirty, unhealthy conditions
does not worry about the harm he may inflict on the health of the people
who eat there. He only cares about the money he is making. These are a
few examples that show up in our daily lives. Here, the main logic
is that people are good to each other only if they can expect some profit
in return. By the moral standards of the Qur'an, however, people value
each other as servants of God. They do not expect anything in return
for a favour; on the contrary, they try to gain God's approval by continuously
doing good deeds, and compete with each other in doing well.