And lawful for you are chaste believing women and chaste women from among those who were given the Book before you, when you give them their dowries, contracting valid marriage and not committing fornication nor taking secret paramours. And whoever rejects the faith, his work has doubtless come to naught, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Al Quran 5:5/6)
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Year of first publication 2015
Have you ever slowed your car after seeing a police car around you? For most people the answer is yes. If you drive on US highways you would have commonly observed that if a police car is driving by the whole traffic slows down.
So, accountability works.
No wonder, Islam a religion based in human psychology, teaches accountability in life after death.
Ashley Madison is a Canada-based online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” The website was launched in 2001. The name of the site was created from two popular female names, “Ashley” and “Madison“.
The hackers this week released personal details — including names, email addresses and credit card information — for more than 32-38 million people who were registered for the site. A large majority of these were males; some 93-98 percent.
Belief in the hereafter and accountability is one of the fundamental beliefs of Islam and that creates a psyche of being God conscious, which in turn becomes a strong deterrent against immorality for many. Such deterrent is missing, by definition, from agnostic and atheist society and when people gradually drift away from religion, even many of those who profess to believe in a religion, in practical terms do not remain God conscious and immediate gratification of humans desires becomes the norm, with total disregard to their obligations to their loved ones and consequences.
Stephen Hawking a famous British physicist wrote an article in recent past declaring heaven and hereafter a fairy tale or a fairy story. I wrote in refutation of that article: Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story!’
If life ends at the grave, then it makes no difference whether one has lived as a villain or as a saint. Since one’s destiny is ultimately unrelated to one’s behavior, one may as well just live as one pleases. As Dostoyevsky put it: “If there is no immortality then all things are permitted,” or in the words of Zaheer Ud Din Babar, a Mughal Emperor of India, “Enjoy this life to the utmost as there is no being after this one.” This is exactly what Ashley Madison has been preaching in their tagline and more than 30 million have fallen prey.
On this basis, a writer like Ayn Rand is absolutely correct to praise the virtues of selfishness. Live totally for self; no one holds you accountable! Indeed, it would be foolish to do anything else, for life is too short to jeopardize it by acting out of anything but pure self-interest. Sacrifice for such a person would be stupid! Most atheist philosophers will agree that they have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view. Kai Nielsen, an atheist philosopher who attempts to defend the viability of ethics without God, in the end admits, ‘Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.’
In contrast to the tagline of Ashley Madison, every year in the month of Ramadan the Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. They may be hungry and thirsty and may be alone, yet those fasting do not break their commitment and a deep sense of God consciousness gradually gets imprinted on their minds. They stop cheating those around them. The West is in need of such discipline and it cannot be artificially created without a religion, which deeply moves the mind, heart and soul of the believers.
Those who would be grieved if they found their spouses cheating on them, owe it to themselves to investigate more fulfilling paradigms for their personal and family lives.
They may want to learn more about Islam, other than what they hear about political Islam and terrorism in the national media, day in and day out.
Thanks to our national security agencies, those of us, who are living in the West, are unlikely to become a victim of terrorism, but, are very likely to become a victim of cheating partners.
3. Kai Nielsen. Why should I be moral? American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1984):90.
— The Muslim Times (@The_MuslimTimes) August 25, 2015