If you are one of the millions who love to watch Breaking Pad, you must remember the exciting dialogue between Walter and Hank when Walter said: ‘If we were drinking this in the nineteenth century we would be breaking the law. Another year we would be OK. Who knows what will be legal next year!’ Hank replied: ‘Freaggin Meth used to be legal. Used to be sold over every counter at every pharmacy in America’.
I have always been interested in the fact that laws get changed with a change of public mood. When methane fidamine was produced, it remained legal for a long time. Today, marijuana is legal in some countries and illegal in others. The same applies to alcoholic drinks, various drugs and many substances that affect the mind.
Here we note the great wisdom behind divine law. God prohibited everything that influences the human mind and weakens its power. The prohibition has stood across time and throughout the world. For many thousands of years, divine law remained valid and perfectly suited for human nature.
The same applies to all aspects of life. Relations between the two sexes were always subject to regulation and control, moving from one extreme to another. Women were at times subjugated, and at others made common property available to all men of the tribe. Then humanity came up with the system that made marriage a permanent bond that could not be dissolved. In our present time, casual relations are accepted as normal, even fleeting relations of the type of one-night stand. Yet all these have been proved to be unsound and the cause of much grief and misery.
Here again we see the absolute wisdom of divine law: it legislates for a marital relationship which is publicly confirmed. It also provides for its termination when things go wrong and the two parties find it impossible to continue life together. This is what distinguishes divine law: ease of operation and perfect harmony with human nature.
In its attempts to define the meaning of life and its goal, humanity endured much suffering. Some people claimed that we are merely an episode in the series of evolution and alleged that we are an organic matter that will ultimately die out. That vision has resulted in millions of deaths. Others suggested that we are just another animal species that seeks pleasure. Again this vision led to thousands of deaths by causes such as AIDS and drug overdose.
Once more we note the superior wisdom of divine law that assigns to man the role of being a servant of God, charged with the task of building a healthy human life on earth. When we succeed, we head to a heaven of eternal bliss.
We can cite countless examples of the superiority of divine law, starting with economy. God forbids all types of exploitation and injustice. It thus protects humanity against the dark form of capitalism that allows people to die because they do not have the means to buy their medicine when they fall ill. Likewise, it protects man against evil communism which led to more than one hundred million deaths in its search for social justice.
Even in international relations, Islam forbids aggression against civilians as well as all aspects of injustice. It advocates justice for all and urges Muslims to acquire the power to protect themselves and defend others against any aggression. It thus protects humanity from the tyranny of superior power that allows some countries to wage wars of extermination against other communities in order to take their natural resources. At the same time, Islam rejects that the Muslim community should remain in a state of weakness and helplessness as it watches massacres taking place in various areas, feeling unable to take any action to prevent such injustice.
As it combines a realistic and practical outlook with consistency with human nature, Islamic law is not merely suitable for all generations and all time; it also sets every generation on the right course and solves all problems that face humanity everywhere. Mankind remain the same and human nature will always remain consistent.
Some people may prefer to drink alcohol, milk or fruit juice, and others may not like any or all of these. But there is none who do not like to drink pure natural water.
The question is often asked: will what was suitable for people in the seventh century remain suitable in the twenty-first century? In answer we may say that before striking two stones to light a fire, the man in the cave did the same thing as Neil Armstrong did before he stepped on the surface of the moon. Both had a drink of water.