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What is the Worst Crime???

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If people were asked what they felt is the worst crime, then many would answer murder, while others would answer rape, genocide or other similar violent crimes. However, to arrive at the correct answer, we must understand that the severity of a crime is directly related to the sanctity of the victim.

For example, if a person destroys an ordinary stone on the side of the road, then since this stone is lifeless and enjoys no sanctity, his action will not be deemed a crime, although it was needlessly destructive. However, if one has to torture and kill an animal, then since an animal is a living creature and enjoys some degree of sanctity in society, he could be charged for the crime, though the charge would not be excessively harsh. Finally, if one has to murder a human, then since a human enjoys very great sanctity in society and his life is protected, the crime will draw a harsh punishment – often a life sentence in prison.

From these examples, it is clear that the severity of the crime revolves around the sanctity of the victim, which is why the murder of a police officer is regarded as even worse than the murder of an ordinary citizen.

After understanding the above, we will realize that the worst crime is actually the crime of kufr (disbelieving in Allah Ta‘ala). The reason is obvious – the sanctity of no human can compare to the sanctity of Allah Ta‘ala who is our Creator, Master and Sustainer. When Allah Ta‘ala has created us, owns us, and at every moment continues to shower countless invaluable bounties upon us, and all He commands is that we accept Him as our Rabb and completely obey him in everything, then to fail to do so is the height of disobedience and contempt and constitutes the worst crime.

The mercy of Allah Ta‘ala is infinite, and He offers salvation and Jannah to every person who wants it – provided they acknowledge Him and accept Him as the Only Rabb. Hence, Allah Ta‘ala is prepared to forgive even a rapist and a murderer, if they sincerely turn to Him and repent from their wrongs. But Allah Ta‘ala Himself has declared that He will never forgive the crime of shirk (ascribing partners to Him). (Surah Nisaa v 48) Thus, when Allah Ta‘ala has left the door of salvation open, then it is the disbeliever alone who is to blame for refusing to enter the door.

If a person gives a few Rands in charity every day, but is a serial killer by night, torturing, murdering and dismembering innocent victims, his small gesture of kindness will hold NO weight compared to the gravity and seriousness of his crime. Hence, we will never find society idolizing a rapist or mass-murderer, even though they may have had some good qualities.

Likewise, no matter how good the character of a disbeliever may be, how many humanitarian efforts he may engage in, and how much he may exert himself for the upliftment of others and to defend the oppressed – he is still guilty of the WORST CRIME. Hence, he can never be idolized by Muslims, and must expect no reward for his actions in the Hereafter (as explained here). 

Abu Taalib was more than just the uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – he was a pillar of support and provided refuge and protection to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Furthermore, he had raised Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) after the demise of his grandfather, ‘Abdul Muttalib. Abu Taalib was naturally a ‘good’ person with good character, assisting people in need and upholding justice. Thus, if any person could have been considered a ‘humanitarian’, it would have been him. However, he passed away without imaan, choosing to remain on the creed of his forefathers, even though Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) urged him, in his final moments, to enter the fold of Islam and acquire salvation.

Despite his ‘good qualities’, humanitarian efforts and excellent character, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed the Ummah, in his blessed hadeeth, that Abu Taalib is from the inhabitants of Jahannum. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “The person undergoing the lightest punishment in Jahannum is Abu Taalib. He is made to wear two sandals (of fire) due to which his brain boils (and burns).” (Saheeh Muslim #515)

When this is the plight of Abu Taalib, whose humanitarian efforts were directly for the Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Muslims, then we can well imagine the plight and outcome of other so-called ‘humanitarians’ and philanthropists who die on disbelief!

May Allah Ta‘ala protect us and our progenies from disbelief, and instil in our hearts true disgust and hatred for it, aameen.