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Why do some Muslims commit crimes?    

All praises be to Allaah, Lord and Sustainer of the worlds, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions.

The question is not only regarding those people who commit crimes and don't pay attention to the fact that Allaah can punish people whenever, wherever and however He wishes. Rather, this question is applicable to everyone, as Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa says:

"And if Allâh were to seize mankind for their wrongdoing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)..."

[An-Nahl: 61]

Disasters of such scale as the recent earthquakes and tsunamis are no doubt from the punishments of Allaah, because of persistent wrong doing of people, Allaah says:

"Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility). When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitân (Satan) made fair seeming to them that which they used to do. So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows. So the root of the people who did wrong were cut off. And all the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the `Alameen (mankind, jinns, and all that exists)."

[Al-An'aam: 42-45]

In addition to being a punishment for some people, these calamities are also warnings from Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa for others. What many people do not understand, is that criminals usually do not pay heed to warnings, so, when Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa drowned Fir'awn (Pharoah), Allaah said:

"So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)..."

[Yunus: 92]

This was a warning, but do we know of any tyrant ruler who found out about Fir'awn and then changed his ways? The answer is no. Then who are these warnings for? These warnings are for those people who fear Allaah. Similarly, these calamities and disasters have an effect on people who fear Allaah, and not on those who persist in defying Allaah, because they don't truly fear Him.

Fear is the spirit of obedience which affects the heart of man. The fact that the heart is the king of the body, means that it affects the body. When there is fear in the heart, the heart becomes obedient to Allaah, and when the heart is obedient, it makes the rest of the body obedient as well. The true fear of Allaah can not come in the heart without knowledge. This is why knowledge is the key to all this, and this is why Allaah says:

"It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allâh."

[Fatir: 28]

The more a Muslim knows about Allaah by his Most High attributes, the closer he gets to Him, and the more obedient he becomes to Him.

It should also be noted that not every Muslim is necessary a true believer (Mo'min), the one who truly fears Allaah and pays heed to His warnings, as Allaah says:

"The bedouins say: We believe. Say: You believe not but you only say, `We have surrendered (in Islâm),' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allâh and His Messenger ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allâh is OftForgiving, Most Merciful.."

[Al-Hujaraat: 14]

This is why many Muslims, due to their deliberate ignorance, are short of true belief and obedience to Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa, and some lower themselves to the extent that they commit crimes without caring and paying heed to any warning that Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa reveals.

We seek refuge in Allaah from becoming careless and ask Him to help and guide us to do all that He is pleased with and his Peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet Muhammad.