Chapter 57: Respect for the Law

People in a civilized society cannot live without law. Where the law of the jungle prevails, that is not a civilized society. To run the administration of a society very well defined laws are absolutely essential. These laws are for upholding order and providing protection to the aggrieved and dispensing punishment to the guilty.

For the comfort and safety of the populace, laws are absolutely necessary. In the countries where there is good understanding between the people and the lawmakers, the laws are made for the benefit of the people and they therefore respect the laws. There can be general well being if the people in a country are law abiding.

In countries where the lawmakers work with ulterior selfish motives, and while framing the statute they don’t have the welfare of the people in mind, the people stop honoring the law and there can be unrest in such societies. Unfortunately, earlier our country faced a similar situation ( Here the author means Iran of the Shah’s period ).

Most of the laws were neither Islamic nor good for the people. The laws were formulated keeping in mind the ruling clique and the wishes of the Imperialists and their stooges. No attention was given to the plight of the worker, the toiler and the deprived populace. The lawmakers tried to hoodwink the people with oppressive and repressive laws to subjugate the masses.

But since the people of Iran felt that those un-Islamic statutes were against their interests, they had no respect for them. However there were some laws in that statute that were good for the people. But since the legal system was anti-people in totality, they rejected the complete system.

Respect for legitimate and people-friendly laws is essential and the parents have to explain about them to the children. When a child finds the parents crossing the road from the zebra crossing only, he feels that he must do likewise. He gets into the habit of following this rule of safety and may never transgress it.
The parents must tell the children that the cars and other fast moving vehicles have the right of way on the roads and the pedestrians can only use the zebra crossings when they require to cross to the other side of the road. Pedestrians trespassing on the roads commit an offence and also are exposed to the risk of accidents. When the child understands the advantage of abiding by the law, he becomes a good citizen.

‘Ali, The Commander of the Faithful, says:

“Habits are second nature !"1

  • 1. Gharar al hukm, p. 26