The article Impact & Effect of Sins on IslamOnline is a profoundly alarming explanation of Sharia law. It amounts to divine fear-mongering and manipulation. The mere fact that “sin” is equated with “disobedience” is very revealing of the role that this theology is supposed to play in people’s lives. It is controlling and pervasive.

According to the article, disobedience of Allah causes ignorance, poverty, physical and emotional weakness, reduced life span, humiliation, deficient intellect, cold hearts, environmental problems, harm to animals, immodesty, loss of benevolence, and abandonment from Allah. Furthermore, it claims that punishment is justified against a sinner, that a sinner is only lashing out against Allah out of spite, and that all types of sins are legacies of past sinful nations and therefore categorize modern sinners. (Sodomizers continue the legacy of Lot, for example.)

The claims of physical side effects from sinning are flat out wrong. The world operates under natural law, and supernatural beings are unobservable. Poverty is not caused by sinning. Physical weakness may emerge due to the Placebo effect, but there is no real connection between sinning and the nutrients inside our bodies. And how animals are supposedly harmed and the environment becomes polluted are beyond me. These are ludicrous statements, and give us full reason to be extremely skeptical of the reliability of the author of these statements.

“Sin” does not cause us to lose brain cells or reduce our capacity for thinking, nor does it make us immodest. And modesty is definitely not the “basis of every good.” I have to wonder here, what the term modesty is taken to mean, because in the same line that calls immodesty the “disappearance of all that is good,” the good old prophet Mo is given “peace and blessings.” This is a part of the bewildering tradition to make sure the prophet has a good public image and that no one makes the mistake of disreputing him. But why should we pamper the man’s ego when he says modesty is the basis of all that is good?