Crime as a cause of the fall of nations
The Arabic term ‘JǓRM’ (جُرم) primarily means cutting off (fruits of a tree) (for oneself) or shearing off (wool of a sheep); it also refers to selfish exploitation of resources for one’s own personal advantage. Other meanings of the term JǓRM include: a crime; an offence; or an unlawful act.
In the Quran, prevalence of JǓRM (جُرم) or crime in the society has been given as one of the causes for the downfall of nations. Allah says in the Quran:
أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ الْأَوَّلِينَ ثُمَّ نُتْبِعُهُمُ الْآخِرِينَ
كَذَٰلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ
Did We not destroy the earlier generations? So shall We make the later generations follow them. This is how We deal with the criminals.
[Al-Quran Surah 77: Verse 16-18]
أَهُمْ خَيْرٌ أَمْ قَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ
Well, are they better or the people of Tubba‘ and those who were before them? We destroyed (all of) them. Surely they were criminals.
[Al-Quran Surah 44: Verse 37]
وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا وَجَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَمَا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْقَوْمَ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ خَلَائِفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ لِنَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ
And indeed We destroyed (a number of) communities before you when they perpetrated injustice. And their Messengers brought to them clear Signs but they would not believe. That is how We punish the criminals. Then, after them, We made you (their) successors in the land so that We might observe how you would behave.
[Al-Quran Surah 10: Verse 13-14]