The Sanctity of Life

Life is sacred in the Quran

Life is sacred

Taking a human life is considered the ultimate violation of social norms since the beginning of human history. As can be seen in the Quran, the first killing happened when Cain killed his brother Abel. The Quran narrates that Abel appealed to his brother by reminding him of the gravity of the sin of taking a human life. Abel warned Cain that he would be in hellfire if he committed the murder. Cain killed Abel anyway. The Quran cites the story to highlight life’s sacredness and illustrates the grave nature of committing murder. Consequently, when the Quran narrates that taking one innocent life equates to taking the life of the whole of humanity, a believer takes it with utmost seriousness. Whereas saving one human life is compared in the Quran to protecting the whole of humanity.

“Because of that, We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person unless, in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land, it is as if he kills all humanity, while if any saves a life, it is as if he saves the lives of all humanity. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” The Quran 5:32.

“…Do not take life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of Justice and law…”The Quran 6:151.

Do not desecrate places of worship

In recent years, several churches and mosques were bombed in different countries. As a result, many worshipers died in Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Not surprisingly, Boko Haram, ISIS, and others have claimed responsibility. If these extremist groups believe that by bombing places of worship, they did a service to any religion, then they were dead wrong. The Quran categorically rejects similar destructive behavior to others’ religious places.

Quran 22:40. “…If Allah did not repel some people using others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where Allah’s name is pronounced abundantly, would have been destroyed. Allah is sure to help those who help His cause. Allah is strong and mighty.”

Suicide killing is prohibited

Suicide bombing has become a cliche for Muslim extremists. It is important to realize that wearing a suicide vest and killing innocent people will not facilitate anyone’s path to heaven, as we can see that the Quran prohibits suicide as well as innocent killings clearly and unambiguously.

Quran 4:29. “And do not kill yourselves; surely, God is most Merciful to you.”

Quran 17:33, “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except by right of justice. Whoever is killed unjustly, We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed the limits in taking life.”

Do not harm animals or plants

Islam does not only forbid the killing of human beings; it also forbids harming any form of life without a valid reason. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recommended not to slaughter animals in front of other animals. Islam does not allow believers to uproot trees or destroy plantation at the time of war.

Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be on him) traditions

The sanctity of life in the Quran.

Over the years, Muslim nations have faced crises created by small but virulent groups of extremists. First, these extremist groups are transgressing the basic Islamic tenets of compassion, the sanctity of life, and respect for others’ rights to choose their own belief, as the Quran dictates, and the prophet (PBUH) practiced. Muslims in general and Muslim organizations have expressed their distaste and dismay for these anti-Islamic and inhumane actions. Many Muslim scholars have issued religious verdicts (Fatwa) on terrorism and suicide bombings calling these acts as unjust, evil, and against Islamic principles. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri issued over 600 pages long Fatwa on Terrorism. On a similar note, U.S. Muslim Religious Council Issued Fatwa Against Terrorism:

The sanctity of life in the Quran.

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