Discipline is a way of life

Human Life is Sacred in Islam

It is a manifestation of the dignity of man that Islam has placed an infinite value on human life. Islam guarantees the right to life for every human being, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Every human life is sacred in Islam and every person has been granted God-given fundamental and universal rights at the time of their birth. Muslim jurists recognized that human beings are granted universal rights by default, simply by virtue of being a human being, the most important of which is the right to life. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا

“We have certainly dignified the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created with definite preference.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:70)

In this respect, there is no difference between the life of a Muslim and a non-Muslim since the lives of both are to be protected as a sacred trust. Someone who kills another person is guilty of killing all of humanity whether the victim is a Muslim or not. Such is the value of a single human life, that the Qur’an equates the taking of even one human life unjustly, with killing all of humanity. Thus, the Qur’an prohibits homicide in clear terms. Allah says:

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ

“Thus, We decreed upon the children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless as legal punishment for murder or for corruption in the land, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one soul, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:32)

The dignity that Allah bestowed upon humankind at the time of creation was the blessing of a sacred inviolability which manifests itself as the rights to life, freedom, and property. The right to life has been recognized as the first and most important universal right derived from the Sharia and classical Islamic law. During his final sermon at the Hajj pilgrimage, the Prophet declared that the lives, property, and honor of all people are sacred in the same sense that Mecca and Islam’s religious symbols are sacred. Allah says:

فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“Whoever pardons a capital crime from his brother, then it should be followed by good conduct and payment to him in the best manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy, but whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:178)

There is a lot of misinformation in the media about Islam. There are constant attempts to depict Islam as a violent religion due to the actions of a few extremists and radicalized individuals. Religion commands love, mercy, and peace; terrorism, on the other hand, is cruel, merciless and murderous. Not only is human life sacred in Islam but the property, wealth, family and dignity of all individuals in society are to be respected and protected.

The concept of Human Life is Sacred in Islam:
  1. Human rights focus on what is in your control & try best
  2. Human rights to refuse obedience to oppressive rulers
  3. Human rights teach us to practice in our daily life
  4. Human rights are considered as an examination
  5. Human rights lead to a balanced way of living
  6. Human rights bring civilization and happiness
  7. Human rights are to know the purpose of life
  8. Human rights emphasize the right to privacy
  9. Human rights see you will be accountable
  10. Human rights benefitting the community
  11. Human rights enrich respecting parents
  12. Human rights earning an honest living
  13. Human rights taking care of orphans
  14. Human rights opposing oppression
  15. Human rights put your trust in God
  16. Human rights speaking the truth
  17. Human rights have a noble purpose 
  18. Human rights providing for all family
  19. Human rights standing up for justice
  20. Human rights kindness to neighbours
  21. Human rights to personal responsibility
  22. Human rights to protection of reputation
  23. Human rights having mindfulness of God
  24. Human rights mean everything is from God
  25. Human rights to participate in public affairs
  26. Human rights to struggle for just social order
  27. Human rights to sanity and intellectual freedom
  28. Human rights to enjoin virtue and eradicate evil
  29. Human rights intimate next life as well is our faith
  30. Human rights recall  God’s Mercy and fear punishment

Islam has great placed emphasis on the value of all life and has issued clear warnings against unjustified violence. For this reason, the true believers are the most reluctant to take life in any situation, doing so only when it is absolutely necessary for the safety of others. The taking of a criminal’s life by the state in order to administer justice is required to uphold the rule of law and the peace and security of society. Allah says:

وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۗ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلَا يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ

“Do not kill the 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.” (Surah Al-Isra 17:33)

The value that is advocated is holistic and indivisible in that aggression against one is tantamount to aggression against all. Life is not only of infinite value, but it is also sacred. In respect of the sanctity of life and the prohibition of aggression against it, Muslims and non-Muslims are equal. The attack on the personal safety of non-Muslims invokes the same punishment in this world and the Hereafter.

Allah Almighty says in The Glorious Quran:

  • “Men not created without a purpose.” (Surah Muminun, 23:115)
  • “Man is himself accountable for his own actions.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:1)
  • “Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause” (Quran 17:33)
  • “…Eat and drink; but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.” (Quran 7: 31)
  • “If any do deeds of righteousness – be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (Quran 4:124)
  • “Say (O Muhammad): He is God [Who is] One, God, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.” (Quran, 112)
  • “It is He Who gave you life, then He shall make you dead, then He shall give you life.” (Al-Hajj,22:66)

The Muslim is largely protected from severe punishment in the Hellfire if he or she avoids the major sins, but the sin of murder is so incredibly heinous that it can nearly expel someone from the religion altogether. If we fear Allah with the reverence due to Him, these admonitions should be more than enough to make us doubt the piety of those who kill people in the name of Islam simply because they belong to another religion or nation.

لَنْ يَزَالَ الْمُؤْمِنُ فِي فُسْحَةٍ مِنْ دِينِهِ مَا لَمْ يُصِبْ دَمًا حَرَامًا

“The believer continues to be safe in his religion as long as he does not unlawfully spill blood.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 6469)

Just as Muslims honour and respect the Hajj pilgrimage and all of Islam’s symbols, Muslims have been commanded to respect the lives and properties of other people in the same way. The Prophet even warned us that reverting to the violent tribalism of pre-Islamic ignorance (al-jahiliya) was tantamount to disbelief in Allah and His Messenger.

الْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ النَّاسُ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُ مَنْ أَمِنَهُ النَّاسُ عَلَى دِمَائِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ

“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one people trust with their lives and wealth.” (Sunan An-Nasa’i 4998)

According to the Quran, if one kills an innocent person, it is like he has killed the whole of humanity. By the same token, if one saved a life, it would be like he has saved the whole of humanity. This teaching is a great example of the Quran’s respect for human life. This teaching shows that all innocent life is sacred, that innocent humans are not mere statistics. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ

“We created you, then We shaped you, then We said to the angel&‑ Bow yourselves to Adam.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:11)

The message of the Quran is that of Mercy, compassion, and peace. It has never been and never will be anything else. Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. In fact, respect for the sacred inviolability of humankind is part of the very definition of being a Muslim, meaning “the one from whom people are safe.”