Do Not take Someone’s life!

Heartfelt Plea

Do not take someone’s life!

Head of the Dawat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Committee, Muhammad Imran Attari

The only religion loved and accepted by Allah is Islam. It greatly honours the sanctity of human life and considers the unjust killing of an innocent person as a gravely severe sin. Just as Islam prevents other vices, it also strictly forbids its adherents from killing anyone unjustly.

Allah states in His Quran:

وَ لَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِیْ حَرَّمَ اللّٰہُ  اِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ؕ

And do not kill the life Allah has forbidden except with justice.[1]

Islam teaches us that taking the life of someone without sanction of Islamic law is tantamount to the murder of all humanity. A murderer disregards the rights of Allah and mankind, and breaches the boundaries of Islamic law. If someone saves a life instead, by stopping another being killed or dying from drowning, burning, hunger, or anything else; the person who saves one life is considered to have saved the lives of all humanity.

Allah announces:

کَتَبْنَا عَلٰی بَنِیْۤ اِسْرَآءِیْلَ اَنَّہٗ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًۢا بِغَیْرِ نَفْسٍ اَوْ فَسَادٍ فِی الْاَرْضِ فَکَاَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِیْعًا ؕ وَ مَنْ  اَحْیَاہَا فَکَاَنَّمَاۤ اَحْیَا النَّاسَ جَمِیْعًا ؕ

We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killed a life without it being for a life (taken) or discord within the earth, then it is as if he killed humanity. And whosoever saved a life, it is as if he saved mankind.[2]

This applies to Muslims just as it did to Banī Isrāʾīl, as rulings ordained upon preceding nations which have reached us without abrogation are also applicable to us. This verse exemplifies the foundational teachings of Islam concerning value of human life. It also makes apparent the extent to which Islam is a way of life that embodies peace and security. In this is admonition for those who conceal the original teachings of Islam and attempt to mar it with the false notion of ‘supporting plunder and killing’.[3]

Explaining the punishment reserved in the Hereafter for whoever unjustly kills a Muslim, Allah declares:

وَ مَنْ یَّقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَآؤُہٗ جَہَنَّمُ خٰلِدًا فِیْہَا وَ غَضِبَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَ لَعَنَہٗ وَ اَعَدَّ  لَہٗ عَذَابًا عَظِیْمًا (۹۳)

And whosoever kills a Muslim intentionally, then his retribution is Hell; he will reside therein for a lasting phase, and Allah has placed His wrath upon him, and deprived him of mercy; and He has prepared severe punishment for him.[4]

The extent of the importance and sanctity of human life in Islam can also be gauged from the fact that when the Prophet of Islam صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم accepted oaths of allegiance from people, amongst the evil matters he would have them take a covenant to avoid was unjust killing.[5]

The Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also forbade people from this vice by conveying various warnings of punishment concerning it. Enclosed are three hadith relating to this.

1.  "Avoid the seven things that bring ruin." The Companions رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمْ enquired, "O Allah's Messenger! What are they?” He explained ˹during the process of mentioning them˺,  "…to unlawfully take a life Allah has made forbidden to kill...”[6]

2.  If those of the sky and earth gathered to kill a Muslim, Allah would cast them into Hellfire upon their faces.[7]

3.  The killed will come forth on the Day of Judgement with their head in one hand and whilst holding the neck of their killer in the other. Blood will be flowing from their veins. He will come to the Arsh and say to Allah, Lord of all worlds, “This is the person who killed me.” Allah will say, “You are destroyed,” to the killer, who will then be taken to Hell.[8]

A person sometimes directly helps a murderer in an unjust killing, whilst on other occasions, someone arranges for another to carry it out. Both types of people should learn a lesson from the following two hadith of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.

4.  Whoever assists in the killing of a believer even with half a word, shall meet Allah on the Day of Judgement with اٰیِسٌ مِّنْ رَّحْمَۃِ اللہ (Hopeless of Allah’s mercy) written between his eyes.[9]

5.  The fire ˹of Hell˺ has been divided into seventy parts. Sixty-nine of them are for those who order killing, whilst one is for the killer.[10]

The Companion Abū Dardāˈ رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ said:

On the Day of Judgement, the killed shall be sitting. He will seize his killer when the former passes by and then request to Allah, O Lord, ask him why he killed me.  Allah will declare, “For what reason did you kill him?”  The killer will say, “So-and-so ordered me to.” Both the killer and he who ordered him will then be punished.[11]

My heartfelt plea to every person who values human rights and explains them to others, as well as to those who are responsible for upholding said rights, is that we should endeavour to prevent the unjust killing of people. As human beings, we should respect and protect others.

May Allah grant us all the ability to act upon this message and convey it to others.

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ خَاتَمِ النَّبِیّٖن صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

[1] Kanz al-ʿIrfān, part 8, Al-Anʿām, verse 151

[2] Ibid, part 6, Al-Māʾidah, verse 32

[3] irāṭ al-Jinān, vol. 2, p.420

[4] Kanz al-ʿIrfān, part 5, Al-Nisāˈ, verse 93

[5] Al-Quran, part 30, Al- Mumtaḥanah, verse 12; Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī, vol. 4, p. 359, hadith 6873; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, p. 726, hadith 4461

[6] Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī, vol. 2, p. 242, hadith 2766

[7] Muʿjam al-Ṣaghīr, vol. 1, p. 205

[8] Muʿjam al-Awsaṭ, vol. 3, p. 170, hadith 4217

[9] Sunan Ibn Mājah, vol. 3, p. 262, hadith 2620

[10] Musnad Aḥmad, vol. 38, p. 165, hadith 23066

[11] Shuʿab al-Īmān, vol. 4, p. 341, hadith 5329




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