This article is based upon emphasizing and spreading the significance and awareness of the sanctity of Muslim blood, the obligation to take protective steps in its regard, to preserve it and to fear Allah from its unlawful shedding. All paths and ways that lead to carelessness in regards to Muslim blood, his wealth and honor must be blocked. We are Muslims and we should follow the teachings of Islam regarding this matter with total adherence, patience, and certainty! Many of us may believe that Islam does not respect human life, yet is it the reality? What do the teachings of Islam have to say in this regard? Is the concept of human life is negative or positive? Indeed, humans are the only creatures on the surface of the earth that are honored by the Supreme Lord and distinguished among others by wisdom and eloquent speech. The true religion of Islam exalted mankind and has taken the sanctity of life to a higher level. Allah (SWT) says:
“if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” (Al-Maidah 5:32).
Peace is the basic requirement of the humans and societies. It is required more than food and clothes. One can live without food and clothes but he cannot live without peace. Basically, true peace and safety only can be found in Faith (Oneness of Allah) and Islam. Allah (SWT) says:
“It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” (Al-Anam 6:82).
Whoever singles out Allah, (i.e. believes in the Oneness of Allah) and disbelieves in everything that is worshiped instead of Him, his wealth and his blood are protected, and his reckoning will be with Allah. Islam guarantees the protections of blood, wealth and honor and supports safety and peace. Allah (SWT) created this world as a test and trial for humans. The murder of a human being is actually a denial of the reality. A true believer is very dear to Allah. Usually, the cause of murder is some worldly gain. One should not kill a believer for a small worldly matter because the life of the believer is more precious than all the treasures of the world to Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“If this world were to be destroyed, that would be less significance before Allah than the unlawful killing of a believer.” (Ibn Majah 2619).
Killing a Muslim intentionally is a great and hateful sin. In the Glorious Quran, its punishment has been mentioned to be eternal abode in Hell-fire, Allah’s wrath, curse and a terrible chastisement. No such punishment has been mentioned for any other sin. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Every sin may be forgiven by Allah except a man who kills a believer deliberately, or a man who dies as a disbeliever.” (An-Nisa 3989).
The issue of bloodshed is among the most serious and grave issues regarding the rights of human beings. On the Day of Resurrection, the first thing from the rights of Allah, the performance of the obligatory prayers will be accounted for and from the rights of human beings murder will be the first. It shows the importance of the sanctity of human life in Islam. One should not kill anyone for the sake of his own or for the sake of someone else’s worldly affairs; otherwise on the Day of Resurrection, he would not know how to defend himself, or he would be made to bear the punishment for bloodshed, and that so and so would be of no avail to him. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The first matter concerning which judgment will be passed among the people on the Day of Resurrection will be bloodshed.” (Al-Bukhari 6533).
The murder of a Muslim is such a great sin that if a group of people commits a murder, the whole group will be punished. Once Ibn Umar (RA) looked at the Sacred House and said: “What is it that is more honored than you, and whose honor is more sacred than yours! And the believer’s honor is more sacred to Allah than yours.” The crime of murder is a cause to lead one to Hell. If someone wishes to enter Paradise, it is necessary for him to avoid spilling the blood of his Muslim brother and all crimes that lead to Hell. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever meets Allah not associating anything in worship with Him, and not having shed any blood unlawfully, will enter Paradise.” (Ibn Majah 2618).
Islam is a religion of peace. It does not allow the spilling of blood unlawfully. It does provide for killing the person that has wrongfully killed another person. It only allows the killing of a person in cases where the Islamic Law provides for the death sentence. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except in one of three (cases): a man who commits adultery when he is a married person, then he should be stoned; a man who kills a soul not in retaliation for murder; and a man who apostatizes after becoming Muslim.” (Ibn Majah 2533).
The murder of a Muslim without a legal reason is a major crime. Other than the causes mentioned above, the murder of a Muslim is unlawful. Execution of the punishment for the above-mentioned crimes is the right of the Islamic state or the Islamic courts. The general public cannot execute the punishment. Adultery is a heinous crime, despite all that, if an adulterer is unmarried he cannot be stoned to death. His punishment is one hundred lashes, and if the judge determines it best, he can add the punishment of sending into exile. Punishment of a married person involved in adultery is to stone him/her to death. A person who apostatizes after becoming a Muslim, his punishment is death. If he is sincerely penitent and embraces Islam, he will be forgiven. The fighting a battle against disbelievers is permitted, but if they become Muslims, then fighting them is not permissible, provided they bring into practice the fundamental commands of Islam and live like Muslims. We ask Allah (SWT) to save us from such great crime and sin and admit us to Paradise. Ameen!