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Islam And the Sanctity of Human Life



There are some who would have you believe that Islam does not respect human life, yet is this reality? What does the Quran have to say in respect to human life? Is it negative, or is positive?

The Noble Quran states the following:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (5:32)

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, so whether it’s 1 innocent person who’s been murdered, or 1 million innocent people that’s been murdered, both are abhorrent acts. This is very important to remember, especially in our modern day and age, where we have become so desensitized, and innocent people dying have been turned into mere statistics we hear on the news.

There are other verses in the Quran that continue to touch upon the sanctity of life:

Nor take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law). (17:33)

Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. (6:151)

So with such verses how can one say that the Quran does not respect the sanctity of life? 

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