Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ blessed human with the distinctive title of “Best of creation”. After honouring him the ranks of superiority, nobility, knowledge and eminence; Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ made him to be prostrated by the angels. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ blessed him with the crown of ‘Ahsan-e-Taqweem [اَحسَنِ تَقوِیم]’ [best of the physical appearance] by blessing him with physical beauty as well as intellect; and announced the reverence of his life in His Glorious Book [i.e. the Holy Quran] (part 15, Surah Bani Israel, Ayah 33).
Islam has given the mind-set of protecting the best creation of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, “human”, from various aspects. Let’s look at few aspects of the illuminated teachings of Islam in relation to the protection of the “human life”:
Murder of the whole humanity
The dignity and elevation Islam has given to the “human life” can be understood from the following fact that Islam has declared the murder of one person without a reason to be the murder of the entire humanity; and the one who provides refuge to one person:
فَكَاَنَّمَاۤ اَحْیَا النَّاسَ جَمِیْعًاؕ-
Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: It is as if he had given (saved) life to all mankind.(Part 6, Surah Al-Ma`idah, Ayah 32)
This blessed Ayah clearly depicts the teachings of Islam that how peaceful the religion of Islam is and what importance Islam holds for a human life.
Value of human life in the court of Allah
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: Destruction of the entire universe is lighter in the sight of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ than the unjust murder of one person. (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunya, vol. 6, pp. 234, Hadees 231)
Dear Islamic brothers! Whether it is our own life or someone else’s, Islam wants protection for both. To such an extent that we have been commanded to refrain from every such thing that becomes a means of danger and destruction for us. (Khaza`in-ul-‘Irfan, pp. 65) That’s why suicide is Haraam [unlawful] in Islam. Moreover, Islam has not only deemed killing someone unjustly to be a major sin, but has also mentioned severe punishments for the one who does so. Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has even forbidden us from merely pointing at our Muslim brother with a weapon. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 434, Hadees 7072)
Condemnation of unjust murder
Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has condemned the murder of humanity in various Ahadees. Therefore, it is narrated that ‘the most major of the sins are to commit Shirk [associate partners] with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, kill someone, disobey parents and bear a false witness’.(Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 357, Hadees 6871)
From this blessed Hadees, we deduce that among major sins, killing someone comes at the top of the list after shirk [associating partners with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ]. On the Day of Judgement, out of the matters of ‘Huqooq-ul-‘Ibaad [rights of people], the first matter to be questioned will be the unjust murder. Therefore, Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘On the Day of Judgement, first matter to be dealt among people will be the matter of bloodshed [killing someone].’(Sahih Muslim, pp. 711, Hadees 4381)
Reverence of a Muslim’s life
Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم himself has determined the reverence of a Muslim’s life to be more sacred than the reverence of Ka’bah. (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 4, pp. 319, Hadees 3932)
These excellent and most effective teachings regarding the protection of human life require one to abide by them in his life wholeheartedly and that he regards these rights thoroughly.