The sanctity of life in Islaam (to the Trinidad Express).

In the name of Allah the most beneficent, most merciful. 
All praise is due to Allah and may his peace and blessing be upon his Prophet, his family and those who follow them until judgment day. 
I write this as a revert to Islaam, who has been Muslim for the past 16 years, and as one who is dismayed at what is being projected by some as part of our noble religion. For many years those who ascribe themselves to Islaam have hijacked it and have bought it into disrepute. Their behaviour, which has nothing to do with Islaam, is a reflection of the baggage of criminality and thuggery that they are yet yp let go. This is further amplified by the fact that they ascribe themselves to Islaam. 
The recent murder of Dana Setahal has made the country shudder and afraid as it shows that criminal elements are in control of this twin island state. However, what made me shudder more was that some individuals from a  “Muslim based organization” are allegedly behind the murder. Unfortunately, the media has not made a distinction between Islaam and their sinister, cowardly actions and therefore I have chosen to write this short article in order to clarify the sanctity of Human life in Islaam. 
Firstly, the public must know that murder of either a Muslim or a Non-Muslim is a major sin in the religion. Allah has said:
“Because of that we decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a person other than for retribution (meaning a life for a life) or for corruption done in the land it is as if he has slain mankind entirely and whoever saves one life it is as if he has saved the lives of mankind in its entirety”. (Qur’an 5:32)
This is the type of emphasis that Islaam places on the sanctity of every human life. Likewise, the verse shows that the murderof one individual is similar to the murder of all of mankind.This is because the one who murders continues the cycle of bloodshed. To this the Prophet Muhammad, the last and final Prophet to mankind said:
“There is no one killed wrongfully except that the son of Adam has a portion of its blood because he was the first to commit murder”. (Bukhari: 7321)
This shows that the one who murders has blood on his shoulders and he would have a portion of the blood that is spilled after him until he chooses to repent.
Secondly, it is strictly prohibited to kill or violate a woman even in times of war. Ibn ‘Umar, one of the companions of the Prophet said that some women were found dead in some battles. He, the Prophet, then prohibited the killing of women and children. (Bukhari: 3015)
This Hadeeth is related to times of war, times when two armies actually engage in heated battle. Therefore, if this is the case with war, how could anyone ascribe to Islaam or have links with a Muslim organization then proceed kill a woman in a country where war is non-existent? And if this person is indeed a Muslim, what would be his justification in front of Allah with these clear evidences in front of him? 
Thirdly, the Islamic legislation came to safeguard five things, one of them being the life of its citizens, in an Islamic state, whether they are Muslim or not. The Prophet said: 
” Whoever kills someone under a covenant will not smell the fragrance of paradise…” 
Therefore, if Islaam believes that the life of a Non-Muslim should not be violated in a Muslim country then it can never be sensible to violate a Non-Muslim in their own country!
It is clear to all that Islaam is distant from the actions of cowardly murderers who carry off mafia hits for those in the shadows.It is distant from calling such a cowardly sinister action Jihaad. Rather, it is murder and must be condemned publicly by those who have some jealousy for this religion even if those who allegedly have done it may be our coreligionists. Allah has said:
“Oh you who believe stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah even if it be against yourselves, your parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor Allah is worthy of both. So follow not personal inclination lest you be unjust. And if you distort your testimony or refuse to give it then Allah is ever acquainted with what you do”. (Qur’an 4: 135)
I ask Allah that justice be given to all victims of murder, all 160 plus of them. Additionally, I ask Allah that we rid ourselves of the callous attitude we have fostered toward human life through our heartless categorization of those who were slain.It is binding upon us to realize that every life is precious. And that when further lives are lost, whoever it may be, the cycle of bloodshed continues. 

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