Sanctity of Life

DISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic on Friday, 25 March 2016. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translator and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from God.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

The target for every Muslim is to achieve Jannah. And the long term goal that every Muslim must work towards is perfecting the Tawheed (affirming his oneness) of Allah, and perfecting your worship and to have Allah (swt) pleased with you. And there is no doubt that Islam has also set for us a number of social and individual goals. But if we look at them properly we find that in reality all of these goals are working towards fulfilling the larger more important goal which is Tawheed, worshiping Allah (swt) alone, and seeking his pleasure. This is the ultimate goal that everything else is helping you to achieve.

With that said, this religion is also one that is concerned with the human side to life. Allah (swt) has honoured human beings with an important status above all of his other creation, and he has blessed humans with countless blessings. And Islam has intended that humans should be free and happy and lead an honourable life, free from any harm.

So the purposes of this religion have joined together between the spiritual nurturing of humans and also protecting them. The 5 main purposes of the Sharia (Islamic Law) are to protect the religion of a person, to protect his life, to protect his mind, to protect his wealth and to protect his lineage.

Dear Brothers and Sisters;

If we look at the Quran and we ponder over its verses and what they are concerned with, we find that we can describe it as a book that is concerning humans. The whole Quran is either speaking to humans or about them , to the point that we find the word human repeated 63 time throughout the Quran without counting the other references such as ‘ son of Adam’ and other words which would amount to 240 references throughout the Quran.

And to strengthen this point further we find that in the first 5 verses revealed of the Quran which were from surah Al-Alaq, that the word ‘Man’ is mentioned twice :

Recite in the name of your Lord who created, Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous, Who taught by the pen, Taught man that which he knew not.

Quran - Al-Alaq (96:1-5)

These verses were the beginning of the revelation that would begin a new era for mankind. And it makes it very clear how Islam gives a great importance to mankind’s relationship with their Lord.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Islam has made acts of worship and other laws and rulings to have an effect on the wellbeing of humans, just as it has made them beneficial for us on a spiritual level.

For example the Prayer helps a person in many different aspects of his live. As Allah (swt) says:  

’ O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer .’

Quran - Al-Baqara (2:153)

Likewise Zakaat is an act of worship that concerns wealth. An amount is taken from the rich and distributed amongst the poor. It is primarily for the sake of purifying the soul and the wealth of the wealthy person, and secondly to remove the poverty and need to beg for the needy person.

As Allah says:  

‘ And those within whose wealth is a known right, For the beggar who asks, and for the unfortunate who has lost his property and wealth, (and his means of living has been straitened).

Quran - Al-Ma’arij (70:24-25)

And  

‘Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [ Allah ‘s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.’

Quran – At-Tawbah (9:103)

Fasting, as well as being an act of worship that is intended to help a person gain Taqwa ( consciousness and obedience of Allah ) . At the same time it is also a training in patience, and to allow us to feel and understand pain that others who are less fortunate go through.

Hajj is a season of worship and gathering of a spiritual nature. As Allah says:  

’ That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.’

Quran – Al-Hajj (22:28)
Therefore this witnessing of benefits is the human aspect of hajj what is in general a spiritual act of worship.

Dear Brother and Sister

The Propet Muahmmed (saw) raised every action that has some material benefit for other people or brought them happiness, to the level of worship. He taught us that removing harm from the path of others is an act of charity, and commanding to the good is charity and forbidding the evil is charity, and helping a weak man onto his animal is charity, and smiling in the face of your brother is charity, and saying a good word to somebody else is charity. The list of these types of actions that benefit society that the Messenger (saw) encouraged us to do by making them as acts of worship goes on and on  .

Furthermore Messenger (saw) made the status of these actions that are for the betterment of the community and society equal to acts of worship that are obligatory, so that if a person does not do them without reason then he is accountable.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“On every Muslim there is enjoined (a compulsory) Sadaqa (alms/charity).” They (the people) said, “If one has nothing?’ ( meaning that they understood that charity was restricted to giving a portion of wealth to another person,  so the Messenger (saw) explain the vastness to the understanding of charity in Islam )  He said, “He should work with his hands so that he may benefit himself and give in charity.” They said, “If he cannot work or does not work?” He said, “Then he should help the oppressed unhappy person (by word or action or both).” They said, “If he does not do it?” He said, “Then he should enjoin what is good (or said what is reasonable).’ They said, “If he does not do that”’ He said, “Then he should refrain from doing evil, for that will be considered for Him as a Sadaqa (charity).”

Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

So look at how Islam encourages us to benefit others, to the point that it placed that bring benefit to others and the community as a part of the obligatory acts is the daily life of a Muslim. And every act we are told to do in this context are acts that bring lots of benefit to others or removes harm from them. And the Messenger (saw) taught us that . ‘Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises : to judge justly between two people is a charity (sadaqah ). To help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity (sadaqah ). And the good word is a charity (sadaqah ). And every step that you take towards the Prayer is a charity (sadaqah ), and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity (sadaqah). ‘

Dear Brothers and Sister

Allah (swt) has given us life as a gift. And it is not permissible for any person to steal this gift from another person. The verses forbidding us from killing unjustly are many in the Quran, with the most severe of them being:

‘ … Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain the whole of mankind.’

Quran – Al-Maeda (5:32)

Islam does not differentiate in this regards between the life of a black person and a white person, or a pious and not pious person, or a man and a woman. To the point that a baby in the womb of a woman is not allowed to be harmed by anyone , even if that baby was the result of a Haraam and illegitimate relationship , it is not permissible for anyone to unjustly abort that baby as it is has a life which Allah (swt) has made sacred. And we find in the Messenger (saw) warning us with a very harsh and sever warning for anyone who kills another unjustly.

And how can Islam not be concerned with protecting the life human beings when it is concerned with protecting the lives of animals. As is mentioned in a hadith that:

‘’ A woman entered hellfire due to how she treated her kitten. She restrained it until it died without feeding it, nor did she allow it to go find food for itself.’

Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

And in another hadith the Prophet Muhammed (saw) said:

speaking about a group of dogs that were causing harm and distribution in Medina, ‘If the dogs were not a nation, I would have ordered you to kill them‘

Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
Alluding to the verse:  

And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered’.

Quran – Al-Anaam (6:38)

So if this is the fate of a woman who killed her kitten, or the hesitance to harm a group of dogs that were causing havoc because they resemble human beings in the aspect of being a community,  then what about those who take human life when the sin of taking 1 human life is equal to killing the whole of mankind.

Islam forbids us to hit another person without a right to do so, and it has protected the body of humans from unjust harm. And it has also forbidden ill speech that can harm another person, such as backbiting and slander and gossip. And verses of Quran have been revealed about this. So then what about the life of a person!?

And Islam has not stopped with only protecting a person while he is alive but also after he dies. We are ordered to wash and clothe and bury the dead. And show them the utmost respect in general. And the messenger said in a hadith (Abu Dawoood):

‘Do not mention your deceased expect with good ‘.

Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

Yet with all this we find people who somehow find it permissible to take the lives of others and destroy the lives of countless others and cause devastation and corruption in the land. And Allah has told us he does not love those who corrupt.

Dear brothers and sisters

Based upon these solid foundational teachings of our pure religion, it is clean that Islam is free from any act of terrorism that takes the lives of innocent people, such as what happened recently and is still happening in places like Syria and Iraq and Turkey, Yemen and Burma and other countries and what happened recently in Brussels. These criminal evil acts are not in accordance with our religion and its teaching.  These criminal acts are against our Religion, customs and Law.

We pray Allah forgives and protects us all.

To be continued…