Islam and Respect of Humanity (1/2) [Archives:2005/890/Opinion]
BY DR. MANEA H. AL-HAZMI
Respect of mankind is an order from Allah-the Most Gracious the Most Merciful, who breathed into human a sort of his own spirit and honored him more than any other creature. [And we have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what we have created, with (definite) preference]. (Qur'an 17:70). Allah created mankind in upright and balanced in form and nature; he created men and women with minds and taught them that which they knew not [We have certainly created man in the best of stature] (Qur'an 95:4). Allah preferred mankind because he created them for a noble goal that is to live in harmony worshipping him; The most preferred people by Allah are the worshipers [O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you people and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed Allah is Knowing and Acquainted] (Qur'an 49:13). The best righteous people are the Messengers and Prophets because they were the finest worshipers, Allah honored them and chose them to convey His Scriptures to mankind. [Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran over the worlds] (Qur'an 3:33). Therefore, the Messengers and Prophets were the most respected people by their nations. In General, respect of human in Islam is well stressed in Qura'n and Sunnah (the traditions of Prophet Muhammad).
Respect of Human Life
Human life is respected and protected even Prior to Islam; Arabian tribes used to practice female infanticide because they considered daughters a potential source of shame. Qur'an considered this as a criminal act. [And when the female (infant) buried alive-is questioned, for what crime she was killed] (81:8-9). [When news is brought to one of them of the birth of a female child, his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief. With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain her on contempt or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil they decide on?] (16:59).
Human blood cannot be spilled without legal reason. Whoever saved a soul it would be as he saved all mankind and whoever killed a soul without a legal reason through the authority of justice it would be as he killed the whole mankind. Almighty Allah states in Qur'an […Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind altogether and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind]. (5:32). The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said to Muslims while they were gathered in Makkah during pilgrimage [Your blood, your property and your honor are sacred to you all like the sacredness of this day (the day of sacrifice in pilgrimage) of yours, in this city (Makkah) of yours and in this month (Dhul-Hijjah) of yours] (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). A Muslim remains capable of acting upon the religion and deserves the mercy of Allah as long as he does not kill an innocent person. Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: [A believer continues to guard his Faith so long as he does not shed blood unjustly]. (Narrated by Bukhari).
Respect of Human Honor and Property
Honor and property of Muslims and Non-Muslims are respected and protected alike in Islam. Respecting honor and property of human beings is an act of righteous and good behavior that deserves reward from Allah. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said [Do not be envious of one another, do not inflate prices by overbidding against one another, do not hate one another; do not harbor malice against one another; and do not enter into commercial transaction when others entered into that (transaction); but be you, O slaves of Allah, as brothers. A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he neither oppresses him nor does he look down upon him, nor does he humiliate him. Piety is here (and he pointed to his chest three times). It is enough evil for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslims in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable fro his brother-in-faith: his blood, his property and his honor] (Narrated by Muslim).