The value of life
In light of Islam’s teachings of mercy and tolerance, it is impossible that oppression or the taking of innocent life is permitted in any circumstance. The life of every human, Muslim and non-Muslim, is equally precious and sacred. The value of life is captured in the following verse of the Glorious Qur’an:
“...Whoever kills a person not in retaliation for a person killed, nor (as a punishment) for spreading disorder on the earth, is as if he has killed the whole of humankind, and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind...”(5:32)
As Muslims, we value human life irrespective of geography, race and gender. We do not distinguish between the poor and the wealthy, women from men, the less able from the able bodied, as a life is a life, hence sacred and precious. Therefore, a loss of life in any corner of the world is a cause of grief and sorrow for every true Muslim.
During such moments we pray to Allah Ta'ala, the Creator, that He grants everyone guidance and fills this world with peace and security. For those who have suffered loss of life, may Allah Ta'ala grant them patience and courage. If families have lost their breadwinner, may Allah Ta’ala safeguard them from want and poverty. May Allah Ta'ala grant relief to all from oppression and give every human the good fortune to live in peace and prosperity.
When the hearts and minds of humans become corrupt, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, then they no longer remain human. In their eyes, the worth of a human life becomes devalued and no thought is given to who is being killed, how many are killed and how the lives of innocent people, children, the elderly and women are destroyed. There is total contempt for humanity.
We pray that Allah Ta'ala grant those involved in killing innocent people, whether they be individuals, groups or governments, the essence of humanity and the ability to recognise the value of human life.
Developing a proper understanding of Islam
Following the tragic events in Paris, there is a significant focus on Islam and Muslims. At this juncture I would urge my fellow citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims, to learn the teachings of Islam from practising Muslims with knowledge; not from the media. Those in the mainstream media, have not studied Islam in the correct manner and therefore do not appreciate the sciences of Islam and the relationship between them. Many times they comment on verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith which are out of context, as they are unaware of the method of how to interpret them and as a result reach incorrect conclusions and cause confusion. It is unfortunate that non-Muslims and ill-informed Muslims also express views based on their own interpretation, without the appropriate requisite knowledge. This has led to the distortion of Islam resulting in the misconceptions we see today amongst the general public, with regards to Islam and its teachings.
I, therefore urge all Muslims to study and embrace the teachings of Islam and live their lives according to it. We need to deepen our understanding of the true essence of Islam by benefitting from reliable ‘Ulama and reading authentic literature. This will enable us to spread the correct message to others and explain the true qualities, attributes and characteristics of Islam. We must also ensure our individual mistakes do not tarnish and distort the image of Islam and Muslims. We must all study Islam to the extent that we are able to present and explain, without any hesitation, the Islamic point of view regarding topics that are commonly misunderstood by non-Muslims.
Bringing a change
We also need to bring a positive change in our lives by wholeheartedly turning to Allah Ta'ala and repenting sincerely from the disobedience to Allah Ta'ala. Not only have we neglected our Deen on a personal level, we have also not shared its beauty with others; a major negligence on our part. In our current circumstances Tawbah and Istighfar will be extremely beneficial as it is stated in a hadith:
“Whosoever holds fast to Istighfar, Allah will make for him a way out from every difficulty and will grant him relief from every anxiety and will grant him sustenance from where he expects not.” (Abu Dawood)
Let us refrain from every act of disobedience to Allah Ta'ala and become firm on our belief and worship. It is only when we become the personification of Islam through our dealings (mu‘amalat), social conduct (mu‘asharat) and good character (husn akhlaq), that the true merciful and tolerant character of Islam will be observed and appreciated by all.
May Allah Ta'ala grant us all the tawfiq. Aameen.
Darul Ihsan Centre