One of the most important foundations of our shariah is justice. Allah SWT sent Prophets and books to humanity to show them the way to happiness in this life, and success in the hereafter.
The scholars of Islam, explain that the aim of Sharia is to promote human welfare. This is evident in the Qur’an, and teachings of the Prophet SAWS.
They explain that the welfare of humans is based on the fulfilment of necessities, needs, and comforts.
Necessities are matters that worldly and religious life depend upon. Their omission leads to unbearable hardship in this life, or punishment in the next. There are five necessities: preservation of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and wealth. These ensure individual and social welfare in this life and the hereafter.
One of these necessities is the subject of our reminder today. Unjust killing and murder is forbidden as it is in direct conflict with the first of the five necessities in life. However, we live in a time and a place where so much death and killing is heard of that we are almost desensitized to the occurrence of it.
However, we need to understand the consequences of such an act. The imam referenced the 93rd ayat of Sura Nisa which is translated to say:
But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.
Dear brothers and sisters, we hear so much of the love and the mercy of Allah SWT. We imagine Allah SWT to be a kind benevolent God and so when we hear of a verse of the Quran in which Allah SWT speaks of His anger then we ought to shudder in fear and contemplate the action that causes such a consequence for His creation.
This point is reiterated again in the 68th and 69th ayats of Sura Al-Furqan which is translated to say:
And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit illicit relations. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated
Dear brothers and sisters, our youth is in need of this reminder. We cannot escape the fact that knife crime is a real problem in this country. Although the peak of this is in London, we have problems with gangs in all towns and cities. Our youth needs to be educated on both the dangers of this in this world and the next.
The imam also spoke of ayat 32 of Sura Al-Maidah which translates to say:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
Dear brothers and sisters, to kill one is to have killed all of mankind. Allah SWT sets out to illustrate the gravity of this sin. However, the very same ayat He flips it over to explain His divine mercy by explaining that whoever saves the life of one soul is as if he has saved the life of the whole of mankind. This is the level of mercy Allah SWT demonstrates to His creation.
Our beloved Prophet SAWS taught us on this topic also. The first hadith speaks of the signs of the last days approaching. It translates to say:
“The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.”
Alongside that the Prophet SAWS wanted of killing in this hadith which translated to say:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Avoid the seven destructive things.” It was asked: (by those present): “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Associating anyone or anything with Allah in worship; practising sorcery, killing of someone without a just cause whom Allah has forbidden, devouring the property of an orphan, eating of usury, fleeing from the battlefield and slandering chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we live in a time and a place where we hear of atrocities occurring almost all the time. There is a complete disregard for this from so many that one can only be fearful of how close we are to The Hour.
However, we should take a lesson from this in that we make efforts to do our part. Saving a life is to save the life of all of mankind and so we can actively participate in this good deed. Whether it is objecting to atrocities happening overseas through positive activism or through the education of our youth to ensure they aren’t trapped into gangs and violent crime that results from them, the responsibility lies with us all as a community. Let’s use today’s reminder to be mindful of this and keep ourselves on the right side of this reminder.