13. Islam Places Utmost Value on Human Beings

June 22, 2013 in The Final Divine Religion ISLAM

Islam grants an exceptional position and honor to human beings among all creation. In Noble Quran verses it is said that:

“We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (At-Tin (The Fig), 95:4)

“We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of our creation.” (Al-Isra` (The Night Journey), 17:70)

One day a funeral procession passed before of our Master the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him). The messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) stood up. It was said to him: “Messenger of Allah! It is the remains of a Jew!” The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said: “Is he not also a human being?” (Bukhari, Janaiz, 50; Muslim, Janaiz, 81)

As can be seen, our Master the Prophet stood up with respect in the presence of a human being, whom Allah Almighty created with great care. Thus, he showed that all human beings, not just the living ones, but also the dead ones are worth respecting. Ya‘la bin Murra (Allah be pleased with him) said:

“I accompanied our Master the Honorable Prophet on many military expeditions. When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) came across any deceased human, he used to immediately order that it be buried, he would not ask whether he was a Muslim or disbeliever.” (Hakim, I, 526/1374)

How valuable is the life and soul of a human to whose deceased body so much respect is paid? In the Noble Quran it is commanded:

“…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…” (Al-Ma`ida (The Table), 5:32)

For this reason, killing either oneself or somebody else is strictly prohibited and for those who do so, very heavy punishments are in place.[1]

His Excellency Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi says:

“If I were to declare the real value of a human being, both the world and I would be burned! Unfortunately, human beings did not recognize their own value and undersold themselves. When Man was in fact a most precious cloth, he made himself a patch to a sweater.” (Mathnawi, v. III, Verses: 1000-1001)

Islam view humanity as the rightful possessor of rights that are commensurate with its honor and dignity.[2] According to Islam, the mere existence of a human being is a sufficient condition for it to have basic human rights. The scholars of Islamic law consider humanity – the characteristic of being human – as the essence of human rights. Consequently they have adopted a universal approach and have never discriminated among human beings on the basis of religion, race, gender, class, and nationality.[3]



[1].     Bukhari, Diyât, 21; Tıbb (Medicine), 56; Muslim, Îmân, 175.

 

[2].     For details on this subject see Kadir Mısıroğlu, Islâm Dünya Görüşü (Islamic World View), Istanbul 2008, pp. 200-201; Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk, İnsan Hakları ve İslâm (Human Rights and Islam), Istanbul 2007.

 

[3].     Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk, Insan Hakları ve Islâm (Human Rights and Islam), pp. 13, 21.