Protection of Life and Property In Islam, By Murtadha Gusau
Islam guarantees the right of life for every human being, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Every human life is sacred in Islam and every person has been granted Allah-given fundamental and universal rights at the time of their birth.
In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! The purpose of the Islamic Law is for humans to achieve happiness in this world and the hereafter, by following the law of adopting the good and neglecting the bad.
Islamic Law does not command anything that is not good for people, and it does not forbid anything that is not bad for them. Allah the Almighty says:
“They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning women’s courses (menstruation). Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, you may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah. For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” [Al-Quran, 2: 222]
Islamic Law was made to protect five things: Religion, life, mind, offspring, and property, which are the main rights of human in this world.
The Protection of Human Life
Islam guarantees the right of life for every human being, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Every human life is sacred in Islam and every person has been granted Allah-given fundamental and universal rights at the time of their birth. Allah the Almighty says:
“And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with lawful good things, and have preferred them to many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.” [Al-Quran, 17:70]
The dignity that Allah bestowed upon humankind at the time of creation was the blessing of a sacred inviolability which manifests itself as the rights to life, freedom, and property. The right to life has been recognised as the first and most important universal right derived from the Shari’ah and classical Islamic Law.
Respected Servants of Allah! Life is Allah Almighty’s gift to human, and no one has the right to trespass it, even the person himself; Allah the Most High creates humans and honours them to perform His tasks on earth, and to test their capabilities of performing of worshipping Him.
Islam protects humanity through its laws. It obligates the leaders to look after the poor and give them the basic needs, shelter, food, drink, clothing and other needs of life. It obligates charity and almsgiving, which come under the law of cooperation and helping one another among individuals to achieve social solidity in the society.
Islam guarantees a good and noble life for humanity; thus forbidding humiliation, annoyance, and harm. Allah the Almighty says:
“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.” [Al-Quran, 33:58]
Islam considers aggression or assault upon human life as a great crime and one of the seven serious crimes in life, which destroys both religion and life. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), warning Muslims, said:
“Avoid the seven great sins.” His Companions asked: “What are they?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “Joining others with Allah – in worship or other issues – , magic, killing a person, except by right and fair judgment, earning money by interest, misuse and benefiting from an orphan’s money, running away from the battle, and defamation of the faithful pure women, who did nothing wrong.”
And Allah the Most High considers the aggression or assault upon one soul as equal to the aggression or assault upon the entire human race. Allah the Most High says:
“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for the crime of 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. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” [Al-Quran, 5:32]
The Noble Quran describes Muslims, who avoid slaying innocent people as true Muslim believers. The Noble Quran says:
“Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; and anyone that does this meets punishment.” [Al-Quran, 25:68]
The Quranic verses continue to warn of attempts on the life of innocent people, and give the wronged person the right to ask for fair and just punishment for his/her opponent. Allah the Almighty says:
“Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).” [Al-Quran, 17:33]
The Islamic Law of Equality is one important warranty that prevents the spreading of crime. The person, who knows that killing another person will definitely lead to his/her own death, will avoid committing such crime; consequently, people will feel safe, live in peace, and enjoy the right of living. The Noble Quran says:
“In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) Life to you, o you men of understanding; that you may restrain yourselves.” [Al-Quran, 2:179]
To preserve and keep this great principle (protecting the lives of people), the Noble Quran legislates Jihad for the sake of protecting the weak from prosecution and death. Allah the Most High says:
“And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect; and raise for us from you one who will help! Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight you against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.” [Al-Quran, 4:75 – 76]
Dear Brothers and Sisters! I need to mention here, that the first life that Allah the Almighty forbids aggression upon is the person’s own life. The person who commits suicide or harms him/her self will be subject to grave and harsh penalties and punishment. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whosoever jump from a mountain, drinks poison (with the intention of killing him/her self) will be in the Hellfire forever. Whosoever kills him/herself with a piece of iron, he will continuously do the same to him/herself in the hereafter, while he/she in the Hellfire and remain forever.”
The Protection of Property
Respected Servants of Allah! Property is the mainstay of life, and Islam considers it as Allah Almighty’s, which He the Most High makes man a guardian over it, and allows him/her to earn them in lawful ways and use them moderately.
Islam encourages work, production, and earning money and other property by lawful means. Allah the Most High says:
“It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so you traverse through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection.” [Al-Quran, 67: 15]
In this regard, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) awakens the Muslim’s desire to work, and considers work as worship that brings the person closer to Allah. He (Peace be upon him) said:
“No earning is better than what the person earns from his own work, and whatsoever the man spends (in lawful matters) on himself, his wife, his children, his family and his servant is charity.”
Once, the Prophet’s Companions noticed the activeness and the hard working of a man, they asked the Prophet saying:
“We wish that his hard work was for the cause of Allah.” Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) replied: “If he did so to care for his children, his old parents, or for himself (In lawful deeds), it is for Allah’s cause, and if he did so for pride and hypocrisy, then it is for Satan’s cause.”
Dear Servants of Allah! There are two types of earnings, one is pleasant, and the other is noxious. The pleasant earning is the substance that one earns in lawful ways, such as trading, manufacturing, agriculture, and public and private employment. Allah, the Most High says:
“O you who believe, Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship.” [Al-Quran, 2: 172]
The noxious earning is the property that one earns in exploitive ways, such as lending money with interest, corruption, bribes, looting public treasury, 419, fraud, tricks, and trading in goods that are harmful to humanity. Allah, the Almighty says:
“And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property.” [Al-Quran, 2: 188]
In this regard, Islam has a comprehensive principle. Allah the Almighty says:
“He allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure).” [Al-Quran, 7: 157]
Thus, any earning that does not harm the person who earns it or others is a lawful and pleasant, and the remainder of the earnings are noxious, haram and forbidden.
Islam also guides how to spend money correctly. It does not allow one to spend as he/she wishes. Squandering and spending without control and neglecting paying the rights of the poor, are satanic deeds. Allah the Most High says:
“And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the Evil Ones; and the Evil One is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.” [Al-Quran, 17: 26 – 27]
My Beloved People! These properties are Allah’s giving and means that He Almighty made us as heirs and guardians to use them for lawful purposes, and the greatest deed among these lawful deeds is to spend and give charity to the poor and the needy. Allah the Almighty says:
“Give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you.” [Al-Quran, 24: 33]
And He the Most High says:
“And spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity),- for them is a great Reward.” [Al-Quran, 57: 7]
Dear Servants of Allah! Islamic laws and instructions protect these five essentials, which are important human rights. Whomsoever considers and practices them, Allah the Almighty will reward him/her with happiness in this life and the hereafter. Whomsoever ignores and turns away from them; will face misery and punishment in this world and on the Day of Judgment. Allah the Almighty says:
“Whosoever follows My Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery. But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say: “O my Lord! why You raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)? (Allah will say): “Thus you did, when Our Signs came unto you, you disregard them: so you will, this day, be disregarded.” [Al-Quran, 20: 123 – 126]
Dear and Respected Servants of Allah! In the address which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said:
“Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection.”
Allah, the Almighty has laid down in the Noble Quran:
“Anyone who kills a believer deliberately will receive as his reward (a sentence) to live in Hell for ever. Allah will be angry with him and curse him, and prepare dreadful torment for him” [Al-Quran, 4:93]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has also said about the Dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim State):
“One who kills a man under covenant (i.e. a Dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud]
Islam prohibits homicide but allows only one exception, that the killing is done in the due process of law which the Quran refers to as Bil-Haqq (with the truth). Therefore a man can be killed only when the law demands it, and it is obvious that only a court of law can decide whether the execution is being carried out with justice or without justification.
In Islam, in case of war or insurrection a just and righteous government alone, which follows the due process or Shari’ah or the Islamic Law, can decide whether a war is just or unjust, whether taking of a life is justified or not; and whether a person is a rebel or not and who can be sentenced to death as a punishment. These weighty decisions cannot be left in the hands of a court which has become heedless to Allah and is under the influence of the administration. A judiciary like this may miscarry justice.
Nor can the crimes of the state be justified on the authority of the Noble Quran or Hadith when the state murders its citizens openly and secretly without any hesitation or on the slightest pretext, because they are opposed to its unjust policies and actions or criticise it for its misdeed, and also provides protection to its hired assassins who have been guilty of the heinous crime of murder of an innocent person resulting in the fact, that neither the police take any action against such criminals nor can any proof or witnesses against these criminals be produced in the courts of law. The very existence of such a government is a crime and none of the killings carried out by them can be called “execution for the sake of justice” in the phraseology of the Noble Quran.
Along with security of life, Islam has, with equal clarity and definiteness, conferred the right of security of ownership of property, as mentioned earlier with reference to the address of the Farewell Hajj. On the other hand, the Noble Quran goes so far as to declare that the taking of people’s possessions or property is completely prohibited unless they are acquired by lawful means as permitted in the Laws of Allah. The Law of Allah categorically declares:
“Do not devour one another’s wealth by false and illegal means.” [Al-Quran, 2:188]
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that, the primary responsibility of any sincere government is the protection of life and property of it’s citizens.
Therefore, it is imperative that the Nigerian government address the killings, violence and instability in the country. They need urgently to put in place long-term solutions that lay the foundations for a sustainable and peaceful future for all communities.
The killings taking place in Nigeria are deeply disturbing. Therefore the government must take urgent steps to stop the carnage. This situation must be brought to an end, otherwise Allah will become sad with all of us.
It is rather unfortunate, that the government will deploy 30,000 policemen, apart from the other security agents to Ekiti State just to win an election, while the security of its citizens is at stake. I continue to wonder if winning elections is more important to the government than the lives of poor and weak Nigerians.
Everything must be done to stop the attacks on innocent citizens. Let the security agencies do whatever they can to arrest the culprits in the gory incident, with a view to averting further attacks and killings.
Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.
O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.
May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.
With this I conclude my Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 6, 1439 AH (July 20, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.