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Islam and Human Rights ( 5 May 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Islamic Approach Towards Right To Life And Its Applicability In The Times Of Covid-19 Pandemic

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

5 May 2021

 All Other Rights To Mankind Are Worthless Before The Right To Life Prioritised By Islam Over All Other Rights Enjoyed By Mankind

Main Points:

1.    Life is a precious gift bestowed by Allah.

2.    People lose their interest in life because of their weak psychological and divine understanding of the value of life

3.    There is a message of good tidings after we come true to Allah’s trials.


There is a very popular saying, ‘Life is not a bed of roses." Roses are signs of happiness and thorns are signs of sorrow. So life is full of happiness as well as sorrow, which when understood makes a human being psychologically balanced both in happiness and sorrow. Learning to be balanced in happiness and grief strengthens a man’s desire to live and his unshakable belief in the right to life.

Many people lose their interest in life because of their weak psychological and divine understanding of the value of life. Life is a precious gift bestowed by Allah, the Most Merciful. Allah has granted the human being resources of a comfortable living in this world but it is we, the human beings who have created inhuman inequality among ourselves which take some of us to the extreme of taking our own or others' lives.

Mankind’s efforts to live and let other’s live is a part of understanding that the calamities befallen on the world are nothing but a test from his Creator to test his patience and belief in Him. Allah, the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:

"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient." (Surat Al-Baqarah: 155) - Sahih International

Along with the message of being tested, there is a message of good tidings after we come true to Allah’s trials. Calamities befalling on a human being are most of the time man-made. Man forgets that everything needs some rules and regulations to run and so is the case with this world. The world runs on the rules formulated by Allah, the Al Qayyum, (The Sustainer), without any hindrance except when He creates calamities to refresh the human being’s memory that their actions against nature will cause horrific devastation for them. Nature is a creation of God that helps human being sustain and make life comfortable. Going against nature is an action against the will of Allah. And that is like a universal suicide, knowingly or unknowingly, being committed. In this regard, Allah, the Sustainer says in the Holy Quran:

And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, Ayat 29) - Sahih International

Killing oneself or killing one another is killing the right to life given to mankind as one of the most precious gifts. Life is given by Allah so it is His will to take it, not that of the human being.

Islamic Approach towards Right to Life

Among all the human rights bestowed by Islam to the humankind, right to life is a divine endowment to all of us, irrespective of religion, caste or creed as Allah, the Sustainer is the Creator of the whole universe and all that it has. All other rights to mankind will be worthless before the right to life that has been prioritised by Islam over all other rights enjoyed by mankind. It is in this context that Allah, the Sustainer says in the Holy Quran:

"... And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely...." (Surah Al-Ma'idah - 32) — Saheeh International

Saving a life, in the present pandemic context when humanity is in a grip of uncertainty towards life, by providing medical assistance, providing food or solace by talking and taking care is like keeping one’s right to life intact. And as per Allah’s promise, the concerned saviour will be rewarded accordingly in life and after death.

And in the very Ayat of Surah Al-Maidah, Allah, the Almighty says:

"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." Surah Al-Ma'idah - 32) — Saheeh International

Above mentioned part of the Ayat of Surah Al-Maidah says that if an individual in the capacity of a doctor or an official is responsible to save a life but instead of saving life takes one because of his carelessness or any other thing will be taken as he has trodden the right to life of whole mankind with his callousness or criminal negligence.

 Under the ‘right to life,’ Islam has vividly underlined the value of human life and described the rewards for its saviour and punishment for its destroyer. Underlining the divinity of the right to life under Islamic jurisprudence, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) emphasised the aspect of respect for human life in his ‘farewell sermon’ in Meena as:

"O, People! Verily your lives and your wealth are sacred and forbidden upon you until you meet your Lord, as sacred as this day and this month are."

Above mentioned part of the Prophet’s last sermon delivered at Meena commands human being to respect each other’s life till the day of resurrection. It throws light on the importance of the right to life guaranteed by Islam that among many important issues the Apostle of Allah mentions the point and says that life is a sacred thing and no one is allowed to snatch this right from anyone, in any circumstances.

Allah, the Most Merciful is the only one who gives life hence all mankind is commanded to respect the right to life of every member of this world, as He is the creator of the universe so He talks not of Muslims or non-Muslims. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Sustainer says:

"and that He is the One who gives death and gives life" (Quran, 53:44) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

"He is the One who gave life to you, then He brings death to you, then He will give you life (again). Surely, man is very ungrateful." (Quran, 22:66) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

Right to Life during Poverty

The world is witnessing innumerable incidents related to poverty because of the economic slowdown this pandemic has brought. Poverty has been a curse for our world for centuries sometimes because of famine and flood and most of the times because of us, human being’s greed and unequal distribution of national resources.

Taking poverty as one of the reasons that many people do not respect the right to life and kill themselves and their children. In this context, consider the following Ayaat from the Holy Quran, in which Allah, the Almighty says:

"And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin." (Quran 17:31)

Allah the Almighty is the sustainer of the whole world and He commands not to kill the children for fear of starvation as it is a grave sin. And He says that He sustains the divine gift of life that He has given both to the child and his parents.

Kudos to the ‘Life Saving Warriors’

Appreciations to all the ‘life-saving warriors’, like the scientist, the medical fraternity and the individual social workers who are saving lives, endangering their lives during this pandemic time which has become devastating for human life. All such people will be rewarded with the ‘recognition (رضا) of Allah’ because they have saved ‘life’ the most divine and precious gift of Him.

Let the human being come to assistance of the human being as this is not a time to think of any other humanly trait. Those who are doing this are doing injustice with their life more than that of others.

Those who have shut their eyes on the loss of life or are not fulfilling their duties towards their responsibilities of saving human life because of having otherworldly priorities, have to be answerable to Allah, the Almighty on the day of resurrection.

And Allah knows the best.


Arman Neyazi is a columnist with


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