Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

Sanctity of Human Life

1. Usama bin Zaid relates:

“The Prophet sent us to fight certain trouble-makers of the Jahina tribe. I came across one person and was going to attack him with my spear, when he recited: ‘There is no God but Allah….’ In spite of that, I attacked him and killed him. Later on, I related the incident to the Prophet who said: ‘When he had admitted that there is no god but Allah, then why did you kill him?’ I argued that he recited those words to save his life. The Prophet replied: ‘Did you open his heart to verify it?’”

… meaning thereby that when he could not be sure of that man’s true intention, he should have accepted what he had said and spared him.

2. Abu Darda relates that the Prophet said:

“God in His mercy may forgive every sin, but two sinners cannot escape punishment… one who worships other gods and the other who kills a Muslim deliberately and without sufficient and valid reason.”

3. Jandab bin Abdullah relates that the Prophet said:

“There was a person before you who received a wound in his hand. He could not withstand the pain and, taking a dagger, he cut his hand off and bled to death. Said the Lord God: This man whom I gave life as a gift has made haste out of cowardice to end it, so I have forbidden his entry into Paradise.’”

4. Abdullah bin Umar relates that the Prophet said:

“Whoever kills a non-Muslim belonging to a community with whom a truce has been declared, shall not enter Paradise.”