Murder is the second biggest sin in Islam after shirk. Taking the life of any human being whether Muslim or non-Muslim is prohibited in Islam. Even the killing of animals or birds only for fun is prohibited. Life is the amanah or trust of Allah which is given to a person; it does not belong to anyone. Even one is forbidden to take his own life ( suicide). One have to give this body back to Allah the same way He has given it to you.
Meaning of murder or Qatl
Murder is the unlawful killing of one human being by another. It can be done with a weapon r any act.
History of first Qatl
Bibi Hawwa gave birth 20 times. Each time, there were twins, one girl and one boy with the grace of Allah. But they were not identical twins. These had different colors, shapes, sizes, features etc. From the first two pairs, the looks of both sons were different from each other. Younger was handsome whereas older was not so good looking. On the other hand, their twin sisters were vice versa. With the passage of time, when the children grew older and the natural urge to get marry and find a partner started, Prophet Adam (AS) asked them to marry the girl which was not their sister.
Older when looked at the sister of younger, he was not happy and wanted to marry his own sister. Prophet Adam (AS) when heard about the argument, he made invocation to Allah to show him the right path. Allah showed him the way out that ask the sons to offer charity in the path of Allah, whoever made the best charity will get the beautiful girl. At that time there were no poor people on earth, infact very few people on earth which are offsprings of prophet Adam (AS) they had to put the charity on a mountain where the fire had to eat up the item to show that it was accepted by Allah. The remaining one was the unaccepted charity. Younger was a shepherd and he put very fine and best animal in the path of Allah whereas older son who was a farmer put some rotten produce from his farms. Allah had accepted the charity of younger son and older brother filled with anger and decided to kill younger one. Then Satan whispered in his ears and taught him how to kill his brother by throwing something very hard on him. So older brother did so and killed younger brother. (the names Habil or Kabil are not verified by any verse of Quran or from any Hadith so these are fabricated names. We better not to use them)
And recite to them the story of Adam’ two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said “ I will surely kill you”. Said the other “ Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous” Surah Maida verse 27
One of the first sins
Since the birth of the Adam (AS), it is actually the 5th sin which was taken place on the face of earth. The first sin was arroagnce of Satan then disobeying Allah’s commandment which was done by Satan, Prophet Adam (AS) and Bibi Hawwa then envy which is done by older brother against younger brother. Next was anger. Amongst all these sins, Murder was the biggest sin of that time, which was taken place on earth. Disobeying Allah and then asking for forgiveness was a sin connected with Allah directly but the biggest sin done by a man against another man was murder. The series of these sins shows that before introducing shirk, Satan introduced other sins to misguide people.
Why murder is the second biggest sin
Killing someone is against the human nature. When someone kills someone else, others disgust from him and hate him. It is a sin which dooms a person in hell. The description for murder tells about its being so gross. The five things mentioned in the verse are not mentioned in Quran or Sunnah for another sin. These things are
- The murderer will be sent to hell
- He will remain in it forever
- Allah will be angry with the murderer
- The murderer will be cursed by Allah
- There will be gross punishment for him from Allah
In addition to this Allah said in surah Al Maida verse 32,
Because of that we decreed upon the children of Israel that whoever kills a soul for corruption in the land it is as if he had slain mankind entirely.
Death and murder
There is a common difference between killing and death. Death is natural and compulsory for everyone with the will of Allah but murder is something unnatural. Killing needs an act to harm the person.
Killing of innocent people whether Muslim or Non-Muslim
Killing of any person in Islam is prohibited irrespective of religion or gender.
Types of killing
There are three types of murder according to Fiqha
- Intentional murder
- Semi intentional murder
- Unintentional murder
Intentional murder and its punishment
If one kills other intentionally then Qisas should be paid. Like life for a life. But it cannot be done by a common person but the law enforcement authorities. If Qisas is not demanded then Diyah can be given. The diyah money should be given prompt and only by the killer. No family member can help him in paying.
If two people are fighting with each other and one is killed in it then it is semi intentional or unintentional killing. One has to free a slave or fast for two consecutive months. The diyah money can be given in installment as it is by mistake. The money can be given by family members as well to support him.
Killing someone accidentally
If someone kills the other accidentally and unintentionally then he should pay expiation. One has to pay Diyah or blood money for it which is equivalent of 100 camels or money equivalent to it. He has to free a slave for the sake of Allah and if he cannot then he should fast for two consecutive months. This is intended to make oneself at peace from Allah.
Honor killings in Islam
According to Islam, it is prohibited to kill people or daughters in connection to the honor. Before birth of daughter, its killing is also prohibited. There is no honor in killing someone at all. It is not an Islamic concept at all but the sick mental conditions of the murderer.
Abortion according to Islam
Abortion is also equivalent to killing or murder. It does not matter how many days or weeks the pregnancy is but it is like killing and it is punishable.
Killing of homosexuals
It is also prohibited to kill homosexual. One should preach goodness and the side effects of homosexuality to the people indulge in these activities but they cannot kill others on the base of their being homosexual.
Killing the apostate (Murtad)
A Muslim person who changes its faith and become Non-Muslim should not be killed either. If after conversion that person propagates against Islam then the law authorities of that country can punish that person but no other person can kill him and if someone kills him then he is liable to punishment of murder as well. Apostasy is actually the betrayal with the faith of Allah.
Exception to killing or murder
The murder in Islam is an action which is done unjustly and without a proper reason. So what are the proper reasons of killing someone.
- In self defence
- Killing by law enforcement agencies in result of a murder
Quran and Murder
- And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake, then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased family unless they give charity. Surah Nissa verse 92
- And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed their killing is the greatest sin. Surah bani israel verse 31
Hadith and murder
- Whoever kills deliberately, he is handed over to the guardians of the killed. If they wish to, they have him killed, and if they wish they have blood money. This is 30 hiqqah, 30 Jadhaahs and forty pregnant camels. Whatever they require from him. Then that is for them. This is because of the severity of the blood money. Tirmazi 1387
- Messenger of Allah said,’ indeed the first cases to be judged between the people are those of bloodshed on the day of judgement. Tirmazi 1396
If you find any mistake in this article please feel free to contact us and point it out. We will try to correct it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah bless us all with the authentic knowledge of Islam. May this effort of ours ease the way of jannah for our family.