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Ibn Kathir on whoever kills a life unjustly is as if he has killed all mankind

June 18, 2012

Tafseer Ibn Kathir 01

By Abu Amina Elias for

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Ibn Kathir writes in his commentary on Surat Al-Ma’idah:

Because the son of Adam killed his brother in transgression and aggression, Allah said:

 كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

We ordained for the children of Israel,

This means Allah legislated for them and informed them:

 أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْساً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً وَمَنْ أَحْيَـهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً

…that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread corruption in the land, it would be as if he killed all people, and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of all people.

The verse states that whoever kills a soul without a just cause such as in legal punishment for murder or for causing  corruption on earth, then it will be as if he has killed all people because there is no difference between one life and another.

Allah said:

 وَمَنْ أَحْيَـهَا

If anyone saved a life,

This means by preventing its blood from being shed and believing in its sanctity, then all people will have been saved from him, therefore:

 فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً

…it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:32

Abu Huraira reported: He entered to see Uthman when he was under siege in his house and he said, “I came to give you my support, O leader of the believers!” Uthman said:

 يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَيَسُرُّكَ أَنْ تَقْتُلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَإِيَّايَ مَعَهُمْ

O Abu Huraira, would it please you to kill all people, including me?

Abu Huraira said no. Uthman said:

وَاللَّهِ لَئِنْ قَتَلْتَ رَجُلا وَاحِدًا لَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلْتَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

By Allah, if you have killed one man, it is as if you have killed all the people.

Source: Sunan Sa’id ibn Mansur 2776, Grade: Sahih

So Abu Huraira returned and he did not fight.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported: Ibn Abbas said, “Saving life in this case occurs by not killing a soul that Allah has forbidden. So this is the meaning of saving the life of all mankind, for whoever forbids killing a soul without justification, the lives of all people will be saved from him.”

Al-Awfi reported: Ibn Abbas said, “Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden to kill is just like he who kills all mankind.”

Sa’eed bin Jubayr said, “He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.”

Ibn Jurayj reported: Mujahid said, “Whoever kills a believing soul intentionally, Allah will make the Hellfire his abode. He will become angry with him and curse him and He has prepared a tremendous punishment for him as if he had killed all people. His punishment will be the same.”

يَقُول تَعَالَى مِنْ أَجْل قَتْل اِبْن آدَم أَخَاهُ ظُلْمًا وَعُدْوَانًا كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيل أَيْ شَرَعْنَا لَهُمْ وَأَعْلَمْنَاهُمْ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْس أَوْ فَسَاد فِي الْأَرْض فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاس جَمِيعًا أَيْ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ سَبَب مِنْ قِصَاص أَوْ فَسَاد فِي الْأَرْض وَاسْتَحَلَّ قَتْلَهَا بِلَا سَبَب وَلَا جِنَايَة فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا لِأَنَّهُ لَا فَرْق عِنْده بَيْن نَفْس وَنَفْس وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا أَيْ حَرَّمَ قَتْلهَا وَاعْتَقَدَ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ سَلِمَ النَّاسُ كُلُّهُمْ مِنْهُ بِهَذَا الِاعْتِبَار وَلِهَذَا قَالَ فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاس جَمِيعًا

وَقَالَ الْأَعْمَش وَغَيْره عَنْ أَبِي صَالِح عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَة قَالَ دَخَلْت عَلَى عُثْمَان يَوْمَ الدَّارِ فَقُلْت جِئْت لِأَنْصُرك وَقَدْ طَابَ الضَّرْب يَا أَمِير الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَقَالَ : يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَة أَيَسُرُّك أَنْ تَقْتُل النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَإِيَّايَ مَعَهُمْ قُلْت لَا قَالَ فَإِنَّك إِنْ قَتَلْت رَجُلًا وَاحِدًا فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلْت النَّاس جَمِيعًا فَانْصَرِفْ مَأْذُونًا لَك مَأْجُورًا غَيْرَ مَأْزُورٍ قَالَ فَانْصَرَفْت وَلَمْ أُقَاتِل

وَقَالَ عَلِيّ بْن أَبِي طَلْحَة عَنْ اِبْن عَبَّاس هُوَ كَمَا قَالَ اللَّه تَعَالَى مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْس فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَإِحْيَاؤُهَا أَلَّا يَقْتُل نَفْسًا حَرَّمَهَا اللَّه فَذَلِكَ الَّذِي أَحْيَا النَّاس جَمِيعًا يَعْنِي أَنَّهُ مَنْ حَرَّمَ قَتْلهَا إِلَّا بِحَقٍّ حَيِيَ النَّاس مِنْهُ وَهَكَذَا قَالَ مُجَاهِد وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا أَيْ كَفَّ عَنْ قَتْلهَا وَقَالَ الْعَوْفِيّ عَنْ اِبْن عَبَّاس فِي قَوْله ” فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا ” يَقُول مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا وَاحِدَة حَرَّمَهَا اللَّه مِثْل مَنْ قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا

وَقَالَ سَعْد بْن جُبَيْر مَنْ اِسْتَحَلَّ دَم مُسْلِم فَكَأَنَّمَا اِسْتَحَلَّ دِمَاء النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ حَرَّمَ دَم مُسْلِم فَكَأَنَّمَا حَرَّمَ دِمَاء النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ شَدَّ عَلَى عَضُد نَبِيّ أَوْ إِمَام عَدْل فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاس جَمِيعًا رَوَاهُ اِبْن جَرِير وَقَالَ مُجَاهِد فِي رِوَايَة أُخْرَى عَنْهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْس فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاس جَمِيعًا وَذَلِكَ لِأَنَّ مَنْ قَتَلَ النَّفْس فَلَهُ النَّار فَهُوَ كَمَا لَوْ قَتَلَ النَّاس كُلّهمْ

5:32 القرآن الكريم تفسير ابن كثير

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.