Islam places high premium on human soul. Its existence is mysterious and it will remain a mystery till the end of time. It defies definition as it cannot be seen. The color, form, shape, substance and other qualifying characteristics of the soul remain a challenge to all renowned world medical experts, scientists, scholars and philosophers. The reality of the soul remains and will ever remain in the exclusive knowledge of Allah. Soul remains an enigma even to those who forsake the material world for the prospect of attaining spiritual height -the Muslim mystics.
Soul, understandably, belongs to the spiritual realm. Our spiritual master, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who was taught by Allah the Most High through revelation; and from behind a partition; and through the Angel could not grasp the full essence of the soul. It therefore implies that Allah taught His beloved Prophet and servant (Muhammad SAW) virtually everything in the spiritual realm but not the reality of the soul. Neither does Allah’s love for him nor his love for Allah privileged him to be in the know.
Man had, before the present age, tried to understand the reality of the soul with no result. The anxiety and curiosity to know its reality led people in the time of the Prophet (SAW) to ask him about it perhaps he has a glimpse of it. He too did not know much but through Allah’s guidance he responded most aptly. The Quran succinctly puts it thus: And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, The soul is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you [mankind] have been given only a little. (17: 85). Of the little knowledge we have of the soul is that it is embedded in humans body (its location within the body is not known), and departs it at the point of death. We are aware that the soul is self reproaching, it commands evil and could be satisfactorily restful. (see Quran 75:2; 89: 27 and, 12:53). For these reasons, no man has the right to take a soul that of himself or someone else. It is emphatically forbidden: a forbiddance of the highest order. It is in the category of associating partner with Allah. It is really not a joking matter. Destroying the soul attracts despicable punishment and liberating it is hyperbolically rewarding since Allah’s bounty is boundless. Hear the Quran: …whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land- it is as if he had killed mankind entirely. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved mankind entirely (5: 32).
This brings us to the EndSARS Protests which claimed many souls. The Muslims, the non-Muslims and the government are all culpable; the government being the most culpable. Governments culpability is that it ab-initio created the circumstances that led to the protests which was later hijacked by thugs and led to loss of souls. People destroyed what they cannot construct. They sent into oblivion what they cannot create and bring to life. They belittled Allah and desecrated what He sanctifies (soul). They disputed among themselves number of those who were killed; unknown to them that in the sight of Allah they have killed all living souls. If the world population is 7.8 billion as it putatively stands currently; killing a soul is tantamount to killing that number of people. Would a Muslim in his right sense participate in killing? He cannot even contemplate it. The import of knowledge again comes to the fore. Knowing the implications of killing unlawfully and the enormity of its sin is enough as deterrence. Can we then say Muslims who are ignorant of the worth of a soul are not in their right senses? The answer should be answered by the ignorant Muslims. We must wake up and learn about our religion.
All the mountains in the world, as gargantuan as they are, pale into insignificance when juxtaposed with the weight and burden of the sins of killing innocent people. How terrible is the conditions of these killers; all in the name of protest! Terrible is indeed the fate of all killers of innocent souls in whatever disguise and for whatever reason. Terrible is the condition of those who kill their brothers, neighbors, or friends through diabolical means- for ritual purposes or out of jealousy. Those who embezzled pension funds while hunger sent the pensioners to their early graves. Those who siphoned public funds budgeted for the repair or construction of our pothole-ridden roads and thereby caused fatal accidents. Those who left our hospitals ill equipped such that admitted patients consider themselves the next qualified candidates for graveyard. They are all killers who desecrate what Allah sanctifies. They are violators of human souls which they cannot create.
Are you a conscious Muslim with an atom weight of Imaan (faith)? Listen to the Prophet (SAW): “A man will continue to be sound in his religion so long as he does not shed blood which is forbidden to shed.[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. In the light of this hadith, a Muslim cannot be an arsonist nor can he be a killer. In fact, it is a sign of spiritual insanity and deficiency in faith. Destroying masaajid and sawaami (houses of worship) is lesser in comparison with killing a soul. The former can be rebuilt and restored; the latter is gone for ever. For instance, about a trillion naira has been estimated as the worth of damages caused by EndSARS protests [only] in Lagos State. Once this money is made available, the torched buildings and other infrastructure destroyed during the protests will be put to shape. The Obas palace will be rebuilt-to even take a better shape and wear a better look.
Alas! This is not the case with the lost souls. A soul is not renewable. It is not replaceable nor is it exchangeable. It is pricey; nay priceless. Hence, Islam so much values human soul such that it legislates restitution payable to the family of victims. This is called Diya (blood money) in the Islamic jurisprudence. Since soul is priceless, why the need to pay blood money? How much is paid as restitution under the Islamic law? What happens if the killer(s) is/are financially incapable to pay the Diya? What is the case if the killers are unknown? What is the Islamic position if victims family or heirs refuse restitution? Can the heirs to the victim(s) forgo the Diya and forgive the killers? And is there any chance of repentance for arsonists and killers? What is the rational behind legislating Diya in Islam? I shall turn to these next week in Sha Allah.
Abdulkadir Salaudeen writes from Gashua.
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[…] to the article titled ‘The Worth of Human Soul in Islam: Perspective on ENDSARS Protests’ published last week, here is a follow up. Many questions were raised but not answered. Having […]