The Life of This World is but Chattels of Deception #15
Killing of Innocent People in the Quran
From the Quran,
“For that reason, We have mandated upon the Children of Israel
That if anyone kills a person
Unless it was (a punishment) for killing
Or for spreading corruption in the earth,
It is as if he killed all mankind,
And whoever saves the life of a person,
It is as if he saved the lives of all mankind.
And though Our messengers for certainty, offered them evidence
Yet many of them continued to commit excesses in the world.
The verses above come immediately following the story of Cain and Abel, the two children of Adam, in verses 27- 32 of chapter 5.
The two brothers made offerings to God, for reasons not told in the Quran, and was accepted from one but not the other. Also, The Quran does not delve into how the offer was accepted but does go on to state that the losing brother, Cain, according to scripture, was so dejected that he decided to kill his brother Abel. Upon notifying his brother of his intentions, Abel answers him that God accepts offerings from those who fear Him, and therefore, he will not try to defend himself if he was attacked. Furthermore, he says that if you kill me, you will bear your sins as well as my sins which is a just punishment for the aggressors. So, Cain carried out his threat and killed his brother and did not know what to do with the body until he saw a raven digging into the dirt, looking for something. He realized then how hopeless he was that he could not come up with a way to bury his awful act, so he dug a hole and buried his brother and later repented for his evil deed.
Going back to the verses, a fair-minded reader has to marvel on how much value is put into all living things, and the lives of people in particular. There cannot be more emphasis put to the value of life than to equate the killing of it to committing genocide against society. By the same breadth, the saving of a life is considered such a great deed and is equated to saving the lives of the total society. The teaching is exemplified into two sayings of the prophet Muhammad, May God’s blessing be upon him and all other prophets:
1- A woman of ill repute entered paradise because while drinking from a well, she saw a dog dying of thirst. So she took her shoes off and lowered them into a well to fetch some water for the dog which revived him.
2- A woman entered the hell fire because she locked her cat without offering it food or releasing into the wild to fend for itself.
I will close by stating that scripture, The Jewish teachings or the New Testament are replete with similar teachings about the value of life. There are no less than a hundred verses on the subject; However, not all followers of these religions, including Islam, adhere to these teachings.
 The reason given in the Quran for the mandate is explained in the story following the verses.