Human life is sacred and a gift from Allah, the Creator. For the protection of human life Islam has legislated capital and corporal punishments and retribution unto those transgressing criminals who murder and physically harm others. Killing falls into three types: intentional and/or premeditated murder, manslaughter, and total mistake. Islam commands the execution of anyone who commits premeditated murder of an innocent person, seeking to place as strong a deterrent as possible to eradicate the temptation of intentional murder. Unintentional manslaughter and mistaken killings are separate categories with separate lesser sentences and blood money is paid to the close relatives of the victim. The family or the heirs of the killed victim are given a Diyyah - blood money - unless they choose to forgive the killer. The killer must repent to Allah and make atonement by the freeing of a Muslim slave, and if this is not possible, by fasting for two consecutive months. All such penalties are for preservation of life. No one has the right to tamper with people's lives, possessions or estate without legitimate cause. All oppressors or abusers must be warned against unjust killing, victimizing or harassing other innocent members of the Islamic society, and these strict punishments should be made clear. If the retaliation is not similar to the crime itself, criminals become emboldened in their criminal activities. All other corporal punishments have the same rationale, wherein the punishment is proportionate to the crime with specific measurements of retribution predetermined to stop all arguments and confusion. All capital and corporal punishments are designed for the preservation of human life and property in an Islamic society. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
And there is (a saving of) life for you in al-Qisas (the law of equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become pious.
The penalty of the Hereafter for the intentional murderer who does not repent will be the Wrath of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (forever): and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.
Islam has imposed certain specific duties on everyone in respect to protection of human life. The following are some of these duties:
1. Man does not own his soul or his own body: rather it is a sacred entity entrusted to him on a temporary basis. It is not allowed for anyone to intentionally torture or harm himself, or carry-out any type of suicidal crime or reckless act leading to his destruction. Life is only given in sacrifice for the cause of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly: but let there be among you trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah has been to you Most Merciful!
2. Man must maintain proper nutritional care to satisfy the minimum requirements essential for decent health. He is not allowed to deprive himself of permissible food, drink, clothing, marriage and proper care under any pretexts, if that causes him harm. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He has provided) for sustenance? Say, they are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Requital. Thus do We explain the Signs in detail for those who understand.
Allah, the Exalted, admonished the Prophet when he abstained from eating honey in order to please one of his wives, and this became an eternal lesson for all Muslims. Allah states in the Glorious Qur'an:
O Prophet! Why do you make forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to you? You seek to please your wives but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Moderation is between stinginess and extravagance. Man may enjoy the lawful bounties offered by Allah to man on earth in moderation within the limits of the Islamic laws and without wastage. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.
It is forbidden to neglect the physical needs of the body and cause harm through negligence or self-torture. Allah, the Exalted, states in the Glorious Qur'an:
On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.
It is reported that Anas bin Malik said that, "Three men came to the Prophet's wives' houses to inquire about the worship of the Prophet . When they were informed, they considered their worship insignificant and said: "Where are we in comparison with the Prophet while Allah has forgiven his past sins and future sins". One of them said: "As for me, I shall offer Salat all night long.'' Another said: "I shall observe Saum (fasting) continuously and shall not break it". The third one said: "I shall abstain from women and shall never marry". The Prophet came to them and said,
Are you the people who said such and such things? By Allah, I fear Allah more than you do, and I am the most obedient and dutiful among you to Him, but still I observe fasting and break it; perform Salah and sleep at night and take wives. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah does not belong to me."
The right of security and protection to a person and all his family is the most basic of all human rights. All citizens in the Muslim society legally must not be frightened or threatened by words, actions or weapons of any type. The tradition of Messenger of Allah states:
It is not allowed for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.
Feeling secure enables individuals of a society to have freedom of mobility and movement in order to work and earn an honest living. Corporal and capital punishment have been laid down and established in order to impose strict penalties on those who attempt to cause disruption to the peace, security and stability of a Muslim society. Allah's Messenger stated in his farewell speech,
Truly, your blood, honor, and your wealth are unlawful to one another. They are unlawful to tamper with like it is unlawful to tamper with this (honorable and sacred) Day (the Day of "Arafah during Hajj), in this Sacred Month (the month of pilgrimage "Dthul-Hijjah), and in this Sacred Town (the city of Makkah).
Wholesome sustenance is to be secured for all people in an Islamic society by availing decent and suitable work opportunities for the work force in the society. Availability of suitable opportunities of trades and work is crucial for people in order to satisfy their basic needs. Those who cannot work due to old age, disabilities, chronic disease, or the lack of bread-earner in the family, become entitled to public aid from the Islamic government. Zakah, (obligatory alms and charity) given by the wealthier people of the society, is to be made available to the needy that cannot earn a decent income because of legitimate reasons. Zakah is an obligatory charity that is taken from the rich and given to specific categories of the society. This is based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger in his advice to his companion Muaadth bin Jabal while sending him on the mission to call to Islam in Yemen saying,
Tell the people of Yemen that the Almighty Allah has prescribed a certain percentage of their wealth as Zakah (obligatory charity) to be taken from the rich members among them and given to the poor and needy ones.
Other voluntary donations, gifts, financial commitments and the like are given in good cause to please the Almighty Allah, and extended willingly to the poor and needy members of the society. This is also based on many scriptures including the Hadith of Allah's Messenger ,
One is not a believer who satisfies himself while his neighbor is hungry.
These poor and needy people are also entitled to a fair right and share of the Islamic Treasury. This is also based on the Hadith of Allah's Messenger ,
Whosoever leaves behind a legacy (wealth and estates) it will become the right of his heirs. As for the person who leaves behind poor and needy members of his family, Allah , and His Messenger will take care of them.
Islam prohibits all such reasons that may cause detrimental effect to public health. Islam bans all types of harmful drugs and intoxicants. Islam bans eating blood, carrion, unclean animals, unwholesome meats like swine, and all their byproducts, etc. Islam bans all immoral acts such as fornication, adultery, and homosexual activities. Islam imposes a quarantine in the time of plague for both incoming and outgoing traffic of people in order to make sure that no epidemic or harmful diseases are spread in the wider community. Allah's Messenger said,
If you hear about an epidemic in a country, do not enter it, and if you are in a place that has an epidemic disease, do not leave it.
And he said,
A sick person must not be brought to visit a recovering person.