It is a manifestation of the dignity of man that Islam has placed an infinite value on human life. This is expressed in the Qur’an in the following terms:
We ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole of mankind. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of a whole people. (al-Ma’ida, 5:32)
The reference to the children of Israel, that is, the Jews, represents continuity of the basic values that are common to all revealed religions. Both Judaism and Islam are committed to the protection of human life. It makes no difference whether the victim is a Jew, a Muslim or anyone else. The value that is advocated is holistic and indivisible in that aggression against one is tantamount to aggression against all. Life is not only of infinite value, it is also sacred: “Nor take life which God has made sacred, except for a just cause” (al-Isra’, 17:33).
Al-Ghazali has quoted these ayat and drew the conclusion that “in respect of the sanctity of life and the prohibition of aggression against it, Muslims and non-Muslims are equal. Attack on the personal safety of non-Muslims invokes the same punishment in this world and the Hereafter”. [Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Huquq al-Insan, p. 54]
Sanctity of Muslim
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The wiping away of the World means less to Allah than a Believer to be killed unjustly (Ibn Maja) ( Sahih)
Abdulla bin Umar said – I saw the Prophet doing tawwaf around the Ka’aba saying “How sweet/ good are you and how sweet is your scent. How great are you and how great is your sanctity. By the One who the soul of Mohammad is in His Hand the sanctity of a believer is greater with Allah than your sanctity” (Ibn Maja)
A: Though the Ka’aba is considered the greatest Islamic symbol present, with the Muslims all over the world turning their faces toward it five times daily, and with the prayer inside it has more reward than anywhere else, the sanctity of the blood of a single believer is worth more to Allah than the sanctity of this first house built to worship Allah.
B: Since the blood of a single believer is worth more to Allah than the Ka’aba, and in fact more than the whole Earth and what is in it, then it is upon the Muslims to place the same priority upon the blood of their brothers and sister, and treat the violation of that sanctity as worse than open aggression against the Ka’aba.
C: Accordingly, the most pressing issue for the Muslim today is to protect this sanctity, and as mentioned in the previous section only the Imam is a shield whom they are protected by.