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Euthanasia And Islam. Essay

1361 words - 5 pages

The sanctity of human life is a basic value as decreed by God even before thetimes of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. Commenting on the killing of Abel by hisbrother Caine (the two sons of Adam), God says in the Quran: "On that accountWe ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slay a person -unlessit be for murder or spreading mischief in the land- it would be as if he slewthe whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved thelife of the whole people" (Quran 5:32). The Quran also says: "Take not lifewhich Allah made sacred otherwise than in the course of justice" (Quran6:151 and 17:33). The Shari'a went into great detail in defining theconditions where taking life is permissible whether in war or in peace (as anitem of the criminal law), with rigorous prerequisites and precautions tominimize that event.Is there a Right to Suicide?Not in Islam. Since we did not create ourselves we do not own our bodies. Weare entrusted with them for care, nurture and safe keeping. God is the ownerand giver of life and His rights in giving and in taking are not to beviolated. Attempting to kill oneself is a crime in Islam as well as a gravesin. The Quran says: "Do not kill (or destroy) yourselves, for verily Allahhas been to you most Merciful" (Quran 4:29). To warn against suicide ProphetMohammad said: "Whoever kills himself with an iron instrument will becarrying it forever in hell. Whoever takes poison and kills himself willforever keep sipping that poison in hell. Whoever jumps off a mountain andkills himself will forever keep falling down in the depths of hell."Euthanasia - Mercy Killing.The Shari'a listed and specified the indications for taking life (ie. theexceptions to the general rule of sanctity of human life), and they do notinclude mercy killing or make allowance for it. Human life per se is a valueto be respected unconditionally, irrespective of other circumstances. Theconcept of a life not worthy of living does not exist in Islam.Justification of taking life to escape suffering is not acceptable in Islam.Prophet Mohammad taught: "There was a man in older times who had aninfliction that taxed his patience, so he took a knife, cut his wrist andbled to death. Upon this God said: My subject hastened his end, I deny himparadise." During one of the military campaigns one of the Muslims was killedand the companions of the prophet kept praising his gallantry and efficiencyin fighting, but, to their surprise, the Prophet commented, "His lot ishell." Upon inquiry, the companions found out that the man had been seriouslyinjured so he supported the handle of his sword on the ground and plunged hischest onto its tip, committing suicide. The Islamic Code of Medical Ethicsendorsed by the First International Conference on Islamic Medicine (IslamicOrganization of Medical Sciences, Kuwait, 1981, p.65) includes: "Mercykilling, like suicide, finds no support except in the atheistic way ofthinking that believes that our life on this earth is...

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