In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (32)
Surah Al-Maeda – verse (32)
مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ ﴿5:32﴾
(5:32) Therefore We ordained for the Children of Israel *53 that he who slays a soul unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief on earth shall be as if he had slain all mankind; and he who saves a life shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. *54 And indeed again and again did Our Messengers come to them with clear directives; yet many of them continued to commit excesses on earth.
*53.Since the same qualities which had been displayed by the wrong doing son of Adam were manifest in the Children of Israel, God strongly urged them not to kill human beings and couched His command in forceful terms. It is a pity that the precious words which embody God’s ordinance are to be found nowhere in the Bible today. The Talmud, however, does mention this subject in the following words:
To him who kills a single individual of Israel, it shall be reckoned as if he had slain the whole race and he who preserves a single individual of Israel, it shall be reckoned in the Book of God as if he had preserved the whole world. The Talmud also mentions that in trials for murder, the Israelite judges used to address the witnesses as follows:
Whoever kills one person, merits punishment as if he had slain all the men in the world.
*54. This means that the survival of human life depends on everyone respecting other human beings and in contributing actively to the survival and protection of others. Whosoever kills unrighteously is thus not merely guilty of doing wrong to one single person, but proves by his act that his heart is devoid of respect for human life and of sympathy for the human species as such. Such a person, therefore, is an enemy of all mankind. This is so because he happens to be possessed of a quality which, were it to become common to all men, would lead to the destruction of the entire human race. The person who helps to preserve the life of even one person, on the other hand, is the protector of the whole of humanity, for he possesses a quality which is indispensable to the survival of mankind.