Quran 5:32, Allah prohibits killing?

A drawing depicting Muhammad’s beheading of more or less 800 Jews

When nonMuslims condemn the beheadings, the bombings, and other forms of killing done by Islamic groups and pointed Allah as the causer of these heinous crimes, the Muslims will quote to them Quran 5:32 as evidence that Islam is a peaceful religion. Are the Muslims lying or just ignorant of the meaning of this verse? 

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

Quran 5:32

ANSWER: 

First, this Quran 5:32 is part of the narration (verses 27 to 32) quoted from the story of Abel and Cain in the Bible where Cain killed his brother Abel, so it must be understood by its context rather than by a single verse. The author of Quran took this story and edited it by adding a commentary from Jewish Talmud (“if you killed one man as if you killed mankind”), and a crow which was sent by Allah suposedly to scratch the earth in order to demonstrate to Cain how he should hide the corpse of his brother in the ground. 

Second, Quran 5:32 was decreed only for the children of Israel in consequence of the killing of Abel, thus the Muslims or Arabs are not covered by this decree. To prove that Muslims are not covered by this decree, Muhammad beheaded 800 Jews [Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4390 & Tabari, Volume 8, Victory of Islam, p. 35-36]. So this means that Muhammad had killed 800 mankinds?

Third, the succeeding verse 33 tells us the command of Allah for his prophet against the nonMuslims. That they should be killed, crucified, their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides, or they be exiled from the land.

To understand the context, let us read verses 27-33 of Quran chapter 5;

[Quran 5] Sahih International

27 And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah ], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].

28 If you should raise your hand against me to kill me – I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah , Lord of the worlds.

29 Indeed I want you to obtain [thereby] my sin and your sin so you will be among the companions of the Fire. And that is the recompense of wrongdoers.

30 And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers.

31 Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful.

32 Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.

33 Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment 

Author: Renz Pejana Silawan

The author is just a simple man, He was a carving and carpentry sub-contractor. But lately, he discovered that his true passion is writing. He studied at the University of San Jose-Recoletos, took up Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. The fear of death knocked on his mind when he aquired 3 lumps on his neck in 2010. He realized that the most important thing to a man is eternal life. He found out that the Bible is consistent in its teaching and backed up by spiritual and physical evidences. Today, he is happy knowing that there is a God who will receive him in the afterlife. And he wants to share this discovery to all people who are willing to accept this good news.

4 thoughts on “Quran 5:32, Allah prohibits killing?”

    1. Also my dear friend! you mentioned that Muhammad PBUH beheaded several hundred Jews – the number is disputed however. Some say there were 400!

      Essentially, those Jews were doing doing treason, risked the lives of the most vulnerable and were the aggressors! They declared war because: They wanted to Kill Muhammad PBUH and destroy Islam. They then were defeated!

      Once surrendered, the Jews refused to accept a punishment from Muhammad except from a man called Sa’d who the Jews liked!

      According to Sahih Bukhari 3043: Sa`d bin Muadh said, “I give the judgment that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as prisoners”. The Prophet (sa) then remarked, “O Sa`d! You have judged amongst them with (or similar to) the judgment of the King Allah.”

      This was punishment was not according to the Qur’an but according to the Torah:

      Deuteronomy 20:10: …And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

      [Please see also other verses about treason and war punishments in the Torah]

      The penalty for treason is death and for breaking a treaty in the Jewish law. Sa’d said this because if the Muslims had lost the battle, the Jews would have executed all of the Muslims the same way. If the Muslims did lose the battle and the Jews had executed the defeated Muslims in the same way no one would say a single word of disrespect towards the Jews for that.

      So if one says Islam was unfair with the execution, they are saying that the bible was unfair too!

      https://www.islambasics.com/chapter/the-battle-of-the-trench
      https://www.islamiqate.com/573/was-it-acceptable-for-muhammed-behead-the-banu-qurayza-tribe

      Muhammad would not have even got them executed, but they the Jews were executed because the Jews wanted Sa’d to decide for them and Sa’d chose to use the Jewsih law.

      I hope I have cleared a bit more doubt!
      Thanks!
      BOB

      1. Sir Bob, 400 or 900 BEHEADED JEWS DOES NOT DISCOUNT THE FACT THAT YOUR PROPHET WAS A MASS AND BRUTAL KILLER.

        “. . . those Jews were doing doing treason, risked the lives of the most vulnerable and were the aggressors! They declared war because: They wanted to Kill Muhammad PBUH and destroy Islam.. .” PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM FROM RELIABLE ISLAMIC SCRIPTURES. ON THE CONTRARY, IT’S YOUR BANDIT HOLY PROPHET WHO STARTED THE TROUBLE WITH THE MECCANS FOR HE AMBUSHED AND ROBBED A MECCAN CARAVAN

        MUHAMMAD RAIDED MECCAN CARAVAN

        [Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 424-425 & Ibn Kathir V. 2 p.242-243]

        [A Muslim raider] who had shaved his head, looked down on them [the Meccan caravan], and when they saw him they felt safe and said, “They are pilgrims, you have nothing to fear from them.”

        The shaved head caused the Muslims to look like pilgrims rather than raiders, which instilled a false sense of security in the drivers. However, Islam was a different sort of religion from what the Meccans were used to: [The Muslim raiders] encouraged each other, and decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had. Waqid shot Amr bin al-Hadrami with an arrow and killed him…)

        According to Ibn Kathir, the Muslims living in Mecca did not dispute that their brethren in Medina had killed, captured and stolen from the Quraish, but they were reluctant to accept that this had occurred during the sacred months: The Quraysh said that Muhammad and his Companions violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month and shed blood, confiscated property and took prisoners during it.

        THIS IS THE REASON WHY THE QURAISH (MECCANS) GOT ANGRY WITH YOUR HOLY PROPHET. HIS GROUP IN MEDINA HAD NO RESOURCES TO SUSTAIN THEIR LIVING THAT’S WHY THEY RESORTED TO ROBBERY. BEFORE THE CONFLICT, THE QURAISH (PAGANS) AND THE COMPANIONS OF MUHAMMAD (MUSLIMS) WORSHIPED THE BLACKSTONE TOGETHER HAPPILY. TO PROVE; https://sunnah.com/abudawud:1889.

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