Protecting oneself, property, family, mind, and religion is a well-established basic principle in Islam. These are the five essentials, which are well known to Muslims. If a person kills another person while defending his life, he is not held accountable for this nor is he required to pay the blood money (diyah). Sheikh `Abdul-Bari Az-Zamzami, a member of the Moroccan Scholars’ Association, states: There are many hadiths to the effect that killing a person while defending one’s life, property and family is not considered a sin. It is reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) and asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What should I do if someone comes to me with the intention of taking my property?” He replied, “Do not hand it over to him.” The man further asked, “What should I do if he fights me?” The Messenger of Allah answered , “Then fight him.” “What would be my position in the Hereafter if he killed me?” The Messenger of Allah replied, “In that case you are a martyr.” The man asked: “What if I killed him?” The Messenger of Allah replied, “He will be in the Hell-fire.” (Reported by Muslim). From this hadith we ascertain that if one person killed another person while defending his life, he is not required to pay the diyah (blood money) as there is a cause for killing him. So, it is not an act of aggression against that person. The verse reads: (…Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law.) (Al-An`am 6:151) and that person is justified in killing the other person.
Killing Others in Self-Defence
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