Is Human Life Sacred: The Body and the Spirit?


On account of this, We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

Artist's representation of symbol of infinity, is human life sacred and of infinite value?

Artist’s representation of symbol of infinity, is human life sacred and of infinite value?

The title of the article is slightly modified by the Muslim Times.

Source: New York Times

By David Brooks, one of the most popular NY Times’ columnist

Like everyone, I was revolted by the beheadings of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. It wasn’t just that they had been killed — though that is horrendous enough — it was the monstrous way the deed was done.

I’ve been trying to understand why the act of beheading arouses this strong visceral response. Why does separating a head with a knife feel different from a shooting, or a bombing? Does this reaction contain some hidden intuitive wisdom, or is it just a blind prejudice?

First, a beheading feels different because it reveals something about the minds of the killers. The journalist Lance Morrow once wrote that “evil is often happiest when it operates in the autonomy of the gratuitous.” By going beneath even the minimal standards of modern civilization, the militants in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria get to show contempt for us and our morality. They get to deny the slightest acknowledgment of our common humanity. They can take the bully’s maximum relish in their power over the weak and innocent. The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, and ISIS means to show violence unbounded; ISIS will get inside our heads in the darkest way.

Second, a beheading reminds us of something disturbing in ourselves. We want to watch, and we don’t want to watch. Because of some warp in human nature, millions of people will go online to watch a beheading video though they might not even read about a simple shooting.

But the revulsion aroused by beheading is mostly a moral revulsion. A beheading feels like a defilement. It’s not just an injury or a crime. It is an indignity. A beheading is more like rape, castration or cannibalism. It is a defacement of something sacred that should be inviolable.

But what is this sacred thing that is being violated?

Read further

For source of the picture, click here.


Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author of this article

Suggested Reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!‏

Is Human Life Sacred: The Body and the Spirit?

Every human life is sacred, otherwise none is!

I Have a Dream: President Obama will One day Comfort the Parents of Drone Victims

The Root Cause of Terrorism: An Unholy Thought

14 replies

  1. Every human life is sacred and precious.Each and very person and species on this planet earth is special in one way or another.whether is beheading or shooting both these acts are so insane.

  2. The author says: “If ISIS is to be stopped, there will probably have to be some sort of political and military coalition. But, ultimately, the Islamists are a spiritual movement that will have to be surmounted by a superior version of Islam.

    The truest version of each Abrahamic faith revels in the genuine goodness of creation. These are faiths that love the material world, especially the body. They’re faiths that understand that the high and the low yearn for each other, and that every human body has some piece of the eternal, even if you’re fighting against him.”
    So, my friend join me in chanting: Islam is peace and ISIS’ criminal actions have nothing to do with Islam.

  3. The religion and man cannot be separated as their relation is very old from ancient days. No body knows how the contacts formed between them. Some philosophers told this world is nothing to living body and also the living body is nothing in this universe. But the religions flourished one by one by showing their strength on human society in every time. The people are distributed by regions, places, culture and atmosphere of nature. The religion got its place at nook and corner of land irrespective of differences. This is true and the time will solve the religious problem. The modern science has developed recently and questioning the existing of GOD. The religions are unable to prove the existance of HIM. But the Christians, the Muslims, the Hindus are struggling hard with the spirit of GOD. Here the Muslims,Christians,Zorastrians feel that GOD(Allah) recall all on judgement DAY and questioning will be conducted. Hence they are following their BOOKS. There is no proper justice for killings of HUMANS by poor decision of religions.

  4. The Muslims follow their QU`RAN without any discrimination. The ZIHAD is sacred and the obstructions are to be removed in the way of religion and its developments. The SUPER powers ruling the world by keeping ECONOMY in their hands. The conflicts of POWER made some mistakes and wrong decisions in the play. Hence the TERRORISM got birth by MUSLIM ORIGIN recently. The danger of its expansion has become challenge for every nation irrespective of region or religion. The fight between the religions giving oxygen to terrorrism.The understanding the view of them can eradicate terror acts and culture. Think it clearly and move accordingly.

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