“The Prophet of Mercy (saw) was engaged in a conversation with his Companions. He recounted an incident that transpired ages ago. The subject matter revolved around the importance of respecting the right to life, showing mercy, and upholding justice...

In ancient times, a prophet embarked on a journey with his people. Wearied by the travel he found respite beneath a tree. Seated on the ground, he rested in the near vicinity of numerous tiny creatures that inhabit the earth. After all, being so close to the earth means being close to the habitants of the earth as well. It did not take long before an ant noticed him and bit him.

The prophet became angered by the pain he felt. As anger emerges, rationality departs the mind. Those who act in anger often face detriment. And so it was. He overlooked the fact that this minuscule creature possessed a life akin to ours, and furthermore, it had a family. Of course, he was well aware that all creatures on Earth were entrusted to us by Allah (swt). Yet, being human, he momentarily forgot this truth. In his ire, he took a decision in anger and commanded the destruction of the ant’s nest. 

The people around him carried out his command and set the nest on fire. Countless ants, whose small lives go unnoticed by us dwelling within narrow tunnels beneath the earth, perished in seconds.

As per the account relayed by the Prophet (saw) to his Companions, Allah expressed displeasure with this occurrence. Our Lord (swt), who fashioned all within the Earth and the heavens and bestowed upon them the entitlement to existence, did not approve of this cruelty. A revelation descended upon the prophet responsible for igniting the nest. The Almighty Allah admonished him gravely, saying, “Is it because of one ant's bite that you incinerated a community among those communities that glorify Allah?” (Bukhari, Jihad, 153)

Taking the life of an innocent individual is forbidden (haram) in Islam. Deliberately causing the death of a person constitutes an act of murder that is considered an offense against all of humanity. Hence, murder is recognized as a grave sin in Islam.