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min
مِنْ
From
ajli
أَجْلِ
time
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
that,
katabnā
كَتَبْنَا
We ordained
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
banī
بَنِىٓ
(the) Children
is'rāīla
إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ
(of) Israel
annahu
أَنَّهُۥ
that he
man
مَن
who
qatala
قَتَلَ
kills
nafsan
نَفْسًۢا
a soul
bighayri
بِغَيْرِ
other than
nafsin
نَفْسٍ
(for) a soul
aw
أَوْ
or
fasādin
فَسَادٍ
(for) spreading corruption
فِى
in
l-arḍi
ٱلْأَرْضِ
the earth
faka-annamā
فَكَأَنَّمَا
then (it) is as if
qatala
قَتَلَ
kills
l-nāsa
ٱلنَّاسَ
mankind,
jamīʿan
جَمِيعًا
all,
waman
وَمَنْ
and whoever
aḥyāhā
أَحْيَاهَا
saves it
faka-annamā
فَكَأَنَّمَآ
then (it) is as if
aḥyā
أَحْيَا
he has saved
l-nāsa
ٱلنَّاسَ
mankind.
jamīʿan
جَمِيعًاۚ
all.
walaqad
وَلَقَدْ
And surely
jāathum
جَآءَتْهُمْ
came to them
rusulunā
رُسُلُنَا
Our Messengers
bil-bayināti
بِٱلْبَيِّنَٰتِ
with clear Signs
thumma
ثُمَّ
yet,
inna
إِنَّ
indeed,
kathīran
كَثِيرًا
many
min'hum
مِّنْهُم
of them
baʿda
بَعْدَ
after
dhālika
ذَٰلِكَ
that
فِى
in
l-arḍi
ٱلْأَرْضِ
the earth
lamus'rifūna
لَمُسْرِفُونَ
(are) surely those who commit excesses.

min ajli zaalika katabnaa 'alaa Banee Israaa'eela annahoo man qatala nnafsam bighairi nafsin aw fasaadin fil ardi faka annnamaa qatalan fil ardi faka annammaa qatalan naasa jamee'anw wa man ahyaahaa faka annamaaa ahyan naasa jamee'aa; wa laqad jaaa'at hum Rusulunaa bilbaiyinaati summa inna kaseeram minhum ba'da zaalika fil ardi lamusrifoon

Sahih International:

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.

1 A. J. Arberry

Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he ha given life to mankind altogether. Our Messengers have already come to them with the clear signs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth.

2 Abdul Haleem

On account of [his deed], We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person- unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land- it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Because of that We Prescribed unto the Children of Isra'il: whosoever slayeth a person, except for a person, or for corruption in the land, it shall be as through he had slain all mankind, and whosoever bringeth life to one it shall be as though he had brought life to all mankind. And assuredly there came unto them Our apostles with evidences, yet even thereafter many of them are acting on the earth extravagantly.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

On that account; We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Therefore We ordained for the Children of Israel 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. And indeed again and again did Our Messengers come to them with clear directives; yet many of them continued to commit excesses on earth.

6 Ahmed Ali

That is why We decreed for the children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being, except (as punishment) for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, it shall be like killing all humanity; and whosoever saves a life, saves the entire human race. Our apostles brought clear proofs to them; but even after that most of them committed excesses in the land.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

For this reason; We decreed for the Descendants of Israel that whoever kills a human being except in lieu of killing or causing turmoil in the earth, so it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoever saves the life of one person, is as if he had saved the life of all mankind; and undoubtedly Our Noble Messengers came to them with clear proofs – then after this indeed many of them are oppressors in the earth.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

That is why We decreed for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul, without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he had saved all mankind. Our apostles certainly brought them manifest signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses on the earth.

9 Ali Ünal

It is because of this that We ordained for (all humankind, but particularly for) the Children of Israel: He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind; and he who saves a life will be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind. Assuredly there came to them Our Messengers (one after the other) with clear proofs of the truth (so that they might be revived both individually and as a people). Then (in spite of all this), many of them go on committing excesses on the earth.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Because of this (incident) We laid down for the Children of Israel that he who kills a human being - unless it be for (murdering) a person or for (reforming) disorder in the country, it is as if he has killed entire human race. And whoso saves a (human) life it is as if he has saved the entire mankind. Certainly, Our Messengers had already come to them with clear arguments, yet (even after that) many of them were certainly those who committed excesses in the land.

11 English Literal

Because of that, We wrote/decreed on Israel`s sons and daughters, that who killed a self without a self, or corruption in the earth/Planet Earth, so (it is) as if he killed the people all/all together , and who revived (saved) it, so as if he revived (saved) the people all/all together, and Our messengers had come to them with the evidences, then that many from them, after that (are) in the earth/Planet Earth spoilers/wasters (E) .

12 Faridul Haque

For this reason; We decreed for the Descendants of Israel that whoever kills a human being except in lieu of killing or causing turmoil in the earth, so it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoever saves the life of one person, is as if he had saved the life of all mankind; and undoubtedly Our Noble Messengers came to them with clear proofs - then after this indeed many of them are oppressors in the earth.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

The reward of those who make war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive after corruption (or disruption) in the earth, is only that they shall be slaughtered or crucified, or their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or that they shall be banished from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter is mighty woe;

14 Hilali & Khan

Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land!.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Then Allah sent a crow scratching the ground to show him how to cover the dead body of his brother. He said: Woe is me! Am I not able to be as this crow and cover the dead body of my brother? So he became of those who regret.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

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.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

For this reason, We made it a law for the children of Israel that the killing of a person for reasons other than legal retaliation or for stopping corruption in the land is as great a sin as murdering all of mankind. However, to save a life would be as great a virtue as to save all of mankind. Our Messengers had come to them with clear authoritative evidence but many of them (Israelites) thereafter started doing wrong in the land.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

That was why We wrote for the Children of Israel that who ever killed a soul, except for a soul slain, or for sedition in the earth, it should be considered as though he had killed all mankind; and that who ever saved it should be regarded as though he had saved all mankind. Our Messengers brought them proofs; then many of them thereafter commit excesses in the earth.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Because of that, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with Al-Bayyinat, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!

21 Wahiduddin Khan

That was why We laid it down for the Children of Israel that whoever killed a human being, except as a punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all mankind, and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as having saved all mankind. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

22 Talal Itani

Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel: that whoever kills a person—unless it is for murder or corruption on earth—it is as if he killed the whole of mankind; and whoever saves it, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind. Our messengers came to them with clarifications, but even after that, many of them continue to commit excesses in the land.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Because of that, which Cain did, We decreed for the Children of Israel that whoever slays a soul for other than a soul, slain, or for, other than, corruption, committed, in the land, in the way of unbelief, fornication or waylaying and the like, it shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoever saves the life of one, by refraining from slaying, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind -- Ibn `Abbs said [that the above is meant] in the sense of violating and protecting its [a soul's] sanctity [respectively]. Our messengers have already come to them, that is, to the Children of Israel, with clear proofs, miracles, but after that many of them still commit excesses in the land, overstepping the bounds through disbelief, killing and the like.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Human Beings Should Respect the Sanctity of Other Human Beings

Allah says,

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ

Because of that,

Allah says, because the son of Adam killed his brother in transgression and aggression,

كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَايِيلَ

We ordained for the Children of Israel...,

meaning, We legislated for them and informed them,

أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الَارْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

The Ayah states, whoever kills a soul without justification -- such as in retaliation for murder or for causing mischief on earth -- will be as if he has killed all mankind, because there is no difference between one life and another.

وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا
(and if anyone saved a life...),

by preventing its blood from being shed and believing in its sanctity, then all people will have been saved from him, so,
أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا
(it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind).

Al-Amash and others said that Abu Salih said that Abu Hurayrah said,

"I entered on Uthman when he was under siege in his house and said, `I came to give you my support. Now, it is good to fight (defending you) O Leader of the Faithful!'

He said, `O Abu Hurayrah! Does it please you that you kill all people, including me?'

I said, `No.'

He said, `If you kill one man, it is as if you killed all people. Therefore, go back with my permission for you to leave. May you receive your reward and be saved from burden.'

So I went back and did not fight."'

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"It is as Allah has stated,

مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الَارْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.

Saving life in this case occurs by not killing a soul that Allah has forbidden.

So this is the meaning of saving the life of all mankind, for whoever forbids killing a soul without justification, the lives of all people will be saved from him."

Similar was said by Mujahid;

وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا
(And if anyone saved a life...),

means, he refrains from killing a soul.

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said that Allah's statement,
فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا
(it would be as if he killed all mankind...) means,

"Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden killing, is just like he who kills all mankind."

Sa`id bin Jubayr said,

"He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people."

In addition, Ibn Jurayj said that Al-A`raj said that Mujahid commented on the Ayah,
فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا
(it would be as if he killed all mankind),

"He who kills a believing soul intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode, He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people, his punishment will still be the same."

Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said that the Ayah,
وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا
(and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind) means,

"He who does not kill anyone, then the lives of people are safe from him."
Warning Those who Commit Mischief

Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالبَيِّنَاتِ

And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with Al-Bayyinat,

meaning, clear evidences, signs and proofs.

ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الَارْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ



even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!

This Ayah chastises and criticizes those who commit the prohibitions, after knowing that they are prohibited from indulging in them.

The Jews of Al-Madinah, such as Banu Qurayzah, An-Nadir and Qaynuqa, used to fight along with either Khazraj or Aws, when war would erupt between them during the time of Jahiliyyah. When these wars would end, the Jews would ransom those who were captured and pay the blood money for those who were killed. Allah criticized them for this practice in Surah Al-Baqarah,

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَكُمْ لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَأءِكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ مِّن دِيَـرِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَـوُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَـرِهِمْ تَظَـهَرُونَ علَيْهِم بِالاِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَنِ وَإِن يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَـرَى تُفَـدُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ أَفَتُوْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَـبِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَن يَفْعَلُ ذلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْىٌ فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الّعَذَابِ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

And (remember) when We took your covenant (saying);Shed not your (people's) blood, nor turn out your own people from their dwellings. Then, (this) you ratified and (to this) you bear witness.

After this, it is you who kill one another and drive out a party of your own from their homes, assist (their enemies) against them, in sin and transgression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their expulsion was forbidden to you. Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. (2;84-85)
The Punishment of those Who Cause Mischief in the Land

Allah said next