How did Islam prevent genocides and vendettas?

Every soul earns only to its own account; and no soul, as bearer of burden, bears and is made to bear the burden of another. This basic ethical principle reads five times in the Quran (Al-An am, 6:164; Al-Israa, 17:15; Fatir, 35:18; Az-Zumar, 39:7 and An-Najm, 53:38). All humanity is in need of this principle more than one can think. There lies the violation of this principle beneath the oppression and injustice carried out in the history of human being. The first meaning to conclude from this verse, No sinner can bear the sin of another. You are responsible for what you do.


If a doctor made a mistake, the other doctors would not be asked to leave the job, if a car had an accident, they would not prohibit other cars going into traffic, if a Muslim or Christian committed a crime, their crime would not make all Muslims or Christians guilty. If a person were to be found guilty of anything he does, his friends, relatives, fellow inhabitants, those living in his village or area could not be found guilty as well. If a person were guilty of something, there could not be any sanction to be imposed on his friends, relatives and on those in connection with him; they would not be put under suspicion. A ship could not be sunk because of a criminal; a village could not be destroyed because of a mischief-maker. If done, such an act would be tyranny that is much more dreadful; thousands of innocent people would have been murdered in return of the mischief-maker. Those who are unable to defend themselves –children, the old, women, animals, birds, and insects- all would have been brutally obliterated. In the end, both those who are unable to defend themselves and the places of worship and historical works and ecological balance would have been exterminated. Such an act would be compatible neither with humanity nor with any ethical value.


Therefore, Islam does not leave hatred and vengeance as an inheritance, punishes the guilty, tries to improve the environment that is likely to offer ways to crime, and instills love, friendship, and fraternity into human soul. It makes man keep away from hatred and brutality, terror and mischief making.

The second meaning of the verse is that a newborn baby is innocent, is not to be subjected to any punishment. He preserves this innocence until the age of puberty. This rule does not agree with the belief –as is the case with the false belief in Christianity- every child is born sinful and a prophet or saints sacrifice themselves to make men rid of their sins.

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