Quranic Inspiration 131

Quranic Inspiration 131

And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.

Chapter 17 Al-Isrā’ : Verse 31

Explanatory Notes:

Prohibition of killing Children

This Ayah indicates that Allah is more compassionate towards His servants than a father to his child, because He forbids killing children just as He enjoins parents to take care of their children in matters of inheritance. The people of Jahiliyyah would not allow their daughters to inherit from them, and some would even kill their daughters lest they make them more poor. Allah forbade that and said:

(And kill not your children for fear of poverty.) meaning, lest they may make you poor in the future. This is why Allah mentions the children’s provision first:

(We shall provide for them as well as for you.) In Surat Al-An`am, Allah says:

(kill not your children because of poverty.) (6:151)

(We provide sustenance for you and for them) (6:151) and,

(Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.) means, a major sin. In Two Sahihs it is recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: “I said, `O Messenger of Allah, which sin is the worst’ He said,

(To appoint rivals of Allah when He has created you.) I asked, `Then what’ He said, (To kill your child lest he should eat with you.) I asked, `Then what’ He said, (To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.)”

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