According to the Qur'an, does a Muslim have to defend himself against attacks by other people or illness (aka "value his life") or is it a "I don't have a problem if you do it"-mentality. Like: I don't punish you if you defend yourself, but if you don't, I don't care?

In other words: Is there a part in the Qur'an that says "I will punish you, if you don't care for your body. If you don't defend your body from illness and attacks, you'll go to hell". (Also in case of taking drugs)

3 Answers 3


As far as I searched, it has mentioned approximately 10 items in regard to repelling and defense which seems four of them are related to the military defense. Of course apparently it has not mentioned directly regarding self-defense, but anyhow it could be inferred from the text that it is people obligation to do it in some ways.

فَهَزَمُوهُم بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ وَقَتَلَ دَاوُودُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللَّـهُ الْمُلْكَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمَّا يَشَاءُ ۗ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّـهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّفَسَدَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٢٥١﴾

So they defeated them by permission of Allah, and David killed Goliath, and Allah gave him the kingship and prophethood and taught him from that which He willed. And if it were not for Allah checking(repelling) [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted, but Allah is full of bounty to the worlds. (251)(al-Baqarah:251)

Consequently, it indicates that the world would be destroyed in case that defending was wrong. On the other hand, self-defense could be compared with defending against cruel people or thief or so on which has indicated in plural item in Quran. And actually it could not be logical saying we ought not to do self-defense since it has mentioned in plural case.

On the other hand, it is inferred from the narrations and the words of the scholars that:

  • It is permissible for any person protecting his/her family and wealth.
  • Defending has many degrees and in case that the one option left is to kill the transgressor, this is permissible to do like that. In such a position, the murderer is not required to pay blood money and Qisas will not be carried out. However, in regard to the loss of wealth in particular, the Imams have instructed us not to kill anyone. For example, it is haram to kill a thief that is running away with one’s wealth.
  • If someone is killed while defending himself/herself, he is considered as a martyr.
  • Proving that one was defending himself is a different issue from it being permissible, meaning that proving it requires adequate evidence.

In any event, there would be many other situations that ought to be observed in that case. What we have done is only mention the general points that are applicable to everybody.

In regard to the last part of your inquiry that was inquired will Allah punish... , I couldn't find the precise issue, but as a rational rule and also whereof it is Wajib for the humans to protects their body, we can infer that Allah will punish us in case that we did not protect ourselves. How come? Since in truth, our bodies are consignments which are Allah's in fact.

Eventually, as the last part of my speech, I should mention a significant point which is concerning Quran. Actually we should not assume that the holy Quran declared everything in details. Occasionally it declared some issues in general and occasionally mentioned some matters by details. Consequently we ought to pay attention that we cannot deny whatever has not come in Quran directly. Since for instance it has not come Quran that why Salah-al-Soboh is 2Rak'ahs and so forth. Then some other issues have come in hadiths (traditions) and some other matters could be considered logically and rationally. Good luck.



I disagree with the term "Rights of Body" it's more like you have obligations towards your physical body, like you cannot harm it, or you cannot do something which will harm it (there are exceptions, though). As for illness, there's a hadith that, God created every illness and cure for every illness, so seek out the cure (translations may differ slightly). I don't remember exact source, look for it in Bukhari.

As far as, self-defence concerned, it is more like obligatory. Because you have obligations towards, for example your children, so if you don't defend yourself and die, then you don't fulfill your duties towards your children.

The literal interpretation of "turn the other cheek" is immoral and unjust.

  • "if you don't defend yourself and die, then you don't fulfill your duties towards your children." What if you die young in a car accident? How can you fulfill your duties towards your children then? Jan 24, 2015 at 9:59
  • That is irrelevant, because your death in car accident is not in your contro, as in self-defence. Point is do your best to live healthy and long lasting life, and leave rest to God. Jan 24, 2015 at 11:46

I don't think there are specific obligations to defend oneself against attack. In Islam the body has rights over you, so it would make sense to try to protect your body.

  • 2
    Which rights does the body have over you? How does Islam perceive illness? Jan 23, 2015 at 23:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .