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I heard a Christian say 'all religions teach love'. Is she right?

I think that many Muslims consider 'honor' to be a great virtue. If a woman brings shame to a family, her brother might kill her.

Does this mean that the honor of a family matters more than love between family members?

  • "I heard a Christian say 'all religions teach love'. Is she right?" Certainly not to the same degree, with the same focus, or sometimes even at all. – G. Bach Sep 6 '17 at 11:01
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The question suggests there's a trade-off between love and honor, but this is not really true. For example, like Christianity, Islam teaches children to honor their parents and family.

Abu Huraira reported that a person said: Allah's Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness). -- Sahih Muslim 2548 b

Indeed, severing ties with one's relatives is major sin 9 in Al-Dhahabi's Major Sins [pdf].

My impression (as an Islamic convert) is that love to plays a slightly different role in Islam than it does in Christianity. We definitely have love, and it's encouraged:

Love in Islam is all-encompassing, comprehensive and sublime, rather than being restricted to one form only, which is love between a man and a woman. -- IslamWeb fatwa

However, in Islam, love feels more calculated. Husbands and wives both have rights and responsibilities. Parents and children both have rights and responsibilities. Generally, we try to avoid the kind of "puppy love" that can lead to mistakes and haram (forbidden) acts.

Overall, I would say the degree of love one feels is more of a personal matter than Islamically prescribed.

As for...

I think that many Muslims consider 'honor' to be a great virtue. If a woman brings shame to a family, her brother might kill her.

This is a cultural problem in some areas, applies in non-Muslim cultures (Google [religion] honor killing for examples), and the direct opposite is taught in Islam.

  1. Arrogance is a major sin in Islam (major sin 17 in Major Sins), and

  2. Murder is a major sin in Islam (major sin 2 in Major Sins).

Wikipedia currently quotes:

No Muslim scholar of any note, either medieval or modern, has sanctioned a man killing his wife or sister for tarnishing her or the family's honor. -- Jonathan A.C. Brown

To the contrary, Islam teaches patience and forgiveness.

While sharia courts can prescribe punishments, such as the death penalty for adultery, (a) Islamically, it's done through officially processes (not your brother), and (b) it's no more about honor than the death penalty in the USA is (your opinion may vary).

  • "This is a cultural problem in some areas, applies in non-Muslim cultures (Google [religion] honor killing for examples), and the direct opposite is taught in Islam." - Explicit rulings and what a religion as a moral/legal system implicitly incentivizes need not be congruent. – G. Bach Sep 6 '17 at 11:02
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1. Allah's Name:

One of Allah's 99 Names/Attributes is Al-Wadud which roughly translates to The Most Loving.

2. Allah's Mercy to the Earthly Beings:

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

3. Allah's Mercy towards His Slaves/Believers:

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon)

There's a plethora of examples of Allah's love, especially when you include Rahman/Rahim (Most Merciful One) which in the Arabic language contains nuances of love embedded mercy.

In regards to Honor Killings, there's no such thing in the faith. As was already mentioned, it's a cultural aspect that could be found around the globe. You can also trace it to Jahilliyah/Pre-Islam, where infanticide was common amongst the Arabs (burying children if female) for fear of potential dishonoring the family. A behavior that Islam came to vehemently forbid.

And Allah knows best.

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