I picked up an english translation of the Qu'ran yesterday and began reading it. I have a question from The Bakarah 2:54

And recall when (on returning with this favour) Moses said to his people: “My people! You have wronged yourselves by taking the calf for an object of worship, so turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves.This will be best for you in your Creator’s sight.” Thereupon He accepted your repentance. Indeed He is Much-Relenting, Most Compassionate.

My question is that if killing people is haram then why would God allow the Israelites to kill each other for worshipping a false God?


2 Answers 2


Haram means forbidden. Killing is, thus, forbidden. More specifically it is forbidden by Allah:

And you shall not kill a soul [whose life] Allah has made forbidden, except with due cause. (6:151)

The same way Allah can forbid killing (since he owns everyone's souls), he can make exceptions to that rule. It is his prerogative.

Even in the above ayah you can see that it says "except with due cause." Meaning Allah has the ability to make exceptions to this rule. In this case, Allah specifically commands an exception to Bani Israel.

This is similar in concept to the fact that Allah can make exceptions to the foods forbidden in the Quran when there is dire need.


these people were quiet at others bad deeds. It was a punishment for them. As killing a human is not easy, its a burdon on soul.other. Be may they had to kill their own son, father , uncle etc... It was not easy for them. Perhaps it was the toughest punishment they could ever get.

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