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Are there any laws in Islam which it is better to die rather than violate the law?

Does it matter whether violating the law would cause the person to die naturally (for example, eating pork while stranded with no other food) or whether the person is being forced to violate the law (for example, someone threatens someone with a gun and promises to kill him if he doesn't eat pork).

Eating pork is just the example I have used here. Are there any laws which should be broken in either of the two scenarios mentioned above?

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Preservation of life is perhaps the most crucial objective of the Shari`ah. If one were to organize the aims of Islam and shari`ah into a pyramid, this would be sitting at the top.

Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.

(On a side note, it is extremely ironic that today so many people think that shari`ah is all about taking life)

In a situation where life is in danger, one is granted concessions on a number of laws that would be absolute and binding otherwise (the scholars have said that eating pork is OK if that's the only thing remaining between you and death). Of course each situation is different and exactly what laws are relaxed depends from situation to situation. However, rules concerning other people's lives are not relaxes - so one is for example not permitted to take someone else's life in order to save one's own.

  • So is there no concept in Islam of dying to "sanctify the name of God?" For example, Judaism requires one to die rather than submit to being forced to perform idolatry. (+1) – Daniel Jun 4 '13 at 13:34
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    @Daniel Islam aslo narrates various narration where people of past \ prophets were tortured and killed for not submitting to Idolatry. The first women Martyr of Islam Hazrat Sumaiya accepted death over the pagan religion of Arabs and she was brutally murdered for not submitting to the pagan Idols, She could've faked the submission but she did'nt. – Islam Jun 5 '13 at 16:52
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    @Daniel as far as I know there is no "requirement" to do so. Repenting has been made easier in Islam than in previous nations. – Ansari Jun 5 '13 at 17:45

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