When God created Adam the first human, Adams lifeless material body created out of the diverse colors of earthly clay was left latent for some time. Life was instilled into Adam when God breathed essence of God himself into Adam. This spirit or life force would later be aptly termed the soul.

The subject of the soul {ruh in Arabic} has many intricate dimensions and its accurate and holistic nature, value and temperament is known only to God. What, however must remain universal and eternally regarded, is the reality that this soul survives in all humans and it is this soul that makes a human worthy of respect. While we may not respect every person, for whatever reason, we must respect that spirit of God which every human carries within.

This character of the soul has been analyzed, commented on and studied over centuries by philosophers, theorist, academics, mystics and so on. Volumes have been devoted to the subject which ironically over centuries and with the advance of “fundamental secularism” have been distant from the thoughts of regular folk.

The expansion of “secular fundamentalism” like any fanatical behavior, seeks to impose its opinions without a consultative process. This attitude of pretense sagaciousness ironically suggests that the secularist alone, holds the “key to divine wisdom”.

Thus the issue of the death penalty is vital for the secular fanatic. The denial of the death penalty is an extension of the secular denial of the existence of God. Again the matter goes back to the soul.

Since we are a creation of God, God knows our innate weakness. As a result, God instilled within our reality, laws which will remain until he decides otherwise. Example, the laws of physics, biology and all of nature for that matter are all established and functional for specific purposes. Thus science and spiritual values have never and will never be in conflict with each other, unless either is perverted.

The problem arises when some seek to alter the natural laws of things for selfish ends. Example, while every human has a soul he/she has the ability to improve or reduce the nature of that soul with thought and action. Thus the concept of heaven and hell which is the result of such actions.

Since God knows best, Judaic, Christian and Islamic epistemology advises that when an individual has damaged his/her soul to such extent, removal of that soul from this sphere of existence is needed.

Example, there is no reason for anyone to rape or murder a child. When this occurs, the guilty person has violated the limits of his/her soul, thus that soul must be returned by society for decree by God. In truth, while our souls may dwell in us, it must all ultimately return to its divine origin.

Last year 17 000 people were murdered in South Africa. The vast majority of killers are alive, many remain free, while others live off the taxpayer. Those who claim that the death penalty is inhumane never speak of the plight of the victim’s family? The suffering of innocents is inaudibly oppressed.

Those who seek to keep alive and free those who have violated the limits of their own souls must explain why, murders etc. must be protected. What is the value of a violated soul to society?

Then again, is their value in debating with those who deny the existence of their own souls.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress