i'm trying to determine if there is anything in the Quran similar to the Ten Commandents in the Old Testament, particularly the line "thou shalt not kill." i have been using search functions on several Quran translation sites to no avail. thank you very much
Praise be to Allaah.
Thank you for your question, which shows an interest in the Quran. We are happy to answer your question here.
There are in the Quran certain aayaat (verses) which some scholars call the verses of the Ten Commandments, because they include ten important commandments given by Allaah to mankind. These aayaat are to be found in two passages of the Quran.
The first is in Soorat al-Anaam, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to al-fawaahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.), whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.
And come not near to the orphans property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e., judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfil the Covenant of Allaah. This He commands you, that you may remember.
And, verily, this (i.e., Allaahs commandments mentioned in the above two verses) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious). [al-Anaam 6:151-153]
The second passage occurs in Soorat al-Israa, and may be considered as a commentary on the passage quoted above. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one or them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honour.
And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.
Your Lord knows best what is in your inner-selves. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is ever Most-Forgiving to those who turn unto Him again and again in obedience, and in repentance.
And give to the kindred his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the shayaateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
And if you turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarers, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e., Allaah will give to me and I will give to you).
And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, not stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely the killing of them is a great sin.
And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a faahishah [i.e., anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allaah forgives him).
And do not kill anyone which Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and aggression and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [to demand qisaas Law of Equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e., he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islamic law).
And come not near to the orphans property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant will be questioned about.
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.
And follow not (O man, i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned by Allaah.
And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like that of the mountains in height.
All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.
This is part of al-hikmah (wisdom, good manners and high character, etc.) which your Lord has inspired to you (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allaah any other ilaah (god) lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected (from Allaahs mercy). [al-Israa 17:23-39]
Perhaps after enjoying reading these verses, you will have a better idea of the Quraan than before, and this will be the beginning of a fundamental change in your life, the start of your way to Islam. May Allaah guide and help you always. Peace be upon those who follow true guidance..