Humans are the most favoured creation of the Creator, Allah (swt): "And indeed We have honoured the children of Adam, carried them on land and sea, gave them lawful, pure provisions, and greatly preferred them above many of those We have created." (Al-Isra,17:70)Among these signs of Allah’s favour on the children of Adam, is the sacred value Allah (swt) assigns to the life of a human being. When that value was violated with the first unlawful murder of a human being on earth, when one of Adam’s sons killed his own brother out of malice, Allah (swt) condemned that act and put it on record in the Quran as a reminder, to be recited until the Day of Judgement.Allah (swt) went even further, making unlawful killing of a single individual human being equal to mass murder of the whole of mankind: "Because of that, We ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation for murder or for spreading mischief on earth, it would be as if he killed all mankind. And who saved a life, it would be as if he saved all mankind." (Al-Maidah,5:32)
It helps to remember what our beloved Prophet, Rasulullah (s), did when a woman came to him confessing that she was pregnant from adultery, although she was married. Her remorse and atonement for the sin was stronger than the fear from the penalty of being stoned to death. Rasulullah (s) first tried to verify that she was indeed confessing to the sin, and after she insisted, he sent her back to wait until she gave birth to the child. With true intention of being purified and punished in this world rather than in the Hereafter, she returned carrying a newborn child. Again, Rasulullah (s) sent her back to look after the child until the child was weaned. She later returned with the child eating a piece of bread in his hand.Only then Rasulullah (s) ordered that she be stoned to death as ordained by Allah (swt). The punishment was carried out with true commitment to Islamic Law in an Islamic State ruled by Rasulullah (s). When some of her blood stained one of the companions, he cursed her. Rasulullah (s) stopped him saying that she has truly repented, so much so that if her repentance were to be distributed to all the residents of Madinah, it would have been sufficient to wipe out all of their sins.