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» 5th April 2012
Surah an-Nisa, 92-93

"It is not for a believer to kill any believer, except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake, then, a believing slave has to be freed and the blood money paid to his family, unless they forgo it. And if he (the victim) belongs to a people hostile to you and is a believer, then, a believing slave has to be freed. And if he (the victim) belongs to a people between whom and you there is treaty, then, blood money is to be paid to his family, and a believing slave to be freed. And whoever does not find one has to fast for two consecutive months. This is a relenting from Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. [92]

And whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Jahannam where he shall remain for ever and Allah shall be angry with him and shall cast curse upon him and he has prepared for him a mighty punishment."[93]


Sequence of Verses

Linked with earlier verses dealing with fighting and killing, all forms of killing, in the first instance, are eight in number because the person killed is covered by one of the four conditions which follow. Either, he is a Muslim; or, he is a Dhimmi (a free, protected, non-Muslim resident of a Muslim state); or, he is beneficiary of a peace pact and has been assured of the protection of his life, property, honour and religion; or, he is a belligerent disbeliever. Then, killing is of two types: intentional, or accidental. Thus, we see that there are only eight possible forms of killing:

1. The intentional killing of a Muslim.

2. The accidental killing of a Muslim.

3. The intentional killing of a Dhimmi.

4. The accidental killing of a Dhimmi.

5. The intentional killing of a person with whom there was a pact of peace.

6. The accidental killing of a peace pact beneficiary.

7. The intentional killing of a belligerent disbeliever.

8. The accidental killing of a belligerent disbeliever.

Injunctions covering some of these situations have appeared earlier; some find mention later, and some others are contained in Hadith. Thus, the injunction relating to the first situation enforceable in this life, that is, the obligatory duty of taking 'even retaliation' (qisas) from him finds mention in Surh al-Baqarah and the injunction applicable to the Hereafter follows a little later in verse 93 beginning with: (And whoever kills....).

The second situation appears in Verse 92 from (It is not for a believer to kill any believer) to (and if he i.e., victim was a believer...).

The injunction covering the third situation appears in a hadith from Darqutni where the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him has been reported to have subjected a Muslim to 'even retaliation' (qisas) to compensate a Dhimmi (non-Muslim resident of a Muslim state)

The injunction for the fourth situation appears also in verse 92: (and if he is from the people with whom you have a peace treaty). The fifth situation has already been taken up in verse 90 of the previous section under: (then Allah has not made it permissible for you).

The injunction governing the sixth situation has been mentioned alongwith the one relating to the fourth situation because the peace covenant is general and covers the permanent and the temporary both. Thus, it includes Dhimmi and Musta'min both, [Dhimmi is a non-Muslim person permanently and legally living in an Islamic state while Musta'min is a non-Muslim who lawfully enters an Islamic state for temporary stay (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)] irrespective of their permanent or time-bound guarantee of peace and protection. (Al-durr-al-Mukhtar Kitab al-diyat)

The injunction relating to situations 7 and 8 is already evident from the very legalization of Jihad itself which has appeared earlier (86) because belligerent disbelievers are killed intentionally. If killed accidentally, its justification will stand proved in a higher degree. (Bayan al-Qur'an)

Three Kinds of Homicide and Their Respective Injunctions

1. Qatl al-'Amad (Intentional Killing) which is done with obvious intention by a weapon made from iron or is like a steel weapon in its ability to cut off parts, such as, a sharp-edged bamboo or a sharp-edged piece of rock and things like that.

2. Qatl Shibh al-'Amad (Quasi-Intentional Killing) which is, no doubt, done intentionally - but, not with a weapon which could cut off parts.

3. Qatl al-Khata' (Accidental Killing). It can happen under intention and conjecture when someone aims at a man taking him to be land game or belligerent disbeliever. Or, it can happen actually when one did aim at land game but ended up striking a man down. Here, Khata' or accident means intentional. So, this covers the second and the third kind both. Both entail the obligation to pay diyah (blood money), and sin as well. But, the two kinds do differ in the later two consequences. The diyah in the second kind of killing is 100 camels of four types, that is, 25 of each type. The diyah of the third kind of killing is also 100 camels, but it has to be of five types, that is, 20 of each type. However, if diyah is paid in cash, the amount to be realized is ten thousand dirham or one thousand dinar.

This holds good for both kinds. However, the second kind is more sinful because of the intention of killing while it is lesser in the third kind because it is the result of simple heedlessness (as in Hidayah). As such, the obligatory nature of (to free a slave) arid the word, taubah (repentance) in the verse 92 support this position.

The fact is that the ground reality of these three kinds is conditioned by Islamic laws as promulgated in the mortal world. As for their being intentional or non-intentional in terms of their being sinful, it depends on the volition of the heart and the intention to commit the act. The punishment due against such sin is known to Allah alone. According to His knowledge these terms, the first kind may become non-intentional; and the second, intentional.


1. The amount of diyah (blood money) mentioned above applies to a male homicide victim. In case of a woman, it is half of it. (as in Hidayah).

2. The diyah of a Muslim and Dhimmi is equal. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him has said: (Marasil of Abu Dawud, as quoted by Hidayah).

3. Kaffarah (expiation) in the form of freeing a slave or fasting has to come from the killer himself. As for diyah (blood money), it is the responsibility of those who are his caretakers. In the terminology of the Shari'ah, they are known as : al-'Aqilah, those responsible for paying blood money.

Let there be no doubt at this point as to why the burden of a crime committed by the killer should be transferred to his guardians and supporters while they are innocent. The reason is that the guardians of the killer are not totally faultless in this case. Their shortcoming is that they did not take necessary steps to stop him from venturing into such gross heedlessness against human life. Moreover, the fear of having to pay blood money, it is likely, will make them take all necessary precautions in the future so that such recklessness does not repeat itself

4. In the act of freeing a slave (Kaffarah: Expiation), a bondman and a bondwoman are equal. The Qur'anic word Raqabah, denoting a slave, is general. However, their physique should be sound and they should not be deformed in any way.

5. The diyah of the person killed shall be distributed as part of the inheritance determined by the Shari'ah. A legal heir who forgives his share will cause the diyah to be forgiven upto the limit of his share. If all legal heirs forgive it, the whole diyah will stand forgiven.

6. The diyah of a person killed who has no legal heir as recognized by the Shari'ah will be retired to the Bayt al-Mal (State Treasury) because diyah is inheritance and inheritance is governed by this very ruling. (Bayan al-Qur'an)

7. As for people bound by a mutual covenant, be they Dhimmis, free non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim country; or, the Musta'min, (those given guarantee of peace for a temporary period of time) the diyah obligatory in their case is valid only when people belonging to that Dhimmi or Musta'min are present. If they have no such people, or such people be Muslims, then, given the fact that a Muslim cannot inherit from a disbeliever, this diyah, therefore, shall be deemed as non-existant.

Thus, should he be a Dhimmi, his diyah shall be reitred into the Bayt al-Mal because the inheritance of a heirless Dhimmi - which includes diyah - goes to the Bayt al-Mal (as in al-Durr al-Mukhtar); otherwise, it will not be obligatory (Bayan al-Qur'an).

8. If continuity is broken in fasting due to sickness or some other reason, then, one will have to fast afresh. But for a woman, this continuity will not be deemed as broken because of her menstruation.

9. If, for some valid excuse, one does not have the strength to fast, then, he should keep repenting until his strength returns.

10. In intentional killing, there is no provision for this Kaffarah (expiation); one should repent. (Bayan al-Qur'an)
[Ma'ariful Qur'an]
» posted by Seifeddine-M on 5th April 2012 - 0 comments


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