Daaim al Islam: Chapter on Diyaat

The Quran has admonished murderers and decreed that they will burn in hell. “He who intentionally murders a mumin, his reward is jahannam where he will burn forever, and Allah’s wrath will fall on him and Allah will curse him.”

RasulullahSA says that there is a valley in hell known as the “Sa‘eer”, which is reserved for murderers. The first murderous act was committed by Adam’s son, Qabeel who killed his brother Habeel.

The Quran decrees: “In Qisaas (vengeance) there is Life for you.” In shari‘at, murder is punishable by death. AwliyaullahSA have emphasized that all murderers should be killed regardless of social or financial standing.

Amir ul Mumineen’sSA ‘adal (justice) was unsurpassed. Once, he came to Masjid ul Kufa and was approached by a group of people who were trying to console a young man who was crying. The young man explained that his father had gone on a journey with some people and never returned. The young man said, “I asked his companions and they replied that he died on the way and that he left no money, when in fact I know that he was carrying a lot of money. We filed this case with Shuraih, but the only thing he did was make these people swear.” Shuraih said that he had asked the young man for evidence but he did not have any, so he had to let them go. Amir ul Mumineen (SA) asked the accused to be brought to court, each of them was sent to a different corner of the court with his face covered. Amir ul MumineenSA then called one and asked him for a detailed account of the trip and the death of the young man’s father. The man gave a false account. Amir ul MumineenSA cried out, “Prison, prison… Allah o Akbar” and on instruction all the other courtiers called out “Allah o Akbar”. On hearing these cries, the rest of the accused were led into thinking that the man had confessed. The others were called one by one and they all confessed to the murder and returned the money. Amir ul MumineenSA then gave them their due punishment.

In one ‘ayat, Allah says: “He who is murdered, for his inheritors, is the authority.” The punishment of the murderer is in the hands of the relatives of the murdered: they may choose to kill him in return, to take compensation in the form of “diya” or simply to pardon him. It is related that Imam Hasan (SA) chose to pardon Ibn e Muljim after the shahadat of Amir ul MumineenSA. If a person kills another accidentally, then he must pay the required “diya”.

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