The wisdom behind legislating blood-money
Fatwa No: 199565

  • Fatwa Date:6-3-2013 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 24, 1434
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salam, Recently a Saudi preacher who killed his daughter escaped punishment by paying blood money. Why blood money is prescribed in Islam when the rich can be easily misuse and avoid punishment. Also there is a below statement in the news item. "The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives,.." Is the above statement true?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

First of all, you should know that such rulings were legislated by the Lord of the Worlds Who only legislates with full knowledge and wisdom. Just as all of His words are truthful, all of His rulings are just. Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.}[Quran 6:115] Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "Truthfulness in news and justice in rulings..."

None can ward off His decree or overturn His ruling; rather, it is obligatory to submit to Him about all of that, and one's faith will not be complete except with that as Allaah The Almighty says (what means): {But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.}[Quran 4:65]

However, if one surrenders and submits totally to that, then there is no harm if he asks then about the wisdom behind that to increase in faith along with his present faith through knowing them. Also, we should know that people may realize or fail to realize that wisdom.

There is absolutely no doubt that Allaah The Almighty has prescribed Diyah (blood money) for a wisdom. Amongst its wisdom is to be a kind of consolation to the family of the murdered person; so it is their right and they can waive it or accept it instead of Qisaas (the law of equality in punishment) in the case of deliberate killing. This has nothing to do with the rich killer who killed someone intentionally for knowing that he will escape the punishment through paying Diyah. Actually, he does not know that the family of the victim will accept Diyah and forego Qisaas. Even if they accepted it, still there is the right of the murdered which will remain until the murdered will ask for it on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "The murdered will bring his killer on the Day of Resurrection, saying: 'O Lord, ask this one, why did he kill me?” He will say: I killed him defending the kingdom of so-and-so." [Ahmad and An-Nasaa'i]

It was also narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying:

• "May his mother be bereft of him, the man who killed another one intentionally. He (i.e. the murdered) will hold on to the murderer on the Day of Resurrection with his right or left hand and his head in his right or left hand, his jugular vein meanwhile dripping with blood before the throne saying: O My Lord, ask your servant why did he kill me?" [Ahmad]

• "On the Day of Resurrection the slain will bring the slayer with his forelock and his head in his hand, his own jugular vein meanwhile dripping with blood, and he will say, 'O My Lord, ask him why did he kill me?, till he brings him near the throne." [At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa'i]

The majority of the scholars are of the view that the father is not to be killed because of him killing his son, even if he killed him deliberately. That opinion is the most preponderant that is substantiated with pieces of evidence. Amongst them is that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “A father is not to be killed for (him killing) his son.” [At-Tirmithi and others narrated it as Marfoo', i.e. attributed to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) - Al-Albaani graded it Saheeh (sound)]

In another narration reported by Ad-Daaraqutni: "…even if he killed him intentionally."

It was reported in another narration that a man had struck his son with his sword and killed him. Then the case was taken to ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who said: "Had I not heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying: "A father is not to be killed for (him killing) his son”, I would have killed you before you leave." [Ahmad]

Maaliki scholars disagreed with the majority of the scholars. We have pointed out their opinion in Fatwa 138307.

On the other hand, if one of the spouses killed the other, the killer will be killed unless the killer has a child from the other and thus the killer will not to be killed for killing the other. Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Mughni: "If one of the parents killed the other and they have a child, then Qisaas will not be obligatory. That is because if it is obligatory, it (Qisaas) will be the right of the child and there is no Qisaas for the child against any of his parents because neither of them is to be killed for killing him, then how will he be given the right to kill them for killing other than him?" [End quote]

Hence, inheriting the right of Qisaas here is a doubtful matter that prevents the child from carrying out the right of Qisaas (against his parent). Hudood (plural of Hadd, i.e. punishments determined by Sharee'ah for crimes) are warded off with doubt, and making a mistake in forgiving (in obscure and unclear matters) is better than making a mistake in punishment.

Allaah Knows best.

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