Posts Tagged ‘diyya’


Diyya, no prison time, for 5 Pakistani murderers

November 30, 2011
Blood-stained U.S. currency


Weekly word:  diyya

Rather than receiving an automatic death penalty, a Muslim man who kills his fellow Muslim brother can be pardoned by paying diyya (or diyat), which Atighetchi defines as “The sum of money to be paid to the person who has suffered injury or to the heirs in the event of death”.*

The basis for this aspect of Islamic law comes partially from the Koran, Sura 2, Verse 178:  “O People who Believe! Retribution is made obligatory for you in the matter of those killed unjustly; a freeman for a freeman, and a slave for a slave, and a female for a female; and for him who is partly forgiven by his brother, seek compensation with courtesy and make payment in proper manner.”

Paying money for bloodshed is enshrined in the Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 83 (or in some translations Book 81) entitled “Blood Money (Ad-Diyāt).”  In a case where a murdered man’s family appealed to Muhammad for diyya because the deceased’s killer could not be identified, Muhammad himself settled the matter by giving 100 camels from the public zakat treasury to the family as blood money compensation (Book 83, No. 36).

This should help clear up any remaining confusion about why Saudi Arabia continues to peg the amount of compensation for a murdered man’s family at a value equal to the current price of 100 camels.

Diyya in the news

It also explains how five men could walk out of a Pakistani courtroom just last week simply by paying diyya without serving any sentence for the murder they committed.  From the Pak Tribune:

Five murder [sic] accused freed after paying Diyat

LAHORE: Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Sheraz Kiani on Wednesday released five murder accused after Diyat money was paid to the deceased’s family. The court released Zubair Ahmed, Muhammad Mubin, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Munib and Ahmed Majeed, who had murdered Muhammad Shafique during a scuffle.

Accused Zubair Ahmed had visited the Nadra office to get his ID card but Shafique informed him that his ID card was not ready and it would be handed over to him within a few days. This led to a scuffle between them, which was ended by other employees of the Nadra office. The following day, Zubair Ahmed and other henchmen forced into the office and gunned down Shafique.

The deceased’s father, Muhammad Latif, registered an FIR in Chuhng Police Station against aforementioned accused. On Wednesday, the judge released them after the accused paid Rs600,000 as Diyat to the family of the deceased.

Atighetchi, Dariusch, Islamic Bioethics (The Netherlands:  Springer, 2007).


Afghan girls treated as cattle, traded as slaves

November 19, 2011

CBC Radio reporter Laura Lynch has filed a heartbreaking report from Kabul in late October about the Afghan baad system, which uses women as bargaining chips in the settlement of disputes or, like the traditional Islamic diyya blood tax, as compensation for misdeeds of a male family member.

The report highlights the story of one Afghan girl who escaped from an abusive man to whom she had been given to when she was only five years old.  Take a listen to this one-minute excerpt from the full report, in which Lynch says the girl’s story is just one among many “who have similar tales of being traded like cattle or cash, and treated like slaves“:

The girl tried killing herself by drinking acid to escape her circumstances.  That’s the result of the “ethical” Islamic financial and legal system for you.


Islam prices people like livestock

October 14, 2011

What’s the life of a human being worth under Islam?  A hundred camels if you’re a male.  If you’re a woman, fifty.  If you’re a non-Muslim, twenty-five.  From Crossroads Arabia last month:

The Price of Camels and a Life

Blood Money or diyya is an Shariah principle that arose to avoid feuds and independent application of lex talionis or retribution. In the case of accidental death, it may be covered by insurance, but for intentional killings, it falls upon the miscreant and his family. The value of blood money has remained static in Saudi Arabia for the past 29 years. It is now being raised to three or four times the old value to keep in line with the changes in its baseline figure: the price of a camel.

The Saudi system still values women’s lives at half that of men and of non-Muslims at only a quarter.

Proposal to raise blood money limit gets royal consent
ARAB NEWS RIYADH: Royal consent has been given to raise the diyyah (blood money) limit for murder to SR400,000 and accidental killings to SR300,000, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper said the adjustments were requested by the Supreme Court in light of the hikes in the price of camels. According to Shariah rules, the heirs of a murdered person should be compensated with 100 camels.

The new blood money values are expected to be circulated soon.

Blood money values, currently set at SR110,000 for murder and SR100,000 for accidental killings, have been static for the last 29 years. Murdered women are paid half of the amount…

Selling daughters for some sheep

Meanwhile, men across Afghanistan have a tradition of (and are continuing to) sell their daughters for “some sheep”…  Hat tip to Act for America and forrestlynx:

This is the same Islam that prohibits assigning a monetary value in terms of an interest rate (riba) to loans.  But the religion has no qualms about assigning a monetary value to people’s lives.  Nevertheless, we’re told that Islamic finance is more “ethical” than Western finance.