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    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Hi all,
    I hope this isn't repeating a question that has been asked before but something I read over at another website mentioned that although Islam does not advocate or encourage (it in fact condemns it) honour killings, there's a loop hole that allows one to get away with an honour killing. If the family hires another member of their family to kill their daughter and subsequently forgives the killer then doesn't that mean the killer will go free? I thought about this for a while and it made sense so I was wondering if anyone knows if there are any clauses or rules under Shariah that would prevent this from taking place.
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Name of Questioner
    Muslima

    Title
    Honor Killing from an Islamic Perspective

    Question
    Respected scholars, As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuh. What does Islam say about honor killings? Does Islam really have a concept of honor killings, most of the victims here are females; so does Islam really order to kill females in the name of honor?

    Date
    17/Jun/2002

    Name of Counsellor

    Topic
    Retaliation (Qisas), Customs & Traditions
    Answer
    Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.

    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

    Dear sister in Islam, we do really appreciate your question, which shows how far you are interested in getting yourself well-acquainted with the sound teachings of Islam. May Allah bless your efforts in pursuit of knowledge and may He keep us all firm in the straight path!

    Sister, it’s a well-known fact that Islam maintains the protection of life and does not sanction any violation against it. In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93)

    `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "The blood of a Muslim may not be legally spilt other than in one of three [instances]: the married person who commits adultery; a life for a life; and one who forsakes his religion and abandons the community." (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

    Focusing more on your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

    “There is no such concept in Islam that is called “honor killing”. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law in their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Therefore, based on this, Islam does not permit such killings.

    First of all, in order to sanction killing, it must be through a binding verdict issued by an authoritative law court. Individuals themselves have no authority either to judge cases or pass judgments. Therefore, a Muslim should not sanction such killing because doing so will be leading to the rule of the law of the jungle. A civilized society cannot be run by such laws.”

    Shedding more light on it, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states:

    “Like all other religions, Islam strictly prohibits murder and killing without legal justification. Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93)

    The so-called “honor killing” is based on ignorance and disregard of morals and laws, which cannot be abolished except by disciplinary punishments.

    It goes without saying that people are not entitled to take the law in their own hands, for it’s the responsibility of the Muslim State and its concerned bodies to maintain peace, security, etc., and to prevent chaos and disorder from creeping into the Muslim society.”

    Moreover, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, adds:

    “In Islam, there is no place for unjustifiable killing. Even in case of capital punishment, only the government can apply the law through the judicial procedures. No one has the authority to execute the law other than the officers who are in charge.

    Honor killing could be a wrong cultural tradition. It is unjust and inhumane action. The murderer of that type deserves punishment.”

    Sister, if you are still in need of more information, don't hesitate to contact us. Do keep in touch. May Allah guide us all to the straight path!

    http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S...=1119503543392
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Lynx's Avatar
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Thanks, I do understand that killing for unjustified reasons (i.e., killing for reasons other htan the ones mentioned in either the Quran or Sunnah) is forbidden in Islam (as clearly explained in the verses you cited) but the discussion in Islamonline has more to do with honour killing in general. My question has more to do with the case where the family decides to forgive the killer. Consider this verse:
    "O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution. (Surah 2: 178)

    Let me use an example to help illustrate the question. Suppose Abdullah has a daughter named Fatima and a friend named Ibrahim. Imagine further than they live under a true Shariah legal system. Now Abdullah decides to kill Fatima in an honour killing so he asks his good friend Ibrahim to do the deed. He kills her and the surrounding authority decides to take Ibrahim to court because, as you pointed out, it is forbidden to kill for this reason. In the court Abdullah says that he forgives Ibrahim for killing his daughter. They also decide on a trivially small 'compensation' before hand. Now according to the verses you pointed out, on the face of it, Ibrahim is guilty for breaking a law according to Shariah; however, according to the verse I have cited, which I assume elaborates on what should be done with murderers, offers the option of forgiving the killer and dismissing an execution which would otherwise be the punishment for the killer. Doesn't this allow honour killings to go unpunished? This is probably a legal question that I should ask a scholar but I don't know where to find them; those ask an imam online things are always full or out of time...
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Forgiving someone is a seperate issue, its not exclusive to honour killings, nor does it make them permissable

    If the family does choose to forgive the person, it does not automatically mean that Allah has forgiven them, they might have a much worse punishment awaiting them in the afterlife - unless they repent and are forgiven
    islamic criminal law + honour killings


    He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers. [Quran {33:43}]
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    An interesting predicament, I'm no scholar but i reckon the Islamic law needs to be looked at holistically. If these people did get away with it, then they would get their just desserts in the afterlife.

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by aadil77 View Post
    Forgiving someone is a seperate issue, its not exclusive to honour killings, nor does it make them permissable

    If the family does choose to forgive the person, it does not automatically mean that Allah has forgiven them, they might have a much worse punishment awaiting them in the afterlife - unless they repent and are forgiven

    Right. Even if there is a loop hole in the law, that doesn't mean they're in good standing with God...

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    But isn't there something unsettling about all this? I understand what you're all saying but the old 'he'll get his' is rather unsatisfying considering this could be fixed with some minor adjustments...I am going to take a wild guess and say this is why so many honour killings are unpunished in Pakistan.
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    Thanks, I do understand that killing for unjustified reasons (i.e., killing for reasons other htan the ones mentioned in either the Quran or Sunnah) is forbidden in Islam (as clearly explained in the verses you cited) but the discussion in Islamonline has more to do with honour killing in general. My question has more to do with the case where the family decides to forgive the killer. Consider this verse:
    "O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution. (Surah 2: 178)

    Let me use an example to help illustrate the question. Suppose Abdullah has a daughter named Fatima and a friend named Ibrahim. Imagine further than they live under a true Shariah legal system. Now Abdullah decides to kill Fatima in an honour killing so he asks his good friend Ibrahim to do the deed. He kills her and the surrounding authority decides to take Ibrahim to court because, as you pointed out, it is forbidden to kill for this reason. In the court Abdullah says that he forgives Ibrahim for killing his daughter. They also decide on a trivially small 'compensation' before hand. Now according to the verses you pointed out, on the face of it, Ibrahim is guilty for breaking a law according to Shariah; however, according to the verse I have cited, which I assume elaborates on what should be done with murderers, offers the option of forgiving the killer and dismissing an execution which would otherwise be the punishment for the killer. Doesn't this allow honour killings to go unpunished? This is probably a legal question that I should ask a scholar but I don't know where to find them; those ask an imam online things are always full or out of time...
    The verse you quoted is about involuntary manslaughter not premeditated murder (I am not a scholar on Islamic jurisprudence) and not familiar with Islamic law or any law for that matter, but some things are a question of common sense and basic knowledge of Quran and Sunnah.. as the scholar said, this is a judicial matter.. Islamic jurors aren't picked off the streets as they're in the west or at least the U.S, they're studied in matters of law and I imagine would make good use of witnesses and circumstantial evidence!

    all the best
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    But isn't there something unsettling about all this? I understand what you're all saying but the old 'he'll get his' is rather unsatisfying considering this could be fixed with some minor adjustments...I am going to take a wild guess and say this is why so many honour killings are unpunished in Pakistan.
    If there exists a loophole that is being abused, then I'm sure the Islamic lawmakers have the right to adjust it accordingly. The fact that this isn't being done in Pakistan can only show us the weaknesses of the country and its government, not Islamic law. Based on my understanding (which is a rather weak one, as I'm also not very learned in jurisprudence) Islamic law is flexible enough to avoid this kind of thing and adapt. Pakistan's refusal to tackle the issue (assuming that what you've said is true) is Pakistan's problem...
    Last edited by Tyrion; 12-28-2010 at 01:53 AM.

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    I am going to take a wild guess and say this is why so many honour killings are unpunished in Pakistan.

    Your guess is pretty wild indeed.

    You don't even know how legal system works in Pakistan. My guess is why some honor killings go unpunished in Pakistan is, just like in any other still developing country, because the generally weak law enforcement there. Next you will claim that corruption is not punishable in Islam just because you see many corruptions and corruptors go unpunished in Pakistan.

    I suspect you are already aware that the issue of honor killings is cultural rather than Islam, but you just want to extend it to Islam anyway by saying it goes unpunished.
    It is clearly pre-meditated murder, and in Sharia law, will be punished.

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ View Post


    The verse you quoted is about involuntary manslaughter not premeditated murder (I am not a scholar on Islamic jurisprudence) and not familiar with Islamic law or any law for that matter, but some things are a question of common sense and basic knowledge of Quran and Sunnah.. as the scholar said, this is a judicial matter.. Islamic jurors aren't picked off the streets as they're in the west or at least the U.S, they're studied in matters of law and I imagine would make good use of witnesses and circumstantial evidence!

    all the best
    I did some reading on the verse in question and it appears that the verse is in fact about deliberate killing http://islamqa.com/en/ref/104855/

    I think what you might be referring to is al-Nisa 4:92

    @Adil
    Your guess is pretty wild indeed.

    You don't even know how legal system works in Pakistan. My guess is why some honor killings go unpunished in Pakistan is, just like in any other still developing country, because the generally weak law enforcement there. Next you will claim that corruption is not punishable in Islam just because you see many corruptions and corruptors go unpunished in Pakistan.
    Well my comment about Pakistan was mere speculation but I shouldn't have brought it up as it has nothing to do with my OP. I retract it.

    @adil
    I suspect you are already aware that the issue of honor killings is cultural rather than Islam, but you just want to extend it to Islam anyway by saying it goes unpunished.
    It is clearly pre-meditated murder, and in Sharia law, will be punished.
    I know it's cultural rather than Islamic. I also know most Muslims are vehemently against honour killing. What I outlined in my OP was something I came across and I wanted to see if anyone could clear it up for me as I found it to be an interesting matter.

    @Tyrion
    If there exists a loophole that is being abused, then I'm sure the Islamic lawmakers have the right to adjust it accordingly. The fact that this isn't being done in Pakistan can only show us the weaknesses of the country and its government, not Islamic law. Based on my understanding (which is a rather weak one, as I'm also not very learned in jurisprudence) Islamic law is flexible enough to avoid this kind of thing and adapt. Pakistan's refusal to tackle the issue (assuming that what you've said is true) is Pakistan's problem...
    I don't know if it is theologically acceptable to make those minor adjustments.

    I think this is something better asked to a scholar directly. Anyone know what the best way would be to contact one?
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    I did some reading on the verse in question and it appears that the verse is in fact about deliberate killing http://islamqa.com/en/ref/104855/ I think what you might be referring to is al-Nisa 4:92

    You have done no reading least of which from the link you yourself posted.

    Qisaas by killing the killer can only be in cases of deliberate killing, according to scholarly consensus. Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (8/214): The scholars are unanimously agreed that qisaas is not required except in the case of deliberate killing, and we do not know of any difference of opinion with regard to qisaas being required for deliberate killing if all conditions are met. This is indicated by the general meaning of the verses and reports. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


    Repeatedly you engage in topics completely outside your sphere of expertise, while posing yourself an expert and worse yet you do it with Muslims.. Believe me I can see the desire to pose yourself as some sort of cognoscente but this is the wrong crowd for it.

    Islamic jurisprudence is built on supreme justice even if it be in the life of an ant!

    Saheeh Muslim

    Book 026, Number 5569:

    Abu Huraira reported so many ahadith and one of them was this that Allah' Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When an Apostle from amongst the Apostles of Allah came to sit under a tree an ant bit him. He commanded his luggage to be removed from under the tree and he commanded it to be burnt in the fire and Allah revealed to him:" Why one ant (which had bitten you) was not killed (and why did you burn the others)?

    I really wish you'd desist with your pathetic attempts to create absurd premises, and expect that others should tailor the responses to acquiesce to your faulty logic.. worse yet allege to claim of the law what us native Muslims don't even know without proper schooling!
    Last edited by جوري; 12-28-2010 at 02:46 AM.
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ View Post



    You have done no reading least of which from the link you yourself posted.

    Qisaas by killing the killer can only be in cases of deliberate killing, according to scholarly consensus. Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (8/214): The scholars are unanimously agreed that qisaas is not required except in the case of deliberate killing, and we do not know of any difference of opinion with regard to qisaas being required for deliberate killing if all conditions are met. This is indicated by the general meaning of the verses and reports. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


    Repeatedly you engage in topics completely outside your sphere of expertise, while posing yourself an expert and worse yet you do it with Muslims.. Believe me I can see the desire to pose yourself as some sort of cognoscente but this is the wrong crowd for it.

    Islamic jurisprudence is built on supreme justice even if it be in the life of an ant!

    Saheeh Muslim

    Book 026, Number 5569:

    Abu Huraira reported so many ahadith and one of them was this that Allah' Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When an Apostle from amongst the Apostles of Allah came to sit under a tree an ant bit him. He commanded his luggage to be removed from under the tree and he commanded it to be burnt in the fire and Allah revealed to him:" Why one ant (which had bitten you) was not killed (and why did you burn the others)?

    I really wish you'd desist with your pathetic attempts to create absurd premises, and expect that others should tailor the responses to acquiesce to your faulty logic.. worse yet allege to claim of the law what us native Muslims don't even know without proper schooling!
    "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person’s relative is killed, he has the choice of two options: either (the killer) may be killed or the fidyah (ransom, blood money) may be paid.” Agreed upon. Abu Shurayh al-Khuzaa’i said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed or is wounded, has the choice of three things, and if he wants the fourth then restrain him. He may kill (the killer), or forgive him, or take the diyah (blood money). Narrated by Abu Dawood. According to another version: “Whoever has a relative killed after what I have said, his family has two options: to accept the diyah or kill (the killer).” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is qisaas for deliberate killing, unless the heir of the slain lets him off.” End quote.

    There was no difference of opinion among the scholars that it is valid for the heirs of the victim to forego qisaas and accept the diyah. This is what is indicated by the ahaadeeth quoted above.

    In that case, the killer may be set free and he should be obliged to pay the diyah."

    From the same site I just linked. I read it, did you?
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a person’s relative is killed, he has the choice of two options: either (the killer) may be killed or the fidyah (ransom, blood money) may be paid.” Agreed upon. Abu Shurayh al-Khuzaa’i said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed or is wounded, has the choice of three things, and if he wants the fourth then restrain him. He may kill (the killer), or forgive him, or take the diyah (blood money). Narrated by Abu Dawood. According to another version: “Whoever has a relative killed after what I have said, his family has two options: to accept the diyah or kill (the killer).” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is qisaas for deliberate killing, unless the heir of the slain lets him off.” End quote.

    There was no difference of opinion among the scholars that it is valid for the heirs of the victim to forego qisaas and accept the diyah. This is what is indicated by the ahaadeeth quoted above.

    In that case, the killer may be set free and he should be obliged to pay the diyah."

    From the same site I just linked. I read it, did you?
    Perhaps you read and simply don't understand or plain flat desire to play dumb?
    If the murder is involuntary then the family has a right to request a ransom money, if it is deliberate and let me re-quote from the same page:
    Qisaas by killing the killer can only be in cases of deliberate killing, according to scholarly consensus
    perhaps breaking it down for you line by line will make things easier.. and this is an example of exactly why laymen aren't to interpret the law for themselves .. another google scholar masha'Allah the world if filled with doctors and engineers and lawyers, all one needs do is google and is instantly qualified! ugh
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ View Post


    Perhaps you read and simply don't understand or plain flat desire to play dumb?
    If the murder is involuntary then the family has a right to request a ransom money, if it is deliberate and let me re-quote from the same page:
    Qisaas by killing the killer can only be in cases of deliberate killing, according to scholarly consensus
    perhaps breaking it down for you line by line will make things easier.. and this is an example of exactly why laymen aren't to interpret the law for themselves .. another google scholar masha'Allah the world if filled with doctors and engineers and lawyers, all one needs do is google and is instantly qualified! ugh
    oh my god.......
    Do you not see this? “There is qisaas for deliberate killing, unless the heir of the slain lets him off.

    The very last end of the Hadith. Isn't it important for you to read stuff said by your prophet?
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    oh my god....... Do you not see this? “There is qisaas for deliberate killing, unless the heir of the slain lets him off. The very last end of the Hadith. Isn't it important for you to read stuff said by your prophet?

    What is more important you ignoramus reading a hadith by the prophet or understanding the lawful implications behind it?
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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ View Post



    What is more important you ignoramus reading a hadith by the prophet or understanding the lawful implications behind it?
    lol

    name calling? really? humility is an admirable trait; i hope you learn to accept when you're wrong or you will never grow as a person.

    hopefully someone else might shed some light into this topic.

    I am starting to think perhaps a plausible alternative would be to interpret such rulings as appropriate for a certain time, namely when muslims were living under a tribal system?
    Last edited by Lynx; 12-28-2010 at 05:16 AM.
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Lynx you've taken a very simple issue and tried to make it into something very confusing. The question has been answered more than once in this thread.

    Let's say a man hired his friend to rob his shop for insurance fraud, and then the friend ends up getting caught by police. Yes the man could say the friend was not robbing his shop and the friend would no longer be charged for robbery. However, they would both be charged with different things.
    Can't you see that if someone conspired to kill another Muslim that in itself would be an offence? It has been stated already in this thread. The point of forgiveness is irrelevant since it changes the whole premise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    I think this is something better asked to a scholar directly. Anyone know what the best way would be to contact one?
    This also seemed odd to me. You are a self-confessed atheist and don't appear to be interested in Islam in anything other than an argumentative capacity, so why would you be eager to contact a scholar for a law which should be irrelevant to you. I don't have much knowledge on Amish marriage laws but I also wouldn't want to find out about them. Please don't take offence, although I hope you at least see my point.
    Last edited by Dagless; 12-28-2010 at 05:33 AM.

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
    lol

    name calling? really? humility is an admirable trait; i hope you learn to accept when you're wrong or you will never grow as a person.

    hopefully someone else might shed some light into this topic.

    I am starting to think perhaps a plausible alternative would be to interpret such rulings as appropriate for a certain time, namely when muslims were living under a tribal system?
    Name calling? I rather think it an adequate assessment of your person.
    I invite you otherwise to attend Islamic schooling before you decide you're the expert on interpreting hadiths or passing a judicial law based on a hadith or a collection thereof!

    Also who is your God? I am rather curious.. for folks so adamant on denying God, seems like you're constantly calling out to him!
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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    Re: islamic criminal law + honour killings

    There is no loophole. Conspiracy to murder is a crime in Islam (and it is a pretty big sin too, especially in cases of family members). Yeah I suppose someone crazy and sick enough could hire someone else to do the killing and then they as the family member accept the blood money, but that doesn't let the guy off who hired the assassin in the first place. That is a crime.

    Even if it isn't stated in sharia law, the power a judge has in an Islamic court would cover stuff like this. You can't go round hiring assassins to kill your family off. And you can't go around killing people full stop.
    Last edited by aamirsaab; 12-28-2010 at 10:49 AM.
    islamic criminal law + honour killings

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