In Islam it is widely considered that a murderer can be freed if they pay blood money or Diyat, but people forget about one more rule, warns Mufti Muhammad Zubair, a well-respected cleric. Someone accused of murder cannot go free because they are also the state’s criminal.
Mufti Zubair was discussing Qisas and Diyat laws in reference to the recent murder of a domestic worker called Uzma. The 16-year-old maid was murdered in Lahore and a woman and her daughter were arrested. They were, however, released after Uzma’s father accepted Diyat or blood money. According to the victim’s lawyer, Uzma’s father has accepted Rs2.5 million. He said that there was no pressure on the family and that the father accepted Diyat without even informing him. The court does not pursue the case further once Diyat is accepted by the victim’s family.
“In our society, the murderer is given a clean chit after paying Diyat, which is unacceptable,” said Mufti Zubair, while speaking on the SAMAA TV show Naya Din on Thursday. “One should be punished by the state because this is a law-abiding state and not a banana republic.”
According to Islamic law, a murderer can be given the death penalty in return (an eye for an eye), but it is also permissible to accept Diyat and forgive the crime. But if someone kills an innocent person, they are also considered a criminal of the state as their act of murder creates terror in society. The Holy Quran has given the state the right of Tazir, he explained.
In Islamic law, Tazir refers to punishment for offenses at the discretion of a judge or ruler of the state. The state can punish the accused and can also grant the death penalty.
The state should investigate if the family has accepted Diyat under pressure and economic stress or they are accepting it of their free own will.