Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Interpretation of Retaliation or Blood Money

Qisas is an Arabic word, the Urdu equivalent of which is Khoon baha. It is that money which is paid as compensation to the relatives of slain by the assassins. Islamic jurisprudence permits this compensation or blood money but under strict conditions, such as the relatives or heirs must accept it voluntarily. No force or pressure can be applied.

Today there are diverse opinions on it. While some consider it okay, others say it is archaic. Including the United States, capital punishment is prescribed for murder. In certain conditions, it is converted to life imprisonment.

Practice of Capital Punishment In many countries, voices are being raised against the practice of capital punishment, but no one thinks about the agony of the heirs in the event of the death of their bread earner. In that sense, blood money system is justified. In certain condition, the death penalty given to the assassin is fruitless for the heirs. Therefore, certain civilized societies besides handing the punishment also prescribe fine on the assassin.

The debate of blood money has once again surfaced when US man Raymond Davis killed two Pakistanis. David was arrested and produced before the court, but this case became an issue between Pakistan and the United States, who asked for his release on the pretext of immunity to diplomat. Pakistan officials did not agree to this condition, saying that Raymond is a CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) agent, who has to be punished. This was on one side a prestige issue for the United States and on the other, Pakistan knew that the public which is already against the United States will further get agitated. Hence, this mediocre system was adopted and a heavy amount of $4 million per slain victim was finalized as compensation. Soon after this, Raymond was released and sent back to the United States.

Approval of Islamic Laws Although, the rich alone can afford such arrangement, rich people, without paying any compensation to the victim's family, often manage to hush up the case by greasing the palms of police and engaging great legal brains and go scot-free. In this case, the diplomatic relations between the countries remained intact.

The two parties, the Jamaat-e-Islami and Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf, are planning countrywide protests against this decision, whereas, this has the approval of Islamic laws. Do not they believe in this law? Surprisingly, in this case, the mediator was Saudi Arabia. In the present matter, the sentiments of the families of the slain would be similar to that of Jahangir's.

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