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Law of Retaliation in Islam

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In Islam, retaliation is known with Qisas. Qisas is a term which means retaliation (be punished commensurately). It is similar with the term “Owed life paid life”. In the homicide, the law of retaliation gives a right to the victim’s family. If they want, they can ask for death penalty to the murderer.But before that, you should know how The importance of forgiveness in Islam


Qisas is come from Arabic, قِصَا صُ which means find footprints like al-Qashash. While in the Islamic law, it means that an evildoer is replied as his action. If he kills, then he is replied by killing. And if he cuts a part of body, then his body part must be cut, too.

The command of Qisas (Retaliation) in Qur’an and Hadith

As Moslems, we base Qisas in our Holy Book (Al-Qur’an), for example :

“O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payments to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.” (Q.S. Al-Baqarah : 178)

“And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Q.S. Al-Maidah : 45)

Although Al-Qur’an said like that, if the victim releases his right, then it can be a redeemer for his sin. The victim’s family can forgive the murderer and ask him for a redeemer in the material form. You should read Patience in Islam and How to be patience in Islam

“And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” (Q.S. Al-Baqarah : 179)

Besides that, we also base Qisas with some hadith below :

From Anas, he said :

“Indeed Rubayyi bintu An-Nadhr, the aunty of Anas, broke the teeth of a woman. Then the family of Rubayyi apologized to her. But, her family refused it. The family of Rubayyi offered a fine, but they still refused it. Then they came to Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, but they did not want except Qisas.

Then Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam commanded to be qisas. Anas bin An-Nadhr said :

“Will Rubayyi’s incisor be broke? No, for God’s sake who has sent you in the rightness, do not  be broken her incisor. Then Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said : “O Anas, Kitabullah has confirmed qisas. Then that woman’s family accepted and forgave Rubayyi. Then Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Indeed, between the servants of Allah, there are people who swear in the name of Allah and he will be honest to Him.” (Narrated by Muttafaq ‘Alaih and its arrangement from the narration of Al-Bukhari)

“From Ibn Umar, he said : “A son has been killed in secrecy, Then Umar said, “If the citizen of Shan’a followed in that murder, I will kill then because their actions.” (Narrated by Bukhari)

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The History of Qisas (Retaliation)

There is a narration that present, in the war of Uhud mountain, there were 64 people from anshar who killed and 6 people from Muhajirin including Hamzah. Their bodies were torn cruelly. Indeed, when Hindun bin Uthbah (the wife of Abu Sufyan bin Harb) saw the corpse of Hamzah, she came to him with hate. Then she split his chest. She took out his heart, chewed and swallowed it. So damn!

Then the Anshar said, “If we get a victory, we will do more than what they did.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidzi from Ubay bin Ka’ab).

In the other narration, Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam stood in front of the corpse of Hamzah. He said, “I will seventy people of them as they did to you.” (Narrated by Al-Hakim and AL-Baihaqi in the book Ad-Dalail and Al-Bazzar from Abu Hurairah)

The word of the Anshar and Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam above, implied their desire to retaliate. At that time, they considered what the enemy did has exceeded the limit of humanness. Then according to them, they must be replied with the equivalent punishment.

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala said, “And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which you were harmed. But if you are patient – it is better for those who are patient. And be patient, [O Muhammad], and your patience is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.” (Q.S. An-Nahl : 126 – 128)

Based on Ibnu Hishar, those verses were put down  until three times. First, they were put down in Mecca, then Uhud mountain and the last in the day of Fathu Mecca. The content of those verses are also interesting. In difficult conditions, Moslems are taught to be patient. In that situation, patience will be very happy. But, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala promises His help. In other verse, it confirms that the help of Allah is very near. Because of that, we do not need to be sad and impatient.

In the narration of Imam Muslim, it is mentioned from Abu Dzar from Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in a long qudsi hadith :

“O My servants, indeed those are your recitations that I collect for you, then I give them back to you. Then whoever get the kindness, you should praise Allah, and whoever get in addition, then do not abuse except to himself.”

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala said, “So today no soul will be wronged at all, and you will not be recompensed except for what you used to do.” (Q.S. Yasin : 54)

Allah SWT also said, “Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.” (Q.S. Yunus : 44)

“… And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.” (Q.S. Al-Kahf : 49)

“… And whoever commits injustice among you – We will make him taste a great punishment.” (Q.S. Al-Furqan : 19)

“And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged – those have not upon them any cause [for blame]. The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment.” (Q.S. Ash-Shuraa : 41 – 42)

From the explanation above, we can know that the law of retaliation or qisas in Islam is allowed. But it will be better if we are patient and we forgive the person who have made mistakes to us. Let’s see the anger management in Islam. Because although we do not reply their actions, they will get what they deserves by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. And insha Allah, your forgiveness will be a sin redeemer for you. You may read Surah for forgiveness of major sins.

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Kategori : Islamic Law