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Determining the blood money for manslaughter & abortion

Published: 24/08/2011 12:07:00 PM GMT
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How do we determine the blood money (diyah) for manslaughter? Is blood money paid for an aborted fetus? If it is, then how much must be paid?


nswered by

Sheikh Ibrâhîm Rahîm, professor at al-Imam University, Qasîm Branch

There is disagreement among the scholars as to the asset that must be used in the determination of the blood money (diyah); whether it must be gold, silver, or camels, or a combination thereof. This results in a tangible disagreement in the amount that must be paid.

It could be calculated using gold as the determining asset. In his case, a man’s diyah is one thousand dinârs of gold. Each dinâr weighs 4.25 grams. Hence, the diyah in modern terms would be equal to 4250 grams of gold.

This would then have to be converted into its value in the local currency in order to be paid in cash.

Using the camel as the determining asset is in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Council of Scholars in Saudi Arabia. It is as follows:

The diyah of a man is 100 camels, (which has been calculated to approximate roughly one hundred thousand Saudi riyals). The diyah for a woman is half of that.

With regard to the blood money in the event of an abortion or induced miscarriage, the determination is as follows:

The fetus will be either delivered dead or delivered alive and then die.

If someone criminally induced an abortion or miscarriage and the fetus is still alive upon delivery and dies as a result of this action, then the payment of full blood money (diyah) will be required. It would be same as the diyah of an adult man or woman.

If it is delivered dead, a compensation known as ghurrah must be paid. This amount has to be paid regardless of whether or not the fetus had been endowed with a soul (by passing four months from conception). However, payment of ghurrah will not be obligatory if the fetus has yet to take on the semblance of a human form.

The nutfah (when the embryo is in the form of a coagulated drop) has no ruling pertaining to it whatsoever. Al-Qurtubî relates that this is a point of consensus in Islamic Law. The same is the case with the `alaqah (a leech-like clot) and the mudghah (when it resembles a morsel of flesh which is not formed yet).

Determining whether full formation of the fetus has taken place must be decided by trustworthy doctors after they examine the fetus.

If the fetus has taken on the semblance of a human form and is delivered dead, then the ghurrah must be paid. The estimation of ghurrah which was mentioned in the hadîth as being equal to that of a slave boy or girl. It is estimated as being equal to one tenth of his mother’s diyah or one twentieth of a man’s diyah.

If we determine the ghurrah on the basis of a diyah of one thousand dinârs or 4250 grams of gold, we take one twentieth of that, which would 212.5 grams of gold.

This would then have to be converted into its value in the local currency in order to be paid in cash.

Using the camel as the determining asset where the diyah of the man is 100 camels, the ghurrah will equal the value of five camels.

Source: Islam Today




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