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The Penalty of Death for Murderers 7 February 2006

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Law, MOZAFFAR, Politics.


I believe in Qur’anic Law.

Thus, I believe that, among other things, murder is not a crime against a society, but is a crime against a family. And, I believe that the family members may seek the death penalty for the murder of their loved one. But, the collection of blood-money is better for them, and forgiveness is even better. Nevertheless, they have the right to seek the death penalty. I believe in Qur’anic Law, wholeheartedly.

I know most readers will find this opinion to be disgusting, but please read on.

There is an important catch: I believe in the implementation of Qur’anic Law only in a Qur’anic society, and in no other society. I don’t believe that the death penalty can or should be enforced in the United States. I don’t believe that the death penalty can or should be enforced in Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or Pakistan, or Egypt, or Indonesia, or France, or Iraq. I’m asserting that Muslims who support the death penalty in America are horribly, horribly mistaken.

A Qur’anic society is one in which the hearts of the people — by and large — are directed towards God, and no god but He.

If we look at the different societies of the world from the lens of ‘freedoms,’ there might not be a country in the world better than the US. I am a recipient of that freedom.

But, if we are to assert because of this ‘freedom’ we have a level, even playing surface, we are sadly mistaken. If we are to assert that a ‘typical’ African-American male has the same psychological experiences in the US that a member of any other ethnic group has, we are mistaken. While we can’t blame the ‘typical’ white person for the institutionalized racism and dehumanization of the African-American, we have to at the very least recognize that this problem is present.

It is not a problem to be blamed on any person or any ethnic group, because it is a problem in the whole system. Thus, all the participants in the system — especially those who recognize the problem — are responsible for fixing it. And, those who do not do something — even something small — to fix the problem are, by consequence, to blame.

I am not asserting that a Blackamerican male, who is convicted for murder, is in fact innocent. No. I’m saying that he is in great need of rehabilitation. In a society like ours, we each may be in more need of rehab than we may realize.

Even then, I’m not arguing that members of other ethnicities are ‘humanized’ in our society. We’re all in a state of mental subjugation. The high rates of mental illness and suicide — spanning across cultures, economic classes, and demographics — illustrate this point.

Thus, if my tax dollars are paying for a murderer’s life, with the hope at least for rehabilitation, I’d much rather support those investments than the purchase of a bomb or a missile.

And, on that subject, how do we prosecute someone over the death of a civilian, a soldier, or even an enemy, from a bomb in a war, when the terms for war were fraudulent?

There is a second catch to my boldly-stated belief: interpretation. That is a different issue, that I wholeheartedly embrace.

I’ll also admit that I’m not as sympathetic about someone who cites the Qur’an, and uses his/her citations to kill innocent people. Meaning, murderers in the name of Islam should get the death penalty. That may be an inconsistency in my logic, but my assertion is that if they are — in their own hearts — living the Qur’an, then they are in that Qur’anic society, and should be prosecuted according to the Qur’an.

May God bless you.



1. The Turk - 7 February 2006

Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, where is this true Quranic Society? It seems like Plato’s utopia. A place all men revere Allah(swt) and his laws? Its hard sometimes to find them in a room much else a whole society.

No such society has existed without a Prophet and the power of Allah (swt). behind him. Hazart Sulemain, Doud and Musa (PBUT) besides our own Prophet(saw) held a true Islamic Society. However, As soon as they died the society went to pieces.

I wish the Prophet(saw) had been eternal so he could resolve the issues and keep everyone united. I remember a Hadith where the Prophet(saw) was about to ask a prayer that his Ummah’s faith never be shaken tilll the end of time. Before the Prophet(saw) could ask the prayer; Hazart Jibral came down with a message from Allah(swt) that : Allah(swt) has promised to answer all of the Prophet(saw) prayers but Allah(swt) could not answer this prayer so please don’t ask it. When I read that I had tears in my eyes. If Hazart Jibrael had been delayed a few seconds somewhere. We all would be united and muslim.

2. eteraz - 7 February 2006

“I believe in the implementation of Qur’anic Law only in a Qur’anic society, and in no other society.”

How is this possible? It’s circular.

To have a Quranic society, it’d have to have Quranic Laws. For the laws to be Quranic you’d need a Quranic society.

Chicken or egg.

3. drjou - 8 February 2006

I think what Mozaffar means is that a a Qur’anic society is the one that accepts the *principle* that the Qur’an is the supreme law. This is a matter of principle. Then, once this principle is established as common consensus, specific Qur’anic injunctions can be implemented. Note that this common consensus can be reached in any society, not just one with a prophet. Nevertheless, in Medina for example, a society with the Prophet, not everyone believed the Qur’an to be supreme law; there were many hypocrites. Yet there is no doubt that that was a Qur’anic society, the way I think Mozaffar means.

The problem with certain governments, several mentioned in the article, is that they don’t accept (either explicitly or impicitly) some of the main principles of the Qur’an. Thus they aren’t Qur’anic societies. I hope I haven’t misunderstood.

4. mozaffar - 9 February 2006

Salams The Turk, eteraz, ad drjou,

Thank you for your posts.

The Turk: Such a society can exist, and presumably, it wouldn’t last for a long time. It is a gigantic task, but few are working toward it. Note: I’m not talking about “Islamic State” here.

eteraz: I don’t think it’s circular at all. Many Muslims support the Death Penalty in the US, because the Qur’an has the death penalty. That’s a blunder. Few, if any of these people would support the cutting-of-hands as a punishment for stealing. That’s (a) picking and choosing, and (b) I’ll address (b) just below to drjou.

drjou: Let me see if this helps. Most of the Qur’an is not about law. It is about your relationship with God, and the consequences of that relationship. Law is one of those consequences. But, the core is that relationship with God. That exists in your heart.

That Qur’anic society will have a significant population of people for whom there is no god in your heart, but God Himself. You can only implement Qur’anic law in that society.

Now, you can’t really measure this in a person. But, you can detect it in a society. In American society, wouldn’t we agree that $ is one of the gods? That needs to be fixed first before we ever even consider Qur’anic law.

Now, the key to that: it has to be voluntary. The Muslim calls them to God, and it is wholly (100%) on their shoulders to decide whether or not they accept the call. The response to da’wa is a voluntary response.

If a significant number of people accept the call, then we can advance to other levels. Those people accept the Qur’an — in practice — as the source of law.

So, I’m implying the concept that Islam is a process here. It is not an institution (like a State) that is complete once it has been established. It is a continuous process.

Next, was Medina a Qur’anic society. Yes, and no. Yes because the process was in process. But, it really became a Qur’anic society after the Conquest of Mecca.

And…Allah knows best.

May Allah bless you.

Omer M

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