In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
"O you who believe, retribution is prescribed for you in the cases of killing; if a freeman is guilty then the freeman; if a slave is guilty then the slave; if a female is guilty then the female. But if something of the murderer's guilt is remitted by his brother then this should be adhered to in fairness, and payment be made in a goodly manner. This is alleviation and a mercy from your Lord; and for him who transgresses after that there is a painful chastisement. People of understanding, there is life for you in retribution that you may guard yourselves against violating the Law." (al-Baqarah 2:178-179)
For Eid, I took a long leave and had a lot of free time to be abled to follow ‘Buletin Utama’ (main news) at 8.00pm almost everyday without being interrupted. During one news slot, I caught sight of a top ranking police officer explaining lengthly why road accidents were on the rise even though various safety campaigns such as ‘Ops Sikap’ had been launched.
I heard him saying; “Kalau hukum mati pun, dia orang tak takut” (if we were to have a death penalty they (road users) were not afraid). He also said that leaders had their share in portraying bad image, setting bad examples to younger generations.
Since that news was a special report by the station, it was repeated several times during news time but the part which the top police officer lamented leaders were edited out. Perhaps those at helms at the station had realized it would give bad image to the top police officer and other leaders of the country.
‘Ops Sikap’ during Raya failed to reduce roads accident and death. Malaysia recorded as one of the highest road accident in the world. An average of 4-5 person die in road accident every day in the country.
In 2006, the total number of people died in road accidents was 6,287. About 59 percent or 3,693 of them were motorcyclists and pillion riders.
Statistic showed that on the average 6,000 people died in road accident ever year. In 2000, 6,035 people died; 2001 (5,849), 2002 (5,891), 2003 (6,286), 2004 (6,228), 2005 (6,200) dan 2006 (6,287).
Despite having various road safety programs such as Ops Sikap, the number of accident were very high with an average of 200 people die in each campaign. Why campaigns failed and in what ways could we minimize road accidents and deaths.
It is interesting to note that the top police officer himself had mentioned about ‘death penalty’ on road users. Regarding this, I remember what a religious teacher had preached in my ‘kampung’ mosque recently; he discussed an interesting topic that was about ‘diat’ (compensation or blood money) based on a ‘kitab’ (book)written by Syeikh Idris Marbawi entitled ‘Bahru Mazi’.
The Islamic criminal laws comprised of ‘hudud’ (hodoud), ‘qisas’ (quisas), and ‘ta’zir’. In this article the writer would focus on ‘qisas’. Wikepedia defined ‘qisas’ as an Islamic term meaning retaliation, similar to the biblical principle of an eye for an eye. In the case of murder, it means the right of the heirs of a murder victim to demand execution of the murderer.
http://www.pakistanlink.com/religion/97/re08-01-97.html stated that "Qisas" literally means "pursuing, seeking or to return like for like". From this it also acquired the meaning of "retribution, requital, and punishment". The basic rules of qisas are mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah says, "O you who believe, retribution is prescribed for you in the cases of killing; if a freeman is guilty then the freeman; if a slave is guilty then the slave; if a female is guilty then the female. But if something of the murderer's guilt is remitted by his brother then this should be adhered to in fairness, and payment be made in a goodly manner. This is alleviation and a mercy from your Lord; and for him who transgresses after that there is a painful chastisement. People of understanding, there is life for you in retribution that you may guard yourselves against violating the Law." (al-Baqarah 2:178-179)
Qisas is primarily the right of the family of victim. Allah says, "… whosoever is wrongfully slain, We have given power to his heir, but let him not commit excess in killing. Lo, he will be helped." (al-Isra' 17:33). If a person is murdered, then according to the Shari'ah, if the duty of the society and the state to pursue the murderer and to bring him/ her to justice. Once the murderer is found and it is proved beyond any doubt that the murderer killed another person knowingly and offensively, as a pre-meditated murder, then he/she will be given capital punishment. However, the nearest relatives or heirs of the victim have a right to take monetary compensation instead or to forgive the murderer. No one else has right to forgive except the nearest kith and kin of a person.
Since murder, according to the Shari'ah, is not only a crime against a family, but also a crime against the society at large, the Muslim jurists have explained that even when the victim's family forgive the murderer, the Muslim judge is allowed to prescribe some punishment (other than the capital punishment) or imprisonment, if the judge sees that the offender needs that for his/ her own correction or as a deterrence for others in the society. Thus, we can say that according to the Shari'ah, no one can forgive the murderer except the victim's family and nearest kith and kin. The State cannot forgive a murderer, but the state is allowed to punish the murderer if it is necessary to maintain the safety and security of the society, even if all the relatives of the victim are ready to forgive the murderer.
According to the ustaz, those who commited the crime should be punished accordingly to what they did. If he kills, he must die. Allah SWT says "We have prescribed for thee therein ‘a life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation;’ but whoso remits it, it is an expiation for him, but he whoso will not judge by what God has revealed, these be the unjust." (Qur'an 5:45)
The Quran specifies the principle of Qisas (ie, retaliation), but prescribes that one should seek compensation (diat) and not demand retribution.
What is actually ‘diat’? Wikipedia, noted that ‘diyya’(plural: Diyyat; Arabic:) is compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic the word means both blood money and ransom.
“The Qur’an directed to pay Diyat just according to this law both in case of intentional as well as un-intentional murder. A variation of Diyat was present in pre-Islamic Arabia, where it was paid in terms of goods or animals rather than cash.
In Sharia law, Diyat should be paid in terms of cash to avoid possible fraud on the part of the criminal In Islamic and Arab traditions, blood money is the fine paid by the killer or his family or clan to the family or the clan of the victim. It is unlawful for a believer to kill a believer except if it happens by accident. And he who kills a believer accidentally must pay Diyat to the heirs of the victim except if they forgive him. The tradition finds repeated endorsement in Islamic tradition; several instances are recorded in the Hadith, which are the acts of Muhammad.”
According to the ustaz, the rate for diat is based on the number of camels that is the most priced belongings. The full rate is 100 camels.
Killing intentionally was subjected to qisas and diat. Diat is only applicable if agreed by kin. If not, qisas would be honoured.
The ustaz explained unintentional crimes including DRIVING OFFENSES, which resulted in death, could also be subjected to diat. If the person intentionally rammed into a person to kill him, he is subjected to qisas, he had to die, his head executed.
If he unintentionally killed a person in the accident, then he must pay the diat; that is 100 camels. If he crippled the person, the amount varies from 100 camels, 50 camels and so on.
Paying diat of 100 camels is no cheap said the Ustaz. If a camel costs RM5,000; those who kill unintentionally including in road accidents had to pay RM500,000. If three persons die, the payment would be RM1.5 million. Of course this huge amount would make those behind the wheels (drivers) shiver thus avoiding madness and careless driving.
Are our leaders prepared to implement Islamic laws, which according to the ustaz are perfect on human beings because He who creates knows what's best for His subjects!