Friday, March 23, 2012

'Longing for the law of The Most Powerful’

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

“SAYA harap orang melakukan perbuatan kejam terhadap anak saya mendapat balasan yang sama (I hoped the person who did this gruesome act to my daughter would be punished as what he/she had done),” said Roselyn Alan, 25, the mother of Nurul Nadirah Abdullah (Dirang), 5, who was murdered and burnt in Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru.

It was tragic news; it attracted the attention of the people and saddened the nation; some of the commentors asked if our country was safe or as a top leader put it – the
safest country in South East Asia?

Some of them mentioned cases of missing children such as Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, Nisa Chandramohan and Lee Xin Ru which have not been solved until today.

After reading several local dailies regarding the news item on Wednesday, 14th March, I would like to highlight what has been uttered by Roselyn as reported by Harian Metro (page 5, 14 Mac 2012) in its news with a title ‘Harap balasan sama’ (Hope for retribution).

Perhaps, without ‘this traumatized mother’ realizing it, she was speaking about ‘hudud’ and in my opinion it was a clear and positive indicator that human beings long for the law of The Most Powerful Allah SWT) when they feel helpless just like the call for help to Allah SWT when one is thrown into the open sea when his/her ship

But the sad part of it, when he/she is saved; his/her ‘clinging’ to Allah SWT vanishes and when he/she could stand on his/her own with ‘the world at his/her feet’, then Allah fades from his/her mind.

Well, Roselyn spoke up that she hoped the person who did the gruesome act to her daughter would be punished as what he/she had done. This is ‘qisas’ as contained in the Qur’an 5: 45 with the meaning: “We have prescribed for thee therein 'a life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and a ear for a ear, and a tooth for a tooth,and for wounds retaliation;' but he whoso will not judge by what God
has revealed, these be the unjust."

Those who committed the crime should be punished accordingly to what they had done. If he kills, he must die.

The Islamic criminal laws comprises of 'hudud' (hodoud), 'qisas' (quisas) and 'ta'zir'. In this article the writer would like to focus on 'qisas'. Wikipedia defines '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 it is the right of their heirs of a murder victim to demand execution of the murderer.

A website states 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 SWT 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 proper manner. This is alleviation and a mercy from your Lord; and for him who transgresses after that 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 the 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, it is the duty of the society and the state to purse the murderer and to bring him/her to justice. Once the murderer is found and it is proven beyond any doubt that the murderer is found and it is proven beyond any doubt that the murderer killed another person knowingly and offensively, as a premeditated murder, then he/she will be given capital punishment.

However, the nearest relatives or heirs of the victim have a right to make monetary compensation instead or to forgive the murderer. No one else has the right to forgive accept the nearest kith and kin of a person.

Since murder, according to the Shar'iah, is not only a crime against a family, but a crime against the society at large, the Muslims jurists have explained that even his the victim's family forgives 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 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 safely and security of the society, even if all the relatives of the victim are ready to forgive the murderer.

The Qur'an 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 thet 'diyya' (plural: diyyat; Arabic) is a compensation paid to the heirs of a victim. In Arabic the word means both blood money and ransom. The Qur'an directs us to pay diat just according to this law both in case of intentional as well as unintentional murder. A variation of diat was present in pre-Islamic Arabia, where it was paid in terms of goods or animals rather than

Under Sharia law, diat should be paid in terms of cash to avoid possible fraud on the part of the criminal. In Islamic and Arab tradition, 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 diat 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 Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. According to the ustaz, the rate for diat is based on the number of camels that is the most priced belonging. 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.

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