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Penalty for Murder or accident

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

What is the penalty for the taking of another muslim`s life, wheather it is by murder, or by accident? Is there an obligation to support his surviving family members as long as they live? 


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Penalty for Murder or accident

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your question: What is the penalty for the taking of another muslim`s life, wheather it is by murder, or by accident?

Ref: Intentionally killing another muslim.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 93:As for the one who kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, wherein he shall live forever. He has incurred the Wrath of Allah, and Allahs curse is on him; and Allah has prepared a woeful torment for him.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 178:O you who have believed! The Law of Retribution has been prescribed for you in cases of murder. The free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman! But if the brother (inheritors) of the slain is willing to show leniency to the murderer, the blood money should be decided in accordance with the common law and the murderer should pay it with handsome gratitude. This is a concession and a mercy from your Lord. There shall be a painful torment for anyone who transgresses the limits after this. In the Law of Retribution, there is security of life for you, O you men of understanding. It is expected that you will refrain from breaking this Law (or fear Allah).


The intentional killing of a believer is considered amongst one of the gravest sins in Islam. If the murderer does not seek sincere repentance from Allah Subhanah for his deed, Allah has declared that his recompense will be the everlasting torment of the Hell Fire for his grave sin of murder in the Hereafter.


Allah has given the complete right and power to the inheritors of the victim, to determine the prescribed punishment of the murderer. If the inheritors decide that they want Retribution, then the Shariah Court must sentence the murderer to death; and if the inheritors of the victim choose, of their own free will, to show leniency to the murderer, they may accept the blood-money and set the murderer free. They may even decide, of their own free will, to forgive the murderer, and accept no blood money, and advise the Judge to set the murderer free. Allah Subhanah has put the decision solely in the hands of the inheritors of the victim; and whatever the inheritors decide, the Shariah Court will pass and execute their decision. The Judge has absolutely no right to decide the case other than what the inheritors of the victim decide for the murderer.


Ref: the un-intentional killing of a person.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 92:It does not behove a believer to slay another believer except by error, and if one slays a believer by error, he must set free one believing slave as expiation, and pay blood money to the heirs of the slain person, unless they charitably forgo it. But if the murdered muslim belonged to a people who are at enmity with you, then the expiation shall be the freeing of one believing slave; and if the slain person belonged to a non-muslim ally of yours, then the blood-money must be paid to his heirs and a believing slave has to be set free. But if one could not afford a slave, then he must fast two consecutive months. This is the way enjoined by Allah for repentance. Allah is the All Knowing, All Wise.


Thus, if one kills another person un-intentionally (eg. Accident, etc.) the expiation in todays age will be that the person pays the blood-money to the heirs, and fast two months consecutive as a form of repentance to Allah Subhanah.


Your Question: Is there an obligation to support his surviving family members as long as they live? 

Other than paying the blood money, there is no obligation on the murderer to support the family members of the slain as long as they live. But if one, out of his own guilt and goodwill does so, it will be a form of sadaqa for him.


In both cases, the person who has killed must turn to Allah Subhanah in sincere Taubah and repentance and beg Allah to forgive his sin. That is the only way to avoid the Wrath, Anger and Retribution in the Court of Allah in the Hereafter. Allah Subhanah forgives all sins through repentance and sincere Taubah.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 63-71:The (true) servants of the Merciful are those who walk humbly on the earth. When the ignorant people behave insolently towards them, they say, Peace to you; (And those) who pass their nights in prostrating themselves and standing before their Lord and pray, O our Lord, save us from the torment of Hell, for its torment is killing! It is an evil abode, and an evil resting place. (And those) who, when they spend are neither extravagant, nor miserly, but keep the golden mean between the two extremes. (And those) who do not invoke any god but Allah Alone, nor kill a soul unjustly, which Allah has forbidden, nor commit zina (fornication and adultery) He who does this shall be punished for his sin, and his torment shall be doubled on the Day of Resurrection, and he shall abide in a state of ignominy; EXCEPT THE ONE WHO MAY HAVE REPENTED (AFTER THOSE SINS), AND HAVE BELIEVED AND DONE RIGHTEOUS DEEDS. For then, Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds, and He is very Forgiving and Merciful. In fact, one who repents and does righteous deeds, returns to Allah as one rightly should!


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,






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