Who is to pay
If an offence is deliberate and led to death, the indemnity should be given by the offender. If the offence is accidental, it is payable collectively by the offender’s relatives.
Who is to pay
If a person is killed, or is caused grievous bodily harm, there can be only two possibilities:
- If the offence that results in the loss of life is absolutely deliberate, the whole amount of the indemnity should be taken from the property of the offender, if the family of the victim forgo equal punishment. The one who is responsible for the loss must bear the cost,
:as Allah says
‘No one shall be made to bear the burden of another.’
- If the offence is accidental or semi-deliberate, the indemnity is payable collectively by the offender’s relatives.
:Abu Hurayrah reports
‘Allah’s messenger ruled in the case of the embryo of a woman from the Lihyan tribe, as she had a miscarriage because of a physical attack, that the attacker should give as indemnity a male or female slave. Then the woman who was to pay the indemnity died. The Prophet (peace be upon him)ruled that her property belongs to her children and her husband and the indemnity was to be paid by her relatives.’
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 6,740; Muslim, hadith No. 1,681.
The indemnity is payable by the offender’s close relatives because such accidental offences are frequent, and there are often extenuating circumstances. Hence, it is right that he should be helped so as to reduce his burden. By contrast, the deliberate offender pays the indemnity himself for freedom from suffering an equal punishment. Hence, when the victim or his family forgo equal punishment, he must pay the indemnity himself.