There are 2 categories of wounds, to the face and to the rest of the body. There are 10 degrees of the 2 categories. It is left to the judge to determent the due compensation.


Wounds are of two kinds: 

a) wounds to the face or the head.

b) wounds to the rest of the body.

Scholars have identified 10 degrees of wounds for these two categories. The first five are: a wound that scratches the skin; a wound that causes little blood; a wound that cuts the flesh lightly but does not reach the bones; a wound that goes deeper into the flesh but does not reach the membrane that separates the flesh from the bone; and a wound that reaches this membrane. In any of these five degrees, no equal, i.e. qisas punishment or indemnity is due. It is left to the judge to determine the compensation payable by the offender.

The other five degrees are a wound that cuts the membrane and exposes the bone, which incurs five per cent of the total indemnity payable in the case of killing; a wound that exposes and breaks a bone, which incurs 10% of the indemnity; a wound that dislocates a bone whether it is exposed and broken or not, which incurs 15% of the indemnity; a wound that reaches the meninges, the membranes enclosing the brain; and a wound that cuts the meninges and reaches the brain. Each of these last two wounds incurs one-third of the total indemnity.

Added to these is a wound that goes deep into the body, whether in the abdomen, chest or back, and this type also incurs one-third of the indemnity.  

The bases for estimating such compensation is found in the Sunnah:

‘The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent a written message to the people of the Yemen, stating that wounds going as deep as the meninges enclosing the brain incur one-third of the indemnity, and the wound that causes the fracture of a skull or a facial bone incurs 15 per cent, while the one that exposes the bone incurs five of the indemnity.’

Related by al-Nassa’i, hadith No. 4,853; al-Hakim, vol. 1, p. 552; al-Bayhaqi, vol. 4, p. 89

Moreover, scholars are unanimous that to cause the fracture of a skull bone incurs 15%, and they agree that wounds going deep into the body incur one-third of the indemnity. 

Zayd ibn Thabit, a learned Companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), ruled that a wound that exposes or breaks a facial or skull bone incurs 10%  of the indemnity, and his ruling was not opposed. Furthermore, a wound that pierces the meninges incurs nothing less than a wound that reaches the meninges without piercing them, which is one-third of the indemnity.

These five degrees of wounds are not subject to qisas, except for the first one, which exposes a bone. This is the only one of these degrees of wounding that can be exacted to measure. If qisas is applied to the others, it may easily result in aggravation or reduction. Therefore, such equal punishment is not attempted, but recompense is required.[1]

The other kinds of wound refers to those in the rest of the body, and they differ greatly. However, we may say that what does not allow qisas if it affects the face or the head also precludes it in the rest of the body. The only exception is a wound that exposes a bone, such as a chest bone. This is due to the fact that it is very difficult to ensure equality and causing the same extent of harm as the offender caused. Hence, an indemnity is payable to the victim as a judge may decide.


  1. Al-Zuhaili, Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, vol. 7, p. 296.