Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Honor Killing
Honor killing has occured in many cultures, and is the murder by family members, usually of females, who are perceived to have brought shame on the family. The attitude is that the honor of the family in the community can be protected or restored in this way. Common triggers for honour killing occur when young couples have unmarried relations with each other, or when a woman marries someone against the wishes of her parents.
In Islam, there is no punishment merely for the shame caused upon a family by their female relations, nor to restore family honor by killing them. There are, however, punishments for various types of Zina (unlawful sexual relations) in Islam. Zina includes both fornication (when they are unmarried), for which the punishment is flogging, and adultery (when they are married, but not to each other), for which the punishment is death by stoning.
Honour killing has been condemned in a recent fatwa, which says that the punishment for fornication by the unmarried is flogging, and must be carried out by the proper authorities.
However, some statements about women and rules to control women in Islamic primary sources very much contribute to the underlying attitudes towards women and girls held by those who commit honor killing and honor violence. There are also some related topics in Islamic sources concerning parents and their children, zina and punishments, as detailed below.
Boy murdered to prevent grieving his parents by rebellion and disbelief (Kufran)
60. And when Moses said unto his servant: I will not give up until I reach the point where the two rivers meet, though I march on for ages.
61. And when they reached the point where the two met, they forgot their fish, and it took its way into the waters, being free.
62. And when they had gone further, he said unto his servant: Bring us our breakfast. Verily we have found fatigue in this our journey.
63. He said: Didst thou see, when we took refuge on the rock, and I forgot the fish - and none but Satan caused me to forget to mention it - it took its way into the waters by a marvel.
64. He said: This is that which we have been seeking. So they retraced their steps again.
65. Then found they one of Our slaves, unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our presence.
66. Moses said unto him: May I follow thee, to the end that thou mayst teach me right conduct of that which thou hast been taught ?
67. He said: Lo! thou canst not bear with me.
68. How canst thou bear with that whereof thou canst not compass any knowledge ?
69. He said: Allah willing, thou shalt find me patient and I shall not in aught gainsay thee.
70. He said: Well, if thou go with me, ask me not concerning aught till I myself make mention of it unto thee.
71. So they twain set out till, when they were in the ship, he made a hole therein. (Moses) said: Hast thou made a hole therein to drown the folk thereof ? Thou verily hast done a dreadful thing.
72. He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me ?
73. (Moses) said: Be not wroth with me that I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my fault.
74. So they twain journeyed on till, when they met a lad, he slew him. (Moses) said: What! Hast thou slain an innocent soul who hath slain no man ? Verily thou hast done a horrid thing.
75. He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me ?
76. (Moses) said: If I ask thee after this concerning aught, keep not company with me. Thou hast received an excuse from me.
77. So they twain journeyed on till, when they came unto the folk of a certain township, they asked its folk for food, but they refused to make them guests. And they found therein a wall upon the point of falling into ruin, and he repaired it. (Moses) said: If thou hadst wished, thou couldst have taken payment for it.
78. He said: This is the parting between thee and me! I will announce unto thee the interpretation of that thou couldst not bear with patience.
79. As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to mar it, for there was a king behind them who is taking every ship by force.
80. And as for the lad, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.
81. And we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in purity and nearer to mercy.82. And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father had been righteous, and thy Lord intended that they should come to their full strength and should bring forth their treasure as a mercy from their Lord; and I did it not upon my own command. Such is the interpretation of that wherewith thou couldst not bear.
A female who arranges her own marriage is a Zaniyah (commits unlawful sexual relations)
Punishments by stoning for adultery between a married person and someone who they are not married to
No need for a judge, vigilantism is encouraged against sinners
He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up.
He sat before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.
Carry out legal punishments on relatives and do not let the fear of blame stop you
No retaliation against parents for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring
o1.1 - Retaliation
Retaliation is obligatory (A: if the person entitled wishes to take it (dis: o3.8)) against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right. (O: Intentionally is a first restriction and excludes killing someone through an honest mistake, while purely excludes a mistake made in a deliberate injury (def: o2.3), and without right excludes cases of justifiable homicide such as lawful retaliation.)
o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:
-1- a child or insane person, under any circumstances
-2- a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim;
-3- a Jewish or Christian subject of the Islamic state for killing an apostate from Islam (O: because a subject of the state is under its protection, while killing an apostate from Islam is without consequences);-4- A father or mother (or their fathers of mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring;
Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (p. 508, o1.1-2)
Vigilantism is encouraged if there is no judge to carry out Allah's punishments
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 14305, http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/14305/defamation%20of%20the%20prophet.
- Honor Violence - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Honor Violence
- Violence Against Women (Primary Sources) - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Violence Against Women (Primary Sources)