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Why a woman would receive only half the diyah (blood money) that a male would receive in identical circumstances?
ID: 177 Publish Date: 24 January 2016 - 13:36 Count Views: 4280
Question & Answer » Other
Why a woman would receive only half the diyah (blood money) that a male would receive in identical circumstances?

The questioner: Arezu Karimi

Explaining of the question:

In the name of God

Hello, thank you for allowing us to ask our religious questions.

I have always had many questions and doubts about women 's rights in Islam. I have been searching but I have never found a convincing answer:

Unfortunately despite the prominent status of the woman in Islam, women are not considered as a perfect human being and this case exists in many juridical and civil laws such as diyah; in cases that a woman is murdered by a man, the murderer will be executed if the victim 's family pay the diyah of the murderer. Their excuse for this sentence is that a man is the family breadwinner; my question is that what the destiny of a murdered woman will be in case she is the family breadwinner? And how could a murderer be a real breadwinner for a family.

The answer:

Consideration of the following points is beneficial for clarifying some of dimensions of the issue:

1- Islam has a comprehensive and united system and the legal system is part of it. Islamic jurisprudence regards all the aspects of human life before birth until  after death.
 According to this, we need to consider the general configuration and the major program in our general view and in the direction of our programs.
So depending on some nuance points and regarding them independently without considering its overall structure and the macro plan will not achieve success;
for example: today, the developed countries are administered by specific tax system. Germany has established its economic system based on 16% tax in all the
transactions. If someone objects for paying 16% tax to buy a match, it happens because of ignoring the macro plan of that country on which its economic system
is established So, since the law is generally legislated, the legislator observes the general interest exceptional cases and notes will not cause a violation of the general rule.

2- There are assigned some inescapable responsibilities in the Islamic law to the husband and the wife.
For example the husband is responsible for the alimony, dwelling, food, clothes and paying the dowry of his wife.
If his wife has had an independent supply and high status job, it will not be a problem if he don’t help her husband with the expenses; but from the juridical
view, the husband is responsible for paying the house expenditures and he cannot force her wife to spend.
But in case the wife is completely satisfied with helping her husband and improving the family condition, there will be no problem.
But this responsibility is judicially assigned to the husband.

3 - Atonement is the amount of money paid to the injured person by the injurer to recoup his / her injury.
The amount of money does not depend on the status of the injured person.
So it is wrong to say since the amount of the atonement of a woman is half of that of a man, the women’s value is half of the men’s value. The human 's dignity
and value depends on his / her characteristics and his / her educational position and deeds; and from this aspect men and women are equal.


God says in the Holy Quran:

فَاستَجابَ لَهُم رَبُّهُم أَنِّي لا أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عامِلٍ مِنكُم مِن ذَكَرٍ أَو أُنثى بَعضُكُم مِن بَعضٍ».

Then their Lord answered them, ‘I do not waste the work of any worker among you, whether male or female; you are all on the same footing.

Sura  Al-i ‘Imran, the verse 95.

 According to this, human is valued by his / her humanity and amount of acquiring nearness to God. The gender is not important; men and women are equal and perhaps women have a better capacity.

Atonement doesn’t mean assigning price for the people or their personalities. That is why if one of the eminent political or scientific characters is unintentionally killed, his atonement would be equal to a day laborer killed in the same way. It is wrong to say that the lack of that prominent figure leads to imbalance in the society and his atonement must be more! Intentional killing is a mortal sin and the atonement is the same whether the victim is a man or a woman. God says in the Holy Quran:

مَن قَتَلَ نَفساً بِغَيرِ نَفسٍ أَو فَسادٍ فِي الأَرضِ فَكَأَنَّما قَتَلَ النّاسَ جَمِيعاً وَ مَن أَحياها فَكَأَنَّما أَحيَا النّاسَ جَمِيعاً».

whoever kills a soul, without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he had saved all mankind.

Sura al-Ma 'idah, the Verse 32.

This rule that the women’s share in the atonement is half the men’s share is not valid in every case. The Woman’s atonement is equal to that of a man when it is less than one third of a man’s atonement; For example: the atonement amount is the same; weather one finger is cut from a man or a woman, if two or three fingers of a women are cut the atonement amount will be equal to the atonement amount of a man for three fingers. But if woman’s atonement is more than one third of a man’s atonement, it will become half the atonement of a man.

(Al-Nihayah, Shaykh Tusi; Qawaeed al-Ahkam, Allamah Helli, vol 3, p 594; as well in  al-Fawaed, Fakher al-Haqqin,vol 4,p 571; Majmaa al-Faeeda Wa Al-Borhan, Mohaqeq Ardabili, vol13, p 452 Mota Malek ,vol 2,p 854.)

This issue has also been discussed in the inheritance subject. In some cases in the inheritance subject there is no difference between the man and woman share. For example the mother and the father of the deceased person receive the equal share that is one sixth of the inheritance

And there are cases which the share of a woman is more than a man, for example if the heirs are two people comprise of the daughter and the father of the deceased person; then the father receive one sixth and the daughter receive the five sixth of the inheritance.

4-    Islam has assigned the economic affairs of the family to the man. And the woman is freed from this responsibility. Since the atonement is for recouping and recovering some of the compensation made on the hurt family and that is the man economically has the main role in the family, the full atonement is taken for the man.

A person might ask, what will be the verdict if the woman is responsible for the economic affairs of the family? The answer is that the law has been legislated and implemented generally, and such exceptional cases will not be a reason for abolishing law or considering any exceptions. Of course, even in such cases the economic affairs of the family is assigned to the man and he cannot flee from the burden of it.

5- The decree of reducing the woman’s atonement doesn’t mean to underestimate the women’s right to live. This rule has been legislated considering the economic policies of Islam and the responsibilities of both man and woman that recognize man as the first person assignee for the economic affairs.
 Man and woman have the same right to live. That’s why; if a man kills a woman, the man will be sentenced to death on condition of paying the half the atonement. The lawgiver wouldn’t force the family of the dead to accept half the atonement or forbear the nemesis.
 This means that atonement is not the matter of the right to live and or of the economic consequences that have been considered.
 A man comparing a woman is physically stronger and economically more tangible; so more hardship may be felt in his absence comparing a woman 's absence, otherwise both are human in nature and have the equal right to live.

Al-Qada Fi al-Fiqh al-Islami, p 73.

6- By enforcing the Islamic laws in all dimensions, we will achieve the equality between man and woman; because a man inherits twice the share of a woman; but he is responsible for the family economic affairs and he is responsible for the current expenditures (food, dwelling and clothing); the woman can keep her share for herself and expand it the way she likes. Accordingly, woman is not responsible for the economic affairs and has no obligation towards the house.
 Consequently woman sometimes gain more personal share than man.
Considering this comprehensive view, a full equality in the family system will be achieved. Sometimes, woman makes some decisions to solve some of the family economicproblems based on her emotional and ethical perspective.
 But legislatively she is not responsible for solving them.

7-    The matter of ‘woman receives half the man’s atonement’ has been discussed in juridical books since long time ago. Sheikh Tusi mentions this matter then presents it as the opinion of all Sunni and Shia jurisprudents except two of them. And he ascribes his opinion to the consensus of Ulama and some of the narrations.

Refer to Ahkam al-Quran, Ahmad Ibn Ali Al-Jasas, vol 2, p 238, al-Mabsout, Shams al-Din al-Sarakhsi, vol 26, p 79, al-Hidayah, Abu al-Khattab al-Kaludhani, vol 8, p 306.






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