And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.
Who is included in heir?
If all do not agree to retaliation and some opt for the blood money; who has the upper hand in making decision; wife, son, brother or father of the slain person?
The closest relatives, generally the inheritors of the victim, shall be the heirs for the purpose of this verse.
As is clear from the directives regarding the law of Qisaas,1 only one of the two punishments – i.e. physical Qisaas or financial Qisaas – can be imposed upon the perpetrator. Thus, if there is a difference of opinion regarding which of the two punishments should be enforced upon the perpetrator, it would first be sought to remove this difference of opinion and thereby bring the heirs to a consensus. If, however, the difference of opinion cannot be resolved and it is also established that the person desiring to forgo physical Qisaas is doing so without any external pressure, then it seems more justified that the lesser of the two punishments – financial Qisaas or Diyah – be imposed upon the perpetrator.
I hope this helps.
January 12, 2003
- “Qisaas” means to follow suit. The punishment prescribed by Islam for murder and for inflicting physical injury is to subject the perpetrator to a similar injury as he himself had inflicted upon the victim. The right of implementing Qisaas is granted by the Islamic Shari`ah to the heirs of the victim. However, if the heirs want to forgive the perpetrator, a financial fine – called Diyah – shall, nonetheless, be imposed upon him/her. [↩]