Select Page

Honor killing and violence is in accordance with Islamic mores and tradition. A recent survey showed that 91 percent of honor killings worldwide are committed by Muslims, and 84 percent of honor killings in the United States were done by Muslims. This is no surprise. A manual of Islamic law approved by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates that “retaliation is obligatory…against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” In other words, Islamic law sets no penalty for a parent who kills his child. Also, the legal codes of Jordan, Syria, and other Muslim countries have substantially reduced penalties for honor murders as compared to other murders, and Islamic clerics have resisted efforts to stiffen penalties for honor killings. (source)

From one of the most important English-language sources for the content of Islamic law: Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law:

It is certified by Al-Azhar University as a translation that “corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community…”:

Note that this Sharia manual also garners respect in the USA. Dr. Alan Godlas, Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Georgia, calls it a “carefully translated manual of the proper practice of Islam (shari’a) according to the Shafi’i madh’hab. It has been an essential book in the library of any serious English speaking Muslim or scholar of Islam since its publication in 1991.”

In Book O, titled “Justice,” in section 1, “Who is Subject to Retaliation for Injurious Crimes,” section o1.1 reads, “Retaliation is obligatory … against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right…”:

However, o1.2 clarifies (above) that “The following are not subject to retaliation” and then lists — after the lovely, egalitarian “Muslim for killing a non-Muslim” and “Jewish or Christian subject … for killing an apostate” — “(4) a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring”:

Reliance of the Traveller

A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory  against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Muslim countries living under the sharia have more lenient sentences for honor murder.

Pakistani man kills wife, two children, six others in alleged honour killing

by Reuters, July 1, 2019

LAHORE, Pakistan, July 1 (Reuters) – A man shot his wife, their two children, and six of her family members on Monday and then burned the bodies when he set her family’s home on fire in an alleged honour killing in central Pakistan, police said.

Muhammad Ajmal committed the attack as revenge for a suspected affair by his wife Kiran, said Imran Mehmood, a District Police Officer for the city of Multan, where the killings occurred. Ajmal returned to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a tailor, 25 days ago intending to carry out the killings, he said.

Mehmood said Ajmal confessed to the killings.

“This is clearly an honour killing. He saw a picture of his wife with another man and believed she was having an affair,” Mehmood said. “He does not repent his actions.”

In addition to killing his wife and their two children, Ajmal also killed his three sisters-in-law, two of their children, and his mother-in-law.

Ajmal and his father, who was with him at the time of the murder, are both in custody and have been charged with murder, Mehmood said. Police are searching for his brother, who is also believed to be involved.

The deaths add to the hundreds of women and girls killed in Pakistan each year, according to human rights groups, by family members angered at the perceived damage to their honour, which may involve eloping, fraternizing with men or any infringement of conservative values regarding women.

Kiran’s brother Ali Raza told Reuters that Ajmal and his sister were having marital problems and she had recently moved back to Pakistan and was living with her family.

“I am left with just my father, my whole family is gone,” he said.

Mehmood said Ajmal has not been assigned an attorney yet and Reuters was unable to contact any of his family members for a comment.

Pakistan adopted legislation against honour killings in 2016, introducing tough punishment and closing a legal loophole that allowed killers to walk free if pardoned by family members.

Police in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab, where honour crimes have been rampant, said recently that the number of such killings had fallen since the law was introduced but rights groups estimate that nearly 1,000 such killings take place annually.