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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O you
ٱلَّذِينَ
who
ءَامَنُوا۟
believe[d]!
كُتِبَ
Prescribed
عَلَيْكُمُ
for you
ٱلْقِصَاصُ
(is) the legal retribution
فِى
in
ٱلْقَتْلَىۖ
(the matter of) the murdered,
ٱلْحُرُّ
the freeman
بِٱلْحُرِّ
for the freeman,
وَٱلْعَبْدُ
and the slave
بِٱلْعَبْدِ
for the slave,
وَٱلْأُنثَىٰ
and the female
بِٱلْأُنثَىٰۚ
for the female.
فَمَنْ
But whoever
عُفِىَ
is pardoned
لَهُۥ
[for it]
مِنْ
from
أَخِيهِ
his brother
شَىْءٌ
anything,
فَٱتِّبَاعٌۢ
then follows up
بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ
with suitable
وَأَدَآءٌ
[and] payment
إِلَيْهِ
to him
بِإِحْسَٰنٍۗ
with kindness.
ذَٰلِكَ
That (is)
تَخْفِيفٌ
a concession
مِّن
from
رَّبِّكُمْ
your Lord
وَرَحْمَةٌۗ
and mercy.
فَمَنِ
Then whoever
ٱعْتَدَىٰ
transgresses
بَعْدَ
after
ذَٰلِكَ
That (is),
فَلَهُۥ
then for him
عَذَابٌ
(is) a punishment
أَلِيمٌ
painful.

Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo kutiba alaikumul qisaasu fil qatlaa alhurru bilhurri wal'abdu bil'abdi wal unsaa bil unsaa; faman 'ufiya lahoo min akheehi shai'un fattibaa'um bilma'roofi wa adaaa'un ilaihi bi ihsaan; zaalika takhfeefum mir rahbikum wa rahmah; famani' tadaa ba'da zaalika falahoo 'azaabun aleem

Sahih International:

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.

Ahmed Ali

O believers, ordained for you is retribution for the murdered, (whether) a free man (is guilty) of (the murder of) a free man, or a slave of a slave, or a woman of a woman. But he who is pardoned some of it by his brother should be dealt with equity, and recompense (for blood) paid with a grace. This is a concession from your Lord and a kindness. He who transgresses in spite of it shall suffer painful punishment.

Ahmed Raza Khan

O People who Believe! Retribution is made obligatory for you in the matter of those killed unjustly; a freeman for a freeman, and a slave for a slave, and a female for a female; and for him who is partly forgiven by his brother, seek compensation with courtesy and make payment in proper manner; this is a relief and a mercy upon you, from your Lord; so after this, a painful punishment is for whoever exceeds the limits.

Ali Ünal

O you who believe! Prescribed for you is retaliation in cases of (deliberate, unjust) killing: freeman for freeman, slave for slave, female for female. Yet if he (the murderer) is granted some remission by his brother (any of the heirs of the victim), then what falls on the pardoning side is fulfilling in fairness what has been agreed on, and the other side is making the payment kindly enough to please the other side. This is a lightening from your Lord, and a mercy. Whoever offends after that, for him is a painful punishment.

Amatul Rahman Omar

O you who believe! equitable retaliation has been ordained for you in (the matter of) the slain. (Everyone shall pay for his own crime,) the freeman (murderer) for the freeman (murdered), and the slave (murderer) for the slave (murdered), and the female (murderer) for the female (murdered), but who has been granted any remission by his (aggrieved) brother (or family) then pursuing (of the matter) shall be done with equity and fairness, and the payment (of the blood money) to him (the heir) should be made in a handsome manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But he who exceeds the limits after this (commandment), for him is a grievous punishment.

A. J. Arberry

O believers, prescribed for you is retaliation, touching the slain; freeman for freeman, slave for slave, female for female. But if aught is pardoned a man by his brother, let the pursuing be honourable, and let the payment be with kindliness. That is a lightening granted you by your Lord, and a mercy; and for him who commits aggression after that -- for him there awaits a painful chastisement.

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

O O Ye who believe! prescribed unto you is retaliation for the slain; the free for the free, and a bondsman for a bondsman, and a woman for a woman; yet unto whomsoever is pardoned aught by his brother, then a serving with lenity and payments with kindness. That is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy so whosoever shall transgress thereafter, for him there shall be a torment afflictive.

Faridul Haque

O People who Believe! Retribution is made obligatory for you in the matter of those killed unjustly; a freeman for a freeman, and a slave for a slave, and a female for a female; and for him who is partly forgiven by his brother, seek compensation with courtesy and make payment in proper manner; this is a relief and a mercy upon you, from your Lord; so after this, a painful punishment is for whoever exceeds the limits.

Hamid S. Aziz

O you who believe! Retaliation (or the Law of Equivalence) is prescribed for you. In cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female; yet he who is pardoned at all by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand and compensate him with kindness. That is a concession and a mercy from your Lord; and he who transgresses after that for him is grievous woe.

Hilali & Khan

O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood money, to the heir should be made in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood money), he shall have a painful torment.

Talal Itani

O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. But if he is forgiven by his kin, then grant any reasonable demand, and pay with good will. This is a concession from your Lord, and a mercy. But whoever commits aggression after that, a painful torment awaits him.

English Literal

You, you those who believed, it is dictated/ordered on you the revenge in the killed/murdered, the free/liberated with the free/liberated , and the slave with the slave, and the female with the female, so who was forgiven/pardoned for him a thing/something from his brother, so following with the goodness/kindness (peaceful settlement) and discharge/fulfillment to him with goodness, that (is) reduction/lightening from your Lord, and a mercy; so who transgressed/violated after that, so for him (is a) painful torture.

Abul Ala Maududi

O Believers, the lawn of retribution has been prescribed for you in cases of murder; if a free man commits a murder, the free man shall he punished for it and a slave for a slave: likewise if a woman is guilty of murder the same shall he accountable for it. But in case the injured brother is willing to show leniency to the murderer, the blood money should he decided in accordance with the common law and the murderer should pay it in a genuine way. This is an allowance and mercy from your Lord. Now there shall be a painful torment for anyone who transgresses the limits after this. O men of understanding.

Maulana Mohammad Ali

O you who believe, retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if remission is made to one by his (aggrieved) brother, prosecution (for blood-wit) should be according to usage, and payment to him in a good manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. Whoever exceeds the limit after this, will have a painful chastisement.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of equality) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money), then it should be sought in a good manner, and paid to him respectfully. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this, whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood money), he shall have a painful torment.

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.

Ali Quli Qarai

O you who have faith! Retribution is prescribed for you regarding the slain: freeman for freeman, slave for slave, and female for female. But if one is granted any extenuation by his brother, let the follow up [for the blood-money] be honourable, and let the payment to him be with kindness. That is a remission from your Lord and a mercy; and should anyone transgress after that, there shall be a painful punishment for him.

Qaribullah & Darwish

Believers, retaliation is decreed for you concerning the killed. A free (man) for a free (man), a slave for a slave, and a female for a female. He who is pardoned by his brother, let the ensuing be with kindness, and let the payment be with generosity. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. He who transgresses thereafter shall have a painful punishment.

Muhammad Sarwar

Believers, in case of murder, the death penalty is the sanctioned retaliation: a free man for a free man, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female. However, if the convicted person receives pardon from the aggrieved party, the prescribed rules of compensation must be followed accordingly. This is a merciful alteration from your Lord. Whoever transgresses against it will face a painful punishment.

Mohammad Habib Shakir

O you who believe! retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain, the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female, but if any remission is made to any one by his (aggrieved) brother, then prosecution (for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good manner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this he shall have a painful chastisement.

Wahiduddin Khan

Believers, retribution is prescribed for you in cases of murder: the free man for the free man, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If the offender is granted some remission by the heir of the slain person, the agreed penalty should be equitably exacted and should be discharged in a handsome manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and an act of grace. He who transgresses after this shall have a painful punishment.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder; the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.

Tafsir jalalayn

O you who believe, prescribed, made obligatory, for you is retaliation, on equal terms, regarding the slain, both in the attributes [of the one slain] and in the action involved; a free man, is killed, for a free man, and not for a slave; and a slave for a slave, and a female for a female. The Sunna makes it clear that a male may be killed [in retaliation] for a female, and that religious affiliation should be taken into account also, so that a Muslim cannot be killed in return for an disbeliever, even if the former be a slave and the latter a free man. But if anything, of the blood, is pardoned any one, of those who have slain, in relation to his brother, the one slain, so that the retaliation is waived (the use of the indefinite shay'un, `anything', here implies the waiving of retaliation through a partial pardon by the inheritors [of the slain]; the mention of akhh [`his brother'] is intended as a conciliatory entreaty to pardon and a declaration that killing should not sever the bonds of religious brotherhood; the particle man, `any one', is the subject of a conditional or a relative clause, of which the predicate is [the following, fa'ittib`un]) let the pursuing, that is, the action of the one who has pardoned in pursuing the killer, be honourable, demanding the blood money without force. The fact that the `pursuing' results from the `pardoning' implies that one of the two [actions] is a duty, which is one of al-Shfi`'s two opinions here. The other [opinion] is that retaliation is the duty, whereas the blood money is merely compensation [for non-retaliation], so that if one were to pardon but not name his blood money, then nothing [happens]; and this [latter] is the preferred [opinion]. And let the payment, of the blood money by the slayer, to him, the pardoner, that is, the one inheriting [from the slain], be with kindliness, without procrastination or fraud; that, stipulation mentioned here about the possibility of retaliation and the forgoing of this in return for blood money, is an alleviation, a facilitation, given, to you, by your Lord, and a mercy, for you, for He has given you latitude in this matter and has not categorically demanded that one [of the said options] be followed through, in the way that He made it obligatory for Jews to retaliate and for Christians to [pardon and] accept blood money; and for him who commits aggression, by being unjust towards the killer and slaying him, after that, that is, [after] pardoning -- his is a painful chastisement, of the Fire in the Hereafter, or of being killed in this world.

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Command and the Wisdom behind the Law of Equality

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ
كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاُنثَى بِالاُنثَى

O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of equality) is prescribed for you in case of murder;the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.

Allah states;O believers! The Law of equality has been ordained on you (for cases of murder), the free for the free, the slave for the slave and the female for the female. Therefore, do not transgress the set limits, as others before you transgressed them, and thus changed what Allah has ordained for them.

The reason behind this statement is that (the Jewish tribe of) Banu An-Nadir invaded Qurayzah (another Jewish tribe) during the time of Jahiliyyah (before Islam) and defeated them. Hence, (they made it a law that) when a person from Nadir kills a person from Quraizah, he is not killed in retaliation, but only pays a hundred Wasq of dates. However, when a person from Quraizah kills a Nadir man, he would be killed for him. If Nadir wanted (to forfeit the execution of the murderer and instead require him) to pay a ransom, the Quraizah man pays two hundred Wasq of dates (double the amount Nadir pays in Diyah (blood money)). So Allah commanded that justice be observed regarding the penal code, and that the path of the misguided and mischievous persons be avoided, who in disbelief and transgression, defy and alter what Allah has commanded them. Allah said;

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاُنثَى بِالاُنثَى

Al-Qisas (the Law of equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder;the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.

Allah's statement;
الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاُنثَى بِالاُنثَى
(the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female) was abrogated by the statement life for life (5;45).

However, the majority of scholars agree that the Muslim is not killed for a disbeliever whom he kills.

Al- Bukhari reported that Ali narrated that Allah's Messenger said;

وَلَا يُقْتَلُ مُسْلِمٌ بِكَافِر

The Muslim is not killed for the disbeliever (whom he kills).

No opinion that opposes this ruling could stand correct, nor is there an authentic Hadith to contradict it. However, Abu Hanifah thought that the Muslim could be killed for a disbeliever, following the general meaning of the Ayah (5;45) in Surah Al-Ma'idah.

The Four Imams (Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafii and Ahmad) and the majority of scholars stated that;

the group is killed for one person whom they murder.

Umar said, about a boy who was killed by seven men,

"If all the residents of San`a' (capital of Yemen today) collaborated on killing him, I would kill them all."

No opposing opinion was known by the Companions during that time which constitutes a near Ijma (consensus).

There is an opinion attributed to Imam Ahmad that;

a group of people is not killed for one person whom they kill, and that only one person is killed for one person.

Ibn Al-Mundhir also attributed this opinion to Mu`adh, Ibn Az-Zubayr, Abdul-Malik bin Marwan, Az-Zuhri, Ibn Sirin and Habib bin Abu Thabit.

Allah's statement;

...
فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ
فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ
وَأَدَاء إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ

But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money), then it should be sought in a good manner, and paid to him respectfully.

refers to accepting blood money (by the relatives of the victim in return for pardoning the killer) in cases of intentional murder.

This opinion is attributed to Abu Al-Aliyah, Abu Sha`tha', Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ata Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said;
فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ
(But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money), means,

"the killer is pardoned by his brother (i.e., the relative of the victim) and accepting the Diyah after capital punishment becomes due (against the killer), this is the `Afw (pardon mentioned in the Ayah)."

Allah's statement;

...
فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

...then it should be sought in a good manner,

means, when the relative agrees to take the blood money, he should collect his rightful dues with kindness;

...
وَأَدَاء إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ

and paid to him respectfully.

means, the killer should accept the terms of settlement without causing further harm or resisting the payment.

Allah's statement;

...
ذَلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ

This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.

means the legislation that allows you to accept the blood money for intentional murder is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. It lightens what was required from those who were before you, either applying capital punishment or forgiving.

Sa`id bin Mansur reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"The Children of Israel were required to apply the Law of equality in murder cases and were not allowed to offer pardons (in return for blood money). Allah said to this Ummah (the Muslim nation);

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالاُنثَى بِالاُنثَى
فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ

The Law of equality in punishment is prescribed for you in case of murder;the free for the free, the servant for the servant, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives) of the killed (against blood money).

Hence, `pardoning' or `forgiving' means accepting blood money in intentional murder cases."

Ibn Hibban also recorded this in his Sahih.

Qatadah said;
ذَلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ
(This is an alleviation from your Lord),

Allah had mercy on this Ummah by giving them the Diyah which was not allowed for any nation before it.

The People of the Torah (Jews) were allowed to either apply the penal code (for murder, i.e., execution) or to pardon the killer, but they were not allowed to take blood money.

The People of the Injil (the Gospel - the Christians) were required to pardon (the killer, but no Diyah was legislated).

This Ummah (Muslims) is allowed to apply the penal code (execution) or to pardon and accept the blood money."

Similar was reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Ar-Rabi bin Anas.

Allah's statement;

...
فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

So after this whoever transgresses the limits, he shall have a painful torment.

means, those who kill in retaliation after taking the Diyah or accepting it, they will suffer a painful and severe torment from Allah.

The same was reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ata Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

The Benefits and Wisdom of the Law of Equality

Allah's statement;