Justice: Indemnity (Diya)

This is another article in the chapter Justice from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. The articles are posted one by one in the order they are given in the book.


(A: The rulings below concern the maximum that the victim or victim’s family may demand. If both sides agree on an indemnity of lesser amount, or nothing at all, this is legally valid and binding.)

04.1 An indemnity is obligatory (N: though it may by waived by deserving recipients, like retaliation) in cases of death caused:

(1) by an honest mistake (def: 02.2);

(2) by a mistake made in a deliberate injury (02.3);

(3) or intentionally , if those entitled to retaliate agree to forgo retaliation (dis: 03.8).

04.2 The indemnity for killing a male Muslim is 100 camels.

(N: Shafi’i scholars early converted the pastoral equivalents to gold dinars (n: one dinar equalling 4.235 grams of gold (dis: w15», the amount due in the rulings below being the weight of the gold, regardless of its current market value.) (A: The stronger position in the Shafi’i school is that indemnities should be reckoned in camels, after which both parties may agree on a lesser amount or another form of payment.)


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