Justice: The Indemnity For A Death Caused By An Honest Mistake

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.

THE INDEMNITY FOR A DEATH CAUSED BY AN HONEST MISTAKE

04.5 When the killing occurred through an honest mistake (def: 02.2), the indemnity is less severe in three ways:

(a) payment is deferred;

(b) it is due from those of the offender’s extended family who are required to pay (def: 04.10);

(c) and the amount paid is (N: 1,000 gold dinars (n: 4,235.0 grams of gold) or:) 20 she-camels in their second year, 20 she-camels and 20 he-camels in their third year, 20 she-camels in their fourth year, and 20 she-camels in their fifth

04.6 But no matter whether the killing was a mistake or intentional, the three-types-of-camel indemnity (def: 04.3(c) must be paid if the person killed was:

(1) an unmarriageable kin by birth relative of the killer (def: m6.1(1-8) and m6.2(1-6));

(2) slain in the Sacred Precinct in Mecca;

(3) or killed during one of the sacrosanct months of Dhul Qa’da, Dhul Hijja, Muharram, or Rajab.

04.7 Defective animals may not constitute payment.

04.8 It is permissible for deserving recipients to accept payment other than camels if both parties agree.

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