Capital punishment also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence of capital punishment can be handed down for a range of offenses, including murder, treason, espionage, and human and drug trafficking.
Capital punishment has been in existence for centuries, with the first recorded use dating back to the Code of King Hammurabi in ancient Babylon. In more recent times, it has remained a controversial and highly emotive topic, with countries around the world sharply divided on its use.
There are a number of arguments in favor of capital punishment, including its deterrent effect, the finality of the sentence, and the fact that it removes dangerous criminals from society. However, there are also a number of arguments against its use, including the risk of executing innocent people, the potential for abuse and misuse, and the fact that it does not necessarily deter crime.
Death Punishment or Capital Punishment In Light of Islam
Islam is a religion that teaches peace, love, and mercy. However, it also has a system of justice that includes capital punishment for certain crimes. In Islam, capital punishment is known as qisas. It is reserved for the most serious crimes, such as murder, terrorism, rape, and apostasy.
The Quran lays out the rules for qisas in Surah Al-Maidah, verse 45:
“And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for an eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equals. But whoever foregoes it by way of charity, it shall be an expiation for him. Whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”
According to this verse, qisas is to be applied in cases of murder and bodily injury. The victim’s family has the right to demand justice, but they also have the option to forgive the perpetrator and receive blood money (diyat) instead.
Capital punishment in Islam is not a matter of revenge or retribution; it is a system of justice designed to deter crime and protect society. In order for qisas to be carried out, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the crime was committed, and the perpetrator must be of sound mind and of legal age. The death penalty can only be imposed by a court of law, and it can only be carried out with the approval of the victim’s family.
There are a number of arguments both for and against capital punishment in Islam. Some believe that it is a necessary part of the justice system, while others argue that it is barbaric and outdated. But the reality is that death punishment is necessary part of the justice system to protect society.