Islam

Islam on the whole accepts capital punishment. 

…Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom. Qur’an 6:151

But even though the death penalty is allowed, forgiveness is preferable. Forgiveness, together with peace, is a predominant Qur’anic theme.

Muslims believe that capital punishment is a most severe sentence but one that may be commanded by a court for crimes of suitable severity. While there may be more profound punishment at the hands of God, there is also room for an earthly punishment.

Methods of execution in Islamic countries vary and can include beheading, firing squad, hanging and stoning. In some countries public executions are carried out to heighten the element of deterrence.

Islamic countries that practise a very strict Sharia law are associated with the use of capital punishment as retribution for the largest variety of crimes.

In Islamic law, the death penalty is appropriate for two groups of crime:

  • Intentional murder: In these cases the victim’s family is given the option as to whether or not to insist on a punishment of this severity
  • Fasad fil-ardh (‘spreading mischief in the land’): Islam permits the death penalty for anyone who threatens to undermine authority or destabilise the state

(Content sourced from BBC: Ethics)

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