Zohra Sarwari

Honor Killing Has No Place In Islam

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Bismillahe Rahmanee Raheem.

“And whosoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him”

[The Qur’aan Chapter -al-Nisa’ 4:93]

SubhanAllah I cannot tell you how many times as a speaker do I hear this question from Muslims and Non-Muslims, “Why does Islaam allow honor killing?” Amazed that people still think this and I just sit for a moment as I gather my thoughts together. I realize that we are all in different places in our lives and that even I once too thought this, “Is Honor Killing allowed in Islaam?”. How beautiful is knowledge and how beautiful it is that it illuminates our hearts from ignorance as we keep learning? Contrary to the saying in the west “Ignorance is Bliss.” For Muslims, it is “Knowledge that is Bliss, and Ignorance that ruins lives.”  I will be covering what is honor killing, why does it occur, and where does it occur most. I will end with a short true story of honor killing, and how it could have all been prevented, inshAllaah.

What is honor killing? Human Rights Watch defines “honor killings” as follows:

“Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”

In Wikipedia at the entry of honor killings, I found this “According to Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, a University of Toronto professor of women’s studies, followers of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity have used their religions as a rationale to commit honor killings. However, Mojab stated that honor killings don’t have “any definite connection with religion at all.” She also pointed out that honor killings have been practiced before any major religion came into existence. Also according to Widney Brown, the advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, said that the practice “goes across cultures and across religions.” Human rights advocates have compared “honor killing” to “crimes of passion” in Latin America (which are sometimes treated extremely leniently) and also to the killing of women for lack of dowry in India.”