Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Honor Killing in Pakistan: An Islamic Perspective

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Honor Killing in Pakistan: An Islamic Perspective

Article excerpt


Islamic Republic of Pakistan is considered as one of the most dangerous and unsafe country for women in the world, because of the increasing rate of crimes against women in the shape of honor killing and honor related violence. Which are known as assaults committed against women for what is considered immoral behavior. Some researchers and Islamic scholars links act of honor killing with Islam, they tried to justify this crime with some general sayings of Prophet Peace be upon him. In this paper the issue of honor killing has examined in the light of fundamental resources of Islam i.e Quran (the Saying of Allah) and Hadees (The Saying of Prophet Muhammad SAH) to clarify the true guidance of Islam in such cases. The claim of some researchers that honor killing get encouragement from Islamic Guidance has also been examined through Primary and Secondary Sources of Islam. Effort is made to bring forth the correct Islamic teachings.

Keywords: honor killing, Shariah, Islam, Fatwa, Zina, Qazaf

1. Background

The protection of life and procreation of a person, may be a man or woman, is regarded as a fundamental objective of Shariah [Islamic Code of life]. The Islam has introduced a system of chastity in order to spiritual purification in the society. Islam restricts the free and uncontrolled gathering of male & female. The adultery is termed as a very heinous sin, and according to Quranic commandment, it has been directed to avoid the causes and incentive of adultery also (17:32). So, each and every effort is made to close all ways which may lead to loosening the morality's level and obscenity.

In Pakistan, when a man takes the life of a woman or commits any violence against women and claims that he did so because she was guilty of immoral sexual conduct, it is called an honor killing or honor related violence. The killing of the adulterous female - and sometimes but not always, of the man named as her illicit partner - is intended to erase shame, restore honor, and enforce a social code that defines and controls women's lives (Rabia, 2001).

Pakistan, as it is claimed, has one of the highest incidence rates in the world (Greff, 2010) A survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters also includes Pakistan in the top five most dangerous countries for women in the world because of the highest rates of dowry murder and so-called honor killings.(Trust, 2011)

Regarding the silent features of the country, it is a well known historical fact that there were several factors for motivating the movement for the creation of Pakistan such as political, social economical and freedom from colonial powers. However, for the combination of all these factors as well as inciting the people emotionally Islamic ideology and religious foundations played a key role. It is an interesting fact that masses of Pakistan have their emotional attachment with Islam rather than logically and rationally. Keeping in mind this background, we discuss honor killing in the Islamic perspective.

2. Discussion

Sexual relations beyond legal contract of marriage are prohibited in Islam and the term Zina is used for adultery. Zina or adultery is not considered mere a sin but it is also regarded as an offence in Islam. This ill practice remains a sin until some one brings this to the Shariah court. If the court feels satisfied with the proofs as per Islamic guide lines then the offenders are punished for their offence positively. Describing the punishment for adultery, Quran says (24:2): The woman and the man guilty of adultery flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion moves you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day; and let a party of believers witness their punishment.

However, the Islamic law does not confer on any body the authority except the government to sit in judgment against man or the woman accused of adultery or fornication and none except an Islamic court has the authority to punish them. …

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