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The Modern Interpretation of the Diyat Formula for the Quantum of Damages: The Case of Homicide and Personal Injuries

In: Arab Law Quarterly
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  • 1 Sharī‘ah and Law Department, Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Abstract

Diyat is an old concept evolving from the custom of blood revenge practiced during pre-Islamic Arabia. The Qu’rān authorizes diyat as a kind of retaliation for homicide in lieu of qiṣāṣ in which the victim’s family pardons the offender, while the Ḥadīth elaborate in detail upon the typology, characteristics and quantum for murder and various types of physical injury. In reality, pecuniary compensation is an ancient practice that predates the pre-Islamic era, and, furthermore, this divine principle shows that Islam recognizes the human practice. To ensure that its dynamic is embraced in the contemporary situation, the methods of payment, i.e., value in camels and dinar, need revisiting. This article contributes to the subject thereby adding to the literature concerning diyat by reinterpreting the mechanism of restoring the value of gold dinar as an exchange for modern implementation.

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