Diya (Islam)

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Diya ( Arabic دية) Or blood money , according to Islamic law ( fiqh the compensation, in the event of damage to life or limb of a person from the family or clan of the damaging to the victim's family or -sippe instead) retribution is paid. It is irrelevant here whether the damage was intentional or not. Even murder can only be punished with a diya. This right is still used today in various Islamic states, for example in Iran , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates .

According to Islamic law, the victim family must be offered the possibility of retaliation. This can take the form of retaliation for the same act up to and including the execution of the perpetrator. However, the family of the victim is required by Islamic law to forego it and instead to demand the diya.


Classical Islamic law

According to classical Islamic law, the amount of liability for damage done to a person is determined by the general valuation ( taqauwum ) of the respective person. The important thing here is that not all people are considered equal. The worth of the free man is greatest. According to classical Islamic law, full blood money consists of 100 camels, 1000 dinars or 10,000 dirhams .

Accordingly, the value of the woman for all compensation payments is set at half of what would be paid for a man for the offenses in question. The value of slaves is only expressed in the value of their goods, which is not determined by law. The inequality of men and women in the assessment of values ​​was justified by Hanafi scholars of the Middle Ages either with the fact that the woman did not have the same ability to acquire property as the man (unlike him, the woman in marriage has no right to use the body of the spouse ), or with reference to their reduced claims in inheritance law and the lower value of their testimony according to the Koranic determination.

For non-Muslims who do not live in the territory of Islam, and no protection letter ( Aman ) have the so-called Harbis , no blood money must be paid, as their killing is permissible according to Islamic law.


The judicial system of Iran publishes a blood money table annually. The amount depends on the month of the Islamic calendar and on the gender and religion of the victim. Women pay less than men, and non-Muslims less than Muslims. In extreme cases, a Zoroastrian only has to pay a twentieth of what a Muslim would pay.

In the four haram months, in which wars and killings should be avoided on the Arabian Peninsula and later in the entire Islamic world, blood money is doubled, while it is always halved for female victims. Originally, members of religious minorities , who have limited rights as dhimmis , also only received half the amount. At the beginning of 2004 the legislation was changed so that they are now entitled to the full amount. Initially rejected by the Guardian Council , equal treatment was then enforced by the Arbitration Council .

In the United Arab Emirates , blood money is limited to AED 200,000 (approx. EUR 38,000 ; July 2011 exchange rate) by the Supreme Court. A large number of locals have taken out insurance that pays the blood money if the perpetrator is financially unable to do so. This is due to the fact that 75% of the population are guest workers with very low incomes (300–600 EUR / month) and the Emirati families want to protect themselves with it.

The Ghurra as a special form of the Diya

A special form of Diya is the so-called Ghurra. It becomes due if the premature birth of a dead child is caused by the injury to a pregnant woman. The Ghurra is one twentieth of the Diya and is the basic punishment for an abortion. The diya is only due if the embryo leaves the body alive due to an operation and then dies. If, on the other hand, the embryo emerges dead from the body, only the Ghurra has to be paid.


  • G. Bergsträsser: Basic features of Islamic law . Edited u. ed. by J. Schacht. Berlin-Leipzig 1935. pp. 101-106.
  • E. Tyan: Art. "Diya" in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition Vol. II, pp. 340b-343a.
  • Baber Johansen: "Property, family and authorities in Hanafi criminal law. The relationship between private rights and the demands of the general public in Hanafi legal commentaries" in Die Welt des Islams 19 (1979) 1–73. Reprinted in Baber Johansen: Contingency in a Sacred Law. Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh . Suffering u. a. 1999. pp. 349-420. Here pp. 355–367.

supporting documents

  1. Bergstrasse: Fundamentals of Islamic Law . 1935, pp. 105f.
  2. See Johansen: "Property, Family and Authorities in Hanafi Criminal Law". 1999, pp. 361-366.
  3. Bergstrasse: Fundamentals of Islamic Law . 1935, p. 106.
  4. See Thomas Eich: Islam and Bioethics. A critical analysis of modern Islamic law. Wiesbaden 2005. p. 48.

See also