Does death penalty exist in Islam? Are there examples of it?

Details of the Question

Does death penalty exist in Islam? Are there examples of it?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Death penalty is given to a married person who commits adultery and a person who kills a Muslim. That is, a person who kills is killed. Besides, the people who revolt against the state and cause mischief can be killed if the judge deems it appropriate.

In hadiths, the penalty of stoning (rajm) is mentioned but this penalty has always been a controversial issue among scholars. During the Ottoman period (that is, in six hundred years), only one incident of rajm took place; in that incident, the sheikh al-Islam resigned saying, "I cannot issue a fatwa about it."

Islam aims to eliminate harmful things like hatred and blood feuds among people. In Islam, there are three decrees related to a person who kills another person: 

1. If the killer is forgiven by the family of the person who was killed, he is freed.

2. The family of the person who was killeddemands "blood money". They may forgive the man when they get the amount they want. The killer is freed.

3. The family of the person who was killed demands retaliation (blood for blood). Thereupon, "the Islamic state" executes the killer. There will be no blood feud because the state executes the killer. Thefamily of the person who was killed cannot object and does not try to take revenge because the killer was executed.

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