Against the backdrop of the Shafia honour-killing trial in Kingston, Montreal’s Concordia University graduate Sikander Ziad Hashmi, an imam with the Islamic Society of Kingston, tells us “there is no such thing as ‘honour killing’ in Islam.” Last week, Hashmi challenged readers of Canada’s National Post Full Commentonline to find one classical Islamic religious text that endorses the murder of a family member to preserve honour. PointdeBascule in Montreal answers the imam’s request by producing not one, but TWO Islamic texts stating that a father who kills his child must NOT be subject to punishment (“retaliation”).
The first text is “Umdat al-Saliq” or “Reliance of the Traveller”, a manual of Islamic law certified in 1991 as a reliable guide to Sunni Islam by Cairo’s renowned al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and authoritative institute of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence in the world. This manual, composed in the 14th century,states that punishment or “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right” EXCEPT when “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers)” kills their “offspring, or offspring’s offspring” (section o1.1-2). In other words, a parent who murders his/her child for the sake of honour, is not penalized under Islamic law or Shariah.
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