Qaradawi Urges Gender Equality on Blood Money
Sheikh Qaradawi said scholars of earlier times used to adopt gender equality on blood money
By Farahat Al Abbar, IOL Correspondent
DOHA, December 24 (IslamOnline.net) - Prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi pressed for gender equality on the amount of manslaughter blood money.
Qaradawi said during a forum in Qatar's Supreme Council for Family Affairs on Wednesday, December 22, that there is no evidence backing that the compensation paid for mistakenly killing a woman should be half that for a slaughtered man.
"No evidence in the Noble Qur'an supports such arguments on discrimination drawn between men and women in that regard."
The prominent Muslim scholar, who is also head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), said earlier generations of scholars such as Ibn Alia and Al-Aasam used to pay equal blood money to compensate the families of those killed regardless of their gender.
Not as Inheritance
Sheikh Qaradawi further rejected that the blood money issue should be dealt with as that of inheritance - where women get half that offered to men of the legacy of their dead relatives.
"Still, there are many inheritance cases in which women are paid equally as men."
Sheikh Qaradawi refuted claims that men are paid double the amount presented to women due to men's responsibility for their families.
"Islamic Shari`ah doesn't state this. Rather, we see a little kid is paid equally as to an old man, and a porter as a professor - with no discrimination whatsoever."
Known for his moderate edicts and widely-respected views, Sheikh Qaradawi maintained that reconsideration of the women's share of blood money would be an honor for women.
He called on the government of Qatar, where the Egyptian scholar now stays, to put his recommendation into action.
Sheikh Qaradawi's call was welcomed by a host of prominent scholars attending the forum.
Chief among them are Qatari participants Sheikh Abdul Kadir bin Muhammad al-Amari, the former deputy chief of the Appeal Court, professor Aisha al-Mannaa, the dean of the Shari`ah faculty of Qatar University, and her colleague professor Mohamed Othman Shber.
Al-Mannaa said review of women's share of bloody money would be seen as an effort to promote women rights.
Shber concurred, saying these days are completely different from earlier eras when opinions on women's blood money share were given.
Salem Rashid al-Marrekhi, member of the national human rights committee in Qatar, hailed the scholars' stance on equalizing women's share of blood money as a boost of human rights in the Islamic world.
"Human rights laws don't strike a difference between between males and females."
However, a cohort of Muslim scholars voiced opposition to equalizing men and women on the blood money share.
"The four madhhabs (religious schools) have agreed on paying half share of blood money to women," said Saleh bin Jassem Al Muhanadi, head of the first class court.
He urged to take into account men's financial burdens when tackling the issue of women's blood money share.
"Men pay dowry and are totally responsible for their families, burdens that women are exempted of."
Other Muslim scholars pressed for conducting more studies on the issue of women's share of blood money.
Dr. Thaqeel bin Sayer al-Shamry of the Court of Cassation said the issue requires deep examination, warning against hasty decisions on what he calls a thorny territory.
Shamry believed that scholars advocating equal blood money to men and women have used weak hadith (Prophet Muhammad's sayings).
The forum comes following mounting calls to introduce amendments to the Qatari law on women's blood money share which states that families of killed women are paid half that to killed men as a settlement to potential disputes over the killings.
The Supreme Council for Family Affairs which hosted the lecture was established in 1998 under the presidency of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad, Qatar’s First Lady.
The Council has been a scene of several gatherings on family issues, latest of which was the Doha International Conference for Family , held on November 29-30.