Capital Punishment: An Islamic Perspective

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Capital Punishment: An Islamic Perspective

Rahim Nobahar (PhD)

Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Law, Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract: This article highlights some Islamic jurisprudential (fiqhī) principles which require reduction and restriction of death penalty. According to this article, in Islamic view the permissibility of capital punishment is very limited and narrow. Minimalistic approach to capital punishment includes fixed punishment (had), just retaliation (qisās) and discretionary punishment (ta’zir). The article also studies some procedural factors, which in their turn, result in the reduction of the numbers of capital punishment. Of them is proportionality between the epistemic value of the evidence and the content it is supposed to prove. The necessity of observing humane considerations in the performance of death penalty, in a few cases in which it is permitted, is also briefly discussed. In other words, performance of death penalty should be with the lowest level of pain when it is permitted.

Keywords: Right to life, Islamic criminal law, death penalty, ultima ratio principle, Precaution principle.

A Persian version of this article is published in: Modars of Criminal Law and Criminology, Tarbiat Modares University, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 2020, available at:

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