After reading the following Verse of the Holy Qur'an,

Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women - bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way.Qur'an 4:15

and the following Ahadith,

  1. Narrated Jabir: A man from the tribe of Bani Aslam came to the Prophet while he was in the mosque and said, "I have committed illegal sexual intercourse." The Prophet turned his face to the other side. The man turned towards the side towards which the Prophet had turned his face, and gave four witnesses against himself. On that the Prophet called him and said, "Are you insane?" (He added), "Are you married?" The man said, 'Yes." On that the Prophet ordered him to be stoned to the death in the Musalla (a praying place). When the stones hit him with their sharp edges and he fled, but he was caught at Al-Harra and then killed. Al-Bukhari Volume 7: Book 63: Hadith 195.

  2. 'Abdullah b. Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Ma'iz b. Malik al-Aslami came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, I have wronged myself ; I have committed adultery and I earnestly desire that you should purify me. He turned him away. On the following day, he (Ma'iz) again came to him and said: Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) turned him away for the second time, and sent him to his people saying: Do you know if there is anything wrong with his mind. They denied of any such thing in him and said: We do not know him but as a wise good man among us, so far as we can judge. He (Ma'iz) came for the third time, and he (the Holy Prophet) sent him as he had done before. He asked about him and they informed him that there was nothing wrong with him or with his mind. When it was the fourth time, a ditch was dug for him and he (the Holy Prophet) pronounced judgment about him. He (the narrator) said: There came to him (the Holy Prophet) a woman from Ghamid and said: Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me. He (the Holy Prophet) turned her away. On the following day she said: Allah's Messenger, Why do you turn me away? Perhaps, you turn me away as you turned away Ma'iz. By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: Well, if you insist upon it, then go away until you give birth to (the child). When she was delivered she came with the child (wrapped) in a rag and said: Here is the child whom I have given birth to. He said: Go away and suckle him until you wean him. When she had weaned him, she came to him (the Holy Prophet) with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah's Apostle, here is he as I have weaned him and he eats food. He (the Holy Prophet) entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and then pronounced punishment. And she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. Khalid b Walid came forward with a stone which he flung at her head and there spurted blood on the face of Khalid and so he abused her. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) heard his (Khalid's) curse that he had hurried upon her. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Khalid, be gentle. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, she has made such a repentance that even if a wrongful tax-collector were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then giving command regarding her, he prayed over her and she was buried.
    Sahih Muslim: Book 17: Hadith 4206.

I am still confused whether Islam supports Honor killing or not. The woman in the second Hadith I mentioned above repented, but still she was stoned to death (not forgiven). On the other hand Allah says that anyone who repents will be forgiven.

But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Qur'an 5:39

How am I to interpret this concept? Is this (the stories from the two Ahadith) not Honor Killing? Isn't it allowed in Islam?

  • 3
    No where in the article it is mentioned that it was due to Islam. Why associate everything muslims do with Islam?
    – Abdullah
    Jul 8, 2012 at 12:58
  • Let me add something more... Jul 8, 2012 at 13:00
  • There was another question about this. It was closed because it was about Muslims, not Islam; honour killings have no Islamic basis.
    – ashes999
    Jul 9, 2012 at 14:59

5 Answers 5


Killing a Muslim unlawfully is a serious matter and a grave crime. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.”[al-Nisa’ 4:93]

al-Bukhaari (6355) narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“The believer will continue to be encompassed by the mercy of Allaah so long as he does not shed blood that it is forbidden to shed.”

Even, if it is proven that he/she deserves the hadd punishment, it is not permissible for individuals to carry out this punishment themselves. Rather the matter must be referred to the ruler or his deputy to prove the crime and carry out the punishment, because if individuals carry out hadd punishments, that will lead to a great deal of corruption and evil. And this is for a country that is ruled by Shariah.

Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo’ (6/53):

It is haraam for anyone to carry out a hadd punishment except the ruler or his deputy. This is something on which the fuqaha’ of Islam are unanimously agreed, as was stated in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/280): The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the one who should carry out hadd punishments is the ruler or his deputy, whether the punishment is transgressing one of the limits of Allaah, may He be exalted, such as zina, or a transgression against another person, such as slander.

In Islam, Vigilantism is a totally haraam.

Considering the issue that you mention happened in a democratic country, it is not permissible to punish the person even if if proven guilty. If someone does it, it is the height of ignorance from pre-islamic era. And if he/she is killed unjustly, then it is a major sin.

Source: Ruling on honour killings

EDIT: Since question was updated, here is an addition :

In both hadith you mentioned, the hadd punishment was carried out by the authorities not any random guy as it happens in honor killings.

Secondly, why she was killed after repentance? Because, hadd punishments are a way to expiate sins.

Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated in his Saheeh (3/143, no. 3679) with his isnaad that ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit, one of those who was present at Badr with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), said that one of those who had been present at al-‘Aqabah told him:The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, with a group of his Sahaabah standing around him:

“Come and give me your oath of allegiance, promising that you will not associate anything in worship with Allaah, or steal, or commit zinaa (illegal sexual activity), or kill your children, or utter slander intentionally forging falsehood (by wrongfully attributing illegitimate children to husbands), or disobey me with regard to anything good (ma’roof). Whoever among you fulfils this oath, his reward will be due from Allaah, and whoever commits any of these sins and is punished for it in this world, this will be an expiation for him. Whoever commits any of these sins and Allaah conceals it for him, then his case rests with Allaah – if He wills, He will punish him and if He wills, He will forgive him.” So they gave their oath of allegiance to him on that basis.

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (1/6):

“What we learn from this hadeeth is that the carrying out of the punishment is an expiation for the sin, even if the one on whom the hadd is carried out does not repent. This is the view of the majority. It was also said that he has to repent – this was stated by some of the Taabi’een.”

The previous hadeeth was also narrated by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan. After quoting it, he said:

“Al-Shaafa’i said concerning this topic: I have not heard any better indication than this hadeeth to show that the hudood (punishments) are an expiation for the people on whom they are carried out. Al-Shaafa’i said: if a person commits a sin and Allaah conceals it for him, I prefer for him to keep it concealed and to repent, keeping the matter between himself and Allaah. Something similar was narrated from Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, that they commanded a man to conceal his sin.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1439). So there is no need for the person who commits a punishable sin to go to the Qaadi (judge) and confess and ask for the hadd to be carried out on him; rather, he is encouraged to keep it to himself and to repent, keeping the matter between himself and Allaah, may He be glorified, and to do lots of righteous deeds, for good deeds cancel out bad deeds, and the one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin at all."

Source: Hadd punishment expiation of sins

  • What is hadd punishment? Hadd??
    – Tassisto
    Nov 26, 2013 at 7:07
  • 1
    @BadaBoom Prescribed punishments for violating Allah's Laws.
    – Abdullah
    Nov 28, 2013 at 20:37
  • Is it an Arabic word?
    – Tassisto
    Nov 29, 2013 at 6:55
  • 1
    @BadaBoom Yes. حدود
    – Abdullah
    Nov 29, 2013 at 8:21

Honor killing is not allowed in Islam, because it isn't the ordered punishment in Quran. A Muslim is not allowed to apply a different punishment other than the one ordered in Quran.

Recm (stoning) was only done once to a woman who herself confessed her sin. At that time, the ayats which contained law for punishment of adultery hadn't been delivered yet. So, the nabi Muhammad applied the law in Old Testament. After the law was defined in Quran, the stoning had never been applied from that time on.
And this kind of stoning has nothing to do with honor killings. That woman wasn't killed for honor. That was the proper type of punishment that remained from Old Testament.

Other stoning occurrences are only mentioned in some weak hadiths. According to people who claim that Islam orders stoning punishment, (according to them) the page of Quran which contained that law for stoning punishment was eaten by a goat, so that that law became invalid after that. This claim has no basis, and it was asserted during the politic conflicts after which the Shiite sect formed. It is ironic that the same people who asserted this claim also claim that Quran was protected and even a single word of it can not be changed.

The short term punishment for adultery is:

الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِئَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse - lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
Nur 2 (24/2)

The long term punishment for adultery is:

وَاللاَّتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعةً مِّنكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىَ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً
Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women - bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way.
Nisa 15 (4/15)

These are the orders from Allah. When Allah orders a method, all other methods become closed. People aren't allowed to violate the orders of Allah, and come out with different methods which they find in their minds.


First of all, the ahadith you cited has nothing to do with "Honor Killing". The ahadith you cited is about the Hadd, the prescribed punishment recommended by Allah for those who commit such acts. Secondly, you said "The woman in the second Hadith I mentioned above repented, but still she was stoned to death (not forgiven)." - Allah is the One Who grants forgiveness, not people. Thirdly, in the second Ahadith you cited, the man and the woman both came, knowing they had committed a major sin, and they requested for the punishment to be carried out on them, as they knew it would purify them.

Fourthly, you said "The woman in the second Hadith I mentioned above repented, but still she was stoned to death (not forgiven)." - What makes you think that because she was stoned (at her own request) that she was not forgiven? Did not she say "I have committed adultery, so purify me." ? What do you think that means?

Lastly, you said "How am I to interpret this concept? Is this (the stories from the two Ahadith) not Honour Killing? Isn't it allowed in Islam?" : Its simple. You commit an unlawful act, you receive the punishment for it. These people believe in Allah and have enough knowledge to know that the punishment in the hereafter is greater than any punishment you receive in this life, and this is why they requested their punishment in this life as opposed to "getting away with a crime" and having to face up to it on the Day of Judgment.

  • 1
    Hope you noticed the ayah I mentioned at the last. Is the purification necessary even after Allah has forgiven them? Jul 25, 2012 at 5:26
  • 1
    No one knows if Allah has forgiven them for anything unless Allah sends a revelation saying so. Also, forgiveness does not rule out purification. Allah can forgive you for anything, but if He wishes that you be purified also, thats what it will be. Example, if I kill someone and repent, Allah can forgive me if He wants to, but after Judgment Day, if Allah wishes to purify me, He may decree me to be purified by the hell fire for as long as He wills. Forgiveness does not rule out purification from sin, and vice versa. You may be forgiven and not yet purified and vice versa.
    – user361
    Jul 25, 2012 at 5:35
  • 1
    @Tabrez Ahmed, look at this aya for further understanding "And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers." Surah 3:141 - In this aya, the point is not forgiveness, it is purification. These are two very different things.
    – user361
    Jul 25, 2012 at 5:43

I would like to say that the above incidents are not honor killings; rather, they are part of the shareeah of Islam ("the law of the land"). In the incidents (hadeeth) quoted in your question, the Islamic authority (the ruler or his representative; in this case, the Messenger(SAWS) himself) executed an injunction of the shareeah, so these cannot be classified as honor killings.

Honor killing is when an individual in his own capacity takes it upon himself to kill a female member of his family or clan owing to his idea of some dishonorable act done by her. This act is punishable in Islam since nobody is allowed to take the law into their own hands.

The honor killings that we see today in Muslim-majority countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan, and indeed other such countries, are in fact not sanctioned in Islam and if the Islamic shareeah would have been in force, such perpetrators would have been executed for murder. The system of honor killings stem from their jahilliyah past which are unfortunately mistaken for Islam.


No Islam does not allow honer killing . There is no support for this in Quran. Some other religion might allow honer killing.

Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

So if any person say honor killing is allowed then that person is following Bible not Quran.

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