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In modern law, attempting to commit a crime is criminalized, in some - perhaps many, I'm not sure - legal systems to roughly the same degree as actually committing the attempted crime. However, I've never so far come across a discussion of how someone who, for exampled, tried to kill someone whose blood was illicit to shed but failed to kill him would be punished according to sharia.

To give an example, one could imagine that person A tries to poison person B by inviting B to dinner and placing a poisoned cup of B's favorite beverage at B's place; before B takes a sip, A unintentionally knocks over the cup. In modern law, this would be classified as attempted manslaughter.

Question: is attempting to commit a crime itself criminalized in sharia, and if so, to what degree? E.g. would attempted zina be punished in the same way zina would be punished?

If attempting a crime is punishable, I expect that there will be relatively clear demarcations between attempting a crime and taking preliminary steps that do not yet count as an attempt; if that is the case, please elaborate on that too.

  • I'm not sure if your question is regarding Islamic penal law or what Islam has to say about attempted crimes. If it is the former, your example of person A's attempting to poison person B is unclear for me - how would the Islamic court find out about an attempted crime, since the intent is known only to the perpetrator? – Zaid Apr 21 '17 at 11:18
  • @Zaid The former, that's why I put "fiqh" and talked about whether it's punishable as a crime. An example where it would be easy to find out is if A tried to shoot B, but missed. – G. Bach Apr 21 '17 at 12:12

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