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Qur’an 2:178 - Does a killer have to pay blood money or not?

There are different answers to the question in the Qur’an about blood money:

A killer has to pay blood money – Qur’an 2:178

“O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.” (Qur’an 2:178 - Pickthall) “Retaliation” or the law of equality is prescribed in case of murder. Compensation for life is blood money (1).

A killer doesn’t have to pay blood money – Qur’an 4:93

“Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (Qur’an 4:93 - Pickthall) The punishment will be in hell and not now. Therefore, this verse is opposite to Qur’an 2:178 about retaliation on earth and in this life. It is not only uneasy with Qur´an 2:178, but also with e.g. Qur´an 17:33 and, 5:45 (2).


There is an issue about two Qur’an verses about paying blood money or not.


  1. Richard Kimber, Blood Money, in: Jane Dammen McAuliffe (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, Volume One, A-D, Brill, Leiden, 2001, 239.
  2. Ibid, 239.


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