Quran 2:171-180 Retaliation?


Well-Known Member
Quran 2:171. The parable of those who disbelieve is that of someone who calls upon someone who hears nothing except screaming and yelling. Deaf, dumb, and blind—they do not understand.
172. O you who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and give thanks to God, if it is Him that you serve.
173. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled, without desiring or exceeding, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.
174. Those who conceal what God revealed in the Book, and exchange it for a small price—those swallow nothing but fire into their bellies. And God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they will have a painful punishment.
175. It is they who exchange guidance for error, and forgiveness for punishment. But why do they insist on the Fire?
176. That is because God has revealed the Book in truth; and those who differ about the Book are in deep discord.
177. Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious.
178. O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. But if he is forgiven by his kin, then grant any reasonable demand, and pay with good will. This is a concession from your Lord, and a mercy. But whoever commits aggression after that, a painful torment awaits him.
179. There is life for you in retaliation, O people of understanding, so that you may refrain.
180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly—a duty upon the righteous

I see ringing in the ears in the first verse. Sometimes the ringing in an old person's ears can grow so loud.... we can't hear anything else. Some old people really have to concentrate to hear.... and if someone is talking to us.... expecting us to hear them and follow their instructions or cure their ills.... we only hear that ringing.... or tone.... or buzz.... or like me... the beat of my own heart... psssh.... psssh.... psssh.....

If I can't hear what the other person is saying... am I held accountable?

Verse 173 reminds me of an episode of a tv show that was recently cancelled called "Moms". In that episode, Bonnie found some pot cookies her boyfriend had stashed.... and shared them with her addict friends.... when they found out.... they panicked and started bemoaning the loss of all those years of hard fought sobriety. Their sponsor reminds them... they didn't willfully do it... on purpose... it was an error... a real error.... it doesn't count. They didn't have a desire.... it just happened. God is merciful... He'll let it slide.

So... that brings me past the charity we should all be showing to our neighbors..... to verse 178.... and that's the one that drove me to the commentary.

According to the Commentary.

The Jewish law of retaliation is greatly modified in Islåm, being limited only to cases of murder, while among the Jews it extended to all cases of grievous hurt. The words retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain, mean that the murderer should be put to death. After promulgating that law in general terms, the Qur’ån proceeds to describe a particular case, viz. that if a free man is the murderer, he himself is to be slain; if a slave is the murderer, that slave is to be executed; if a woman murdered a man, it was she that was to be put to death. The pre-Islåmic Arabs used in certain cases to insist, when the person killed was of noble descent, upon the execution of others besides the murderer; they were not content with the execution of the slave or the woman, if one of them happened to be the murderer. The Holy Qur’ån abolished this custom (AH, Rz).​
There may be circumstances which alleviate the guilt. In such cases the murderer may be made to pay a fine to the relatives of the murdered person. Such money is called diyat or blood-money. The reference to the alleviation of the guilt is plainly contained in the concluding words of the verse: This is an alleviation from your Lord. A comparison with 4:92 makes it clear that when homicide is not intentional, blood-money may be paid.

So.... retaliation.... "an eye for an eye" isn't directly stated.... but it's here.... the punishment should not exceed the crime. Sure if I walk up to you and shoot you intentionally in the heart.... I am responsible and I should be put to death for it. But if the gun went off by mistake.... well then that was an accident... and the only thing I can do is share the burden of life without you. I should help your family out because I took away your support.

It's not about retaliation.... it's about doing what is right.