Honor Killing in Islam

Honor Killing

Understanding Honor Killings: Not Islamically Sanctioned and a Global Issue


An honor killing is a brutal act of violence, usually committed by male family members, against a female relative perceived to have brought shame or dishonor upon the family. This shame can be associated with refusing an arranged marriage, having premarital sex, or even simply speaking to an unrelated man.

“They (your wives) are your garments and you are their garments.” [Quran_2:187]

This metaphorical comparison depicts marriage as a relationship of mutual respect, protection, and support, where both partners fulfill crucial roles in each other’s lives

Islam and Honor Killings:

  • No Religious Justification: It is crucial to emphasize that *Islam* strictly forbids honor killings. The Quran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) promote forgiveness, justice, and respect for human life. Any act of violence against another person, regardless of the reason, is strictly condemned.
  • “And women have rights over you similar to those upon which you have rights over them….”[Quran_2:228]
  • Misinterpretations and Cultural Influences: Unfortunately, some individuals misinterpret religious texts or use them to justify their own pre-existing beliefs and cultural norms. Honor killings often stem from deeply ingrained patriarchal ideologies and societal pressures, not from Islamic teachings.
  • Condemnation by Muslim Leaders and Scholars: Overwhelmingly, Muslim leaders and scholars across the globe denounce honor killings as heinous crimes that violate Islamic principles.

Prevalence and Scope:

  • Global Issue: While associated with certain regions, honor killings occur in various countries, affecting women regardless of their faith or background. It’s not limited to Muslim communities.
  • Statistics: Due to underreporting and cultural sensitivities, it’s difficult to have accurate global figures. However, estimates suggest thousands of women become victims of honor killings annually.

Combating the Issue:

  • Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about the dangers of honor killings and challenging harmful cultural norms is crucial.
  • Empowering Women: Promoting girls’ education and economic independence can create opportunities for them to make their own choices and be less vulnerable to such practices.
  • Legal Action: Strengthening laws against honor killings and ensuring their proper enforcement is essential.
  • Interfaith Dialogue: Fostering understanding and collaboration between communities of different faiths can address misinterpretations and promote collective action against such violence.


  • Honor killings are not condoned by Islam or any other major religion.
  • It’s a complex issue with cultural and social roots, requiring multifaceted solutions.
  • Addressing this issue effectively requires collective efforts from communities, religious leaders, policymakers, and individuals to dismantle harmful norms and promote gender equality and respect for human life.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) specifically mentions women three times in his last sermon.

He stated, “O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. This emphasizes the mutual responsibility and respect within a marriage, highlighting the women’s right to proper care and treatment.

A believing man should not hate his believing wife; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he may well be pleased with another.” (Muslim)

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