Rafed English

The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings - Part 2

Adopted from the book: "The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

Expert services

The prison management and staff must be supported by specialist services such as those of psychologists, sociologists, medical, mental, and technology experts on a permanent basis. This is to give prisoners the best opportunity of education and training while in prison in order to deliver a reformed individual to society.

Education of prisoner Prison managers and higher authorities must consider prisoners as part of the society and not the outcast from it. Therefore a prisoner must receive e.g. through forecast by relevant authorities, expert recommendation or evaluation, etc.

Rights of a Prisoner

ethical and moral treatment and education as a person and as a responsible member of society. Arrangements must be made to ensure that a prisoner is appropriately received by the society when out of prison.

After release

The community must be made involved in preparing a prisoner to interact with society. Social workers must ensure that they are in contact with their families and that with the aid of relevant organisations the newly released prisoner's civil rights as well as those for social security are protected within the framework of Islamic law.

Prisoner rights group

There should also be organisations recognised by the government, responsible for safeguarding the rights of the newly released prisoners and in charge of visiting them, arranging for their recreation and helping them to join the society as reformed members.

Prisoner's future

The prison service and other authorities associated with the prisoner such as the judge, etc. should contemplate about the future of the prisoner as soon as the prisoner enters prison. The prisoner should be encouraged to be in contact with organisations that can help him and his family and prepares him to rejoin the community again.

Prison categories

The law applies to the different kinds of imprisonments, which are divided into three categories under Islamic system:

Provisional Detention

In this case a suspect is detained pending investigation into the case. It has been reported that the Prophet (S) detained a murder suspect for up to six days pending investigation. 93 It is also reported that Imam Ali (A) detained a murder suspect while investigating his accomplices. This policy is not specific to murder cases only but is applicable to other cases. It is reported that Imam Ali (A) judged a debtor to be detained. If it were The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings proven that he was bankrupt he would be released in order to earn money, and if appropriate, pay back his debt. 94

Fraud Imprisonment In this case someone is imprisoned for transgressing or violating other people's right, which is a crime. It is reported 95 that Imam Ali (A) imprisoned three categories of offenders:

One who usurped (others belongings/wealth/land etc.); One who extorted the wealth/property of the orphan; One who embezzles the deposit entrusted with him.

Criminal Imprisonment

In this case those convicted of committing a crime are imprisoned. The author has mentioned a number of such cases in the "Book of Hudoud". 96 In a reported case 97, four individuals engaged in a brawl using knives and while they were drunk. Imam Ali (A) judged to imprison the four until they were sound again. Two of the four died as a result of the severity of their injuries. Imam Ali (A) judged that all four were responsible for the injuries sustained on the four. The blood money of the two dead men is shared equally between the four and the compensation for the other two is taken out of the blood money given to the deceased's next of kin.


93. Al-Kafi, vol. 7, p 370, hadith 5.

94. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 6, section 22, p 232, hadith 19.

95. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 6, section 22, p 299, hadith 43.

96. al-Fiqh series, vols. 87-88, al-Hodoud wal-Ta'zirat.

97. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 10, section 4, p 240, hadith 5.

Share this article

Comments 0

Your comment

Comment description

Latest Post

Most Reviews