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Beheading Execution: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia

Beheading is the preferred method of execution in Saudi Arabia. Death penalty is ordered in accordance with Islamic law (Shariat) as Islam is the only religion of Saudi Arabia.

Beheading is the preferred method of execution in Saudi Arabia. Death penalty is ordered in accordance with Islamic law (Shariat) as Islam is the only religion of Saudi Arabia.

Crimes like murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, terrorism, treason and sex crimes may lead to death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Besides usual beheading execution, other methods are also employed occasionally.

Beheading execution – death penalty   

Prisoner is brought to the place of execution where officials are already present. In kneel down position he is tied and blindfolded.

Once all formalities completed, the executioner read the order of beheading execution and waits with a sharp edged sword in his hand.

When signal is on he moves and recites “Allah-ho-Akbar” (God is Almighty) and then in one swift stroke he cut the prisoner’s head off. Head roles away from the body and death occur almost instantly.

Beheaded body and head are taken away from the scene by an ambulance.

Main features of beheading execution   

Beheading execution is carried out in a public square or nearby the mosque in an open space. One such center is Deera square at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Locally these are called chop-chop square or beheading square.

Image via Wikipedia

Execution is made in public in front of large gathering. Children are not barred to exhibit the beheading execution.

Usually beheading execution is made on Friday afternoon just after Friday (Jumma) prayer but can also be performed in the morning.

When prisoner is brought to execution place he appears to be drugged. The thought of beheading makes him look half-dead. 

The month of Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. No beheading execution is made during that month.

Before execution convict is dressed in such a manner that only neck is visible. Executioner has to strike at this spot. He should be sufficiently skilled to strike at the right place and sword used should be sharp enough to do the beheading execution within a second.  

Requirement is beheading and sometimes more than one stroke if needed can make the death lengthy and painful. Prisoner may have to suffer heavily before death.

It’s presumed that beheading execution makes the death faster and easier. Circulation of blood to the brain ceases instantly, so does the supply of oxygen. 

Death penalty execution for women

Death penalty for women is executed inside the prison by firing squad but occasionally beheading execution in public is allowed.

Sometimes married women if found guilty of adultery may be stoned to death. 

Death penalty and escape from beheading execution  

A prisoner of death penalty may escape beheading execution if he is pardoned or forgiven by the family members of the person he murdered. This is applicable only for murder cases.  

Prisoner may also settle by paying a sum of money to the heirs of the deceased. This is called blood money or diyya. Such settlement is acceptable and death penalty can be spared. 

Beheading execution is compensation

It is believed that no human being can kill another human being. Killing must have occurred by accident. The person who died was of value. The accused must compensate the death.

In general eye for eye, neck for neck, death for death or something equivalent is the normal way of compensation. In that sense, death penalty by beheading is one way of compensation – a life for a life.

Read more on the subject:

Arguments for the death penalty

Arguments against the death penalty

How to investigate a murder

How to interrogate a murder suspect

The death penalty 

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  1. CHIPMUNK

    On October 26, 2011 at 2:17 am


    This is outrageous

  2. AINIEE

    On October 26, 2011 at 9:25 am


    nice article,,,,,but a little bit terrifying,,

  3. Ruby Hawk

    On October 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm


    I don’t believe it’s right for anyone to take a human life other than if a person is attaching you or someone else..

  4. FX777222999

    On October 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm


    I heard this before when I worked in KSA. Your article gives a thorough knowledge about it. Thanks

  5. Joe Ram

    On October 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm


    Scary..

  6. Muhammad Fajar Marthias

    On October 31, 2011 at 9:37 am


    great share

  7. Yamin2011

    On December 23, 2011 at 10:10 am


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