Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 16 Death-Row Inmates in Iran Earn Freedom by Memorizing the Quran

16 Death-Row Inmates in Iran Earn Freedom by Memorizing the Quran

According to a report on Vocativ.com, although judicial executions have increased under Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, he’s allowing death-row convicts the chance for freedom or commuting of their sentences if they memorize and recite the Quran. According to Reza Sadeghi, head of Isfahan Province Endowments and Charities, 16 death row prisoners held in Central Isfahan Prison—five women and 11 men—were pardoned after they successfully memorized the Quran. Of those pardoned, 15 were released entirely, and one prisoner had his death sentence reduced to 15 years imprisonment.

This reprive seems to be entirely discretionary, since there’s no Iranian law stating that this is an option for convicted inmates. And Iran isn’t the first country to toy with the idea of allowing people who memorize the Islamic holy book a chance at escaping punishment for their crimes. The governments of Kuwait, the UAE and the Gaza Strip have all cut offenders a break provided they can recall at least some of the Quran’s 114 verses from memory. 

The Quran consists of about 77,500 words and is written in an archaic form of Arabic only truly understood by language scholars. And the article says those who memorize the Quran are worthy of special praise and are placed on the path to heaven.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.