Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, Director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas , states: “The word qisas in the aya of Q2-V178 implies equality before the law. It was the custom and tradition of pre-Islamic era that if someone from the tribe is killed they would revenge by killing many from the perpetrating clan. In this context, the aya was revealed to address a common mischief of excessive revenge. Therefore, the phrase, “the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female’ in the aya is a confirmation of equality and not a legislation of inequality, because if you were to interpret it literally it would mean that the woman should not be killed if she kills a man, and that the slave would not be killed if he kills a free person, an opinion that has never been spoken or held by any scholar.
Every human soul counts in Islam, male and female, slave and free, Muslim and non-Muslim. Every murderer deserves to be killed regardless of his faith, gender, race, and colour.
The correct interpretation of this verse is that it an elliptical expression, which means that the free would be killed if he kills another person, the slave would be killed if he kills another, the woman would be killed if she kills another, and that only the life of the murderer should be claimed.”