Author Topic: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?  (Read 5217 times)

Mussabahire

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2016, 11:06:45 PM »
If Muhammad came in 2015 and was from USA, I am sure that God would have told him to Electrocute the thieves or shoot them. We must take the Quranic principle of punishing the thief and apply the form of punishment according to our time (Jail, shooting,...). Thanks.
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Noon waalqalami

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 01:36:50 AM »
Exressions of that kind are may, many, and so is in the Qur'an too, where most expressions in which the word appears are idioms and do not refer to the physical hands and even in some of them like those about writing the book with their own hands, are wider and than writing with the physical hands and include responsibility or rather prime the responsibility in that expression rather than the material deed. 

Salaam, yes true numerous idioms for hands...

5:38 والسارق and the male thief (m/s) والسارقه and the female thief (f/s) فاقطعوا fa-iq'ṭaʿū/so shall cut ye of اىدىهما aydiyahuma/hands (i.e. actions) theirs dual جزاء recompense بما in what كسبا earned dual نكالا nakālan/shackle of من from الله the god والله and the god عزىز mighty حكىم wise
5:39 فمن so whom تاب turned من from بعد after ظلمه wrongdoing his واصلح and reconciles فان so surely الله the god ىتوب turns in forgiveness علىه on him ان surely الله the god غفور forgiver رحىم merciful

48:24 وهو and he الذى the one كف withheld اىدىهم hands (actions) theirs عنكم over you واىدىكم and hands (actions) yours عنهم over them ببطن in belly/midst مكه mekka من from بعد after ان that اظفركم gave victory you علىهم over them وكان and be الله the god بما in what تعملون thou working بصىرا seer of

73:12 ان surely لدىنا with us انكالا ankālan/shackles of وجحىما and burning fire of
73:13 وطعاما and food ذا that غصه chokes وعذابا waʿadhāban/and punishment of الىما painful of


reel

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 02:30:15 AM »
Salaam, yes true numerous idioms for hands...

5:38 والسارق and the male thief (m/s) والسارقه and the female thief (f/s) فاقطعوا fa-iq'ṭaʿū/so shall cut ye of اىدىهما aydiyahuma/hands (i.e. actions) theirs dual جزاء recompense بما in what كسبا earned dual نكالا nakālan/shackle of من from الله the god والله and the god عزىز mighty حكىم wise
5:39 فمن so whom تاب turned من from بعد after ظلمه wrongdoing his واصلح and reconciles فان so surely الله the god ىتوب turns in forgiveness علىه on him ان surely الله the god غفور forgiver رحىم merciful

48:24 وهو and he الذى the one كف withheld اىدىهم hands (actions) theirs عنكم over you واىدىكم and hands (actions) yours عنهم over them ببطن in belly/midst مكه mekka من from بعد after ان that اظفركم gave victory you علىهم over them وكان and be الله the god بما in what تعملون thou working بصىرا seer of

73:12 ان surely لدىنا with us انكالا ankālan/shackles of وجحىما and burning fire of
73:13 وطعاما and food ذا that غصه chokes وعذابا waʿadhāban/and punishment of الىما painful of


UQ, Huruf and Noon,
Thanks for clarification. Free-minds has an article based on what Huruf explained. It was very clear. Unfortunately, I am not able to find it  :(
"I fear that nothing will lead me to hell more than ḥadīth"-Hadith collector: Shu'ba Ibn al-Ḥajjāj

uq

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 08:53:26 PM »
Peace Wakas,

In the story of Jospeh could well be a guidance on the law governing the punishment of the thief.

I haven't studied it in depth but it would be interesting to see what a study of the story would reveal.
uq

Wakas

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2016, 07:27:41 AM »
peace uq, all,

My preliminary analysis would indicate that if we were to use this example as a guide, then the thief is given a chance to confess and return the stolen goods, if not, then if found guilty, would be detained, for a set time and/or in order to work off the cost.

In my view, based on my study, it does seem the punishment could be flexible depending upon the time, circumstances and severity of crime. For example, perhaps it is a mercy that it is theoretically possible to translate it in several ways (as discussed here). When you think about it, that kind of flexible wording is even more genius than a one size fits all inflexible wording.
For example if we were to use "cut their sustenance", it could refer to whatever one uses to sustain oneself, e.g. their wealth/goods/food/etc, to the equivalent value of the crime (theft and court costs incurred), or if they earn money from a job, a cut/portion is taken until the equivalent value of the crime is repaid.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

Noon waalqalami

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2016, 09:24:08 AM »
Peace Wakas, nice summary.

The punishment for theft is confirmed by phrase ?like such we reward ...? ? Qur?an not brothers speaking.

12:73 قالوا said they of تالله by the god لقد indeed علمتم know you ما not جىنا came we لنفسد that we corrupt فى in الارض the earth/land وما and not كنا are we سارقىن thieves
12:74 قالوا said they of فما so what جزاوه reparation its ان if كنتم be you كاذبىن liars?
12:75 قالوا said they of ?جزاوه reparation its من whom وجد found فى in رحله bag his فهو so he جزاوه reparation its? ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward الظالمىن the wrongdoers

21:29 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward الظالمىن the wrongdoers
35:36 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward كل each كفور ungrateful
37:80 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers
37:105 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers
37:110 كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers
37:121 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers
37:131 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers
46:25 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward القوم the folk المجرمىن the criminals
54:35 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward من whom شكر grateful
77:44 ? كذلك like such نجزى we reward المحسنىن the good doers

5:38 والسارق and the male thief (m/s) والسارقه and the female thief (f/s) فاقطعوا so cutoff ye of اىدىهما aydiyahuma/hands (actions) theirs dual جزاء recompense بما in what كسبا earned dual نكالا nakālan/shackle of من from الله the god والله and the god عزىز mighty حكىم wise



Iyyaka

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2020, 03:55:41 PM »
peace uq,

Thanks for sharing your analysis. These are the kinds of posts I much prefer to read. Also it is commendable citing some counter-arguments - as it is rare for authors to do this.

A few points:

Let's say Quran did command to cut off a thief's hand, how would you expect the Arabic to be phrased?

When you said it means sustenance it is always the plural. Is this also true for its other meanings of power/means, or just sustenance? I have not checked Quran with regard to this point, but could be interesting.

Re: counter-arguments

1)
In 66:4 perhaps the perceived liberality of usage could be due to the addressees being female and pregnant, hence the reference to more than two hearts. Of course this interpretation may result in asking why is the unborn baby's heart being involved into the discussion. Just something I thought of. It would be interesting if there were other examples of liberality of usage elsewhere in Quran that were clear cases of such.

2)
I think one obvious response to that would be to say it cannot be defined because the value of the theft will vary, thus the suspension (or whatever) would vary.

You may also like to read this, as it brings up some other points:
http://misconceptions-about-islam.com/cut-off-hands-theft.htm

e.g.
Salam Wakas,

Two remarks :

1/
Very good article https://misconceptions-about-islam.com/misconception.php?id=37
I qote you :
"
Thus, it is possible to understand the punishment for thieves in four alternative ways:
(1) cutting off their hands
(2) cutting or marking their hands
(3) cutting their means/power to steal, e.g. detention/jail.
(4) cutting their sustenance, e.g. in order to compensate the value of the theft.
"
First, for your information, Mazhar presents an another alternative.

Second,there is a point that I didn't hear about in the various exchanges or in your article :
What does the Torah says about it (Al-Quran also "confirms" previous Holy scriptures) ?

   - (Exodus 22:3) If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for
   his theft.
(Ex -> story of brothers of Yusuf : "stealing" the king)

   - (Exodus 22:4) If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

   - (Exodus 22:6) If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire
   shall surely make restitution-compensation.

   - (Exodus 22:9) For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the
   cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

As we can see, the torah rejoins point (4) and at worst point (3).

If one adopts this point of view, then it is a question of "cut//take (اقْطَعُوا = verb in the form 1 = to cut symbolically) [the fruit of] their hands (that is to say, symbolically "what they possess" or "their capacity for work") in remuneration equivalent to what they have acquired...". (5:38).

Thus, the thief's hand is never literally cut off according to the Qur'an; on the contrary, he is punished in proportion to what he has stolen (Law of Retaliation).

- The stolen property (or its equivalent if the property has been squandered) must by definition be returned to its owner; therefore, the message of 5:38 is that in addition to this, the thief's property (or his ability to work freely) must be punished (symbolically cut off) in retribution equivalent to what the thief has acquired", i.e., the thief is required to pay a fine equivalent to the stolen property.

- This just sentence is exactly the same as in the Bible (Exodus 22:4, 22:6, 22:9) where the thief must return the stolen good, doubled by a fine that represents its equivalent or, failing that, pay double the fine.

- Sura 12 also shows that among the Hebrews in Joseph's time, and at least in one case where the thief could not pay compensation, he lost his freedom, which also confirms the book of Exodus (22:3), and that today, if a thief cannot make financial reparation, "his hands are cut off" (i.e., his freedom to earn money) in the sense that he may be punished with, for example, imprisonment or imprisonment until he is able to honor the sentence.

2/
About what brother uq said, i quote him :
"
(1) In Classical Arabic, it is permissible for the plural to be used in place of the dual when appended to a pronoun. Example, it is permissible to use the plural أَيۡدِى in reference to the dual يَدَانِ as it is considered a liberality in usage. Another example is found in the Quran in 66:4 where we read قُلُوبُكُمَا where قَلۡبُكُمَا would have otherwise been used. This means that the argument given above about the incomprehension of the plurality of the noun being prefixed to a dual pronoun is invalid only on the grounds that the Author intended أَيۡدِيهُمَا to be an instance of liberality in usage.
"
As the context indicates, the plural qulûb here does not mean hearts, but secret thoughts, ideas, from the sense of mind, intellect, cf. Lisân al-'arab.

Conclusion :

Although hypotheses (1) and (2) (physical punishment) cannot be excluded, there are new arguments in favour of hypotheses (3) and (4).

tutti_frutti

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2020, 07:04:14 PM »
salam

i think that surah 5 verse 38 is literal
there is no reason to interpret

however if a thief repents, then he or she is to be let go as we are told in verse 39 of surah 5

The God is the Forgiving

peace


Iyyaka

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2020, 01:41:41 AM »
salam
i think that surah 5 verse 38 is literal
there is no reason to interpret
peace
Salam to you tutti_frutti,

Literally it is written word for word: "cut off the hands/aydiy of each of them/humâ [fa-qṭa'û aydiya-humâ]"
Now, if in English it is possible to understand the plural "hands" as designating two hands, this is impossible in the Arabic language for which the plural begins only from three enumerated units, hence the use of the dual case when there are only two objects or persons. Also, this sentence apparently orders to cut off more than two hands to each of the thieves. Or, by forcing the expression, could we understand that for two thieves, either three or four hands must be cut off => We don't know who should be cut off two hands and who should be cut off only one. And should the whole arm be cut off, up to the wrists or elbows? Imprecision which for a law supposed to be as sharp as it is irreversible still poses a problem.

So, literally there is a problem.
Thus, fully conscious of this semantic problem and to deal with it, traditional exegetes (remaining on the physical punishment, certified (?) for them by some hadiths) have proposed, to the best of my knowledge, four solutions to achieve their ends:

-1/ The first is to say that the singular should be understood as meaning the thief/as-sâriq and the thief/as-sâriqa as meaning in reality the thieves/as-sâriqûn and the thieves/as-sâriqât. Since it is difficult to argue that God would have used the singular when He meant the plural, it has been claimed, without proof, that Ibn Mas'ûd recited this verse using the plural: "Thiefs/as-sâriqûn and thiefs/as-sâriqât, cut off their hands...", which would effectively explain the presence of the plural aydiy/hands. However, this variant of recitation/qirâ'a has never been recognized as valid, its only purpose being to provide an argument for the aims of these exegetes who, in reality, have fabricated the argument necessary for them. This qirâ'a is thus a perfect example of exegetical variants.

-2/ The second solution is to assume that one must understand aydiy al-yumnâ, i.e. the right hands, which is to assume against the doxa itself that one can add a word to the Qur'anic text and furthermore make a bend in the Arabic grammar. [These two "solutions" can be found, for example, in Tabari in his tafsîr: Jâmi'u al-bayân fî ta'wîl al-qur'ân, Dâr al-kutub al-'ilmiyya, 3rd edition, Beirut, 1999, T. IV, p. 569].

-3/ The third proposed solution is to claim that in this verse the plural aydiy/hands is valid for the singular yad/hand, which again amounts to taking one word for another [See for example Zamakhsharî: Tafsîr al-kashshâf, Dâr al-kutub al-'ilmiyya, Beirut, 1995, T. I, p. 619].

-4/ The fourth proposed solution is the one evoked by Brother uq and which can be found in the "Tafsir Al-Mizan" made by Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī :
the word, aydi (=hands) is plural, which in Arabic is used for at least three items, while here it means only two hands. It is said that such usage is common; some, rather many, organs in human body are double, like eyes, ears, hands, feet and legs; when two persons are involved the total of these organs comes to four, which demands plural, like their eyes, hands and legs, etc. The usage of plural spread to organs of two persons, even if the said organ was not double. For example, they say: 'I covered the backs and stomachs [in plural] of the two with hitting.' Allãh says: If you both turn to Allãh, then indeed your hearts [in plural] are already inclined . . . (66:4). "Hand" is used for the organ attached to shoulder; according to traditions here it refers to the right hand; cutting of hand means severing the whole or part of it with a sharp instrument.

Conclusion :

So, Personnaly (my own opinion), i find these arguments weak as compared to :

(1) the Quranic principle of the law of retaliation or the law of fair retaliation
+
(2) what the previous scripture tell us
+
(3) Quranic intertexuality with the story of yusuf'brothers.
+
(4) Quran is imprecise about the number of hands to be cut off and on the length..specially on such a sensitive and definitive subject.

But i admit i may be wrong on this delicate subject...in this case it is necessary to take into account the context of the revelation of sura 5 and the tribal environment of this time.

huruf

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2020, 04:45:25 AM »
Most of the occurrences of the word hand or handsin the Qur'an are used overwhelmly in the figurative sense, meaning power or capacity. To conclude that in this aya, literal hands are meant, some reason should be given or then all accurrences in the Qur'an be interpreted likewise and not accept in any case the fiurative meaning, which would make a lot of nonsense, exactly as it happens in this aya. Goot that other arguments are given like by Iyyaka here, but really taking it as literal it reflects badly on the reasoning of the person that says so.

Salaam