Author Topic: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?  (Read 5262 times)

Iyyaka

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2020, 12:23:15 PM »
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
Salam, (about what is above in bold)

I'm not sure that i understand what you understood from my over the last two interventions (sorry if it was not the case).
So, I  prefer to summarize what I said to be clearer :

Wakas summarized the 4 possibilities of understanding this verse (+ I added Mazhar's one - see his translation).
I quote him :
"
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.
"

My opinion bend to option 4 (I gave my arguments previously).
However, I do not rule out option 1 (and I have already given the arguments used to this effect in order that each one form his own opinion). This is why I remain cautious on this subject and I avoid, like expressing you used: "it reflects badly on the reasoning of the person that says so". (i am cautious because it is very easy to project our opinions onto the text without listening to what the text says in context).

NB :
A literal approach in no way prevents figurative comprehension if the text allows or authorizes it.

tutti_frutti

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2020, 01:29:14 PM »
salam

i really do not understand why there is the need to interpret the verse

The God was clear ... punishment for stealing is cutting off of the hands unless the thief repents

if He wanted ro say sustenance or what else, im guessing He would have said cut their sustenance. but no, He said HANDS ... so why interpret :)

also if we start interpreting verses then why dont we interpret verses about lashing etc or even about hell and say fire is just an allegory there is no fire

but no, The God is clear in His verses and His words are precise

hands to be amputated for the thief just as there is actual fire and boiling liquid in hell

peace

Iyyaka

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2020, 02:28:13 PM »
salam
i really do not understand why there is the need to interpret the verse
but no, The God is clear in His verses and His words are precise
peace
Salam,
Please read more carefully my previous answer to you (Textually, it is not so clear as you declare, so figurative understanding is an option - moreover, "hands" as symbols of "power, possession" is also used elsewhere in the quran).

Wakas

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2020, 02:56:16 PM »
i really do not understand why there is the need to interpret the verse


Why don't you try responding to the problematic issues then perhaps you'll understand why?

See what happened in the past when someone who thought it meant "cut-off" had to explain the issues:
https://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9609391.msg403439#msg403439

https://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9610091.msg414514#msg414514
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

tutti_frutti

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2020, 03:40:10 PM »
salam iyyaka

hope youre well

i did read but still i dont see why it is not clear and literal. The God said cut the hands, well so the hands are to be cut unless they repent. if they repent let them go.

does He use the word sustenance? non, He uses the word hands.

The God is very clear in the Quran and His words are specifically chosen

why chose to interpret this verse? are people going to interpret verses that they do not “like”?

also, let us look at it using the idea that hands means sustenance in the verse ... i understand a thief would usually steal if he has no money and mode of sustenance (unless perhaps the thief is rich and is a compulsive thief or gets kicks out of stealing) ... so if the punishement is to cut his or her sustenance... what are you going to cut?? he stole because he has no way of sustenance ... no work no nothing ... so cut what exactly? a nonexistant source of funds??
so given he has nothing, his mode of sustenance would then be ... his hands ! :)

salam wakkas

hope all is well too

i do not see the issue with this verse. justice is to The God. if He says something then that becomes justice. He is the Standard.

anyways my understanding is that the verse is literal as is the whole Quran unless The God says or makes it obvious He is giving an example (i think He usually tells us theoughout the Book when an example is an example)

peace

jkhan

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2020, 07:49:46 PM »
Let's look at the magnitude of crime.. Is killing or prostitution or stealing worse?

For killing if the family agree for certain payment and deliver the killer then how cruel it is to sever physical hands for stealing regardless of what he or she stole....

Unless I am mistaken, Strangely God never said bring one or two or three or four witness before punish thief...

I researched how a thief was punished in ancient times in well known empires... So many ways they dealt and severing physical hands also was one of the options...

I feel this verse refers as discard them from society... I mean to say if one is considered as thief in society then people know how to treat them when they meet them... Society will do the rest... No one will give hand to them.. Society sever the hands with them, But if they reform,  people will know they are not thieves anymore... So forgiveness is worthy.. If they remain thieves,  then their destiny is at the hands of society...they won't have any respect in society but mean and lowly..

I extremely don't agree that it can be physical hands cutting.. ..  By cutting a hand if you can stop a thief, that would be far from reality...

Common sense.. If one thief is caught,  in most cases thief and what he thieved is also get caught... Unless he devour them all so quickly... So if what he stole is caught, then it is most appropriate to return to the owner what he lost... Even after that  his hands severed.. What justice is that?

Iyyaka

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2020, 12:15:49 AM »
Salam bro Tutti_frutti,

Yes i am well thanks by the grace of Allah. Hope for you too.

Let me answer to your two points :

i did read but still i dont see why it is not clear and literal. The God said cut the hands, well so the hands are to be cut unless they repent. if they repent let them go.
=> Literally it is written word for word: "cut off the hands/aydiy of each of them/humâ [fa-qṭa'û aydiya-humâ]" :

So, it means : cut 3 or more hands for each thief - Does it possible ? NO. I hope it is more clearer now.

But i also said that it may be a use of the Arabic language (i gave arguments from exegetes). And it is your opinion too and it is respectable.

also, let us look at it using the idea that hands means sustenance in the verse ... i understand a thief would usually steal if he has no money and mode of sustenance (unless perhaps the thief is rich and is a compulsive thief or gets kicks out of stealing) ... so if the punishement is to cut his or her sustenance... what are you going to cut?? he stole because he has no way of sustenance ... no work no nothing ... so cut what exactly? a nonexistant source of funds??
so given he has nothing, his mode of sustenance would then be ... his hands ! :)
Good remark and i belived to have answered it but i was not enough clear in my response.

So 3 options in the order of things :
1) cut the equivalent subsistance
2) and if it is not possible (partially or totally), so the thief's hands become the hands serving the person you stole (as with the story of the brothers of yusuf and the king's cup)
2) always possibility to reduce the sentence or forgive : it's an opportunity to do the best deed.

Conclusion at this moment from my side (reconciliation of the two approaches) :

   1/- Physically cut off the thief's hand can be made, but you have of taking into account the context of the revelation of the verse (Tribal society made up of small groups with strong solidarity among members and mutual assistance) and taking into account the state of the society and the individual situation (cf. Muhammad ASAD's commentary).

    2/- as it is so complicated to have the context of an already-existing, fully functioning social security scheme in society : we can apply the figurative approach (i gave my choice on how to apply it by the quran and the torah - The textual context of verse 5:38 and around it is about jews) .

NB : the view of Jkhan is wise too in this case  - i quote him : "I feel this verse refers as discard them from society... I mean to say if one is considered as thief in society then people know how to treat them when they meet them... Society will do the rest...,"

jkhan

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2020, 12:25:34 AM »
Look at this Issue in a practical point of view..
 At least when the rule was in the hands of believers while the verse is revealed...
Suppose if one was caught as thief,  he may beg I won't steal again like a repentance.. He repent of not God only knows..
... Plain instruction is Cut their hands... Which hand.. Right or left or both and when to cut.. I mean before repent or after repent.. ... Or not to cut if they repent.. Has Quran clearly instructed not to cut hands if they repented... How they will implement? Only option is cut hands of all those who are thief.. They repent or not repent is not relevant to executors. Everyone would say they repent... So no thief will be there to cut hands... Okay may be considered repetition of theft.. But where is instructions from Quran..

In the following verse5:39  God says whoever repents God forgives (God forgives not Ruler or people)... So anyone can repent when they get caught... So..  Nice way to escape ..
Verse 5:38 is clear with instruction.. No conditions... So as a ruler of even people they should first cut thief hands... Probably both.. Coz it doesn't say one hand.. It seems more than two..
So once thief's hands are cut,  he is in a situation to repent himself (not to rulers) for what he did according to 5:39 if he feels he is wrong.. It won't make any thief to reform rather than revenge.. Not only repent but  reform as well.. Simply not steal again.. There comes the biggest scenario.. Now he has no more hands. .the punishment for thief is cutting hands. .so when he is caught stealing then he needs to be punished as per Quran. But only punishment God proclaimed is cutting hands and no alternative... What would ruler of society do.. Let him free go steal again.. Coz thief knows very well now,  he has no hands and punishment proclaimed is cutting hands and proclaiming / implementing anything other than God ordered is violation... So it gives thieves more chance... Do you expect that is exemplary gor thieves..?

Thieves are thieves.. You can't stop them by severing a body part... What exemplary punishment is that from God.. Such punishments were already in such societies even well Before these Quranic verses... It doesn't need to come as exemplary from God..

But if God told the rulers and the society to disconnect their hands then the thieves are given a very mean status in society.. So.. They will suffer mentally in their entire life.. Unless they reform... If they leave theft and get back to good path then society knows that.. Coz they live together... Then God forgives not rulers or people...

If his hands are cut instead,  even he reforms it will be a black mark.. And everyone knows he was a thief once and he will remain in the minds of people he is thief whenever they see a person without hands.

God has not even clarified the magnitude of theft... Stealing a penny is also a theft..

So as per Quran.. If anyone happened to steal anything of theirs, they inform everyone of his theft so that people would disconnect his hands from all dealings... That's possible in a well structured local community like the one probably prophet lived...

So he becomes helpless rather than choosing the right path at least to survive if not for guidance.. So ethic prevails ..

Wakas

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2020, 04:38:00 AM »
peace tf,


i do not see the issue with this verse. justice is to The God. if He says something then that becomes justice. He is the Standard.


Did you actually read the links I provided? Yes/No.

I hope you are not being lazy but I will post them here for all to see:

Quote
1) The Arabic word translated as "cut" in 5:38 is "iqtaa" and occurs 14 other times in the same 1st verb form (QaTaA) in The Quran, please tell us how many out of the 14 occurrences it means a clear physical cutting off?

2) The derivatives that are read in the 2nd verb form (QaTTaA) occur 17 times in The Quran. The 2nd verb form expresses intensity/frequency of the action. Please tell us how many out of the 17 occurrences it means a clear physical cutting off?

3) The more intense 2nd verb form is used alongside hands only twice in Quran [12:31, 12:50] - please tell us does it mean cutting off hands in these verses? Yes/No.

4) Please explain the plural use of "aydi" (hands) in 5:38. Note that the Arabic plural means 3 or more hands, thus iqtaa should be done to 3 or more hands.

5) When lashes are given as punishment for proven adultery, The Quran states not to let pity/compassion prevent you from carrying out such a punishment [24:2], but it says no such thing for the alleged hand cutting-off verse, when many (all?) consider this punishment to be far worse. Please explain why this is.

6) The recurring theme of justice in The Quran is equivalence or less, i.e. one cannot go overboard in punishment with respect to the crime. Please explain what happens if someone steals a slice of bread according to Quran. [42:39-40]

7) Are there any other corroborating verses in Quran which support hand-cutting-off for theft? Yes/No. If yes, cite them.

8 ) the only working example of theft in Quran is in the story of Joseph [12:73-79], please tell us what the punishment for theft is in this story?

Like others who hold the view "cut off" you will be forced to admit the word doesn't usually mean cut-off, when the more appropriate intense 2nd form is used with hands it doesn't mean cut-off and you would cut off the hands for stealing a slice of bread etc etc. Is that "God is the standard" in your eyes?

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

huruf

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Re: Amputation: the Penalty for Theft?
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2020, 07:09:24 AM »
Bes thing would be tutti fruti takes all ayas of the Qur'an where hand or hands ar ementionned and make all of them littleral, no idiom and no figurative language at all, and see what he gets.

Salaam