Do we need to chop the hand of a poor thief in Somalia?

Today BBC News reported about, a Somali Shariah Court ordered to cut the right hand of Mohamad Omar Ismail for stealing 10 pairs of trousers, 10 shirts, 8 other items and a bag. The value of all the items are estimated to be $90.

BBC news continued

“The official quoted a chapter from the Koran known as Surah Maida, verse 38, which is about stealing and relevant punishment. He said that the verse decreed that punishment for stealing was that the right hand of the thief should be cut off. “

Then the news carried on with horrific scene of amputation as “bloody hand dangled”.

What message the above BBC news convey to the readers?

Islam and the Law of Allah will be seen negative by both non Muslims and  some Muslims who do not understand well about their faith.

Read the following Hadith about cutting the relationship and its punishment

The Swift Punishment for Transgression and Cutting the Relations of the Womb

A Hadith states that the Prophet said,

«مَا مِنْ ذَنْبٍ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ يُعَجِّلَ اللهُ عُقُوبَتَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعَ مَا يَدَّخِرُ لِصَاحِبهِ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْبَغْيِ وَقَطِيعَةِ الرَّحِم»

(There is no sin that is more worthy of Allah hastening its punishment in this life, in addition to what He has in store for its offender in the Hereafter, more than transgression and cutting the relations of the womb.) The act of Qabil included both of these. We are Allah’s and to Him is our return.

Above Hadith says Islam does not allow the cutting the relationship with the blood relatives, forget about cutting the parts of our own Muslim brothers physically.

For the Non Muslims readers, who are not familiar with the Holy Quran, I would like all of you to read few verses of Surah Al Maidah, and its translation before the mentioned Vesre 38.

The  Surah Al Maidah  verse 32 says,

[مِنْ أَجْلِ ذلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْساً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً وَمَنْ أَحْيَـهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالّبَيِّنَـتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيراً مِّنْهُمْ بَعْدَ ذلِكَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ – إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَـفٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْىٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ – إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(32. Because of that, We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with Al-Bayyinat, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!) from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.)

Above verse clearly stated that killing an innocent person would be as if he killed all mankind. Islam view point about killing an innocent person is a major sin, so why the same religion will preach to do injustice to somebody who is poor, and defenseless.?

Read some more,

كَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً]

(it would be as if he killed all mankind. .) means, “Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden killing, is just like he who kills all mankind.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.” In addition, Ibn Jurayj said that Al-A`raj said that Mujahid commented on the Ayah,

[وَمَنْ أَحْيَـهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعاً]

(and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.) means, “He who does not kill anyone, then the lives of people are safe from him.”

And the Verse 38 mentioned in BBC news should be read with the next Verse 39 together,

[وَالسَّارِقُ وَالسَّارِقَةُ فَاقْطَعُواْ أَيْدِيَهُمَا جَزَآءً بِمَا كَسَبَا نَكَـلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ – فَمَن تَابَ مِن بَعْدِ ظُلْمِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ – أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(38. And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off their hands as a recompense for that which both committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.)

(39. But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds, then verily, Allah will pardon him. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Allah  SWT clearly says that those who repents after his crime and does good deed to be pardoned.

Somalia is the country without Law and Order. People are poor and uneducated. The society is in chaos. In short, Somalia is far from reaching the status of Islamic State where Islamic Shriah Law applied according to the true teaching of Islam. That event should not be taken as executing the proper Islamic Law.

How is the welfare system runs in an Islamic State ?

Zakāh or “alms for the poor” is the Islamic principle of giving a percentage of one’s income to charity. It serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived people in the Muslim lands, although others may have a rightful share.

It is the duty of the Islamic state not just to collect Zakat, but to distribute it fairly as well.

It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 1/40 (2.5%) of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year 1/40 (2.5%) of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation.

In Somalia do they have this type of welfare system to distribute money? Definitely not. That is the reasons during a last few months, there are so many cargo ships were attacked in the Gulf of Eden by the pirates from Somalia as they are desperate to survive in the Lawless country. These pirates activities clearly highlighted Somalia as a Lawless Country.

If Somali is a genuine Islamic State, where all the rich people pay the poor due, there will be no reason to see this kind of petty theft case. Even the person is caught; he will have a chance to repent by doing good deeds as Allah SWT clearly stated in His Holy Book.

The sad thing is, most people from the developed countries are ignorant about the big Ali Ba Ba who stole trillions of US Dollar from their pocket from the activity called “profit taking” from the stock and share market. The current economic crisis of this world is due to Reba or taking of interest which prohibits in Islam.

Multiplying money in the way of gambling (game of chance) is also prohibited and now only the US and the West is trying to curb this type of Ali Ba Ba in a very vague plan called G20 plan, emerged from the London Summit on 2nd April 2009.

Islam is the perfect religion with Divine rules of law and also with the way to implement it. I would like to see what type of punishment would be appropriate for the Ali Ba Ba of 21st Century with the man made Civil Law.

Allah knows the best,

Kyaw Kyaw Oo


One thought on “Do we need to chop the hand of a poor thief in Somalia?

  1. moosinar says:

    Assalamualaikom ,

    After reading the news about the poor thief in Somalia….
    I felt that he had been treated unfairly…..But I also do believe that Allah’s religion ,Islam , can’t be that bad….
    There must have been something wrong….
    I felt very confused….
    I went on reading ur articles….
    The rest of ur articles give me the solution for my inner conflict…..
    Thanks a lot for that….
    we muslims must learn what is in the Quran and must understand…
    pls go on writing posts so that we can know something knowledgable..

    with regards

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