Dan’s Course on Islam

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The Punishment for Theft


The Qur'an teaches that the person who steals should have his hand cut off; stating:

"the thief male, and female: cut off the hand of both, as a recompense of what they have earned, and a punishment exemplary from God; God is All-mighty All-wise."[7]

This cutting off of the hand serves as retribution for any profit or gain the thief has made and as a punishment from God.

Later Muslim scholars insisted that this punishment could only be practised in a society where the basic needs of its citizens are adequately met.


The Qur'an teaches that the hand of the thief should be cut off, the Hadith adds that Mohammad applied this form of punishment in his own time, as is clear from the following collection of incidences from the Hadith. (We assume that the citizens under his leadership were provided for adequately.)

1. Jaber reported that a thief was brought to the Prophet who commanded, "Maim him (his hand)" and it was done. He was brought for the second time. He said, "Maim him," and it was done. Afterwards he was brought for the third time. Again The Prophet said, "Maim him." And then it was cut off. Afterwards the thief was brought for the fourth time and when the prophet said, "Maim him" his leg was cut off. When he was then brought for the fifth time, he said: "Kill him." So we took him and killed him. Afterwards we dragged him and threw him into a well and threw stones over him." [8]

2. "Fuzalah-Ibn-Obaid reported that a thief was brought to the Prophet and his hand was cut off and on a further order from the Prophet, the hand was hung around his neck." [9]

3. "'A'isha reported that Allah's Messenger cut off the hand of a thief for a quarter of a dinar and upwards."[10]

4. "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: 'let there be the curse of Allah upon a thief who steals an egg and his hand is cut off and steals a rope and his hand is cut off'"[11]

5. "It is narrated in Sharih Sunnat that Safwan-b-Umayyah came to Medina and slept in the mosque using his sheet as pillow. A thief came and stole his sheet. Safwan overtook him and came with him to the Messenger of Allah. Mohammad gave the order for the thief's hand to be cut off. Safwan said, "I did not wish it (that punishment); I give it (the sheet) to him as charity," upon which the Messenger of Allah asked, "Why didn't you (tell him) before you came with him?"[12]

In other words it is too late, and the man's hand must be cut off.

6. Tabari, commenting on the Table:38 reports an incident which supports this last teaching: "A woman stole jewellery from some people who then brought her to The Prophet. He ordered that her right hand be cut off. The woman then asked him if there was room for repentance to which he replied, "Today [that is after your hand is cut off] you will be pure from your sin like the day you were born."[13]

From the above we can see that:

1. Both the Qur'an and the Hadith require the amputation of the hand of the person who steals. From Hadith No. 6 and according to the teaching of the Fukaha (Muslim scholars), the thief's right hand is cut off at the wrist.[14]

2. The value of the stolen article that calls for the cutting off of the hand must be above a quarter of a dinar.[15]

3. Repentance by voluntary restitution and determining never to steal again, does not spare the person from having his hand cut off. This is also the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas who was one of the early renowned followers of Mohammad. This view is supported by commentators on the Qur'an, eg. see Razi.[16]

4. In all the collected Hadith on the subject, not once was a person forgiven or the punishment waived. In every case the thief's hand was cut off.


In the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), God gave laws whereby His people could deal with the problem of theft. We find four responses to the problem:

1. If a man steals an article, but is repentant he has to pay back the worth of whatever he stole plus twenty percent.

"The LORD said to Moses: "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbour about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do - when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.'"[17]

2. If he is not repentant and whatever he stole is found in his possession he must pay back double.

"If the stolen animal is found alive in his [the thief's] possession-- whether ox or donkey or sheep--he must pay back double."[18]

3. If he has disposed of what he has stolen, by selling it or using it, he has to pay between four to five times the value of the stolen article.

"If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep ... A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft."[19]

4. If he can not pay back, he must be sold as a slave and work as such for six years, after that he is to be set free.

Unlike the punishment of slavery which was permanent, this one is temporary, lasting only six years. In addition, when freed, the man must be supplied with resources that will prepare him for and give him a good start in his new life. The Bible thus states:

"If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, is sold to you and he serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your wine-press. Give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you."[20]

It is clear that the retribution is administered in such a way that stolen property is compensated for by property, even when the thief is enslaved for six years, his period of enslavement is repayment for the stolen property. Bodily damage is never made to compensate for property damage, as is the case in Islam. It should also to be noted that the punishment is proportional to the severity of the sin - the more a person hides his sin and profits from crime, the more compensation he has to pay. The sooner he confesses his crime, the lighter the punishment.
7. The Qur'an, 5:38
8. Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Book II, Chapter xxv, Theft, Hadith No. 129. Also mentioned in Abu Daud and Nisai.
9. Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Book II, Section 11, 1210-Theft, Hadith No. 130. Also mentioned in Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nisai, Ibn Majah.
10. Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Hudud, hadith No.4157
11. Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Hudud, hadith No.4185
12. Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Book II, Section 11, 1210-Theft, Hadith No. 127. Ibn Majah narrated like it from Abdulla-b-Sufwan and Darimi from Ibn 'Abbas.
13. Tabari, commenting on the Table:38
14. The Encyclopedia of Islam,1934, under section 'SARIK'
15. For Hanafi'is and Zaidis the minimum amount is ten dirhams, but among the Malikis, Shafi'is and Shi'is is 1/4 dinar or 3 dirhams. Some reconcile the two figures by making it 1/4 of a dinar.
16. Razi, Attafsir al-Kabir, the Table:38
17. The Bible, Leviticus 6:1-5(NIV).
18. The Bible, Exodus 22:3,4.
19. The Bible, Exodus 22:1.
20. Deuteronomy 15:12-14 (NIV).


(Caliph*, Rulers*, Authorities*,

Governors*, Leaders*, Kings*, Emperors*, Monarchs*)

The First Four Caliphs

1st Caliph
Abu Bakr 632-634

(Abu Bakr As Siddiq)

  • 1st Successor to Muhammad. He was chosen because he had been nominated to lead the prayers. Several wanted to become leaders:


Quraysh tribe

Prophet’s family, especially Ali (most were murdered)

Muhammad’s death. He prevented many tribes from breaking

away from the new Islamic state during the Wars of


  • Began to enforce the law of apostasy (mortad).

  • Ordered the Qur’an to be collected. Zayd was appointed to do it.

  • Secured the Religion.

  • He defeated the Byzantie Army in 634, and Islam spread to Syria, Iraq and Yemen.


2nd Caliph
Umar 634-644

(Umar İbn Abd al-Aziz)

Chosed by Abu Bakr, father-in-law of Muhammad. Conqured

  • Alexandria and Egypt (639),

  • Palestine & Damascus in Syria (634),

  • Iraq (636)

  • Captured Jerusalem (636)

  • Defeated the armies of both the Byzantine (Christian) at the Battle of Yarmuk, and defeated the Persian (Zoroastrian) empires (642).

  • He authorized the collection of the suras of the Qur’an.

  • He gave Jews and Christians the choice of converting to Islam or leaving Arabia. If they stayed they had to pay the “jizya” tax according the “Code, Ordinance or Pact of ‘Umar”

  • The Pact of ‘Umar

  • Christians and Jews (dhimmi) had to pay the a pool-tax (jizya) to the Muslim state as an expression of their submission to Muslim rule. (many documents say they should experience some kind of humiliation while making payment – for example, by being struck on the neck.) If they owned land, they also had to pay a land tax (kharaj). While paying, the dihimmi should be slapped in the face and pushed away so that he will consider that through this form of ransom he has escaped the sword.

  • Christians were not allowed to criticise Islam, the Prophet, or the angels.

  • Christians have no right to build new places of worship.

  • Christians have no right to remodel a church in conqured


  • Christians were not allowed to be linked by marriage or concubinage to a Muslim woman.

  • Christians were not allowed to raise a hand against a Muslim, even against an agressor unjustly determined to kill them.

  • Christians were not allowed to display the cross outside churches or hold public religious processions outside. Ringing of church bells was not allowed.

  • Muslims could confiscate places of worship in towns taken by storm.

  • Muslims could destroy every church in the conquered land.

  • Christians were not allowed to go near mosques or to enter certain venerated towns, which would thereby be polluted.

  • Christians could not manifest religion publicly nor convert anyone to it, nor could they prevent any of their kin from entering Islam if they wanted to.

  • Christians “shall not display crosses or books in the roads or markets of Muslims.”

  • Christians had to practice their religion secretly and in silence.

  • Christians had to live separated from Muslims, in special quarters of a town, the gates of which were closed every evening, or as in Yemen, outside the limits of towns inhabited by Muslims.

  • Christians were forced to provide three days food and lodging to any Muslims who passed their way.

  • Christians were forced to offer their seats when Muslims wanted to be seated.

  • Christians had to bury their dead hastily and have different types of tombs from those of Muslims.

  • Christians were not allowed to ride on saddles, wear swords or carry weapons of any kind.

  • Christians were forbidden to ride on horses, and had to ride on mules or donkeys.

  • Christians were not allowed to build their homes higher than the homes of Muslims.

  • Christians had to make haste in the streets, always passing to the left (impure) side of a Muslim, who was advised to push them to the wall.

  • Christians had to walk humbly with lowered eyes and accept insults without reply.

  • Christians had to remain standing in a humble and respectful attitude in the presence of a Muslim.

  • Christians were never to speak to Muslims except to reply.

  • No-Muslims could not engage in military service, since this would involve them in jihad, holy war.

  • The clothes of Christians and Jews should be different from the clothes worn by Muslims. Often they had to wear a badge to mark them out from Muslims, and sometimes they were required to shave their heads.

  • Muslims are not allowed to emulate the dihimmis in their dress or behavior.

  • Muslims are not allowed to attend dhimmi festivals of support them in any way which may give them any power over Muslims.

  • Muslims are not allowed to lease his house or sell his land for the construction of a church, temple, liquor store, or anything that might benefit the dhimmi’s faith.

  • Muslims are not allowed to work for dhimmis in any job that might promote their faith, such as constructing a church.

  • Muslims are not allowed to make any endowment to churches or temples.

  • Muslims are not allowed to carry any vessel that contains wine, work in wine production, or transport pigs.

  • Muslims are not allowed to address dhimmis with any title such as “my master” or “my lord”.

  • Caliph Umar’s Atrocities

  • The Caliph Umar used to tie them to a post and had lances thrust into their heats, and the Sultan Baybars II (1308-1309) made torture legal.

  • Robert Spencer, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, p. 14.


3rd. Caliph
Uthman 644-656

Son-in-law of Muhammad (from the family of the Umayyads)


  • Uthman a Persian slave, murderd Umar the 2nd Caliph.

  • A weak and selfish ruler, he was accused of granting favors to relatives of his own kin.

  • Further expanded conquests west across North Africa and east across Persia.

  • His leadership provoked rebellion and a Civil War in which he was murdered by Muslim opponents and his body left unburied. 30 A.H.

  • Established the official text of the Qur’an and had the other texts burned 20 years after Muhammad’s death. The canon of the Qur’an was established with four offical copies. All other copies and fragments were burned.

Sahih Bukhari, VI, No. 510: “Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Sa’id bin Al-‘As and ‘Abdur Rahman bin Hari-bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts of perfect copies... They did so, and when they had written many copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials whether written in fragmentary manusccripts or whole copies, be burnt.”

P.D. Bramsen, One God One Message, p. 361.


4th Caliph
Ali 656-661

(Ali bin Abu Taleb)

  • Uthman was Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, married Fatimah Muhammad’s daugher who gave him two sons before she died at age 28.

  • Claimed to be the rightful first Imam.

  • He was admired by Arabs for his generousity and eloquence and his ability as a soilder.

  • He fought against the follers of ‘A’isha, Muhammad’s widow, at the Battle of Camel.

  • He fought against Mu’awiya, the governor of Syria who proclaimed himself caliph.

  • Beginning of the Shi’ite sect (party of Ali or


  • Murdered by Muslim opponents (a Kharijite zealot) who stabbed him with a dagger in 661 because of his appointing friends and relatives to positions of authority.

  • Succeded by Mu’awiya, the first of the Umayyad caliphs.

  • Civil War continued with two major battles without a victor. Followers of Ali = Shi’ites

Traditional Islam = Sunnis.
When Mu’awiya died in 680, the Shi’a tried to make Ali’s younger son, Husayn, the new caliph.
These four caliphs were succeeded by the Umayyad Dynasty that ruled in Damascus. In 750 power passed over to the Abbasids, whose capital was Baghdad. The Fatimids had their own rival caliphate in Cario from 909 to 1171.
STOP Manual, A-18
Don Richardson, Secrets of the Koran, p. 156.
Mecca - 1 the first five years of Muhammad in Mecca = 60 suras.

Mecca - 2 from the 5th > 10th years at Mecca = 17 suras.

Mecca - 3 the last 3 years at Mecca = 15 suras.

Medina - 4 the first year of the migration to Medina = 6 suras.

Medina - 5 the 3rd > 4th years of the migration to Medina = 3 suras.

Medina - 6 the 5th > 8th years of the migration to Medina = 9 suras.

Medina - 7 the 9th > 10th years of the migration to Medina = 4 suras.
Dr. Osman Keskioğlu, Nûzulünden İtibaren Kur’ân-ı Kerîm, pp. 124-125.



(Comparison*, Contrasts*, Contrast*, Charts*,

Similarities*, Parallels*, Compare*, Compares*)

Comparing Prophecies About Christ and Muhammad

Old Testament Prophecies
Concerning The Christ


The Credentials of Christ in Prophecy

Related to Christ's Birth:


Born of a woman:

Genesis 3:15

Matthew 1:20

Galatians 4:4



Virgin birth:

Isaiah 7:14
Matthew 1:18-25

Luke 1:26-35



Seed of Abraham:

Genesis 22:18
Matthew 1:1

Galatians 3:16



Seed of Isaac:

Genesis 22:12
Matthew 1:2

Luke 3:34



Seed of Jacob:

Numbers 24:17

Matthew 1:2

Luke 3:33



From the tribe of Judah:

Genesis 49:10

Micah 5:2

Matthew 1:2

Luke 3:33

Hebrews 7:14

Revelation 5:5



Seed of Jesse:

Isaiah 11:1

Matthew 1:6

Luke 3:32



Seed of David:

2 Samuel 7:12

Psalms 132:11

Isaiah 9:6-7

Jeremiah 23:5

Matthew 1:1

Luke 2:4

John 7:42

Acts 2:30

Romans 1:3

2 Timothy 2:8



Born at Bethlehem:

Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:1-11

Luke 2:4-7



Presents given:
Psalms 72:10

Isaiah 60:6

Matthew 2:1 & 11



Herod kills infants:

Jeremiah 31:15
Matthew 2:16



Return from Egypt:

Hosea 11:1
Matthew 2:13-14 & 19


Related to Christ's Identity:


His pre-existence

Psalms 102:25

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah 41:4

Isaiah 44:6

Isaiah 48:12

Micah 5:2
John 1:1-2

John 8:58

John 17:5 & 24

Colossians 1:17

Hebrews 1:8-12

Revelation 1:17 & 2:8

Revelation 22:13



He will be called Lord

Psalms 110:1

Jeremiah 23:6

Matthew 22:43-45

Luke 2:11-12



His name will be Emmanuel:
Isaiah 7:14
Matthew 1:23

Luke 7:16



He will be the Son of God:
Psalms 2:2,7 & 12

2 Samuel 7:12-16

1 Chronicles 17:11-14

Psalms 45:6-7 & 11

Matthew 3:17

Matthew 16:16

Matthew 22:43-45

Mark 9:7

Luke 9:35

Luke 22:70

John 1:34 & 49

Acts 13:30-33

Hebrews 1:5 & 8-9

Hebrews 5:5



He will be anointed by the Holy Spirit:
Isaiah 11:2

Isaiah 42:1

Isaiah 61:1-2

Psalms 45:7

Matthew 3:16-17

Matthew 12:17-21

Mark 1:10-11

Luke 4:15-21 & 43

John 1:37



He will be a prophet:

Deuteronomy 18:18
Matthew 21:11

Luke 7:16

John 4:19

John 6:14

John 7:40

Acts 3:22-26



He will be a King:
Zechariah 6:11-13
John 1:49

Revelation 19:16



He will be a priest:
Psalms 110:4
Hebrews 7:15-22



He will be a Judge:

Isaiah 33:22
John 5:30



Anointed by the Holy Spirit:

Isaiah 11:2 & 4

Isaiah 2:1

Isaiah 61:1
Luke 4:1 & 14-21

Matthew 3:16

Acts 10:38



His zeal for God:

Psalms 69:9
John 2:15-17



Chief corner stone:

Psalms 118:22
1 Peter 2:7



Light to the Jews:

Isaiah 42:6-7

Isaiah 60:3

Matthew 4:14-16

Acts 13:47-48

Acts 26:22-23


Concerning the Messiah's Mission:



His forerunner:

Isaiah 40:3

Malachi 3:1

Matthew 3:1-2

Matthew 3:3

Matthew 11:10

Mark 1:1-9

John 1:23



His mission to begin in Galilee:

Isaiah 9:1
Matthew 4:12-17



His miracles:

Isaiah 32:3-4

Isaiah 35:5-6

Isaiah 61:1
Matthew 9:35

Luke 7:18-23

Acts 2:22


His use of parables:
Psalms 78:2
Matthew 13:34-35

Luke 8:10



Entrance into the temple:
Malachi 3:1
Matthew 21:12-13

Mark 11:15

Luke 19:45

John 2:13-16



Entering Jerusalem on a donkey:
Zechariah 9:9
Matthew 21:6-11

Luke 19:35-37

John 12:12-16


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