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Lost in Translation: Cutting off the Hands of Thieves

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I see you've ignored the second line. This is thoroughly disingenuous and blatantly accusatory. I have not said anything offensive regarding the Companions, and instead pointed out the obvious--which apparently, sadly, has to be pointed out--that they make mistakes. They are not God, they are human beings and not above criticism. We were never meant to follow them blindly, and the fact that they make mistakes, and that these mistakes have possibly been recorded--with or without their knowledge--is entirely valid. They make a mistake in narration, they may have not even intended to be recorded as they believed living close to the Prophet that his words would not be recorded and they believed this narration would be transferred orally. Somehow you've been offended still, though I said nothing remotely close to them not being the ideal to which we should aspire, which to me reads as an absurd degree of insecurity. You needn't worry about protecting them--Muslims already think the world of them, to the point to which they hold them above the word of God.

 

"We have permitted the enemies of every prophet human and jinn devils to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications." (Qur'an 6:112)

 

"Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when God has revealed to you this book fully detailed?" (Qur'an 6:114)

 

And in relevance to this discussion, I'm not attacking their person. I'm pointing out they make mistakes, and have been reprimanded by God in many cases for their actions, and those who recorded these mistakes are possibly those to whom the above verses refer.

 

You said they were not angels. They made mistakes.

 

I replied with they are better than angels, and explained why.

 

Now if you feel like it was accusatory, at this point, that's something you may have to deal with your own self.

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And since Ramadan is the month of generosity, as a bonus, I will throw in the following hadith for the sake of Allah's Pleasure. :)

Abdullah bin 'Amr (radiallahu anhu) said: "I used to write down everything I heard from the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) in order to commit to memory. Quraysh prohibited me from doing so, saying: "Would you write down everything you hear, when the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wasalam) is a human being, who speaks both when angry and when content?" I stopped writing, and mentioned the matter to the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam). He (salallahu alayhi wasalam) pointed to his mouth, and said:

 

"Write, for by the One in whose hand is my soul, nothing comes from it but the truth."

 

(Abu Dawud, Darimi)

 

 

 

 

Hope you guys have already, or are going to pray tahajjud and recite Qur'an tonight. May Allah grant you concentration in ibadah, ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

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We don't live under a Muslim state with a khilafah, why should there be any hand cutting or stoning going around anyways? And even in those said communities, most people were ''practicing'' weren't they? And understood the obligatory knowledge (most of us don't even know that yet) right? So if X muslim now stole Y amount of food, why should he be 'punished' for something that he didn't even know was punishable by amputation ?

 

We live in different times with much weaker practice of Islam and most of us are Muslim by name. If the Khalifah rule was to be established, things have to be rectified in terms of Islamic education and our current state. Aren't rules and punishments implemented based on the state of the population?

 

You're right of course, the rules are actually part of the entire islamic system, and not just a set of chopping hands off and stoning laws.

 

 

However, in islam we have hudood, and we have ta'zeer (we also have qisas/diyya but that's a different story). Hudood are specific punishments Allah prescribed for specific things, and ta'zeer is punishments that you apply based upon the current state of the people. We have both! Make sense ukhti?

 

It seems people are more fixated on the source than the content. That just means you should write "I don't know" instead.

 

Basically, the points to address:

1. Does it really use the same term metaphorically throughout much of the Qur'an?

2. What would the wording have implied 1400 years ago?

3. Why does Allah (swt) use a word implying three hands? Even a plural implying both hands would make it at odds with the sunnipath source.

 

Before answering the question, you agree of course that our legislative sources are Qur'an, ahadith, ijma' as sahabah, and qiyas right?

 

You also agree that any interpretation requires proof and can't just be random? I think you do so let's move forward!

 

 

This issue of cutting off the hands actually goes back to a more basic issue, ie how you view the sunnah itself.

 

Qur'an reveals many commands, but why did Allah subahanawtala send a prophet? Why did He reveal this book over so many years? Simply because while we may have commands from Allah, we need a practical example to carry them out. This is why the prophet peace be upon him was referred to as the 'walking qur'an' and why qur'an is never seperated from sunnah.

 

Allah subhanawtala says aqim as Salah (establish the prayer), but there is no elaboration on this in Qur'an in terms of how to carry out the hukm. But the prophet peace be upon him took these commands and then showed us how to carry it out.

 

Allah subahanwtala supported the prophet peace be upon him by saying:

 

"Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (al-Imran: 31)

 

Your companion is not misguided or misled; nor does he speak from whim. It is nothing but Revelation revealed, taught to him by one immensely strong. (al-Najm: 2-5)

 

 

So when you look at the command to cut the hand of the thief, you see how the prophet peace be upon him carried it out:

 

Junadah ibn AbuUmayyah said: We were with Busr ibn Artat on the sea (on an expedition). A thief called Misdar who had stolen a bukhti she-camel was brought. He said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: Hands are not to be cut off during a warlike expedition. Had it not been so, I would have cut it off. [abu dawood]

 

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The hand (of the thief) should be cut off for (the theft of) a quarter of a Dinar or more.” [bukhaari]

 

“May Allaah curse the thief who steals an egg and has his hand cut off, or steals a rope and has his hand cut off.” [bukhaari]

 

“Do you intercede concerning one of the Hadd set by Allaah? Those who came before you were destroyed because if a rich man among them stole, they would let him off, but if a lowly person stole, they would carry out the punishment on him. By Allaah, if Faatimah Bint (daughter of) Muhammad were to steal, I would cut off her hand.” [bukhaari]

 

The ahadith show exactly how the rasool peace be upon him implemented the command. In addition, we see that the khulafa after continued on this same basis of implementation of this hadd punishment.

 

If you want the specific linguistic answer, go here: http://islamicsystem.blogspot.com/2006/09/qa-what-is-shubhat-ad-daleel-semblance.html (go to example C, they detail it).

 

 

You know, I was wondering why people were arriving at the site by searching my exact sentences into Google.

 

For those of you who are asking for the process by which my conclusions have been reached, and specifically asking for hadith, I make the overall process clear for all those who wish to critique it, and have outlined my view of hadith here. There are no secrets: you are free to search through the site and draw whatever conclusions you wish as long as you do not attempt to infringe on my rights to interpret my own religion. (Or to actually cut off anyone's hand thereby infringing on their bodily rights, which I don't think is an issue here.) I fully believe that each verse of the Qur'an has at least 7 different meanings--the shallowest being the most literal, and the 7th deepest meaning being the one that only God knows. Essentially, both literal and figurative interpretations are correct and to limit interpretation to either literal or figurative meaning is an affront to the Qur'an and to Islam. Whatever interpretation is most correct is dependent on the society and the era, as the Qur'an is timeless because of the very conditions that it outlines, making it applicable to every century, culture, and society. When the Prophet ordered cutting off the hands of thieves, he did so according to his culture and time period which is constrained, not his religion and the Qur'an which is timeless and relevant until Judgment Day. This is why he forbade during his lifetime the recording of his actions and words--not every way he lived is a requirement of Islam. He is a human being, who lived within the constraints of his culture.

 

And anyone disturbed by the feminism has issues.

 

Edit: I've answered questions in the comment section of the actual post.

 

I know you said salam in your last post, but if you're willing to discuss the topic of hadith inshAllah it would be good to have and I would be respectful in discussion!

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Firstly. The subforum actually states that you need to be respectful. Questioning Nahida and her integrity doesn't fall into respectful. Secondly it is so sad that people get so offended when we speak about the Prophet and yet his sunnah (if you really want to talk about Sunnah) is to be humble and open to dialogue.

 

Nahida is spot on. By ignoring cultural context you are in fact ignoring the basis of revelation. The Quran could have come down in a single instant instead it was revealed in pieces in response to very relevant situations. By understanding the cultural context we can only the begin to understand the meanings of the Quran.

 

Also, a couple of fallacies which really negates the majority of replies in this thread:

 

1. Ad hominem

2. Slippery slope

3. False dichotomies

 

Anyway, it is SO sad to see how people WANT to cling to a less merciful version of Islam. You state madhahib. Yes, guess what the madhahib differed and it didn't invalidate their Islam. So take a page out of these scholars whom you say dedicated their lives to Islam (what makes you assume Nahidas scholarly pursuits aren't similarly intensive, given technological progress, the resources at our disposal today greatly accelerate the pursuit of scholarly endeavor) and realize that there ARE EQUALLY VALID ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS.

 

If you would like to discard Allahs mercy and compassion in favor of a vengeful, nitpicky, hurtful Islam. Then go ahead. Nahida has chosen to express Islam in it's principles of love. She has chosen to posit that guess what, within today's cultural context she feels corporeal punishment for criminal activity is less socially acceptable and morally reprehensible. It goes against the spirit of forgiveness and redemption. The social norms at the time of the Prophet also called for concubines and slavery. Are you going to allege that cultural context isn't relevant?

 

Stop using the scholarly argument. There are scholars who believe similar things. But there isn't a priesthood in Islam for a reason.

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Firstly. The subforum actually states that you need to be respectful. Questioning Nahida and her integrity doesn't fall into respectful. Secondly it is so sad that people get so offended when we speak about the Prophet and yet his sunnah (if you really want to talk about Sunnah) is to be humble and open to dialogue.

 

Nahida is spot on. By ignoring cultural context you are in fact ignoring the basis of revelation. The Quran could have come down in a single instant instead it was revealed in pieces in response to very relevant situations. By understanding the cultural context we can only the begin to understand the meanings of the Quran.

 

Also, a couple of fallacies which really negates the majority of replies in this thread:

 

1. Ad hominem

2. Slippery slope

3. False dichotomies

 

Anyway, it is SO sad to see how people WANT to cling to a less merciful version of Islam. You state madhahib. Yes, guess what the madhahib differed and it didn't invalidate their Islam. So take a page out of these scholars whom you say dedicated their lives to Islam (what makes you assume Nahidas scholarly pursuits aren't similarly intensive, given technological progress, the resources at our disposal today greatly accelerate the pursuit of scholarly endeavor) and realize that there ARE EQUALLY VALID ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS.

 

If you would like to discard Allahs mercy and compassion in favor of a vengeful, nitpicky, hurtful Islam. Then go ahead. Nahida has chosen to express Islam in it's principles of love. She has chosen to posit that guess what, within today's cultural context she feels corporeal punishment for criminal activity is less socially acceptable and morally reprehensible. It goes against the spirit of forgiveness and redemption. The social norms at the time of the Prophet also called for concubines and slavery. Are you going to allege that cultural context isn't relevant?

 

Stop using the scholarly argument. There are scholars who believe similar things. But there isn't a priesthood in Islam for a reason.

 

I agree that we need to observe the correct etiquette of discussion.

 

 

I think the discussion here centers around a certain concept in Islam. What you are saying is that there is basically a 'spirit of the text' that promotes forgiveness, redemption, mercy, etc. If we find any rule that does not coincide with this spirit, we simply reject the rule as cultural.

 

This is, however, incorrect (and you are free to dispute this, but with evidence and explanation of your pont of view). This is because Islam is revelation from the Creator of the universe. We cannot understand the mercy, forgiveness, or redemption of Allah because we are not able to look at the entire universe from His point of view. Justice to one person is injustice from anothers point of view. You might think that corporeal punishment for criminals is socially unacceptable, but social standards are developed by the emotions of any given society (just like in the past women socially were considered lesser human, or the practice of burying infant girls alive was socially acceptable).

 

Islam was revealed to set the standard of what is and is not acceptable, regardless of what society and it's current morality states. Allah sets for us the standard of all human rights, and not the other way around.

 

 

One can have different interpretations, but they must be bound based on the rules of interpreting itself. I cannot interpret the word 'cow' to mean monkey, because cow has a static meaning that can only be seen one way. While it is true that many things can have multiple interpretations, there are others that cannot. I presented above the argument of why the cutting of the hands is straightforward, you will have to present why it is incorrect or your justification for rejection. Saying it doesn't agree with modern day social sentiments is not a valid justification for overturning legal law as revealed by the Creator.

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Great, the TFF reader's fanbase decided to settle themselves down on MM?

 

(just kidding yall teehee)

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Great, the TFF reader's fanbase decided to settle themselves down on MM?

 

I've been reading MM since high school. Get the hell over yourself.

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One can have different interpretations, but they must be bound based on the rules of interpreting itself. I cannot interpret the word 'cow' to mean monkey, because cow has a static meaning that can only be seen one way. While it is true that many things can have multiple interpretations, there are others that cannot. I presented above the argument of why the cutting of the hands is straightforward, you will have to present why it is incorrect or your justification for rejection. Saying it doesn't agree with modern day social sentiments is not a valid justification for overturning legal law as revealed by the Creator.

 

And why is the cutting literal? Why is it limited to only a literal interpretation? I've said that interpretations can range from literal to figurative based on culture and time and thus the Quran is timeless.

 

I've presented hadith that state hadith should not have been recorded. I've presented Quranic verses that state the Quran is complete and that the Word of God needs no fabrications from other sources. Showing compassion is one of the most fundamental practices of faith. "We can't do this because we won't understand" is lazy.

 

If you would construct still, a society in which thieves hands are removed, you are free to live in one.

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I've been reading MM since high school. Get the hell over yourself.

 

Brool story Co.

 

Was talking about Khadeejah, no need to pull out your feminist fangs.

 

(Ok last joke I swear, sorry :P )

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And why is the cutting literal? Why is it limited to only a literal interpretation?

 

I've presented hadith that state hadith should not have been recorded. I've presented Quranic verses that state the Quran is complete and that the Word of God needs no fabrications from other sources.

 

If you would construct still, a society in which thieves hands are removed, you are free to live in one.

 

So firstly, I hope you would agree that we all need to have an open mind, and that none of us has a monopoly on either Islam or the truth. If you are firm in your opinions and beliefs, and you are not willing to budge on any of them then there would be no discussion here and it would be pointless.

 

However, if you are not and are willing to engage with me sincerely in hopes of finding the truth in life and about this deen, then we can actually have a discussion on the topic. And of course we would inshAllah ta'ala discuss without attacking each other as people but rather address what we are saying and the evidence given for it.

 

Is this fair?

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It's good to see a diversity of beliefs on here. Cheers for those who can think for themselves. Some people just spit out the same 'ole broken record and logical fallacies. I don't necessarily agree with anything that has been said, but haven't got the time to respond now.

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It's good to see a diversity of beliefs on here. Cheers for those who can think for themselves. Some people just spit out the same 'ole broken record and logical fallacies. I don't necessarily agree with anything that has been said, but haven't got the time to respond now.

 

Mussdawg, since you don't necessarily agree with anything that has been said, it would be quite interesting to hear your response when you do have the time, inshaallah.

 

Time for me to go to sleep.

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Because classical Arabic isn't the same as modern Arabic, this is as commonly held a misconception amongst native speakers as it is amongst everyone else, resulting in this verse most often translated to mean literally cutting off the hand.

 

The Arabic language itself is a means of Tafsir, but it is not put above the Qur'an, Hadith, the Sahabah, and the Tabi'in.

 

Please have a read of this, inshAllah hopefully it can clear some things up.

 

http://www.quranicstudies.com/articles/tafsir-exegesis/introduction-science-tafsir.html

 

edit: So your means of interepration is right, but the value it (Arabic language itself) is not placed above those 4 factors which are greatly more significant and take precedence over interpreting, explaing and commenting on the meanings of the Qur'an.

 

I understand what you are doing here, alhamdulilah, it is good, but I also think it is strange and it could be treading on some very dangerous waters which I don't think is a good idea.

 

We also have to understand that Allah tells us He is Most-Gracious, Most-Merciful and He is Just.

With that in mind, I find this to be a helpful explanation on the ruling for cutting of the hand:

 

http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=1895&CATE=12

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