The Qur'an put in the law of "an eye for an eye":

"We ordained therein for them: 'Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.' But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers" [Quran 5:45].

Amputation for theft:

“[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they earned [i.e. committed] as a deterrent [punishment] from Allaah. And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran 5:38]

Does the value of the stolen item equal the value of a hand? What is the value of a hand?

Should death be a permanent, final, punishment for a temporary "fling", adultery?

Death for leaving Islam? You haven't killed anyone, but stopped believing, so you die?

  • cutting the hand has 19 preconditions and punishment of any thief is not cutting hand. islam.stackexchange.com/questions/10174/… Dec 22, 2013 at 16:19
  • This question is really all over the place. I would recommend you take the time to actually focus your question on what you want to ask, instead of just firing off semi-related questions as if it in any way makes your actual question clearer (it doesn't).
    – goldPseudo
    May 24, 2015 at 15:23

5 Answers 5


Bismi llahi rahmani rahim

First of all there are many conditions that have to be fullfilled one of them is that the value of a stolen object has to exceed a certain threshold (ie someone who steals to escape hunger and famine is exempted)

Omar has suspended this punishement during his time as a Calife. And there was an argument between muslim scholars regarding the punishement of adultery.

The point is that the "hodod" (physical punishement) must not put an end to the life of a human being and have to be avoided unless their application is the ultimate option.

The hadith telling the story of a woman having been stoned to death because she commited adultery proves that if that event did occur then it took place before the Zina Verse that deals with fornication. The prophet is said to have applied the Sharia of Moses (Judaism) to this case. Koran states no where that death is the punishement to adultery.

There is a sermon of a sheikh (Adnan Ibrahim) to be found on youtube which details this. It is in arabic only for the time being.

wallaho a'elam


Theft is a temporary crime? I dont know how do you judge that it is temporary, for if you were a victim, and you got stolen of something very much valuable, and the thief remain silence and enjoy what is stolen for you,( if he is not caught till forever) isnt that a permanent situation? Where did you get the statement of such as temporary? A crime is a crime. It depends on whether will u be caught or not.

and, tbh, if you're so curious about this, to the extend, you post a question at a website like here, i would recommend you to read this as well, http://www.quranandhadith.com/stealing/

Its all about stealing and its rules (: and also some exception in the punishment of stealing, instead of amputating the hand off.

Please, patiently read the whole page, with an open mind.

  • A theif can reform himself and not steal anymore (at least theoretically). Same for adulterer. After he commits it, he might realized it is not for him. Also for a person who leave Islam, he might change his mind later and revert back to it.
    – muslim1
    Dec 22, 2013 at 16:07
  • If a person steals say £1000 worth item, they can work and pay it back or return the item. If you cut the hand off, that is permanent. So you see, cutting the hand off is a greater punishment than theft. Therefore it is unjust.
    – jack
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:20

Firstly wish to point out that the first verse quoted, has to do with retaliation. As for the second it specifies the punishment for the crime committed. Furthermore the hand is not amputated if someone for example steals a pencil, or an orange. Rather it is cut off when someone steals something of great value.

A thief's hand was not cut off for stealing something cheaper than a Hajafa or a Turs (two kinds of shields), each of which was worth a (respectable) price.

Saheeh Bukari

As for death for those who commit adultery and are married, the punishment is stoning to death

You free to not accept Islam if you do not wish to, but if you do it is a serious things, and it is not allowed to come in thinking that you can leave or come it try it for a while then leave, no, if you enter Islam, enter with knowledge. The punishment for leaving Islam is Death, and the reason this came about was when the Jews of Madinah started entering Islam in groups and at the end of the day leave to deter people away from accepting The Truth, The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered those who leave Islam to be killed.

مَنْ بَدَّلَ دِينَهُ فَاقْتُلُوهُ

He who changes his religion kill him

Saheeh Bukari

After that, how many jews do you think pretended to be Muslims the next day?

So yes, those who leave Islam are to be killed, period. And there is no compulsion in the acceptance of religion, so if you do not want to accept Islam then that is you choice and cannot be forced. Also it is worth mentioning that the death punishment is not acted upon until the authorities have argued, and sought the reason, and try to convince he/she not to leave Islam. Also, the death punishment is acted upon by the authorities, and not by some individual Muslim.

Lastly I would like to point out that, the point of these punishments being prescribed for these crimes, is to deter people from committing them. I end with that, and I ask Allah to guide us all.

  • No, I think retaliation and crime/punishment are the same thing. Death for murder, yet death for adultery and apostasy. This is inconsistent.
    – jack
    Jun 6, 2013 at 20:32
  • @jack I am telling you that retaliation is when for example someone hurts/injures you, you hurt them back not more but equally how they hurt you. Furthermore death is not the only punishment for murder, it is a choice of the family, whether to kill the murderer or get money for compensation etc. And the other penalties for the other crimes are as they are, they are punishment for crimes. Now I do not really see any inconsistency/contradiction between the verses as you are trying to describe, but if you wish to see it, then ok that is you. Lastly this is not a matter of thinking, rather of
    – مجاهد
    Jun 6, 2013 at 20:39
  • bringing proofs to support.
    – مجاهد
    Jun 6, 2013 at 20:42
  • 1
    The other issues is that we are informed of a merciful God. Yet between people retaliation can be upto and no more than what is done, but between a person and God, crimes "against" God, God wants your hand and your life. Even in terms of justice, thetf is a temporary crime, amputation is permanent.
    – jack
    Jun 7, 2013 at 13:09
  • 1
    @AlUmmat : what if someone who is born in a muslim family (so of course grown up as a muslim) later wants to accept any other religion? Is he also be killed for this apostacy? If so, how someone can justify it? Nov 10, 2013 at 7:01

Apostasy is not punished by death if it is not during war and it is military rule no one is spared if he deserts rank. For theft, the sentence may be amputation or a mark cut wound scar etc. If the thief returns the stolen goods, no punishment means foolish it won't be a deterrent. Tit for tat is justice by prevention without stretching law enforcement chasing thieves! As far as old testament justice is to punish equally though pardon too possible. The law is not rigid as draconian and neither lenient to the escalation of crimes uncontrollably. Punishment for adultery is not invariably death if proved beyond doubt as the benefit of doubt pushes to the favour of pro life lashes won't kill rather an effective seal on prostitution.


Verse 5:38 is one of those verses that are severely misunderstood. The correct translation and punishment is to "CUT" the hand (mark it, so that the person is permanently marked as a thief) and NOT "CUT OFF" (or amputate as the terrible translation you're quoting).

See the difference between CUT and CUT OFF?

That sounds fair to me.

As for the second part of the question, it's important to note that The Quran has no death punishment for anything. Not for apostasy (there's no compulsion in religion) nor adultery (punishment of which is clearly defined as public lashing).

“Th e adulteress and the adulterer, you shall lash each of them with one hundred lashes, and do not let any pity overtake you regarding the system of God if you believe in God and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.” (Qur’an 24:2)

In closing, I leave you with this:

“And if they are told: ‘Follow what God has sent down,’ they say: ‘No, we will follow what we found our fathers doing!’ What if their fathers did not comprehend anything and were not guided? And the example of those who disbelieve is like one who repeats what he has heard of calls and cries; deaf, dumb, and blind, they do not comprehend.” (Qur’an 2:170-171)


  • It is definitely cutting OFF the hand, as in the hadith, "But I would cut even the hand of Fatima (i.e. the daughter of the Prophet) if she committed a theft."(sunnah.com/bukhari/62/81)
    – goto
    Aug 11, 2013 at 18:59

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