Is the Punishment of Amputation of the Hands, Rough and Violent?

Is the Punishment of Amputation of the Hands, Rough and Violent? Before answering this question it is essential to mention the conditions which govern the punishment of amputation of a thief’s hand.

From the entire collection of Islamic traditions, it can be inferred that there are numerous requirements, which have to be fulfilled, in order that this Islamic punishment is put into execution, and failing which, initiating this punishment is not permissible. Some of these requirements are as follows:

• The item that is stolen should possess a value of at least one-fourth of a dinar.1

• It should have been stolen from a secured place such as a house, a shop, internal pockets etc.

• The theft should not have taken place during famines and droughts, when the people are suffering from hunger and possess no means.

• The thief should be sane and an adult, and should have committed the act out of his own choice and free will.

• This ruling shall not be applicable in the case of a father, who steals from the property of his son, or a partner, who does so from the property of the partnership.

• Stealing fruits from the trees of a garden has also been exempted from this ruling.

• Every instance, in which there exists a likelihood of error on the part of the thief that he may have mistaken other’s property as his own, is exempted this ruling.

• In addition to the above, there are some other conditions, which have been mentioned and explained in books of jurisprudence.

The above should not be mistaken to mean that theft is prohibited and unlawful only when all the above conditions gather together; in Islam, theft in every form, in every measure and in every way is prohibited and unlawful. What is meant by the above conditions is that only under such circumstances can this penalty be put into execution.

The measure in which the hand should be amputated

It is popular amongst our jurists that on the basis of the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) only the four fingers of the right hand must be amputation and not more – unlike the Sunnite jurists, who have stipulated more than this.

Is this Islamic penalty rough and violent?

Very often the opponents of Islam and even some of the less knowledgeable Muslims have levelled this objection that this Islamic penalty appears to be intensely harsh, and if this ruling were to be implemented in today’s world, there would be numerous hands which would have to be cut. In addition, enforcement of this ruling would entail that a person, in addition to losing an important part of his body, would become infamous and notorious all throughout his life.

In answering this objection, attention ought to be paid to this reality that:

Firstly: Just as we had mentioned in the conditions of this ruling that not every thief shall become encompassed by this law, rather, there shall be only one group of dangerous thieves, who shall be formally subjected to this punishment.

Secondly: In view of the fact that in Islam there are several requirements and conditions that need to be met in order to prove a crime, the occurrence of this punishment further diminishes.

Thirdly: Many of the objections which people, possessing less knowledge, have propounded against the Islamic laws is simply because they have sought to examine its one ruling, independently and without taking into account its other rulings; in other words, they attempt to envisage that ruling in a completely non-Islamic society.

But if we were to take into consideration the fact that Islam is not just one ruling but a collection of rulings, which when implemented in a society results in enforcement of social justice, fight against poverty, correct education and training, awakening, awareness and piety, then it would become manifest that very few people would become eligible for this punishment. However, it should not be mistaken to mean that in today’s societies this ruling should not be enforced; rather, it means that all these aspects and dimensions ought to be taken into consideration at the time of judgement.

In short, an Islamic government is duty-bound to fulfill the basic needs of all the individuals of the country, impart to them the necessary education and also train them with respect to ethics and morals; it is self-evident that in such an environment, offenders shall be few and far in between.

Fourthly: If we observe theft to be rampant today, it is because such rulings are not being enforced; and hence, in environments in which this Islamic ruling is enforced (like Saudi Arabia, in which until very recently this ruling had been in force), extraordinary safety is observed to prevail over them with regards money and property.

Numerous pilgrims to the House of Allah (s.w.t.) have personally witnessed purses and wallets containing money lying on the roads and in the streets with none possessing the courage to touch them until such a time that the functionaries of the Department of Collection of Lost Items carry them to the mentioned department from where the owners retrieve their lost items by presenting the necessary identifications. Most of the shops are not locked at night but despite this, no one attempts to break into them.

Interestingly, this Islamic ruling – despite being in force for centuries and under whose shade the Muslims in the initial stages of Islam lived in peace, security and comfort – has only been implemented upon a very few number.

Is the amputation of a few criminal hands an extravagant price to pay for the several-century security of a nation?

Some people object: Is the execution of this penalty with respect to a thief for the sake of a quarter of a dinar not in contradiction with Islam’s immense respect for the life of the Muslims and the importance attached by it for protecting them from all harms? This is especially so in view of the fact that the atonement money, stipulated by Islam, for cutting four fingers of a person is an amount, which is excessive and extravagant.

Incidentally, this same question, as reported in some of the books of history, had been put to the distinguished scholar ‘Alam al-Huda – the late Sayyid Murtadha – a thousand years ago. The questioner presented his query in the form of a couplet, which is as follows:

يَدٌ بِخَمْسِ مِئَين عَسْجَدٍ وُوَدِيَتْ مَا بَالُهَا قُطِعَتْ فِي رُبْعِ دِيْنَارٍ؟
“The hand, whose atonement is five hundred dinars; why should it be amputated for a quarter of a dinar?”2Sayyid Murtadha, in reply, recited this couplet:
عِزُّ الاَمَانَةِ أَاغْلاَهَا وَ أَارْخَصَهَا ذِلُّ الْخِيَانَةِ فَافْهَمْ حِكْمَةَ الْبَارِيْ
“The honour of trustworthiness made it high-priced, while the abjectness of treachery lowered its value, so comprehend the wisdom of Allah.”3 and 4

1. One dinar is equal to one legal mithqal of coined gold, and one legal mithqal is equivalent to 18 barley grains. Thus, one legal mithqal is equal to ¾ ordinary mithqal.
2. Of course, it must be noted that five hundred dinars is in the event that five fingers are cut. However, as we have previously mentioned, according to the Shi’a faith, only four fingers are to be cut for theft.
3. This incident has been mentioned in vol. 6, pg. 134 of Tafsir Alusi, however, it has been attributed to Alam al-Din al-Sakhavi instead of ‘Alam al-Huda.
4. Tafsir-e-Namuna, vol. 4, pg. 376

What is the cure for doubts and obsession in beliefs?

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I am hereditarily suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have been to different specialists and psychiatrists but to no avail. I am interested in believing in God and the Prophet (S) and avoiding sins. I am making every effort to know God and to get rid of this disease which no one knows except those who suffer from it. My efforts have led to nowhere. That is the reason I have begun to face doubts and have realized that the Imam of Time (AS) or what you term as the sun behind the cloud does not exist in the concrete external world. I want to join bad friends who I have distanced myself from for the past many years; like my friends, I too would like to look at girls and women out in the street because I am now convinced that there is no truth in what has been said to me; if there was truth in them, I would have found it.


As you have stated in your message, you are suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, have certain thoughts repeatedly, or feel they need to perform certain routines repeatedly. There is no doubt that most of your psychological and mental problems emanate from the same mental disorder. In the first step, and in order for you to get rid of this problem, you should make efforts to treat your problem. You must know that the scrupulous feelings are the Shaitan’s plot which you should not pay heed to. In order for you to get rid of the diseases which is called obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and similar conditions, you should take action to purify yourself and purge your soul in line with self-reconstruction. You should do away with the feeling by attaching importance to fulfilling your duties on time, reciting the Quran, offering prayers in their prescribed prime time and staying away from haram things. Be sure that you will get rid of this disease.1 Everything is in your own hand to get rid of it. No one else can help you, if you yourself do not decide to do away with the problem. You should not get disappointed and you should make your mind firm to fight the temptations and obsessive feelings. The only way to get rid is to be inattentive and heedless towards the incoming thoughts.2 In addition, it is necessary to know that diseases, poverty and many worldly problems and epidemic events are somehow divine test. In reality, the world is an abode in which one is examined. You should also know that in the time of difficulty and hardship, the Shaitan can create disappointment in you and make you more impatient thus damaging your faith in God.
If one suffers from a certain diseases or his prayers are not answered or he does not get rid of his problems, that does not imply that God does not exist. He cannot deny Prophet (S) and his pure family including the last divine savior, the Awaited Imam, Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance, simply because his wishes are not granted.
There are many people who considered severe diseases and extreme difficulties as divine test and tribulation believing that they provided them with an opportunity to get closer to Allah and attain more perfection. Although there have been many people whose incurable illnesses have got cured through du’a and invocation, you must know that if a du’a has to be fulfilled, certain conditions must be met.

[1] Adapted from question 866.
[2] Adapted from Index: 2158

Source: IslamQuest

Why is alcohol forbidden in Islam?


Everyone knows, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, that drinking alcohol is considered a sin in Islam. Consuming alcohol is listed as one of the major sins; one of greater sins for which eternal punishment is promised. There are traditions by Imam Musa Kazim (a), Imam Rida (a), and Imam Muhammad Taqi (a) proving this.

Before presenting the verses of the Quran on this topic, it must be said that this law was legislated gradually. Allah didn’t reveal to the Prophet (s) in an instant and say: From this moment forward nobody can drink alcohol. Rather, he revealed this law in stages.

First the Quran states: “O you who have faith! Do not approach prayer when you are intoxicated.” (4:43).

Unfortunately some of the quote un quote Islamic leaders during the baby stages of Islam, after the demise of the Prophet (s), didn’t listen to this verse. Anyhow, the Quran then states: “They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say, There is a great sin in both of them, and some profits for the people, but their sinfulness outweighs their profit.” (2:219)

Finally, the Quran lays down the law and says: “O’ you who have faith! Indeed wine, gambling, idols and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan’s doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous. Indeed Satan seeks to cast enmity and hatred among you through wine and gambling, and to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you, then, relinquish?” (5:90-91).

This verse clearly prohibits the consumption of alcohol. In it there are ten forms of emphasis: First, the verse addresses the believers. This means that faith and drinking alcohol are incongruent. A person who drinks alcohol is not a believer and a believer does not drink alcohol. Second, Alcohol is mentioned next to clear instances of prohibitions, such as gambling and idol-worship. Third, the term abomination is used to describe alcohol. Fourth, drinking alcohol is introduced as a satanic activity. Fifth, the phrase ‘so avoid them’ is clearly stating to refrain from drinking alcohol. Sixth, the phrase ‘so that you may be felicitous’ shows that one will be successful if he refrains from drinking alcohol. Seventh, Satan wants to create enmity amongst mankind through alcohol. The tools of Satan must surely be prohibited. Eighth, the phrase ‘to hinder you from the remembrance of Allah,’ is another emphasis of our claim. Whatever causes one to forget about Allah is impermissible. Ninth, Alcohol keeps one from praying. And tenth, the phrase ‘will you, then, relinquish’ is also a form of emphasis.

It is narrated that Imam Baqir (a) said: “Disobedience to the order of Allah is mostly due to alcoholism. The alcoholic abandons prayer. He can even commit incest under the influence of alcohol; he loses his senses.”

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a) is reported to have said: “Certainly even if a person swallows only a mouthful of wine, at that very moment, the angels, the Prophets, and the righteous believers send their curses upon him. And, when he drinks enough to make him intoxicated, the spirit of belief leaves his body, it is replaced by the dirty, accursed, devilish spirit.”

The Quran stated that the sin of drinking alcohol far outweighs any benefit that can be taken there from. Let’s take a glance at what alcohol abuse does to the body. First, alcohol damages the brain. Different parts of the brain are more sensitive to alcohol than others. Alcohol abuse manifests itself both physically and psychologically. Physically it is manifested through loss of balance, impotence, numbness of the feet and hands, tremor, and even blindness. Psychological manifestations include a loss of intellectual ability, impaired ability to learn, and mental confusion.

The liver is severely damaged as well. Alcohol abuse leads to cirrhosis which in turn leads to liver failure, liver cancer, and even death. It also causes one’s stomach to endure chronic inflammation which leads to pneumonia, kidney and urinary tract infections, and kidney failure.

Alcoholism also affects the heart because it leads to high blood pressure making one at risk of heart failure or stroke. It also causes sexual problems in men. Therefore, alcohol harms one’s brain, heart, liver, kidney, and reproductive organs. Google the physical effects of alcohol and you will be amazed at how harmful this drug is.

Islam is also against the consumption of alcohol. It is actually against more than just the consumption, it is against every single part of the alcohol trade. There is one tradition where the Prophet (s) curses ten people. Each one of these people have something to do with the alcohol trade. The list of these people are: 1. The person who plants the seed with the intention of producing wine. 2. One who cultivates the plant so that wine may be manufactured. 3. One who crushes the grapes. 4. One who drinks wine. 5. One who serves wine. 6. One who transports wine. 7. One who takes delivery from the supplier. 8. One who sells wine. 9. One who buys wine, and 10. One who uses the income that is earned by making or selling wine.

Therefore, a Muslim cannot have anything to do with alcohol; he can’t drink it, can’t sell it, can’t buy it for someone else, can’t make it, can’t deliver it, can’t transport it, and can’t use any proceeds produced from it.

In addition to the consumption of alcohol being haram, it is also considered a najis substance. There are some differences of opinion regarding this issue, so I thought it best to explain.

Seven question and answer about wine in Islam

Seven question and answer about wine in Islam

1-Question: If wine is served at a table, it is harãm for a Muslim to sit at that table. What is meant by “table”? Does this apply to the entire group [that has gone to the restaurant and some are being served alcohol] even if the tables are more than one? Or does it only apply to one table [and not the group], in the sense that if there are two separate tables, it would be permissible to sit [at the table on which alcohol is not being served, even if they are part of the same company]?

Answer: The criterion is one table. However, one should know that the prohibition of sitting at a table on which wine or intoxicant drinks are being served is based on precaution; of course, eating and drinking at that table is harãm based on obligatory precaution

2-Question: A Muslim enters a café and sits down at a table to drink tea, then a stranger comes at the same table to drink wine. Is it obligatory upon the Muslim to stop drinking tea and leave?Answer: Yes, as mentioned earlier, it is obligatory to move away from that table.

3- Question: Is it permissible to drink beer that says “alcohol free” on it?Answer: It is not permissible to drink, if “beer” means the drink made from barley that causes mild drunkenness. But if it means a drink made from barley that does not cause mild drunkenness, there is no problem in it.

4-Question: Alcohol is used in the production of many drugs and medications: Is it permissible to take them? Are they considered pure (tãhir)?Answer: They are pure; and since the alcohol used in them is so minute that it dissolves in them, it is therefore permissible to take them also.

5-Question: There is this vinegar that is made from wine, in the sense that it was wine and then, through a manufacturing process, changed into vinegar. Therefore, the label on the bottle reads: “wine vinegar” as opposed to the vinegar made from barley or other items. One of the signs [of differentiating between “wine vinegar” and the wine itself is that] the bottles of this vinegar are displayed in the area of vinegar, and it has never happened that these bottles are placed on the shelves of wines. Moreover, there is no difference between such vinegar and the vinegar made from dates for example. So, can this wine which has turned into vinegar be considered vinegar under the rule of change (istihalah)?

Answer: If the name “vinegar” can be applied in the view of common people upon that product, as has been assumed in the question, the same rule governing vinegar would apply to it. [That is, it is pure as well as permissible.]

6-Question:is it  permissible for a Muslim to go to places where wine is being served with the food?

It is permissible, provided that it does not lead to promotion of those restaurants. However, he cannot eat from the table on which wine is being consumed and should not, based on obligatory precaution, sit at that table. There is no problem though, in sitting at a table near the table on which wine is being consumed.

7-Question:is there any difference between solid and liquid form?

It is forbidden to drink wine, beer, and everything that causes intoxication or drunkenness in solid or liquid form. Almighty Allãh says in the Qur’ãn: “O you who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shatan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.” (5:90-91)

Seven important point about wine in ISLAM

1-It is forbidden to drink wine, beer, and everything that causes intoxication or drunkenness in solid or liquid form.

2-Almighty Allãh says in the Qur’ãn: “O you who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shatan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.” (5:90-91)

3-Our noble Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said,
“One who drinks intoxicants after Allãh has made them harãm by my statement is not worthy of marriage [to your daughter] if he proposes to her, or of intercession when he asks for a good word, or of any credibility when he speaks, or of being entrusted with anything.”(Al-Kulayni, vol. 6, p. 396.)

4-Our noble Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said,“Allãh has accursed alcohol, its growers, those who squeeze it [from the grapes], its drinkers, its servers, its buyers, its sellers, those who live on its income, its transporter, and the one to whom it is being transported. ” ( Man La Yahdhurhu ‘l-Faqih, vol. 4, p. 4)

5-It is harãm to eat at the table on which alcohol or any other intoxicants are being consumed. Based on obligatory precaution, it is harãm to even sit at such a table.

6-It is permissible for a Muslim to go to places where wine is being served with the food, provided that it does not lead to promotion of those restaurants.However, he cannot eat from the table on which wine is being consumed and should not, based on obligatory precaution, sit at that table. There is no problem though, in sitting at a table near the table on which wine is being consumed.

7-It is not permissible to drink, if “beer” means the drink made from barley that causes mild drunkenness. But if it means a drink made from barley that does not cause mild drunkenness, there is no problem in it.

Seven etiquettes to be observed at the dining table

dining table

There is certain etiquette to be observed at the dining table.

1-Starting with the name of Allãh and  thanking Allãh after the food

2-Tasting the salt at the beginning and the end of the dinner.

3-Eating with the right hand;

4-Making small morsels,not eating after satisfying the appetite and not over eating

5-Sitting longer at the table;

6-Chewing the food well;

7-Not looking at the faces of others while eating

Seven conditions for fish to become permissible for a Muslim

Seven conditions for fish to become permissible for a Muslim

In order for fish to become permissible for a Muslim, it must have the following conditions:

1-The Muslim should be certain or satisfied that the fish has come out of the water alive and The fish must have scales on it. [That is, it should not be a skin fish]

2-The Muslim should be certain or satisfied  that it died while it was already in the fishing net.

3-It is not necessary for the fisherman to be a Muslim or to utter the name of Allãh for the fish to become halãl. So, if a non-Muslim catches a fish and brings it alive from the water or it dies after getting caught in his fishing net or fishing line, and it has scales on it, it is permissible to eat.

4-A Muslim can ascertain the first condition by examining the fish if it is being displayed or by observing its name [which can tell you whether it is a skin fish or a scale fish] as long as you can trust the authenticity of the label.

5-It is permissible to eat shrimps, if they are brought out of the water alive. It is forbidden to eat frogs, lobsters, turtles, every amphibious animal, snails, and crayfish.

6-The law concerning eggs of fish follows the fish itself: the eggs of a halãl fish are permissible to eat and those of a harãm one are forbidden.

(Some experts of fisheries say that scale less fish mostly feed upon the waste of the sea and are in a way purifier of the filth, the squalor and the garbage of the sea.)

7-Is it not permissible to eat from marine animals anything except fish that has scale; shrimp is considered from that category [of permissible sea animals]. But other than fish, like lobster, and similarly the fish that does not have scale is forbidden. Allãh knows the best.

retrivd by:A Code of Practice for Muslims in the West


If a person has the ability to propagate Islam to non-Muslims,is it wajib on such a person to do propagation


Question: If a person has the ability to propagate Islam to non-Muslims or to disseminate religious knowledge among Muslims in non-Muslim countries without any danger of losing his own faith, is it wajib on such a person to do propagation (tabligh)?

Answer: Yes, it is wajib kifa’i upon him and all the others who have the ability to propagate [Islam].


A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West

Is it wajib on the immigrants in Europe and America to strive for teaching their children Arabic


Question: Is it wajib on the immigrants in Europe and America (and other similar countries) to strive for teaching their children Arabic, and that ignorance of Arabic may lead in the future to ignorance of the main Islamic body of knowledge, and that will naturally lead to less familiarity with religious teachings and loss of faith?

Answer: To teach them Arabic is wajib only to the extent which is necessary for performing their religious duties that have to be done in Arabic (e.g., recitation of the Opening chapter of the Qur’an, a second chapter, and other wajib recitations in salat). Teaching more than that is not wajib as long as it is possible to provide them with religious knowledge in a foreign language.Of course, it is recommended to teach them the holy Qur’an [in Arabic]; rather it is important to teach them Arabic in a precise form so that they may benefit from the basic sources of Islamic teachings, especially, and foremost among them, after the holy Qur’an, is the Prophetic sunna and the sayings of the Ahlul Bayt (peace be with them all).


A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West