Cutting arms and legs of robbers
Fatwa No: 86360


There is a Hadith in Saheeh Bukhari in with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) orders to cut of the arms and legs and to burn out the eyes of some people who became Kaffir. Then the Muslims left those people die in the desert. Is this a Saheeh Hadith, I think this is not like other Hadith in which the Prophet was very soft and sweet?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. The exact text of the Hadith you are asking about is as following: A group of people from 'Ukl (or 'Uraina) tribe - but I think he said that they were from 'Ukl - came to Medina and (they became ill, so) the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) she-camels and told them to go out and drink the camels' urine and milk (as a medicine). So they went and drank it, and when they became healthy, they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. This news reached the Prophet early in the morning, so he sent (some) men in their pursuit and they were captured and brought to the Prophet before midday. He ordered to cut off their hands and legs and their eyes to be branded with heated iron pieces and they were thrown at Al-Harra, and when they asked for water to drink, they were not given water. (Abu Qilaba said, "Those were the people who committed theft and murder and reverted to disbelief after being believers (Muslims), and fought against Allah and His Apostle. The following verse is revealed concerning them: {The recompense of those who wage war against Allâh and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.}[5:33]. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: Basically the above verse was revealed regarding these people, but it is common and covers all those who are highway robbers. The people who are mentioned in the above Hadith were worth of that punishment because they transgressed the limits and made huge mischief. They attacked the shepherd, branded his eyes with heated iron, cut off his hands and legs and killed him then drove away the camels and reverted from Islam. So, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) punished them just as they did with the shepherd. Being kind and soft with such people encourages other evil besides causing loss to the rights of oppressed ones. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is kind and affectionate with believers while he is hard with Kuffars, apostates and those who are disobedient to Allah who commit major sins. Allah draws our attention to the fact that being kind in some places is a mistake. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allâh, if you believe in Allâh and the Last Day….}[24:2]. The same ruling applies to all Hudud (retributive punishment) while they are enforced. The purpose of enforcement of Hudud is to be serious enough with those who think of jeopardizing others' lives or properties. Allah Says the benefit of such Hudd in the verse: {And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisâs (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).}[2:179]. Finally, know that kindness, affection should be in some situations while other situations need harshness and force. Allah knows best.

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