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Mustafa Khattab. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube Let the Quran Speak

Canadian Imam: Armed robbers’ “right hands and left legs are to be cut off”

Mustafa Khattab is the Imam of the Anatolia Islamic Centre, the Muslim Chaplain at Brock University and member of the Canadian Council of Imams.

According to his bio, Khattab, received his Ph.D., M.A., & B.A. in Islamic Studies in English with Honours from Al-Azhar University. He is a member of the Canadian Council of Imams, a lecturer of Islamic Studies in English at Al-Azhar University, and a Fulbright interfaith scholar. He has served as an Imam in the U.S.A. and Canada since 2007 and is a published author. His most celebrated work is The Clear Quran: A Thematic English Translation.

Khattab, who bills himself as “an authority on interpreting the Quran”, published In 2015 the first edition of the book “The Clear Quran” that provides a new translation of the Quran accompanied with a modern commentary of its verses. In the “Translator Notes”, Khattab wrote: “Along with informative footnotes, verses have been grouped and titled based on their themes for a better understanding of the chapters, their main concepts, and internal coherence.”

Here are excerpts from the book (Chapter 5, verses 33-39, footnotes 245-246, p. 145-6):

Anti-Terrorism Law

33. Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against God and His Messenger and spread mischief in the land is death, crucifixion, cutting off their hands and feet on opposite sides, or exile from the land. This ‘penalty’ is a disgrace for them m this world, and they will suffer a tremendous punishment in the Hereafter?’” 245

34. As for those who repent before you seize them, then know that God is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Closer to God

35. O believers! Be mindful of God and seek what brings you closer to Him and struggle in His Way, so you may be successful.

Reward of the Disbelievers

36. As for the disbelievers, even if they were to possess everything in the world twice over ‘and offer it all’ to ransom themselves from the punishment of the Day of Judgment, it would never be accepted from them. And they will suffer a painful punishment.

37. They will be desperate to get out of the Fire but they will never be able to. And they will suffer an everlasting punishment.

Punishment of Theft

38. As for male and female thieves, cut off their hands for what they have done—a deterrent from God. And God is Almighty, All-Wise. 246

But whoever repents after their wrongdoing and mends their ways, God will surely turn to them in forgiveness. Indeed, God is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Footnote 245: This ruling (called hirabah) applies to crimes committed by armed individuals or groups against civilians—Muslim or non-Muslim. Different punishments apply depending on the severity of the crime:

In the case of murder or rape, offenders are to be executed.

In the case of armed robbery, offenders’ right hands and left legs are to be cut off.

In the case of terrorizing innocent people, offenders are to be jailed in exile.

Penalties for lesser offences are left for the judge to decide.

Footnote 246: In Islam, strict conditions must be met for punishments to be carried out. For example, for someone to punished for theft, the thief must be a sane adult who knows that theft is forbidden, the crime has to be proven either by confession or the testimony of two reliable eyewitnesses, the stolen item has to be of value and taken secretly from a safe place, and the owner has to claim it. Otherwise, the punishment is not applied. Islamic punishments apply neither in non-Muslim countries nor in Muslim countries where Shairah is not fully applied. Moreover, the punishment is only applicable in a society where the needs of the poor are adequately met (i.e., they receive alms-tax, charity, or welfare) and where theft is more out of desire than necessity. It is worth mentioning that ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Islam’s rd Caliph, suspended this punishment for one year due to widespread famine.

About Rachel Ehrenfeld

Rachel Ehrenfeld
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Founder and President of the New York-based American Center for Democracy, and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld has authored academic and policy papers and more than one thousand articles. Her books include FUNDING EVIL: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop Ii (2011) • EVIL MONEY (HarperCollins, 1992,1994). Her latest book project is on The Economic Warfare against the U.S. from Within and Without. • NARCOTERRORISM (Basic Books, 1990, 1992).

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