Sunday, December 9, 2012

ISLAMIC LAW ON HIGHWAY ROBBERY


Assalam oalaikum,


Islam abhors highway robberies which is quite evident from the following Quranic verses:
”What! Do you come to the males and commit robbery on the highways and you commit evil deeds in your gatherings? But nothing was the answer of the people except that they said, ‘Bring us on Allah’s punishment if you are one of the truthful”. (TMQ-29:29)
“And do not lie in wait in every path, threatening and turning away from Allah’s way him who believes in Him and seeking to make it crooked and remember when you were few He multiplied you and consider what the end of the mischief- makers was. (TMQ-7:86)

The above mentioned verse shows that the Quran imposes restrictions on those people who try to create mischief by sitting in the way of people and trying to harm them in more than one way. Such miscreants try to seize the clothes of the travelers or try to extort money from them.
The Holy Quran has commanded severe punishment for such highway robbers because they create disorder in the land, kill people and rob them of their wealth. Since such miscreants tend to threaten the security of the society so inflicting a mild punishment on them would not suffice. Hence, Allah (swt), the All-Knowing has commanded severe punishment for those who commit the crime of highway robbers so that it serves as a deterrent for others.
The Arabic word for piracy is hirabah and those who commit such a crime are called maharbeen. The Quranic verse which deals with the punishment for such highway robbers is called as Ayat-e-Mahariba (5:33).
It says:
“Indeed the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth (to cause) corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment”.

However for those who repent for their sins Allah (swt) is All-forgiving and Merciful. In the next verse, i.e. 5:34 Allah (swt) says,
“Except for those who return (repenting) before you apprehend them. And know that Allah (swt) is Forgiving and Merciful”.
This verse means that the people who repent and pledge allegiance to the Islamic laws, before getting overpowered or arrested by the authorities, should be forgiven.
The judge can punish the highway robbers according to the guidelines mentioned in the ayat-e-maharibah, and by considering the gravity of the crime committed by them.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

1 comment:

  1. The Highway Robber
    Soon after migrating to Medina from Mecca Muhammad turned into an highway robber. This so called prophet of god started monitoring Meccans' caravans and raiding them. The justification given for these raids was that since Meccans seized Muslims' properties when they moved to Medina that's why Muslims' started robbing their caravans.

    Let's suppose yes Meccans seized their property of 50 some poor financially broke Muslims. One can imagine how many goods they left behind and their value. Anyway the point is two wrongs do not make one right. Are these the acts of prophet of god? What kind an example he was setting. How many raids he had to have to compensate for the loss of property? Who is responsible for the innocent men who died in these raids who were simply traders carrying Meccan's goods.

    Before moving forward it is necessary to know of the nature of Muhammad's raids. Except one all others were purely offensive onslaughts. More important point here is Muhammad's raids were raids carried out against helpless people to robe and plunder them.

    It is impossible that a man could finance his religious and political community by robbing the trade caravans that passed through his area on their annual trips between Arabia and Syria, and be a prophet of God.

    Muslims proudly teach their kids in schools about Ghazwa Badar, saying they were innocent and how 300 Muslims were attacked by 1200 kafirs. They never mention once that these 300 innocent Muslims actually went to rob and plunder Meccans' caravan, that's why Meccans attacked them with 1200 men. One can justify the Badar raid if that caravan was carrying Muslims goods which they left in Mecca. As mentioned below.

    When the Apostle heard about Abu Sufyan coming from Syria, he summoned the Muslims and said, "This is the Quraish caravan containing their property. Go out to attack it, perhaps Allah will give it as a prey." (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 428).

    If above bold part was true, then I can understand Badar raid. But what about other raids?, Muslims did raid after raid, looting their goods.

    List of Muhammad's raids.
    No. Name Date Muhammad's order and reason for expedition Casualties Description Notable Primary sources
    1 Al Is Caravan Raid 623 Raid Quraysh caravan to relieve themselves from poverty • None • Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
    2 Batn Rabigh Caravan Raid 623 Raid Quraysh caravan to relieve themselves from poverty • None, caravan left • Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:57:74
    • Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume
    3 Kharar Caravan Raid May & June 623 Kharar Caravan Raid Attack a Quraysh caravan
    • None, caravan left • Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Volume
    4 Invasion of Waddan August 623 Attack a Quraysh caravan which included camels • Unknown • Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
    5 Invasion of Buwat October 623 Raid a Quraysh caravan which included 200 camels • None, caravan left • Sahih Muslim, 42:7149
    • Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
    6 Invasion of Dul Ashir December 623 Attack a Quraysh caravan • None, caravan left • Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah
    7 Nakhla Raid January 624 Attack a Quraysh caravan and gather information • Muslims: 0 Casualties
    • Non-Muslims: 1 killed, 2 captured • [Quran 2:217]
    Ibn Hisham, Sirat Rasul Allah

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