Hand Amputation

Dec 16th, 2006, in News, by

It is proposed that thieves in Aceh have their hands amputated.

According to international reports iht a draft law in circulation proposes that thieves found guilty of stealing goods worth more than the market price of 94 grams (3 ounces) of gold should have a hand amputated, a punishment which is said to be stipulated in the Koran, and is carried out in a few Islamic countries.

The draft law was published on the 12th in the form of an advertisement in Aceh’s Serambi newspaper that was paid for by the agency responsible for implementing Islamic sharia law, the Wilayatul Hisbah. The advertisement invited submissions and comments on the proposed law so it could be revised before being handed over to the local parliament for review.


February 28th 2007.

The law is still in process and it is expected to be completed by the March. Al Yasa Abubakar, the head of the sharia office, says he hopes the law will lead to all forms of theft in the province disappearing.

The draft law stipulates that hand amputation will be incurred as a punishment only in certain cases, where the value of goods stolen would normally be subject to zakat, or charity tax, and where goods are stolen from their proper place of storage. The latter condition entails that muggers or pickpockets will not be subject to the punishment, and further, first offenders will also not be subject to the punishment; similarly if the offender stole for reasons of desperation, like hunger.

Abubakar said his office had received over 100 SMS messages, telephone calls, and letters stating approval for the proposed law. antara

77 Comments on “Hand Amputation”

  1. 1ndra says:

    Thanks for the link too.

    I see a mis-read in it.
    In my Quran and all my exegenesises, written :

    (5) Al Maidah

    (38) Laki-laki dan perempuan yang mencuri, potonglah tangan keduanya (sebagai) pembalasan bagi apa yang telah mereka kerjakan dan sebagai siksaan dari Allah. Dan Allah Maha Perkasa lagi Maha Bijakana
    (39) Maka barangsiapa bertaubat (di antara pencuri-pencuri itu) sesudah melakukan kejahatan tersebut dan memperbaiki diri, maka sesungguhnya Allah menerima taubatnya. Sesungguhnya Allah Maha Pengampun lagi Maha Penyanyang.

    In verse 38, it’s said cut their hand, NOT three or more hand.
    Is it his reading failure, or Quran writing failure?

    And in the exegenesis from the verse 39, someone adult who proved guilty and he will be cut hand BUT if the thief regrets it then return the stealed goods and the victim forgive him as God Forgive him then the cut hand could be canceled, BEFORE the case handled by authority.


    Which is cut? In HR. Imam Syafi’i from Abu Hurairah : First cut his right hand, if he steal again, cut the left, if he steal again, cut the right foot, if he steal again, he will be jailed or exiled.

    In Rasulullah saw days, there’s a case where a woman proved guilty by stealing, the Quraisy trying to redeem her with 500 dinar but Rasulullah saw reject it and command to cut her right hand.
    Rasulullah saw then speak :
    ‘Bahwasanya yang membinasakan orang-orang sebelum kamu ialah karena sesungguhnya mereka apabila yang mencuri di antara mereka adalah orang-orang terkemuka, maka mereka membiarkannya pergi, apabila yang mencuri itu orang-orang lemah, mereka dijatuhi hukumannya. Saya, demi Allah yang diriku berada di dalam tangan-Nya, andaikata Fatimah anak Muhammad mencuri, pastilah saya potong tangannya’ (HR Asy-Syaikhan from Aisyah)
    Then the woman being executed, after that the woman ask Rasulullah saw, ‘is my Taubat accepted by Allah?’ Rasulullah said, ‘Yes, today you’re cleared from your sins like the day you were born’

    The woman is a highly regarded person in Quraisy, al-Makhzumiyah. Rasulullah said that former culture, when highly regarded people steal, everyone excuse and let them but when weak/low people steal they’re punished. So Rasulullah gave the order to executed the woman to show that there’re no mercy/excuse for highly regarded people, they’re the same with weak/low people.

  2. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Hi 1ndra,

    You said:

    In verse 38, it’s said cut their hand, NOT three or more hand.
    Is it his reading failure, or Quran writing failure?

    In all of the english translations I can find it says hands (plural):

    YUSUFALI: As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power.

    PICKTHAL: As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

    SHAKIR: And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

    What he is saying in the article is that the original Arabic word ‘aydiyahuma’ means three or more hands.

    The Arabic word ‘eqta’u’ means “cut” while ‘aydiyahuma’ refers to “the (three or more) hands of the male and female thief”. Thus the expression ‘eqta’u’ ‘aydiyahuma’, in aya 5:38 above, stands literally for “cut their (three or more) hands.”

    As this does not make sense because people only have two hands he then goes on to give other uses for the singular ‘yad’ of the plural word ‘aydiyahuma’ in Al Quran to try to define what ‘aydiyahuma’ really means:

    First, the Arabic word ‘yad’ (in dual plural in 5:38 above) or “hand” is used in Quran in its literal and figurative meanings. For instance, 27:12 uses it in its literal meaning while 5:64 uses it in its figurative one to refer to wealth and resources.

    27:12, “Put your hand ‘yad’ (O Moses) in your pocket; it will come out white, without a blemish. These are among nine signs ‘ayat’ to Pharaoh and his people, for they are wicked people.”

    5:64, “The Jews even said, “God’s ‘yad’ hand is tied down!” It is their ‘yad’ hands that are tied down. They are condemned for uttering such a blasphemy. Instead, His both ‘yad’ hands are wide open, spending as He wills…”

    Another example for the non-literal meaning is 38:45. It uses ‘yad’ in plural (three or more) form. It conveys the meaning of power and possession of resources.

    38:45, “Remember also our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were resourceful ‘ulu al-aydee’ (with many hands), and possessed vision/They possessed power and vision.”

    ‘yad’ is also used to infer someone’s actions and doings (2:195, 22:10). It is used too to mean possession of a responsibility or a contract (2:237).

    Therefore, ‘eqta’u aydiyahuma’ in the above ayat 5:38 means to cut off from the thieves’ resources and power.

    I think this makes more sense from a grammatical viewpoint and also from the understanding of Allah being compassionate and merciful.

  3. Ihaknt says:

    By the way below was not my quote 1ndra, i never said this

    Sure, they need to be proved, no one jailed for nothing.

    but i will comment on it anyway. Dont be so naive. Many are jailed for crimes they didnt commit. Many are executed for crimes they didnt commit. Many women were stoned to death for crimes they didnt commit, they fell pregnant because some d*ckheads raped them and then the women were stoned? It’s barbaric. Anyway my point is that many people are jailed for crimes they didnt commit, that’s why these days we have this so-called court for justice. And yes this can start another discussion that this court is bribe-infested…

    BUT if you’re saying that these thieves will be given a trial before the amputation, then, I would like to see it. Most time they probably already bonyok digebukin massa…even then sometimes the massa only accuse not based on legit proof.

  4. Sayid says:

    The Koran is being interpreted with the wrong context. The true context of that part was purely a recital of what the law was at the time and place of writing. I don’t believe Allah wants people to amputate thieves hands, commit “honour” killings or kill those who “insult” Islam. This kind of insanity is one of the main reasons why much of the Islamic world is in such an unpleasant state.

    Muslims should get more angry towards those who commit sins in the name of Islam.

  5. 1ndra says:

    Mohammed Khafi:
    Yes, Allah is merciful as stated in 39, but His mercy only for the one who ask for it, taubat.
    That’s why He created heaven and hell. One for people who deserved that AND people who their taubat accepted, the last one is for people who never do taubat.

    No, that wasnt your writing, its mine, my writing for your comment, but I dont know how it came quoted as I never click it.
    But that was a ‘luas’ comment, I know people could being accused for something he didnt do. Everyone could make it happen.
    My ‘Sure, they need to be proved, no one jailed for nothing’ presenting only if there’re ‘pengadilan yang adil’, uncorrupted court.


    Most time they probably already bonyok digebukin massa”¦even then sometimes the massa only accuse not based on legit proof

    Yeah, because they are angry, they work hard only to be stealed. And the thief arent affraid with the laws.
    But most time, they being gebuk’ed by massa because they ‘tertangkap basah’ CIA, caught in the act.

  6. Tomaculum says:

    Frequently the mob doesn’t only bash them, but lynch them.
    “In dubio pro reo” in Indonesia? Rather “in dubio pro mob”!!
    Isn’t it primitive and inhuman?

  7. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Tomaculum said:

    Isn’t it primitive and inhuman?

    Yes of course it is, but this is what happens when the laws and punishments of the middle ages are applied in our supposedly modern times.

    The Door of Ijtihad or Reasoning in Islamic Law was closed many centuries ago, by those who wanted to control the people, to stifle independent thought among Muslims and to confine the right to understand and explain Islam to Muslim jurists. It is also opposed to reasoning, because it essentially says that reason shall be employed only when the texts are silent and no medieval scholar has addressed the issue under scrutiny. Reason, according to this viewpoint, is the last resort for understanding the will of God, this is the same law that some of them want to put in place in Indonesia now.

    The days of classical Islamic civilization at its peak. The time Ibn Sina’ (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), al-FArabi, al-Biruni and al-Haytham — scientists, philosophers and jurists of Islam’s “Golden Age” are long gone, destroyed by this adherence to a fixed set of Laws. Laws which the Islamic clergy say have to be unchanging, laws which have kept Islam in the middle ages while the rest of the world has used reasoning, knowledge, enquiry and learning to advance themselves, leaving most of the Islamic world behind.

    Most encyclopedias define Sharia as law derived from the Qur’an, the Sunna, and classical Fiqh derived from Hadith. This definition of Sharia inappropriately lumps together the revealed (from God) Al Quran with the unrevealed (from Man) Sunnah, Fiqh and Hadith.

    This blending of sources has created the idea that manmade assumptions and heresay are as sacred and beyond revision as is Al Quran. These manmade sources are protected by the Islamic clergy, who typically accuse anybody who objects to their laws of being an apostate, which brings with it the threat of being sentenced to death!

  8. JKS says:

    100% agree that stupid sharia rule must apply to all Indonesia Muslims, not only Aceh, as soon as possible! Even I’m willing to donate to make this happen.

    Nightmare for corruptors and thieves, this time I really agree with Mr M.

  9. Mohammed Khafi says:


    You obviously misunderstood my last comments, I am saying that Sharia should not even exist, it is a construct of the Islamic Clergy of The Middle Ages to exercise control over the masses. It has no justification based on the teachings of God as given in Al Quran. Sharia just gives more control to the rich and powerful and is a shield for them to hide their misdeeds.

  10. 1ndra says:

    Well, what better laws for thieves and corruptors?
    Let them free with some money?

    Or with verse 38-39, their exegenisis with some new implementation :

    Free the thieves only when they give back ALL their steal to their victim. Regret and swear not to do that again (Taubat). Later, if they broke their Taubat…you’ve read my opinions above.

    That might sound sharia to some people, but look on the good side : Return and regret but repeating then ready for being punished.
    And should be noted that are only applied for ‘good’ thieves, not a barbaric one.

  11. Mohammed Khafi says:

    This sort of barbaric act can never be justified if it is premeditated. If we turn to a justice system such as this, the criminals will only become more barbaric themselves, making sure that no witnesses are left for their crimes. It is not possible to change a criminals heart, through fear of punishment. Just look at America as an example of that, they have capital punishment but does it stop crime?

    The only compassionate and caring way is to try and make our educational and social welfare systems supportive of a more caring and balanced society, we have to ensure that job creation is a priority. We also need Law Makers, Police and the Judiciary to do their jobs, they are after all, servants of the people, not just servants of the rich people! We have to stamp out corruption and create a transparent government, where laws and regulations are clear and known to all and more importantly fair to all.

    Just as you cannot promote religion at the point of a gun you cannot promote morals and respect for the law by barbaric acts. Fear and terror never change a persons heart, they just make it harder and less compassionate.

  12. 1ndra says:

    Good opinion MK, but thats the hardest act, changing almost totally.

    As you can see, nowadays, even without that harden laws, thieves act barbaric, hurt their victim or even badly, left no witnesses.
    They fear to be jailed but not feared the laws itself.

    Sometimes I heard good men being victim to violence because they give advice to bad people. Dont you ever hear, a man being stabbed to death because he’s trying to break up a fight.

    What I’m talking isnt changing a thieves heart by soften the laws, it’s useless, but limited their numbers with harden laws to protect the innocent civilians. Sound harsh did I?

    Yes, I’ve ever heard a barbaric thief that realize he is doing bad, and back to better ways, BUT at the cost of many victims? He’s only one but the victims are many. Is he worth it?
    What is better, advicing barbaric thief to return to the better way, but maybe he’s not listening to you, even he’s still making another crime. Just imagine if the next victim is your family, what are you feeling that day?
    For me, its far better with harden laws than my family become the next target.

    Soften laws didnt change thieves morality from bad to good, maybe its just pleasing them to make other crimes.

  13. Qinny says:

    People say, ‘If you don’t want to lose a hand, then don’t steal.’ Of course this is absurd, as it overlooks the fact that punishment is only a minor deterrent to any crime. People still murder in Texas, even though they know they will get the death penalty.

    It’s a brutal, sadistic, and barbaric practise.

  14. Dragonwall says:

    Isn’t corruption also burglary

    No, it is daylight robbery.

    Yeah, only thieves need to worry, dont they

    Look more on the broader side of their law. Have you seen people accused of stealing when they didn’t? Distraction. Why? for a cause. For what? Think more indepth. For the pris they have the protection by the crowds so they need not worry too much. But for others, religiously and ethnically explore the mind.

    I once bought a house near Cengkareng’s elite housing complex. This house was brand new renovated. When I left for Singapore I had my brother in law to look after the house. He left for the market to get some food. In less than 20 minutes the house was wipe clean of every thing like computer, electronics and valuables with doors and windows pry open by linggis. This complex employed Kodim as security. Just imagine! How can a person carry a big and bulky TV. It was finally deducted that it is most likely the job of tukang sampah that came in with their garbage truck. The RW, a muslim pri, and his son used to be ex convict. The head of security were aware. Whether they kong kali kong or not is for them to know and for me to find out. I call im the PM and they pacify me not to lodge the report and were unable to replace my items. This was in the early 90s and I lost almost 100 million rups. I decided to let them go perhaps the head of security were really unaware of that.

    So when they tried to set certain law of their own, like I said, they copy from others and have them implemented. The end results will not be that simple.

    So watch out what will they think of next.

  15. Dragonwall says:

    The draft law was published on the 12th in the form of an advertisement in Aceh’s Serambi newspaper that was paid for by the agency responsible for implementing Islamic sharia law, the Wilayatul Hisbah.

    Is this country called Indonesia or Islamisia? The government allows the media to carry out such paid advertisements? And did nothing to that? No one was brought to the court for allowing or passing such publication, considered to be propaganda? What has the Qur have to do with the law? How come there are so many smart alek in the Islamic community making so much demands base on what they want to be and not what the law want them to be.

    The law is still in process and it is expected to be completed by the March. Al Yasa Abubakar, the head of the sharia office, says he hopes the law will lead to all forms of theft in the province disappearing.

    This piece of cow dang sounded as tough he is the law maker. The Indonesian government should tell those in the Sharia office to only mind their affairs instead of interferring in state affairs as called by the UU 1945. In fact the government could abolish it or restrict them. Any such interferrence shall be considered to be punishable by law by passing materials to the public not being constitutionally approved.

    You know yesterday the president’s office was flooded with SMS and phone calls as well as the television to have this Al Qaeda Yasa Arafat hanged. I wonder if he receives news of this will be dig a hole and hide himself.

    Indonesians seemed to have a penchant to condoning such act when someone just say he receive many supporters in the hundreds. It is the millions that will be persecuted for no apparent reason being discriminated unjustly in a so call democratic country.

    Someone should shaft that up that Arafat’s ass.

  16. Andre says:

    Stealing certainly worthy of punishment, but will punishment be a learning example?

    I have a lot due to people sole from me and plundered my belongings. But I still think that the worst of all the bad is pride… then the second is lying…

    Yes, definitely pride and lying are the top most abominations. Stealing only comes as manifestation of those two.

    In the biblical era any of the above were worthy stoning to death…. so why bother with cutting hand?????

    But I am not the judge.

  17. Jstone says:

    You can still hold a gun in one hand can’t you, so steal life back with honor no matter how bloody the road is, can you still push the button of a detonator with no hands using a tongue, that just makes you more of a criminal lol, acts of desperation.

  18. peace says:

    I would rather thieves can be finally conscious of their mistakes in the past by teaching them good things. And then rehabilitated, so they can contribute to society by doing something with their hands, instead by cutting them and make them disable and burden society in the end

    Pleaseeeeee. Use your brain…

  19. sam says:

    If only they could apply the same concept to rapists and their appendages we would have far less rape also 😉

  20. Allah says:

    Could we just amputate the genitals of all religious people.
    This crap would disappear within a generation.

    You f*ckin’ primitives.

  21. Mohammed Khafi says:

    And you are being a good example of what we would be left with?

    Are you capable of making a statement without resorting to profanities, perhaps that would be a better example to set?


  22. Michael says:

    I’m an Australian, and as such my opinion on corporal and capital punishment are most probably biased, please dont hold that against me. My problem in general with these forms of punishment is primarily: what of the innocently convicted? For example, a man named Guy Paul Morin (first case I found) living in Canada, was wrongly convicted in 1984 for the rape of a 9 year old. I’m not sure what the punishment under shariah law for rape of a minor would be, but i’d go so far as to suggest death. Considering such a wrongful conviction, and ensuing death of a man, who here would be able to succesfully defend such laws, especially in front of his grieving wife, children, family? I’d guess that no-one should be so cruel as to even try.

  23. Suryo Perkoso says:

    If we look over the history of capital punishment in the UK, the instances of a possible miscarriage of justice can be counted on the fingers of one foot.

    In fact post 1900, we can only find maybe find only one case – Bentley and Craig ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bentley_case ) , and the only miscarriage in that particular case was that Craig wasn’t strung up along side Bentley.

    The only other case was the Hanratty case, and DNA subsequently proved he was guilty as charged.

    In anycase I can’t see what all the fuss is about – stringing up a few, guilty or not, serves as an admirable deterrent.

  24. Oigal says:

    In anycase I can’t see what all the fuss is about – stringing up a few, guilty or not, serves as an admirable deterrent.

    Mmmm perhaps skip the bread thieves and move straight to a few religious schools would be my vote

  25. Suryo Perkoso says:

    String the lot up – I can’t tell you the trouble I had with Mbak Fidya Kurniawati from Batu as a result of her education at a religious school – can’t believe it, normally the knicker elastic vaporizes directly on meeting old Suryo, but this cow actually has principles.

  26. Orang-Aus says:

    The difference between animals and humans is we can decide not to be barbaric.

  27. Andy says:

    And you know what orang-aus, animals don’t decide to be barbaric. They do so for survival and to eat. Some humans have that as their nature and it seems religion and nationalism are a root cause of this. So some could argue that places animals higher up the scale than humans.

  28. Orang-Aus says:


    Your correct, 100 percent agree!!

  29. Michael says:

    “In anycase I can’t see what all the fuss is about – stringing up a few, guilty or not, serves as an admirable deterrent.”

    Ouch, so you would be happy to live the rest of your life without hands, for no better reason than to serve as “an admirable deterrant”? In any case, i’m not sure where you get your figures from, but I highly doubt that there has only been one wrongly convicted person in Britain since 1900.

    At any rate, it has been proven, time and time again, that corporal and capital punishment do nothing to deter crime. The logic being, that if you’re in a position where your choices are, steal or starve, you will steal. And the proof being, that in those states in America where capital punishment has been re-introduced, crime rates did not drop.

    I’d like to suggest that education, welfare reform, and national investment in aiding the poor, are much better solutions than permanent disfigurement of the supposedly guilty. I am, however, consoled by the fact that that should you be faced with such a harsh punishment, you can seek asylum in many countries, and have such asylum freely granted, solely on the fact that most countries find these actions barbaric and intolerable.

  30. Suryo Perkoso says:

    Michael – the only possible name that springs to mind in the UK is Timothy Evans, and the strong possibility is that Evans killed his daughter rather than his wife.

    Whether or not stringing the buggers high serves as a deterent is hardly the point, the point is, they never do it again.

    All this old poitically correct waffle does nothing to butter my parsnips mate – everything that you suggest has already been tried in the UK and guess what? it’s all failed miserably.

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