Sura Al-Maidah (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-43



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Sayyidna 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud : رضي الله عنه said: 'If I become certain that Allah Ta'ala has accepted some deed of mine, then, I would not surrender this blessing even if the whole world were to turn into solid gold and pass into my possession, ill fact, I would take it to be nothing as compared to that blessing.'

Similarly, said Sayyidna Abu Ad-Darda' رضي الله عنه : 'If it stands settled that one Salgh of mine has found acceptance with Allah Ta'ala, then, that is far more than a whole world-full of blessings for me.'

Sayyidna 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, gave the followinggood counsel to a person in a letter he wrote to him.

"I tell you to hold on to Taqwa without which no deed is accepted; and mercy is not shown to anyone except those who observe Taqwa and without it there is no Divine reward on anything. There are many who preach it but there are very few who practice it."

And sayyidna 'Ali al-Murtada رضي الله عنه said: 'Even the smallest deed done with Taqwa is not small. And how a deed which has been accepted can be called small? (Ibn Kathir).

Verses 33 - 34
[٣٣]إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَن يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

[٣٤]إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُوا عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Those who fight against Allah and His Messenger and run about trying to spread disorder in the earth, their punishment is nothing but that they shall be killed off or be crucified or their hands and legs be cut apart from different sides or they be kept away from the land (they live in). That is a humiliation for them in this world, and for them in the Hereafter there is a great punishment; [33] except those who repent before you overpower them. Then, be sure that Allah is Most Forgiving, Very-Merciful. [34]

Qur'anic Laws are Unique and Revolutionary
Mentioned in the previous verses (27-32) was the event of the killing of Habil (Abel) and its gravity as a crime. In the verses cited above, and in verses which follow, there is a description of the legal punishments for killing, plundering, robbery and theft. Prompted in between the description of the punishments for robbery and theft is the need to fear Allah and the desirability of seeking nearness to Him through acts of obedience. This approach of the Qur'an, acting in a very subtle manner, prepares the human mind to accept the desired revolutionary change in thinking. The reason is that the Holy Qur'an, unlike the penal codes of the world, does not stop at a simple codification of crime and punishment. Instead of doing that, it combines with each crime and its punishment the ultimate fear of Allah and the Hereafter making the later almost present before him whereby it would turn the human orientation towards a state of being the very thought of which leaves a person all cleansed from every defect and sin. An impartial view of things as they are around us will prove that, without the motivating factors of the fear of Allah and the apprehension of the Hereafter, no law or police or army of this world can guarantee that crimes can be eradicated from human so~ieties.It is this wise and affectionate approach of the Holy Qur'an which ushered a revolution in the world when it created a society of human beings who, in their Godliness, were ahead of even angels.

The Three Kinds of Islamic Legal Punishments
Before we proceed with the details of the Islamic legal punishments for robbery and theft mentioned in the verses cited above and present our explanations of the particular verses, it seems appropriate to clarify the Islamic legal terminology concerning these punishments a lack of familiarity with which causes even educated people to fall in doubts. Under all common laws of the world, punishments for crimes are considered penalties in an absolute sense, irrespective of the crime concerned. Law books like the Indian Penal Code, Pakistan Penal Code and some others in other countries are comprised of all sorts of crimes and their punishments. But, in the Shari'ah of Islam, things work differently. Here, the punishments of crimes have been divided into three kinds. These are: Hudud (Islamic legal punishment delimited as Divine Statute; plural of Hadd), Qisas (Even Retaliation) and Ta'zirat (Penalties; plural of Ta'zir). Before we move on to define these three kinds and explain their sense, it will be useful to bear two things in mind.

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