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Are Muslims permitted to steal from others?
Posted by camel_jockey on Saturday, May 12, 2007

Comment:
Question:
Are Muslims permitted to steal from others?



Summary Answer:
Muslims may not steal from each other. In fact, Muhammad had people's hands cut off for that. But the same is not true of unbelievers. Property rights for them exist only at the discretion of their Muslim rulers. Unsubmissive infidels frequently had their property stolen from them by Muhammad's warriors, which sometimes included wives and children.



The Qur'an:
Sura (5:38) - "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."

Sura (48:20) - "Allah promised you many acquisitions which you will take, then He hastened on this one for you and held back the hands of men from you, and that it may be a sign for the believers and that He may guide you on a right path." Allah promises Muslims that they will profit materially in their war against unbelievers.

Sura (33:27) - "And He caused you to inherit their land and their houses and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden. Allah is ever Able to do all things." Referring again to the property of unbelievers, which is given to those Muslims who defeat them.



From the Hadith:



Bukhari (81:780) - The Prophet said, "The hand should be cut off for stealing something that is worth a quarter of a Dinar or more."



Bukhari (81:792) - Narrated Aisha: "The Prophet cut off the hand of a lady, and that lady used to come to me, and I used to convey her message to the Prophet and she repented, and her repentance was sincere."



As for taking from unbelievers, perhaps the most illuminating example among many comes from the aftermath of the battle against the Khaybar as recorded by Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq. The Khaybar were a peaceful community of Jewish farmers who did not even know they were at war until Muhammad led his men against their town one morning, taking them by surprise and handily defeating them.



Not only did Muhammad take much of the town's possessions and land, but he actually had the tribe's treasurer, a man named Kinana, tortured until he gave up the location of hidden treasure. Muhammad then beheaded the man and "married" his traumatized widow, Safiyya (who passed through the hands of one of his lieutenant's first due to the luck of the draw).




Additional Notes:


After being chased out of Mecca, Muhammad and his small band sought refuge in Medina, where he was accepted as a mediator between disparate factions. In order to make ends meet, he raided caravans carrying goods from Syria to merchants in Mecca, taking what he wanted and killing or capturing whoever resisted. Aside from establishing the rule that stealing is permissible, Muhammad's raids also laid a firm foundation for Islamic terrorism.



In later battles, Muhammad ordered his men to set aside a fifth of whatever they were able to take from a conquered population and give it to him. This is how he eventually accumulated great wealth (which his eleven widows did not inherit, even though they were forbidden from remarrying).



Despite this heritage, Muslims today are not taught to steal from others. Those who become thieves do so in contradiction to what is practiced in mainstream Islam.


 
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Are Muslims permitted to steal from others? - camel_jockey - Saturday, May 12, 2007- ( 1 )
--- Re:Are Muslims permitted to steal from others? - abdullahiyusuf - Monday, July 02, 2007
 

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