I wanted to ask a quick question about the verse in the Qur’an 5:38 that talks about cutting the hand of the thief. The sunnah says to cut at the wrist but I haven’t been able to locate any Hadith from Prophet (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) that describe that he instructed that the hand should be cut at the wrist and not elsewhere. Are there any Hadith to support our Sunni view? I am aware of the scholars’ opinions on this issue, but just needed some Hadith.
Here are some Hadiths on this issue:
1. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), Sayyiduna Abu Bakr , Sayyiduna ‘Umar and Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (radiyallahu’anhum) used to cut the hand of the thief from the wrist. (Recorded by Imam Abu Saykh, see I’la al-Sunan vol.11, pg.713-714 & Talkhisul-Habir vol.4, pg.194)
2. In another narration recorded by Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) in his Sunanul-Kubra (vol.8, pg.271): Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) had cut the hand of a thief from the wrist.
3. Raja ibn Haywah (rahimahullah) narrates from Sayyiduna Adiy (radiyallahu’anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) cut off the hand of a thief from the wrist. (Sunanul-Kubra vol.8, pg.271; also see Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba vol.6, pg.528)
4. Imam Bayhaqi then refers to another similar narration narrated by Sayyiduna Jabir (radiyallahu’anhu). (Ibid)
Practice of the Sahabah
Besides the above, this has been narrated as the practise of Sayyiduna ‘Umar and Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu’anhuma) through various chains of narrators. (refer Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah vol.6 pg.528; Musannaf Abdur-Razzaq vol.10 pg.185; Sunanul-Kubra vol.8, pg.271; ‘Ila al-Sunan vol.11, pg.713; Nasbur-Rayah vol.3, pg.370)
Also see Ahkam al-Qur’an of Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas (rahimahullah) (vol.2, pgs525-526)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar