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Comparative Criminal Law and Enforcement: Islam

Highway Robbery (qat'al-tariq)

The crime of highway robbery is an extremely serious offense, since it threatens the calm and stability of society itself. Two kinds of offenses are covered by the prohibition: robbery of travelers who are far from aid and armed entrance into a private home with the intent to rob it. Both Muslims and non-Muslims are protected from robbers by this law.

If one is convicted of qat'al-tariq, the punishment is amputation of the right hand and left foot for the first offense and amputation of the left hand and right foot for the second offense. If murder took place during an attempted robbery, the punishment is death by the sword. If there was murder accompanied by an actual theft, the penalty is crucifixion. The body is to be hung for three days. Unlike the normal case of murder, where the relatives of the victim have a choice of retaliation, blood money, or pardon of the offender, the death penalty here is mandatory. All accomplices must be treated in the same way. If one (a minor, for example) cannot be given the hadd punishment, neither can any of the others.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawComparative Criminal Law and Enforcement: Islam - Hadd Offenses, False Accusation Of Unlawful Intercourse (kadhf ), Drinking Of Wine (shurb), Theft (sariqa)