Abdullah (ra) said:
The first person who had his hand amputated was an Ansari who was brought before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). On that occassion it looked as if ashes had been sprinkled on his face (i.e. the colour of the Prophet's face changed because of sorrow).
The companions asked, 'Do you dislike amputating his hand (for the crime), O Messenger of Allah?'
The Prophet replied, 'What can stop me from expressing regret when you have become allies with satan against your own friend? Allah is a Forgiver and loves to Forgive. And any guardian of law has no alternative butto administer the penalordinances when such a matter is brought before him'.
Then the Prophet recited the following verse, '...so overlook any human
faults with gracious forgiveness' [Surah al Hijr (85): verse 15]
In another narration:
When the mans hand was amputated, the Prophet burst into tears. When asked, 'Why do you weep?' the Prophet replied, 'Why should I not weep when the hand of the ummah is being cut in your presence?'
When asked, 'Why did you not pardon him O Messenger of Allah?'. The Prophet replied, 'The ruler who pardons a penal ordinance is the worst one. It is better that you settle the matter amongst yourselves instead of bringing them to the ruler'.
[Abdur Razzaque & Abu Yula in Al Kanz Vol III p 117]
1. Here the statement of the Prophet stresses that forgiveness is utmost in Islam
2. The Prophet shows that if a crime is committed and the victim does NOT forgive the criminal, then when the matter goes to court the ruler must apply the associated law. If however the victim forgives the criminal then the law is not applied.
3. In this example it was the chopping off of the hand for theft. If the
victim of the theft forgave the man, then his hand would not be chopped off.
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