Once again I dived into the mind of the antagonist Mahfoud in my WIP. He is in many ways understandable. The world is black and white to him, and he believes in justice and order. He lives a utilitarian lifestyle and takes joy on his faith and his efforts to further Islam and the cause of the Western Sahara.
With that comes a dispassionate, brutal sense of justice that is required in the Hadith and Koran, as well as the needs to keep order in the ranks. In Islam, Allah is not our Father in Heaven, and he proscribes unwavering justice and punishment so the community can have order.
Here is a quote from a response given by a Islamic web-administrator in response to a comment under the topic of Stealing at quranandhadith.com (emphasis added):
Let me clarify one very important thing, the thing which differentiates Islam from all other religions and ideologies: Allah does not allow this divergence of making the Creator as Father. This amounts to shirk, as Allah cannot be considered in same league as other mortal beings who are born and give birth to others. Therefore, the first objection is that please do not use the word ‘father’ for Allah, do not use attributes of mortal humans for Almighty Allah. And Allah knows best.
Now let us come to your concern about the punishment of hand amputation prescribed in Islam for stealing. Islam is a complete course of life, and it is not a religion which takes into account individual views, rather it is society oriented, though individual rituals etc. are also there up to some extent. Now, in order to maintain a fair, just and disciplined society, you have to have rules in place. But merely having rules won’t serve the purpose unless the rulings are executed also. When the rules are prepared keeping in view the well being and discipline of a society, and these rules when honestly executed, then the society becomes what it is ought to become. Then only justice prevails. Then only discipline comes into being.
You may start talking against the ruling of hand cutting for the thief, but just imagine if 1 or 2 such cases are done in public what message it gives to the entire society? Will anyone who sees a thief getting this punishment even dare in his/her entire life to rob or steal his fellows? Never. But if thieves are being let off with sweet words of consolation or some monetary penalties, they will know deep in their hearts that nothing is going to happen to them in future also and hence they would continue their thefts, and in fact, keep increasing the magnitude of their thefts. And this is what is happening nowadays in society. Organized and legalized thefts are taking place, because they know that they are not going to get any stiff punishment.
Therefore, my dear friend, it is not a matter of whether one likes certain punishment or not, it is actually a matter of administration. You need certain strict laws to maintain discipline in society, otherwise everything goes out of control, as the things are nowadays in world. If someone does not like any divine law, it is his/her problem, and he/she shall be punished by Allah for rejecting His law.
What is interesting is that when reading this, there is a simple effeciency to it. Whereas some faiths tout mercy in punishments as helping increase brotherly love and thus reduce long term crime, some Islamic sects believe a peaceful and ordered community is more important. Islam is not about the individual. It is about the community.
And thus is the mindset I keep myself in when writing for Mahfoud. He isn't out to be a bad guy. He's a kind of hero. Where some see his actions as brutal and horrific, he sees justice and order, and that through his efforts he is a part of a whole, a part that seeks to further the growth and health of the true believers.
Which is why today he cut the hands off of a general stealing Polisario money and intimidating people to fund a drug habit. And then he cut the hands off of the mans family in front of him. ANd finally he was publicly beheaded. The hands were for stealing:
“And (as for) the male thief and the female thief, cut off (from the wrist joint) their hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.”
(Aayah No. 38, Surah Al-Ma’idah, Chapter No. 5, Holy Qur’an).
The execution was for treason, which in Islam is also considered a form of apostasy.
Islam does, by the way, take into account mercy and repentance. The degree of this depends on the sect, but can lessen a punishment in some instances. This is in part because Islam teaches that when one commits theft or sexual sins or other things, he or she is not a believer when committing said act. Thus, mercy may be granted when one becomes a true believer. There is however no atonement from a savior in Islam, and thus justice in some form must still be met.