Justice: The Penalty For Highway Robbery

This is another article in the chapter Justice from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. The articles are posted one by one in the order they are given in the book.


015.1 The caliph is obliged to summon whoever uses a weapon (0: though force suffices to be considered a weapon, or taking money by dint of one’s fists) and makes people afraid to use the road (0: no matter whether in the wilderness, a village, or in the country; meaning he frightens those who pass along the way by means of his strength or weapons). If the highwayman responds to the summons before he has injured anyone, then he is only disciplined (def: 017).

If he steals the equivalent of 1.058 grams of gold under the previously mentioned conditions (014.1), both his right hand and left foot are amputated.

(A: The difference between a highwayman and someone who takes by forcible seizure (dis: 014.6) is that the latter does so within earshot of help, while the offense of the highwayman is far greater because he menaces the lifeline of the community, its trade routes.)

015.2 If a highwayman kills someone, he must be executed, even when the person entitled to retaliation (def: 03) agrees to forgo it. If the highwayman robs and kills, he is killed and then left crucified for three days. If he wounds or maims someone, retaliation is taken against him, though it may be waived by those entitled to take it.

015.3 (N: The penalty for highway robbery, such as mandatory execution, crucifixion, and amputating the hand and foot, is cancelled if the highwayman repents (A: desists, and gives himself up) before he has been apprehended, though he is still liable to retaliation (def: 03) by parties entitled to it (A: for injuries or deaths he caused to victims) and is financially responsible for restoring the money he has taken.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s