The NESAB (the minimum amount of property for which the

legal punishment of stealing is applied) in Islamic Law:

A Comparative Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Study


Dr. Hasan Ahmed Al Khattaaf*

Assistant Professor - College of Law - University of Damascus


The purpose of this comparative study is to determine the minimum amount of stolen property (NESAB) upon which Islamic Shari'a may be applied in the form of cutting a thief's hand. This study is important because there is a controversy in determining the NESAB, which is the most important condition upon which legal punishment for stealing in Islamic Criminal Fiqh (Law) is applied; a law which is applied in some Arab and Islamic countries. It has also been found out that the Shafe'i doctrine, which made the NESAB a quarter of a Dinar or 1.625 grams of gold, is the most probable one. This research shows that the punishments set by man-made statutes such as imprisonment or fines are not deterrent to thieves, which in turn shows the superiority of Islamic legislation in preserving people`s property from being stolen via cutting a thief's hand.

* Assistant Professor - College of Law - University of Damascus.

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