Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Is hacking into banks’ websites and transferring money from them regarded as stealing that incurs the punishment of amputation?


Is hacking into bank websites via the internet and transferring money from them into the hacker’s account considered stealing? Should this hacker receive the punishment for stealing?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Stealing is haraam, and is a major sin. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No thief is a believer at
the time when he is stealing.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5578) and Muslim

Undoubtedly hacking into banks’ websites and transferring
money from them is haraam, and consuming people’s wealth unlawfully. 

As to whether it is something that incurs the punishment of
amputation, that is to be determined by the shar’i judge to whom the case is

There are conditions which must be met before the thief’s
hand is amputated, such as that the property that is stolen should have been
taken from a proper storage place (in which wealth is usually kept). 

Imam al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

The majority of scholars are agreed that amputation can only
be carried out on one who took from a proper storage place that for which
amputation is deserved. 

A proper storage place is that which is usually set up to
store people’s wealth, which varies from one case to another. 

Ibn al-Mundhir said: There is no definite report or scholarly
opinion concerning that, rather it is like consensus among the scholars. End

Tafseer al-Qurtubi (6/162). 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:  

What are the conditions for amputating the hand in the case
of theft? 

They replied: 

For the hand of the thief to be cut off, nine conditions must
be met: 

Stealing, which is taking
wealth or property by stealth. If he seizes it forcibly or snatches it, then
there is no amputation.

The thief should be
accountable; there is no amputation for a child or one who is insane.

The stolen item should be above
a certain threshold; there is no amputation for anything less than that. The
threshold is one quarter of a dinar of gold, or the equivalent value of
other things.

The stolen item should be
something that is customarily kept and stored.

The stolen item should be
something concerning which there is no doubt.

It should be stolen from a
proper storage place.

It should be taken out of the
storage place.

Proof of the theft should be
established before the judge, with two witnesses of good character or a
confession from the thief.

The owner of the stolen item
should come forward and claim it. 

Examination of these conditions and the decision as to
whether they apply to a case of theft, is something that should be referred
to the shar’i courts. End quote. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan,
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Azeez Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah
(22/223, 224) 

And Allaah knows best.

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