What does Islam teach about crime?

Muslims believe in the sanctity of life and therefore they do not think anybody has the right to disrespect human life.

Justice is an important teaching in Islam. The Qur'an teaches Muslims to:

Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor.Qur'an 4:135

Shari'ah law

Islamic law sets out how Muslims should behave in order to live the life that Allah intends them to live, in harmony with others and their environment. If a person breaks a law it is seen as going against the principles and rulings set by the Qur'an and Sunnah. Some countries have legal systems based on Shari'ah Law, eg Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Most Muslims believe that if a person commits a crime they should be punished by law, but they will also have to answer to Allah on the Day of Judgement.

What does Islam say about how criminals should be treated?

Muslims believe in justice and therefore believe that criminals should be treated justly and be given the chance to reform. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is zakah, which requires all Muslims to give away a percentage of their wealth to help the poor, to ensure a level of justice and equality. This principle should be applied to the treatment of criminals.

However, some very harsh punishments are given in the Qur'an and Hadith, and some Muslims believe that appropriate retaliation should be carried out against those whose guilt is proven. Traditional Shari'ah Law, for example, suggests that those who steal should have a hand cut off, although such a harsh penalty would only be justified for the most serious crimes and only after trial in a Shari'ah court.

How do Muslims respond to crime in society and those who commit crime?

Many Muslims are concerned with the welfare of prisoners. They may campaign for prison reform, visit prisoners, or vote for a political party that reflects their views on justice and equality.