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Hirābah (Template:Lang-ar) is an Arabic word for “piracy”, or “unlawful warfare”. Hirabah comes from the root hariba, which means “to become angry and enraged”. The noun harb (حرب, pl. hurub حروب) means “war” and/or “enemy.”[1] One who commits hirabah would be a hirabi.

Punishment for Hirabah

The Qur'an commands strict punishment for those who spread disorder in land.[2] As it is in the Qur'an: Template:Cquotetxt

According to these verses, the punishment for spreading disorder in land is:

  1. Taqtil (تقتيل:execution that serves a severe warning to others i.e. stoning)
  2. Taslib (تصليب:Crucifixion)
  3. Amputating limbs from opposite sides
  4. Nafi (نفى:Exile)

A Judge can give any of these punishments depending on the severity of the crime and condition of the criminal. These punishments can be prescribed for any crime that can threaten the society at large. Examples of these crimes are robbery (unlike theft which has a different punishment), rape, and terrorism.[2]

Relation with Jihad

Hirabah has been suggested as a better description of a punishment than the often-used jihad which is often misconstrued as referring to religious terrorism. The argument is that jihad means literally "struggle". The meaning is broad, and can include personal, internal struggle to purify oneself as well as external struggle for justice.[1] By definition, Jihad cannot be a bad thing, as jihad means "to struggle in the way of God", or "to struggle to improve one's self and/or society". Therefore, someone who is misguidedly responsible for unlawful killing and chaos in the land can only be described as someone engaged in hirabah.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Crane, Robert D., “Hirabah versus Jihad”,, (Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc., 2006)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Mizan, The Penal Law of Islam, Al-Mawrid

External links


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