- So appalled by his crimes, Ali Afifi, 28, apparently decided to punish himself
- The Egyptian severed both hands on the tracks of a speeding train
- Islamic Sharia law states hands are cut off for repeated stealing offences
- Amputation is not practiced in Egypt but some MPs have called for its return
An Egyptian man has sliced off both his hands by placing them in the path of a speeding train to overcome his stealing addiction.
Ali Afifi, 28, was apparently so appalled by his habitual crimes that he took his punishment into his own hands.
The young man, apparently guided by the rules of Sharia law, severed both his hands in his self-inflicted purgatory.
Desperate measure: Ali Afifi began stealing by taking sandwiches for friends but soon developed kleptomania – an addiction to stealing
Self-inflicted punishment: Egyptian Ali Afifi, 28, severed both his hands under a train to fight his addiction of stealing
His decision was likely to have been drawn from the Islamic teaching of Sharia law – the principles, rules and subsequent punishments that inform every element of life for those who practice Islam.
The Islamic legal system deals with many issues addressed in secular law as well as informing daily decisions of a personal and mundane matter, including hygiene, fasting, prayer, diet, politics, sexual intercourse and marital rules.
Interpretation of the law by Muslims varies between cultures, but it is accepted in some countries that repeated stealing is punishable by cutting off the hand.
Normally, a person caught stealing would be summoned to a Sharia court where Islamic jurists would issue guidance on an issue.
But for Mr Afifi, from the central Nile delta region of Tanta, Egypt, he decided he knew what his fate should be, according to the ‘divine law’.
In Islamic divine law, stealing is one of the most serious crimes and punishable by amputation
The 28-year-old, from Tanta, north east Egypt, was apparently so appalled at his own crimes he punished himself guided by Sharia law
According to Sharia law, stealing is considered one of the most serious crimes as specified by the Quran.
A Sharia court may issue a punishment of some kind of injury to the hand to someone caught stealing for the first time, such as slowly driving a car wheel over the hand.
In countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and northern Nigeria, amputation for repeated stealing is still practiced. In Egypt, however, the courts have not permitted judicial amputation for many years.
Last year, however, under the new Muslim Brotherhood government, MP Adel Azzazy, from the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, proposed a bill to reintroduce amputations for certain crimes.
He called for the application of ‘Heraba’ – extreme punishments for crimes including overt robbery, murder, forcible taking of property with a weapon and vandalising public facilities.
Guilt: Ali Afifi chose to carry out his own punishment for his repeated stealing
Sharia law insists that thieves lose a hand, which prompted Afifi to take such drastic action
The penalties according to Azzazy’s bill were execution in the case of murder, or cutting one arm and one leg from opposite sides of the culprit’s body in the cases of robbery and forcible taking of property.
If the taking of possessions is accompanied by murder, the penalty would be death or crucifixion, to be determined by the judge.
The bill, according to the Egypt Independent, also stipulated imprisonment for intimidating citizens, and that the prison sentence will end when the felon repents.
The penalties would only be imposed on adult, mentally-stable wrongdoers, who either committed the crimes or assisted in carrying them out, according to the bill.
Mr Afifi, who lives in Tanta, in Egypt’s northern Delta region, now has two stumps where his hands and wrists once were