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إِلاَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَقْدِرُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَٱعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
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-Al-Mâ’idah ( المائدة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Except for such, warmongers and waylayers, as repent before you overpower them; for know that God is Forgiving, to them of what they have done, Merciful, to them. This [proviso] is expressed without any statement to the effect ‘do not submit them to prescribed legal punishment’, to point out that when such a person repents only God’s prescribed punishments (hudūd) — and not those deriving from the rights of human beings — are waived. This is how I see it. I do not know of any that have tackled this [topic], and God knows best. If, then, a person has killed and stolen property, he should be killed and have his limbs cut off [on opposite sides], but not crucified — this is the more sound of two opinions held by al-Shāfi‘ī. However, his repentance is of no avail, once he has been overpowered [by the authorities] — this is also the more sound of two opinions held by him.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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