This Article introduces the concept of theft in Islamic law. As such, it does not pretend to be comprehensive either in the data it puts forth or in its analysis. Rather, the Article raises a number of issues for discussion, and offers, most tentatively, suggested answers to the following points: 1) whether theft in Islamic law properly belongs to the species of manifest criminality; 2) what possible justifications exist for such an extreme penalty; 3) what were the requirements for conviction; and 4) some concluding observations as to why the classical jurists encumbered a prosecution for theft with so many restrictions.
David F. Forte, Islamic Law and the Crime of Theft: An Introduction, 34 Clev. St. L. Rev. 47 (1985-1986)