Should both hands of the thief be amputated?

In chapter Al-Maidah verse 38, Allah the Almighty commands:

“Cut off the hands of male thieves and female thieves as a recompense for what they earned and as deterrence from Allah. Allah is strong and wise.” (Al-Maidah / The Feast 5:38)

The words “As-Sariq” and “As-Sariqah” in the beginning of this verse are common nouns that mean male and female thieves. Therefore, the plural “hands” does not have to be understood as both hands of one thief. The Messenger of Allah also clarifies this verse by saying “right hand below the wrist”.

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Date: Feb 6, 2013