Hadith on Theft: Punishment for Usurping Land

📖Sahih al-Bukhari 2453
Narrated Abu Salama: That there was a dispute between him and some people (about a piece of land). When he told `Aisha about it, she said, “O Abu Salama! Avoid taking the land unjustly, for the Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘Whoever usurps even one span of the land of somebody, his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths.

  • This Hadith warns against unjustly taking someone else’s land, even if it’s just a small piece. It indicates that whoever takes someone else’s land unjustly will face severe consequences in the afterlife, symbolized by the encirclement of their neck with the piece of land they took, down to the seven earths. The phrase “seven earths” in Islamic theology refers to the seven layers or levels of the earth, which are believed to exist one above the other. Some interpret this as a reference to the seven continents, while others interpret it as a metaphorical expression of the vastness and depth of the punishment for usurping someone else’s property.

In summary, the Hadith highlights the importance of respecting the rights of others and warns against unjustly taking someone else’s property, as it carries severe consequences in this life and the hereafter.