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Sunan Abi Dawood 4382
Azhar ibn Abdullah al-Harari said:

Some goods of the people of Kila' were stolen. They accused some men of the weavers (of theft). They came to an-Nu'man ibn Bashir, the companion of the Prophet ﷺ. He confined them for some days and then set them free.

They came to an-Nu'man and said: You have set them free without beating and investigation. An-Nu'man said: What do you want? You want me to beat them. If your goods are found with them, then it is all right; otherwise, I shall take (retaliation) from your back as I have taken from their backs. They asked: Is this your decision? He said: This is the decision of Allah and His Apostle ﷺ.

Abu Dawud said: By this statement he frightened them ; that is, beating is not necessary except after acknowledgement.
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ بْنُ نَجْدَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا بَقِيَّةُ، حَدَّثَنَا صَفْوَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا أَزْهَرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْحَرَازِيُّ، أَنَّ قَوْمًا، مِنَ الْكَلاَعِيِّينَ سُرِقَ لَهُمْ مَتَاعٌ فَاتَّهَمُوا أُنَاسًا مِنَ الْحَاكَةِ فَأَتَوُا النُّعْمَانَ بْنَ بَشِيرٍ صَاحِبَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَحَبَسَهُمْ أَيَّامًا ثُمَّ خَلَّى سَبِيلَهُمْ فَأَتَوُا النُّعْمَانَ فَقَالُوا خَلَّيْتَ سَبِيلَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ ضَرْبٍ وَلاَ امْتِحَانٍ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النُّعْمَانُ مَا شِئْتُمْ إِنْ شِئْتُمْ أَنْ أَضْرِبَهُمْ فَإِنْ خَرَجَ مَتَاعُكُمْ فَذَاكَ وَإِلاَّ أَخَذْتُ مِنْ ظُهُورِكُمْ مِثْلَ مَا أَخَذْتُ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ‏.‏ فَقَالُوا هَذَا حُكْمُكَ فَقَالَ هَذَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ وَحُكْمُ رَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ إِنَّمَا أَرْهَبَهُمْ بِهَذَا الْقَوْلِ أَىْ لاَ يَجِبُ الضَّرْبُ إِلاَّ بَعْدَ الاِعْتِرَافِ ‏.‏

Classification

Hasan (Good)

References

• Sunan Abi Dawood 4382
• Sunan Abi Dawood Vol. 5, Book of Prescribed Punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud), Hadith 4369
• Sunan Abi Dawood, Book of Prescribed Punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud), Hadith 4369