29/08/2013 13:21 BST | Updated 29/08/2013 13:36 BST

Ali Afifi, Egyptian Man Addicted To Stealing Cuts Off Own Hands In Line With Sharia Law (PICTURES)

An habitual thief who was left so ashamed by his uncontrollable urge to steal, took the drastic step of cutting off his own hands.

Ali Afifi is believed to have been motivated by Sharia law when he amputated both hands in separate incidents.

The Egyptian lost his first hand by holding it under the wheels of a train five years ago.

Ali Afifi amputated both of his hands after being unable to stop stealing

His shocked father had him institutionalised, but the 28-year-old repeated the action with the other hand upon his release.

Afifi, who posed for these pictures this week, is said to have asked a Muslim scholar to sever his hands because he could not stop stealing “after losing the war against the devil,” Emirates 247 reported last year.

Afifi said: “But the Sheikh refused my request, saying he is not a ruler or in a decision-making position to take such a decision… he advised me to repent and seek God’s help... I then decided to cut my hands off.”

Describing his addiction as a "disease", Afifi began stealing lunches from friends as a child, before moving onto items in shops, mobile phones and gold jewellery, the Mail Online reveals.

Afifi's self-inflicted punishment is said to have been inspired by Sharia law

Sharia law is practised in many strict Muslim countries and typically involves harsh punishments for murder, theft and adultery.

Interpretation of the law can vary between cultures, but it is commonly agreed the punishment prescribed for theft is the removal of the thief's hand.

“[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they earned [i.e. committed] as a deterrent [punishment] from Allaah. And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise,” Islam Web cites the Koran as saying.

Amputation for habitual stealing is still practiced in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and northern Nigeria, the Inquisitr points out.

The Egyptian courts have not permitted judicial amputations for many years, though last year an MP called for the application of Islamic law for certain crimes.

"This is God's law and is not optional," said Adel Azzazy.