The Punishment for
Inappropriate Relationships in
The punishment for illegal sexual act
with a woman is hundred lashes. The penalty of illicit sexual
intercourse between a married woman and married man is stoning to death.
Hazrat Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.)
"There are three types of people with
whom Allah will not even speak on the day of Qiyamat. There is a
terrible punishment for them. One of these three group will that be of
the women who inspite of having husbands commit adultery with others."
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says:-
"Whoever commits Fornication with a
married woman. Both of their sexual organs will give out such a stink
that it would be felt even at the distance of five hundred years. This
stench will hurt the people of Hell. And such fornicators will be
subjected to the most severe punishment."
Islam prescribes very strict and severe
laws of punishment for the wrong doers. This is necessary. It is only
the severity of a law that compels average individuals to abide by it.
But, however severe the punishments prescribed in Islam may be, they are
always tampered by Allah's Mercy and Compassion. Hadd
(punishment) for adultery can only be executed if there are four just
witnesses who have seen the sin being committed with their own eyes.
Obviously the worldly punishment can be given only to those who publicly
and shamelessly behave like beasts. It is truly amazing that even for
such loathsome behaviour, Islam orders leniency in punishment. For
example, only a married person who commits adultery is to be stoned to
death. The punishment for an unmarried person is a hundred lashes.
The present day youth is caught in the
mire of economic and moral decline. They are mentally disturbed and
unstable. They believe it is advantageous to avoid the bonds and
responsibilities of marriage and satisfy their natural needs with
Islamic law first takes into
consideration the condition and helplessness of the fornicator, and only
then does it prescribe the punishment. The fornicators are divided into
seven groups and different penalties are fixed for them.
- Stoning to death.
- Stoning and lashes - both.
- A hundred lashes and exile from the
city after shaving the head.
- Fifty lashes.
- Seventy five lashes.
- "Zighas"- it means picking up the
lash many times to hit once.
- The penalty of Fornication and fine
Following are the legal rulings,
according to jurisprudence and traditions.
- In order to establish the crime of
adultery, four just male witnesses are required; or three just male
and two just female witnesses or two just male and four just female
witnesses. If two just male witnesses and four just female witnesses
state that they have witnessed the act, and if the sinner or the
fornicator does not have a legal wife, or the fornicator woman does
not have a legal husband, than they are not stoned to death. They are
only given a hundred lashes each.
- All the witnesses must testify that
the crime had occurred at one and the same place.
- All the witnesses must testify that
a crime has occurred at the same time.
- All the witnesses must testify in
the same sitting.
- If four just people quote the
testimony of four just witnesses it is not sufficient.
- If four just witnesses testify that
a certain woman has committed Fornication, their testimony shall not
be accepted if they are not familiar with this woman since they do not
know her and it could be that she is the legal wife of that man.
- If three of the four witnesses
testify and the fourth one refrains from testifying, or if his
testimony differs from the previous three witnesses, the three
witnesses who have testified shall be punished for qazaf (defaming a
chaste man or woman of adultery).
- If the fornicator confesses his
crime thrice, but refrains from the fourth confession, he cannot be
punished. For a penalty to be lawful, it is necessary to confess four
- He must make four confessions in
four different sitting. He cannot be penalised if he makes four
confessions in one sitting.
- It is not permitted for the Judge to
goad the accused to confess. He must also not be prompted to complete
sentences (that is words must not be put into his mouth). The Judge
must try to maintain purity, chastity and dignity among the common
people and must try his utmost that the crime of adultery is not
proved. The Judge must try to give such suggestions to the accused
that he may be able to save himself from the penalty by falling into
doubts and uncertainties. It is also the duty of the Judge to
encourage the accused to plead innocence.
- When a married man confesses of
adultery four times but later pleads innocence, the penalty of stoning
will not be imposed upon him. His punishment shall be reduced.
- A new convert to Islam who is
unaware of the punishment shall not be punished.
- If the adulterer is unmarried and he
is suffering from some illness, the jurist is authorised to beat him
with a broom of twigs or a branch of date palm. He should consider
these as lashes. He could also beat him with a branch or broom and
consider each of its twig equivalent to one lash.
- The lashing should be so controlled
that the flesh of the body is not affected. The accused can only be
punished when he has committed the crime willingly. (If someone is
forced to commit Fornication, penalty cannot be imposed upon him ).
- If a man mistakes a woman to be his
legal wife and has sexual intercourse with her, then he cannot not be
This is thus the detailed analysis of
the laws prescribed by the all Beneficent and the all Merciful Allah,
who knows His creatures very well. He has prescribed such regulated
punishments for a serious sin like Fornication.
(extract from the book "Greater
Sins" by Shaheed DastGhaib)