Monday, 6 February, 2023

Punishment for adultery in Islam

Mufti Muhammad Shoaib

A few years ago, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that adultery is no longer a crime, declaring that the colonial-era law is unconstitutional and discriminatory against women. India as well as many countries has permitted adultery.

Adultery, according to the law, is the consensual sexual intercourse between a married woman and an individual who is not her spouse or between a married man and a woman who is not his wife. There are lots of events of adultery that take place in Bangladesh like India. When we open newspapers we find many such incidents every day. Also, when we search at Google we find such news. Even mothers kill their children because they block the way of illegal love.

At the start they do not know about the consequences of adultery and don’t think about the final results of it; when they start doing adultery their whole life change. They lose their good friends and their attitude changes; they become aggressive and short tempered and it affects their relationship with their family members and their performance in workplaces get poorer.

But does Islam recognise adultery? The answer is that Islam does not recognise adultery at all. Adultery is a major sin in Islam. This is the worst offense after murder. Allah (SWT) prohibited Muslims from going near to adultery. He (SWT) says, “Do not even go near to Zina, for it is a very indecent thing and a very evil way.” (Sura Isra: Ayat 32). He (SWT) pronounced its punishment both in this world and in Hereafter.

Islam wants legitimate relationship between men and women so that the human sexual urge is channeled to wholesome sexual activity and the establishment of a family and bringing forth of children take place. Allah (SWT) said, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” (Sura Rum, Ayat 21).

On the other side, the Prophet (PBUH) declared whoever commits adultery he will be punished seriously in Hereafter. At the Night of Isra and Mi’raj, the Prophet (PBUH) saw naked men and women on a building similar to a furnace, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, and a fire kindling from the bottom. When the fire starts, they cry and come up; when it goes out, they return to their previous state. When the Prophet (PBUH) asked about them, the answer was: “They are those who committed Zina. They will be tortured in the same way till Resurrection.” (Sahih Bukhari).

Islam declared the punishment of adultery: the married woman who willingly commits adultery should be stoned to death. If she is unmarried then the penalty for her is a hundred lashes. Allah (SWT) said, “As for the fornicatress and the fornicators, flog each other of them, (giving) a hundred lashes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let a party of believers witness this chastisement.” (Surah an-Nur: Ayat 2).


The writer is the Media Researcher, Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research