What Does Islam & Quran Says About Adultery or Zina?

What Islam Says About Adultery?

According to Quran adultery (Zina) is a major sin and hence strictly prohibited. Adultery is treated as a crime against society. Adultery or Zina invites the wrath and damnation of Almighty. So all Muslims are strictly instructed to keep away from adultery as it is an abomination and an evil way as mentioned in verse17:32 of Holy Quran. Adultery(Zina) is mentioned inter-alia other major sins like; associating with Allah, theft, killing of an innocent etc. So the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "When a man commit adultery, Iman (Faith) leaves him; but when he leaves such evil i.e. adultery ways, Iman will return to him.

The Holy Quran promises reward in this world and Hereafter for those who pledge that they will not commit adultery. So the Quran says, "O Prophet! when believing women come to you giving you a pledge that they will not associate aught with Allah, and will not steal, and will not commit adultery, and will not kill their children, and will not bring a calumny which they have forged of themselves, and will not disobey you in what is good, accept their pledge, and ask forgiveness for them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."(60:12)

There is not anything which God so abhors, as adultery. Hence keeping in view the gravity of the sin it is strictly prohibited to level a false allegation of adultery against a pious women or men unless the accuser has sufficient evidence. A person who levels the accusation of adultery is directed in Quran to bring four witnesses in support of his claim. It is noteworthy that even in murder cases, evidence of two witnesses is considered as sufficient. However, in order to meet the ends of justice, the Quran requires four witnesses for adultery charges. Besides, the witnesses of adultery should be of very solid and good moral character.

In case the accuser could not bring four witnesses on the charge of adultery, he will be flogged of eighty stripes and his evidence will not be considered reliable in future. However, there is an exception to the general rule of bringing four witnesses regarding charge of adultery. If a husband launches a charge of adultery against his wife, and has, in support of his claim, no evidence but his own, his solitary evidence can be received if he bear witness four times with an oath by Allah that he is solemnly telling the truth and the fifth time he will have to say that the curse of Allah be on him if he is one of the liars. On the other hand if the wife wants to acquit from this charge she will also have to bear witness in the same manner.

The punishment for adultery is discussed in detail in different verses of Quran, which provide that once the crime is established, the punishment of the same for unmarried men or women is to flog each hundred stripes. However, if the offenders are married, their punishment is death by stoning. Secondly, the adulterer is not permitted to marry but with an adulterer or an unbeliever.

It is worth mentioning that level of evidence is so strict for establishing the adultery allegation that it happened only twice in the history when someone was punished for adultery according to the punishments mentioned in Quran and that too on the basis of confession and not on the basis of evidence. It is also proved from Sunnah that if the adulterer woman becomes pregnant, the punishment will be postponed till the birth of the child. It will be the responsibility of the state to provide sufficient sources of life to that child and he will be considered equal to all other citizens of the state.

Relevant verses of Quran regarding adultery are as under:-

Punishment for Adultery:-

The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment. The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers. 24.2-3
Punishment for Wrong Allegation for Adultery:

24.4-13
And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors. Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

What Evidence Is Needed If Husband Accuses His Wife Of Adultery:-

24:6-7

And for those who launch a charge against their spouses, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- their solitary evidence (can be received) if they bear witness four times (with an oath) by Allah that they are solemnly telling the truth. And the fifth (oath) (should be) that they solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on themselves if they tell a lie.

How can the woman be acquitted:

24:8-9

But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie. And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth. And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy-- and that Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Wise!

What should be the Attitude of a common Muslim on hearing such accusations:-

Why did not the believers - men and women - when ye heard of the affair,- put the best construction on it in their own minds and say, "This (charge) is an obvious lie"? Why did they not bring four witnesses of it? But as they have not brought witnesses they are liars before Allah. And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy in this world and the hereafter, a grievous chastisement would certainly have touched you on account of the discourse which you entered into. When you received it with your tongues and spoke with your mouths what you had no knowledge of, and you deemed it an easy matter while with Allah it was grievous. And why did you not, when you heard it, say: It does not beseem us that we should talk of it; glory be to Thee! this is a great calumny?

Translations of Quranic verses are from: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim

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Comments 8 comments

aden 4 years ago

what if a woman made adultry and she regeated it and keep repenting but did not told no one about her sin not even her husband.. can she keep repenting or she have to be stoned? and she just found out what is the punshment for adultry.


zuma 4 years ago

Quran forbids muslims to commit adultery. What is the definition of adultery from Quran’s point of view:

1) Have sex with our neighbor’s wife is to be considered as part of adultery:

Sahih Bukhari, Book #60, Hadith #4, “…To commit illegal sexual intercourse with the wife of your neighbor." The same can be located from Sahih Bukhari , Book #60, Hadith #284; Sahih Bukhari , Book #82, Hadith #802,; Sahih Bukhari , Book #83, Hadith #1; Sahih Bukhari, Book #93, Hadith #611; and Sahih Bukhari, Book #93, Hadith #623).

2) Lust after a woman by sight or by speech or even by the desire is considered as adjultery:

Sahih Bukhari, Book #74, Hadith #260, "...The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it."

Sahih Bukhari, Book #77, Hadith #609, "...The adultery of the eye is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation."

3) Sex outside marriage is to be considered as adultery:

Sahih Bukhari, Book #36, Hadith #472, "Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:...It is illegal for you to outrage my chastity except by legitimate marriage..."

Sahih Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #4"Narrated 'Abdullah...Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him...(...from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.)..."

Sahih Bukhari, Book #31, Hadith #129, "...Narrated 'Alqama...He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women...and save...from committing illegal sexual relation..."

What would happen when believers do evil, i.e. commit adultery?

Sahih Bukhari, Book #43, Hadith #655, ":...When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time..."

Sahih Bukhari, Book #69, Hadith #484, "...An adulterer, at the time he is committing illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer..."

The same can be located from Sahih Bukhari, Book #81, Hadith #763; Sahih Bukhari, Book #81, Hadith #773;

Sahih Bukhari, Book #82, Hadith #800e, "...When a slave (of Allah) commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer at the time of committing it..."

Sahih Bukhari, Book #82, Hadith #801, "...The one who commits an illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer at the time of committing illegal sexual intercourse..."

As extracted above that when an Adulterer commits illegal sex, he is not a believer at the time. As he is not a believer when he commits adultery, can he be saved? This seems to match the extract as below despite they are muslims: Al-Qamar, Chapter #54, Verse #3, “They belied (the Verses of Allah - this Qur'an), and followed their own lusts… good deeds will take their doers to Paradise, and…evil deeds…to HELL).”

Believers could not escape from punishment:

An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #19, "Verily, those who like that (the crime of) illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. "

Quran permits muslims to marry slaves and maid servants:

An-Noor, Chapter #24, Verse #32, "And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry)...your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves)...."

From the above explanations, it could come to the conclusion that Quran demands a high standard from muslims since the lust of the eyes would even cause muslims to sin. That is why it demands muslims to marry with wives so as to prevent adultery.


zuma 4 years ago

Both Prophet Solomon as mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, book of Nikah 3:110 and the (Exalted Messenger) in Bukhari, Book of Nikah 3:52 had many wives and that led to them to have sex to many women. From the Quran's point of view is justifiable since at least they had all the women to be their wives as mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #4, "...Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him...(...from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.)..."

However, would this be justifiable to have so many wives to be in this modern days? Even so, it might not be justifiable or permitted by state and even the burden, such as, the cost of living and etc., that a person has to support many wives.

Quran only restricts one wife is enough if that muslim could not do justly with many wives. Let's meditate carefully the verse below:

An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #3, "And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but IF YOU FEAR THAT YOU SHALL NOT BE ABLE TO DEAL JUSTLY (WITH THEM), then ONLY ONE or or (the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice."

As the phrase, if you fear that you shall not deal justly (with them -all his married women) is mentioned in An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #3 with the phrase, then only one, Quran only restricts a muslim to have a wife if he fears that he could not deal justly with many wives. Nowadays all muslim women are educated. To have more than one wife, other wives would not be happy and would have jeolousy or unhappiness with you, how could you as a muslim have more than one wife to deal justly with them? In the ancient days, it could be possible to have many wife without jeolousy and unhappiness due to women were not educated in the past. In order to deal justly with women, you should ask your wife to find out whether she permits you to have many wives. If she or more women disallow, how could you deal justly with them? Thus, only one wife is permissible from the Quran's point of view.

Take note of the phrase, if you fear that you shall not deal justly (with them -all his married women), as mentioned above.


ajaz awalia 4 years ago

i want to know the types of zina ?


Numair 2 years ago

I have been committing adultery all my life knowing that it is greater sin of all now I am 60 years old will I been forgiven by allah


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firdousi0 2 years ago from Pakistan Author

God is always forgiving. Seek refuge from Him and he will forgive you. I am very sure about it that you will be forgiven provided you repent with sincere heart that you will not do such sins in future


salau ibrahim 23 months ago

salam alaikum....i just commited zina and just feel so awkward about it...what are the things I can do seek forgiveness from the Almighty....am really scared and bothered...


asha 10 months ago

Salama alaikum....my husband is committing adultery and married for 10yrs wit 3 kids what please advise on this.thank you

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