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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:
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:-
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:
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