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ZINA


In today’s English, the word used for a married person who engages in unlawful sexual intercourse is adultery; the single person who engages in sexual intercourse is fornication.  Unlike English, Arabic has only one word for both cases – zina.   Throughout the history of the religions, zina has been prohibited, however its prohibition is more emphatic and forceful, and is regarded as one of the gravest sins of all the major sins in Islam. [1]

 

Table of Contents

 

Linguistic meaning

Zina is an Arabic term used for the act of committing adultery (if married) or fornication (if unmarried).

 

Islamic meaning

In Islamic Law, it is defined as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who is neither his wife nor his slave. Islamic law considers this prohibition to be for the protection of men and women and for the respect of marriage.

Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (May Allah have mercy on Him) said: “Thus it is also known that there are different categories of zina. If it is done with a non-mahram woman who has no husband it is a serious matter. It is more serious if it is with a non-mahram woman who has a husband; it is more serious still if it is with a mahram. The zina of a previously-married person is worse than zina of a virgin, which is indicated by the fact that the punishment is different. And the zina of an old man who is of sound mind is worse than the zina of a young man, and the zina of a free man or a knowledgeable man is worse than the zina of a slave or one who is ignorant. Al-Zawaajir ‘An Iqtiraaf Al-Kabaa’ir (2/138)

 

Qur’an

Allah (Glory be to Him) Said in Qur’an: And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. Qur’an.Surah Isra 17:32. By this ayath we can conclude that it is a major sin in Islam, and an evil way. This ayath shows the gravity of the evil, Allah (Glory be to Him) is commanding the humans not to go near Zina. [4] And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Quran 25:68 [5]

 

The Command to avoid Zina (Unlawful Sex) and Everything that leads to it

Tafseer Ibn Kathir’s Tafseer on Qur’an Surah Isra 17:32 is given below

Imam Ahmad (May Allah have mercy on Him) recorded from Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with Him) saying that a young man came to the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace)and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Give me permission to commit Zina (unlawful sex).'' The people surrounded him and rebuked him, saying, "Stop! Stop!''

 

But the Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, (Come close). The young man came to him, and he said, (Sit down), so he sat down. The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, (Would you like it (unlawful sex) for your mother)! He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, Neither do the people like it for their mothers. The Prophet said, (Would you like it for your daughter)? He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, Neither do the people like it for their daughters. The Prophet said, (Would you like it for your sister)? He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, Neither do the people like it for their sisters.

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, (Would you like it for your paternal aunt)? He said, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Messenger! May I be ransomed for you.'' The Prophet said (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace), Neither do the people like it for their paternal aunts.

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, Neither do the people like it for their maternal aunts. Then the Prophet put his hand on him and said, O Allah, forgive his sin, purify his heart and guard his chastity. After that the young man never paid attention to anything of that nature. [6] [10]

 

Hadith

Narrated Ikrima from Ibn Abbas(R): Allah's Apostle (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said, "When a slave (of Allah) commits illegal sexual intercourse, he is not a believer at the time of committing it; and if he steals, he is not a believer at the time of stealing; and if he drinks an alcoholic drink, when he is not a believer at the time of drinking it; and he is not a believer when he commits a murder." 'Ikrima said: I asked Ibn Abbas ®, "How is faith taken away from him?" He said, Like this," by clasping his hands and then separating them, and added, "But if he repents, faith returns to him like this," by clasping his hands again, Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 8:800B

 

The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said: “If a man commits zina, faith will come out of him until it becomes like a cloud over him, and when he stops, his faith comes back to him.” Narrated by Abu Dawud, 4690; al-Tirmidhi, 2625; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawud.[7]

 

Proving Zina

A person is convicted of zina by any one or more of the following ways: The first one is that the zaani (fornicator or adulterer) makes a confession, without going back on their word until they are awarded the punishment.  If at some stage they retract their confession, they must not be subjected to any penal punishment. The second way a person can be convicted of zina is by four reliable and pious men testifying that they witnessed the sexual act. Each man must testify that he actually saw the male sexual organ inserted into the female’s vagina.  This stringent condition is to protect innocent Muslims and to block the road for those who want evil to spread amongst the Muslim society. As for the third way a person may be convicted of adultery, this is when a woman who has neither husband nor master is found pregnant.  [8]

 

Expiation for Zina

Whoever falls into zina must hasten to repent to Allah (Glory be to Him) and conceal himself with His concealment, and not disclose what he has done, because the Prophet (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) said: “Avoid this filthy thing that Allah (Glory be to Him) has forbidden, and whoever commits any sin of that nature let him conceal himself with the concealment of Allah.” Narrated by Al-Bayhaqi and classed as sahih by Al-Albaani in Al-Silsilah al-Sahihah 663.

 

The expiation for committing zina with a married woman or any other is sincere repentance that fulfils all the conditions of repentance. That involves giving up the sin completely, regretting what one has done and resolving never to go back to it.

 

Narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas(R) that some people from among the mushrikeen who had killed and killed a great deal, and committed zina and done it a great deal came to Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and Grant Him peace) and said: “What you are saying and calling us to is good, if only you could tell us that there is any expiation for what we have done.” Then the words “And those who invoke not any other Ilaah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse” Qur’an.Surah Furqaan 25:68 and “Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah” Qur’an.Surah Zumar 39:52 were revealed.Sahih Al Bukhari 4436 and Sahih Al Muslim 174 [2] [3]

 

Scholars view

Ibn Hajar al-Haythami said:

If it is done with a non-mahram woman who has no husband it is a serious matter. It is more serious if it is with a non-mahram woman who has a husband; it is more serious still if it is with a mahram. The zina of a previously-married person is worse than zina of a virgin, which is indicated by the fact that the punishment is different. And the zina of an old man who is of sound mind is worse than the zina of a young man, and the zina of a free man or a knowledgeable man is worse than the zina of a slave or one who is ignorant. al-Zawaajir ‘an Iqtiraaf al-Kabaa’ir (2/138)[9]

 

References

[1] [8] http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/ruling%20zina.htm

[2] [9] http://islamqa.info/en/ref/47924

[3] [7] http://www.sunnah.com/

[4] http://quran.com/17/32

[5] http://quran.com/25/68

[6] http://authentictauheed.blogspot.in/2011_05_26_archive.html

[10] http://abdurrahman.org/qurantafseer/ibnkathir/ibnkathir_web/17.28949.html

 

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