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Lesson Fifteen: Direct Obedience (Part VIIII)

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Lesson 15
Social law_prohibition of fornication/adultery

6.      We must not fornicate or commit adultery. Marriage is a backbone to a stable and a steady society. Fornication and adultery are the opposing forces to that. Being as ugly as they are, Allah (S.W.A), the all wise, urges us to avoid these crimes. In Allah (S.W.A)’s words:

“Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful deed and evil, opening the road to other evils (17:32)”

Allah (S.W.A) discourages fornication and adultery further through a stringent punishment. In his own words:

“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication – flog each of them with 100 stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah  if you believe in Allah and the last day: and let a party of the believers witness their punishment . (24:2)”

Allah (S.W.A) further protects people and the society from the assaults of fornication and adultery by forbidding believers from marrying those guilty of these crimes. He decrees:

“Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty or an unbeliever: Nor let any but such a man, or an unbeliever marry such a woman: to the believers such a thing is forbidden. (24:3)”.

Adultery and fornication are such serious crimes that Allah (S.W.A) made the case of proof very difficult. He even decreed punishment for anyone who may whisper false rumors of the sin against someone. Allah (S.W.A) commands:

“And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses( to support their allegations), flog them with 80 stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors (24:4)”.

“Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct), for Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (24:5)”.

"Those who slander chaste women, indicreet but  believing,are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: For them is a grievious penalty(24:23)."

The punishment for fornicators does not imply policing the communities. The punishment is supposed to be sought by the guilty party if he/she desires redemption from the sin.  This is so because to prove the case of fornication is extremely difficult. Unless one admits to the crime, it is almost impossible to convict a fornicator in this world. This is not a plus, though. Fornication is one of the greatest sins which may weigh heavily on one's record and may cost him/her eternal bliss – Paradise. Therefore, we cannot count on being caught by the community members. We must restrain ourselves from the sin. If we fail ourselves and thus fornicate, then two options are available to us; either we report ourselves to the imams of our masjids and then have our accounts settled here in this world, or keep away from fornication at all costs. It is bad news to die with such a crime. This is how our Prophet, Muhammad(S.A.W), advised.

Narrated Abdullah (R.A)'......Allah's Apostle said', " O young people! whoever among you can marry, should marry because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power (Sahih Buhari: Volume7, book 62,  Number 4). " 

In this world some people have been saved from punishment for fornication/adultery by other people staging demonstrations for them. With Allah (S.W.A), such demonstrations will not work. Here is Allah (S.W.A) counsel to us:

“Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped from (outside) (2:48).”

In all its manifestations, adultery/fornication is a shameful act, inconsistent with self respect or respect for others. It opens the road to many evils including destruction of family lineage. It is especially harmful to the innocent children that may result from it. It gives them a social stigma and deprives them the devine right of paternal care and support. Fornication and adultery (zina) is among the major factors that cause feuds and murders in society. There is nothing positive that can override the pain and harm that fornication and adultery (zina) cause. Let us guard ourselves from such harm.

The Muslim community does not yet suffer from these two abominations, alihmdulillah.  However, there are worrying signs that indicate that these loathsome sins are right at our doorstep. First, we have forgotten or we are forgetting our dress code. Our dress code exists to prevent zina. The fad today is to dress and be sexy. This is the exact opposite of the requirements of our Islam. We are to disguise our body outline so much, so that it appeals to none on the streets. This applies to both men and women alike. Ladies,please, remember to cover your bosoms for Allah(S.W.A)'s sake. We have to restrain ourselves and dress up properly as Allah (S.W.A) would approve.