3. Fornication

June 22, 2013 in The Final Divine Religion ISLAM

Fornication and adultery have always been seen as a wrong and antisocial behavior by the human intellect, morals, legal systems, and all divine religions. Adultery causes blood lines to mix and families to dismantle, precipitating the dissolution of bonds such as kinship, neighboring, and friendship as well as jeopardizing the roots of spiritual and moral values in a society. Such behavior makes human beings slaves to bodily desires, debasing human honor and dignity.

Fornication and adultery also have many harmful consequences in terms of health. People who indulge them are most prone to contagious sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as syphilis and gonorrhea. The deadly anti-immune disease AIDS, which today’s medicine cannot cure, spreads mostly through illict sexual intercourse.

Allah Almighty who loves His subjects very much does not want them to fall into such hideousness. For this reason, He prohibited us from even approaching fornication, not to mention committing it. He said:

“…come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom.” (Al-An`am (Livestock), 6:151)

“Nor come near adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).” (Al-Isra` (The Night Journey), 17:32)

That is, one must keep away from any road or means that provide a basis for adultery. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) expresses as follows how harmful for the heart unnecessary glances are:

“Staring at the prohibited is one of Satan’s poisonous arrows. Whoever quits this out of (fearful) respect of Allah, Allah grants him a belief whose sweetness he will feel in his heart.” (Hakim, IV, 349/7875; Haythami, VIII, 63).

For this reason, Islam first takes precautions such as having men and women cover up in the fashion prescribed by the religion, ordering to stay away from behaviors that will draw undue attention to each other, prohibiting the seclusion of men with women when legally foreign to each other, and prevention of lewdness in the society. This is why words, glances, or close relationships that could lead people’s thoughts into undue directions are condemned as actions that pave the way for adultery. Islam does not even stop at these and gives duties to families and the society to educate children, not to delay the age of marriage unless there is a necessity, to make marriage easy, and to hold religious and moral values alive in the society.

As can be gleaned from such directives, the goal of Islam is not to punish the guilty but to have people live in security and serenity by preventing the environment of crime to form in the society. Indeed, in Islamic history the punishment of adultery has rarely been seen.

In addition to the sins listed above, Islam also strictly prohibits the following major sins: homicide, conducting magic, oppressions, disobeying parents, lying, treason, backbiting (speaking in a way that a person would not like had he been present), to abuse an orphan’s property or goods, slandering, stealing, and gambling.[1]

[1].     Bukhari, Shehâdât, 10; Vasâyâ, 23; Muslim, Birr, 55, 56; Abu Dawud, Adab, 35/4875; Ahmad, III, 154, 135. For details see Murat Kaya, Efendimiz’den Hayat Ölçüleri (Crietria for Life from our Master the Prophet), Istanbul 2007, pp. 308-458.