Why Islam Prohibits fornication

In Islam Fornication & adultery is considered as the tenth major sin, with extreme consequences for the individual and the society. It is considered such an abhorrent act , that it is mentioned immediately after “Shirk”- ascribing partner with Allah. The punishments vary from 100 lashes to stoning till death.

Why is fornication sinful in Islam?

Fornication is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not marrie00-sexd to each other. The Arab word “Zina” includes Fornication and adultery. It is explicitly forbidden to practice fornication according to teachings of Quran, Muslims holy book, and Prophet Muhammad sayings (Hadith). It is the tenth major sin after

1.Ascribing Associates To Allah, The Most High (Shirk)

2. Killing A Human Being

3. Sorcery

4. Not Performing the Prayer

5. Not Paying Zakat

6. Breaking One’s Fast During Ramadan Without an Excuse

7. Not Performing the Hajj When Able to

8. Showing Disrespect to One’s Parents

9. Severing the Ties of One’s Relatives

Quran says



And do not go near fornication, as it is immoral and an evil way.

 [Quran, chapter 17, verse 32]

 The verse above forbids Muslims not only from fornication but also from any step that may encourage you to practice fornication, as gazing at the opposite gender sexy parts, speaking sexually to him/her, staying together in an isolated areas away from people and hidden from them, … etc.


sex=8Adultery in Islam is one of the most heinous and deadliest of sins. Its enormity can be gauged from the fact that it has often been conjoined in the Qur’an with the gravest of all sins: shirk or associating partners with Allah.


Dire consequences affecting individuals, families, and societies.

The enormity of this sin is no small measure due to its dire consequences affecting individuals, families, and societies. Among these are that it entails infidelity and erodes the trust and tranquility that are the foundations of a fulfilling family life; it dissipates one’s energies; it undermines peace at home; it corrodes the purity of one’s soul and hence destroys one’s faith; finally, it exposes the person to the wrath of Allah, thus resulting in eternal damnation.

It is no wonder then that Allah and His Messenger have sounded dire warnings against adultery in so many ways. To list only a few instances:

Allah says in the Qur’an, (And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way) (Al-Isra’ 17: 32). 

Who never call upon any god but Allah

And who do not take any human life as it is forbidden by Allah

Except in justice (pursuit)

And adultery they do not commit

And whosoever does commit

Penalty he shall get (25:68)

Doubled shall be the chastisement for him on the day of resurrection

And humbled he shall live therein (25:69)

Save him who repents and believes and does righteous action

It is they whose bad deeds Allah will change into good action

For Allah is all-forgiving

Grace-dispensing (25:70)

(Al-Furqan: 68-70)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever guarantees me that he will guard his chastity, I will guarantee him Paradise” (Al-Bukhari).

Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “No one commits adultery while still remaining a believer, for faith is more precious unto Allah than such an evil act!” In another version, it is stated, “When a person commits adultery he casts away from his neck the bond that ties him to Islam; if, however, he repents, Allah will accept his repentance” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i and others).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) further said: “[Under Islamic laws in an Islamic state] It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except for one of three sins: a married person committing fornication, and in just retribution for premeditated murder, and [for sin of treason involving] a person renouncing Islam, and thus leaving the community [to join the enemy camp in order to wage war against the faithful].” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i)

Fornication or adultery is an evil method of satisfying one’s sexual urges. It must be stated that Islam is not opposed to sexual desire; Allah created this desire for the continuation of the human race and as a method which a married couple can use to increase the love between themselves. This is considered one of the best halal pleasures. There is a big difference between not committing adultery and not partaking in halal forms of sexual pleasure. Adultery and fornication are condemned and punished while a married couple is encouraged to have a healthy sex life.

During his ascension, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was escorted by Jibreel and shown different types of punishments meted out to those guilty of various major offenses. While recounting the various scenes shown to him, he said, “Then Jibreel took me and we passed by a group of people with terribly inflated bodies emitting worst foul smells just like that of open sewers; when I enquired who they were, he replied, ‘These are those who commit adultery!’” (Ibn Khuzaymah)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Faith is like a shirt that Allah places on those He chooses; but whoever commits adultery his shirt will be taken off from him; if he were to repent sincerely, Allah will place it back on him.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

There are three types of sinners that Allah will not speak to on the Day of Resurrection; neither He will purify them nor will He even look at them; rather they will suffer severe punishment: an older person who commits adultery, a king or ruler who lies to his subjects, and a poor person who acts arrogantly!” (Muslim and An-Nasa’i)

When adultery becomes rampant in a nation Allah will expose them to His chastisement.” (Abu Ya`la)

“When promiscuous behavior becomes rampant in a nation, Allah will send upon them such (strange) diseases that their own ancestors never heard of.” (At-Tabarani)

“There are seven categories of people who will be granted protection under the shade of Allah on the Day when there is no other shade;… among them is a young person who is seduced by a woman of great beauty and wealth and yet he rejected her advances saying ‘I fear Allah!’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O mankind! Beware of fornication/adultery for it entails six dire consequences: three of them relating to this world and three to the next world. As for the three that are related to this world, they are the following: it removes the glow of one’s face, brings poverty, and reduces the life-span. As for its dire consequences in the next world they are: it brings down the wrath of Allah upon the person, subjects him to terrible reckoning, and finally casts him in hell-fire” (Al-Bayhaqi).

What actions would constitute zina?

Anything that involves “penetration of head of male penis into female vagina (with or without ejaculation)” would constitute zina requiring Hadd punishment. This has been agreed upon by scholars (of Ahlus sunnah).

sex-2The things that lead to zina such as touching, kissing, and rubbing the private parts together without penetrating do not come under the ruling on zina that require Hadd punishment. However, such activities which may lead to zina (fornication) are haraam and abhorent.

Allah says (interpretation of meaning):

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” [ Surat Al-‘Isrā’ 17:32 ]

Also, in terminology of Sharee’ah, zina can be committed by eyes, ears, tongue, hand or feet due to the following Hadiths:

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has decreed for every son of Adam his share of zina, which he will inevitably commit. The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the tongue is speaking, one may wish and desire, and the private parts confirm that or deny it.”

Also, prophet Mohamed says:
{O group of youth! Whoever from among you can marry should do so because it keeps the gaze low and it protects the private parts. And he who cannot marry should make it compulsory upon himself to fast because it breaks lust.}. This means that any sex outside marriage is forbidden.
Also prophet Mohamed says:
Sex-1{Seven persons are such that Allah (God) will not look at them on the Day of Judgment …. and Allah (God) will enter them into the Hell… except for those who repent. As those who repent Allah will accept their repentance.

  • A person who masturbates.
  • A person who performs the act of sodomy.
  • The person upon whom the act of sodomy is performed.
  • A perpetual drunkard.
  • The person who hits his parents so much that they appeal for help.
  • The person who harms his neighbors so much so that they curse him.
  • The person who commits adultery (or fornication) with his neighbor’s wife.


The Evils of Fornication

Fornication or adultery is an evil method of satisfying one’s sexual urges. It must be stated that Islam is not opposed to sexual desire; Allah created this desire for the continuation of the human race and as a method which a married couple can use to increase the love between themselves. This is considered one of the best halal pleasures. There is a big difference between not committing adultery and not partaking in halal forms of sexual pleasure. Adultery and fornication are condemned and punished while a married couple is encouraged to have a healthy sex life.

In the verse it states that zina; fornication and adultery, is an evil way – meaning an evil way of satisfying one’s sexual desire. Fornication and adultery has led to a number of problems in the United States of America. Regarding sexually transmitted diseases, (stds), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there are over 19 million people inflicted with stdsin the US. This is not 19 million in all, no, this is 19 million each year! These stds cost the US health care system a total of 17 billion dollars a year – which especially hurts given the current state of healthcare. Stds lead to serious health problems, for instance untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia can make a woman barren. Statistics show that 24,000 woman a year loose the chance to have their own children due to these stds. Syphilis is even worse, it destroys organs, can be transferred to a fetus resulting in stillbirth, birth defects, or even death soon after birth. For further information I would urge you to visit www.cdc.gov/std

Fornication and adultery cause other problems as well. According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009 there were 1,693,658 children born to unmarried women in the United States. This means that for every 1000 women aged 15-44 there were 50.5 such births. The worst number is this: 41 percent of all children born in 2009 were born to an unmarried mother. This is the highest that it has ever been, but the percent of children born out of wedlock in the United States has been growing every year since 1997.

When one does not want to have this illegitimate child she decides to have an abortion. Islam is one hundred percent against abortion and states that it is murder. In America a child is not recognized as a human being until it is born, whereas in Islam it is recognized as a human being while still a fetus in its mother’s womb. Therefore, killing this fetus is the same as killing the baby after birth. In America, abortion is debated, but still occurs at an alarming rate. There were 825,564 abortions conducted in 2008. In easier terms, this means that 16 abortions were performed for every 1000 women aged 15-44.

Lets move on to the words of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), there is a tradition of Imam Baqir (a) laying out the evil effects of adultery in this world and the hereafter. This tradition is quoted in Shahid Dastghayb’s Greater Sins: Imam Baqir (a) states: Fornication has six types of effects. Three are for this world and three are for the hereafter. The three evils which become evident in this world are: 1, The face of the adulterer loses countenance, meaning it loses its composure; 2, He falls into depravity and destitution; 3, His death draws nearer. And, the three punishments of the hereafter are: He is liable for divine anger, His reckoning is severe, He abides in Hell forever.

Punishment for Adultery in Islam

In duniya, Zina is only punishable if Zani confesses, or there are 4 witnesses who saw that act happening in such details as some one sees thread passing through eye of the needle.

Other than that, zani asking for allah’s forgivness should be able to save him/her from the punishmenet in Akhirat.

However if person is punished in Duniya, then his/her akhirat is clean off that crime.

what if Zani confesses, but hasn’t been punished in duniya and hasn’t asked for Allah’s forgiveness and continues with his act. How severe is Allah’s azaab in akhirat?

In this world:

For a non married person 100 lashes.

For a married person, stoned to death.

But if a person doesn’t disclose it to anyone and pray to Allah (swt) for forgiveness then Allah Almighty is all forgiving. BUT he should be determined of not committing that crime again.

Even if he has committed it many times and repented it, still according to hadiths he should not lose hope. Allah (swt) forgives, but he should pray to Allah (swt) for strength to be able to protect himself in future

Measures Laid Down by Islam for Protection from Zina

 We should understand the four means laid down by Islam to prevent and reduce

sex-3Zina -establishing belief in Allah in our hearts, observing Islamic regulations of gender

interaction, observing the Islamic dress code, and getting married. Each one of these have been discussed below:


1. Strengthening one’s imaan and belief in Allah: establish the Tawheed in the heart and understanding that Allah has created us, He deserves our worship and love, He commands and prohibits, and Allah alone knows what is good for us and what is bad. A Muslim should utilize all means to strengthen and maintain his faith and to keep an eye for what weakens it. Regular  salah prayer with focus, attending the mosque, and daily words of remembrance (dhikr ) would be on top of the list. Staying away from pornography, distractions, and bad friends are also parts of the equation.

 2. Observing the boundaries of male-female interaction set in the Quran and

Sunnah  avoid the type of intermingling between men and women that is disapproved. A separate lesson will be devoted to this topic.

 3. Observing the dress code: both men and women should observe the proper Islamic dress code as required by Islam.

 4. Getting Married: Allah has made marriage a way to protect oneself from falling into



Prophet Muhammad said, ‘…whosoever from among you can get married, let him marry; for it is better for the lowering of the gaze. And it is better as a protection of the private parts.” Healthy marriage with a compatible Muslim spouse will greatly assist a person in keeping the mind and body pure. For those who have a strong sexual desire but for some reason cannot marry should fast. They can fast three days a month or Mondays and Thursdays. Lastly, make a mental switch. Imagine the most good-looking person on earth will soon grow old and become unattractive. Imagine that this person also uses the toilet like anyone else. Imagine that you cannot afford to burn in Hell for few minutes of pleasure with him or her. If in doubt, read more about Hell.

Why Islam Prohibits Fornication and Adultery 

Banning of zina ( Fornication) in islam

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Retired as Aeronautical Engineer, and worked as a journalist for a long time. Settled down to dedicate myself to the service of the religion. Have translated holy Quran in poetry, and I am in the process of writing Tafsir. I encourage all interested to send articles to this website, where the articles shall be printed with their own names. If you like an article, please "Like' in the "Facebook box" on right side

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