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Offline Reader Questions

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« on: March 18, 2012, 12:38:38 AM »
Dear Brother,

There is a challenge that there is no punishment for rape in the Qur'an hence one needs Hadith for support.

Would the following not cover molestation/rape as well?
33:58 And those who unjustly hurt the men or the women in whose hearts reigns piety or offend them for no valid reason will have born malice against themselves and shall stand manifest of a major sin.
33:59 O you the Prophet: Tell your wives and your daughters and all Muslim women to dress in flowing outer garments which cover them over. This makes it less likely to be identified and be assaulted. And Allah has always been Ghafurun and Rahimun.
33:60 Unless the hypocrites and those whose hearts reflect the morbidity inherent in their inmost being as well as those who incite to rebellion against the Muslims in the city and molest the women cease from such actions, We will instigate you to war upon them and give you mastery over them and they shall then find it difficult to neighbour with you therein but for a short while.
33:61 Cursed wherever they may be and seized they shall be wherever found and be slain without mercy.

Offline Joseph Islam

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    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Rape
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 12:43:34 AM »
Salamun Alaikum.

A Divine Book cannot claim to be 'tibiana lekulli shayin' (clear explanation / clarification of all things) 16:89 for deen, fussilat  (explained and detail) 41:3; 11:1 and then be devoid of guidance for important matters. The Quran remains the ultimate scale (meezan 42:17) and all matters of religious import should be judged through it.

In my personal opinion, the grave matter of 'rape', a sexual assault violating the dignity of another soul would clearly fall under the Quranic concept of 'fasaad fil ard' (corruption in the land).

The Quranic shariah in the matter of 'fasaad fil-ard' is extremely serious.

Rape is not a personal consensual sin between two parties. This is a gruesome forced crime against the dignity of another human being and a crime against a righteous society that seeks to protect the innocent. To place rape in the same category as 'zina' so as to intimate the same punishment would be ludicrous.

Once we enter the realms of 'fasad 'fil ard', then upon appropriate proof, the punishments can vary, including death.

From the Quran's perspective, the right to take life is only allowable in two circumstances (5:32). This is a generic law (applicable to all) and has been cited in the context of the Children of Israel in the backdrop of the first murder ever committed.

  • For just retribution in the case of murder (for unintentional manslaughter, see 4:92)
  • For spreading sheer corruption in the land (fasaad fil ard) (5:33)

As rape is not consensual illicit sex, verses of Surah Nur (24:2-3) concerning adultery would arguably have limited applicability and one only of superficial comparison. The Quran does not stipulate a direct punishment for rape which further lends to the strong suggestion that this is a matter completely for those in governance to decide.

It is clear that any punishment for rape would be far more serious than that of consensual illicit sex and would demand a crucial assessment of proof, severity, implications and then appropriate retribution.  To assert otherwise would amount to nothing but gross injustice.

If consensual illicit sexual liaisons attract 100 lashes (24:2), a false testimony 80 lashes (24:4), the hint of prostitution attracts indefinite house arrest (4:15) and the punishment for consensual homosexuality (4:16) is left completely to those in governance to decide based on circumstances and severity, one can only but imagine the seriousness with which rape would be dealt with.

After all, rape involves gross coercive sex, physical violence and a gross violation against the soul leaving an indelible mark on ones emotional state, possibly indefinitely.

Those in governance may deem it appropriate to introduce any number of lashings in addition to a severe financial recompense for the victim, or in more serious cases (serial rapist / child molestation), the death sentence for the perpetrator of the crime. It may even be deemed appropriate to implement a lengthy jail sentence as a deterrent followed by a period of long rehabilitation. Whatever the decision, it should be based on severity and a matter for the appropriate authorities.

Albeit 33:58 speaks about slander (and not rape), we note 33:60 to once again apply to transgressions against wider society which would arguably fall once again, within the ambit of fasad fil ard (corruption in the land). For this reason, in 33:61, we note the retribution to include death.

Fasad fil-ard (crime against society / corruption in the land) remains an extremely serious crime from the Quran's perspective.

Rape is one such crime, as it is not only coercively inflicted against the person but also against the society that has the responsibility to protect the innocent.

I hope this helps, God willing.

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell