Will it be possible to eliminate extramarital relationships through the punishments prescribed in the Quran?
It is not just penal laws
that find mention in the Quran. In fact, Islam views the recourse to
penal law only as a last resort. The Quran teaches that all
circumstances which can lead to extramarital sexual affairs must
first be removed. All laws and regulations for that purpose are
provided by the Quran. They can be summarized as follows:
Men and women are to dress decently. As sight constitutes the prime
motivation of the sexual impulse in man, women are not to dress in
such a fashion as to display their beauty.
There should be nothing in society which is of a sexually
provocative nature. Indeed, in an Islamic society cabarets, dances,
beauty contests, ballets and the like are never permitted.
The unrestricted mingling of the sexes, which ultimately leads to
adultery, must be prevented.
The use of sex as a profession must be completely banned. For in an
Islamic society, prostitutes, call-girls, sex-bombs, nude models and
the like are an impossibility.
Men and women (excepting for the husband or any relative with whom
marriage has been prohibited) are not to travel together.
Men and women are not to converse freely except in the presence of
Unless they have become mates through the institution of marriage,
men and women are not to gaze at each other with lewd passion.
They are not to speak, or flirt, in a manner that evokes lust.
If a man comes with the offer of marriage, the guardians of the
woman must come forward to offer her in marriage to him if he is
seen to be of a suitable person.
In the case of the
men who cannot find contentment in a single woman, there is also the
provisions - albeit, a conditional one -to marry more than one
Firstly, the Quran seeks to
remove all situations which serve to inflame sexual passions and to
promote crime of adultery. Secondly, it provides for an open
permission for the fulfillment of desires through recourse to a
lawful procedure. Even after this, those who opt for illegal means
for the fulfillment of their desires actually destroy the moral
fabric of society as well as the family. Islam's prescription here
is to award severe punishments in such cases.
Circumstances play not an
insignificant role in tempting man to commit sin. In actual terms,
therefore, due to the transformation of the media and the market
into the promoters of sexual provocation and the current stand of
the society in seeing in extramarital relationships nothing of a
sinful nature, the attacks against women have only risen to alarming
heights. What could be the reason for this? The shift in the
position of the society as regards to extramarital affairs and the
exploitation of feminine charms by the media and the market have
played out not a small part of their own in contributing to the rise
of atrocities against women. If such a state of affairs is to
continue, even women who lead decent lives will not be allowed to go
about in peace.
This situation cannot exist
in an Islamic society. For there can be no instance wherein women
cannot live free of the fear of losing their chastity. Indeed, in
the time of the Prophet very few people, whose number could be
virtually counted by the fingers of one's hands, were punished for
adultery. So was it during the reign of the Caliphs. Although the
sway of the media and the influence of western culture have all
served to create much decadence, the low rate of crime even today in
countries where the Quranic penal laws are implemented highlights
its practicability through all ages.
M M Akbar