In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Bestower of Mercy
Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Assalamu Alaikum.
Servants of Allah! Chastity in Islam is defined as:
“Controlling oneself from forbidden desires due to the love of Allah The Almighty in response to His command, as well as for seeking His reward in return.”
Islam has always been keen to establish chastity in the Muslim community and has thus legislated many laws that reduce the strong impact of these desires and control them; it has also encouraged remaining on the straight path and warned against transgressing the defined boundaries by following these base desires.
My people! Islam has preserved people’s honour and protected lineages from being mixed. Therefore, fornication and adultery are forbidden and classified as major and destructive sins (Al kaba’ir). Islam has even forbidden everything that could lead to these sins, such as immoral exchange of looks between the two sexes, depraved words, seductive moves, a man and a woman being in seclusion in a room, and anything else which could lead to this awful sin. Allah The Almighty Says:
“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a great sin, and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” [Quran, 17: 32]
Brothers and Sisters! Islam does not have laws which contradict one another as is the case with man-made legislation which has set penal laws for adultery and fornication but has facilitated every means that lead to it. Moreover, there are some societies that see no harm in allowing fornication and adultery and have set no penal laws for those who commit them. Other societies differentiate between committing this act in the marital home and outside of it; they only consider committing it in the marital home as a crime and not if it is committed away from it! Islam, on the other hand, comprehensively forbids fornication and adultery and everything that leads to it.
Allah The Almighty commanded His Messenger to take a pledge from women who entered Islam to refrain from fornication and adultery. Allah The Almighty Says:
“O Prophet! When believing women come to you to give you the Bai’ah/Mubaya’a (pledge of allegiance), that they will not associate anything in worship with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit illegal sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children… then accept their pledge.” [Quran, 60: 12]
Allah The Almighty made the punishment for these sins vary from lashing to stoning to death, along with the humiliation which results from informing the community of the perpetrators of this sin. Allah The Almighty says:
“The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This is for unmarried persons, but if married, the punishment is to stone them to death].” [Quran, 24: 2]
The Prophet (Pbuh) set the penalty for adultery and fornication as follows:
“If the parties (committing fornication) are unmarried, they should receive a hundred lashes and be put into exile for a year. If they commit adultery after they are married, they should receive a hundred lashes and then be stoned to death.” [Muslim]
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
“Fornication and adultery combine all evils; weakness in commitment to the religion, lack of piety, corruption of manhood and the decrease of praiseworthy jealousy. You will never find an adulterer or fornicator who is pious, fulfils his promises, is truthful in his speech, maintains friendship or has jealousy (kishi) over his wife; he will be characterised by lies, deception, betrayal, accepting prohibitions and not being mindful of Allah.”
All these characteristics are consequences of fornication and adultery.
My Dear respected Brothers and Sisters! There are also other consequences such as:
• Incurring the wrath of Allah The Almighty;
• Corruption of one’s wife and children;
• Poverty and gloominess of the face, which will be apparent to people;
• Darkness of the heart;
• Becoming insignificant in the eyes of good people and in the sight of Allah The Almighty;
• Loss of the characteristics of chastity and righteousness and becoming known as a sinful, betraying adulterer or fornicator;
• Not being classified as a believer in general;
• Being decried as an evil person.
Servants of Allah! In a Hadith reported by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim, from the narration of Anas ibn Malik (RA), the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“From among the signs of the Hour (end of time) are that religious knowledge will be taken away (by the death of sincere religious scholars), ignorance will prevail, drinking of alcoholic drinks, and there will be prevalence of zina.”
This Hadith above is one of the sayings of the Prophet (Pbuh) through which he divinely predicted some happenings that will happen in the future. The occurrence of the incidents he mentioned confirms and affirms his prophethood. Unarguably, fornication has emerged as a normal lifestyle in the world of today. The more it spreads, the more its dangers widen. The Muslim, who hopes to meet his Lord and attain His forgiveness and mercy, and to be welcomed with open doors to the Paradise, ought to know its dangers and seek protection against them, as long as he lives.
Servants of Allah! Today’s piece presents dangers of zina which the Muslim should know, or be reminded of. Having awareness about these dangers is requisite to seeking protection again them, which is discussed in my past Sermon, ‘Shields for the Muslim Against Fornication and Adultery.’
First, let’s take a quick look at the definition, types and its ruling in Islam, before embarking on to its causes, followed by its possible dangers and implications.
Brothers and Sisters! The term zina is an Arabic word, which refers to fornication and adultery, where a man involves in sexual intercourse with a woman to whom he is not lawfully married. This is regardless of the marital status of the parties involved. On the other hand, in English language, the term ‘fornication’ is used when the one involved is single, whereas the term ‘adultery’ is used when any of the parties involved is a married person. In other words, a couple may involve in zina, and one of them will be considered to have committed fornication, and the other to have committed adultery.
My people! Zina comes in different forms. There’s the zina of the hand, when one touches the opposite gender who is not Halal for him or her. There’s also the zina of the eye, where one extends his vision to that which is not Halal for him or her. Also, there’s the zina of the tongue, where one could ‘sweet-talk’ the opposite gender. We also have the zina of the ears, when we listen to the ‘sweet-talk’ of the opposite gender.
My dear brothers and sisters! All that or some of them could be inevitable, as the Prophet (Pbuh) said. But the zina, which is discussed in this piece is the major zina where sexual organs are involved. The involvement of sexual organs in zina happens when penetration of the penis into the vagina takes place. This is commonly termed as intercourse. Isn’t it?
In a Hadith reported by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim from the narration of Abi Hurairah (RA) the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
“Allah has written for the son of Adam his share of zina which he commits inevitably. The zina of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the zina of the tongue is the talk. The inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it.”
Respected brothers and sisters in Islam! Now, what is the ruling of fornication and adultery in Islam? Unlike its implication, every act of unlawful sexual intercourse is called zina. This is whether the doer is young (but matured) or old, married or single, male or female. But its ruling differs between a married person and a single. “Single” here refers to persona who has never experienced an Islamically recognised marriage. This means, a man or woman who is divorced or widowed from a lawful marriage, and had encountered intercourse in that marriage, and comes to engage in zina is not considered as ‘single.’
In Islam, a bachelor who commits zina is to be given hundred (100) lashes of the cane. And a married person (as well as a divorced or widowed from a legal marriage), who goes out of wedlock to commit it is to be stoned to death. This legislation and its implementation are bound by some very strict conditions that must be fulfilled, before its implementation. (Perhaps, that requires an article of its own.)
Servants of Allah! There’re several situations and reasons that can easily drag anyone into zina. This is regardless of your marital status and the level of your religious commitment. The more you associate yourself with these factors, the easier it is for you to fall into the trap of zina.
Here, I’m not specifically indicating any cause that could lead one to it. I’m rather saying any activity, situation or interaction that provokes your sexual desires can lead to zina. Unless the person involved is your legal spouse, it’s necessary to take preventive measures in such situations. That’s if you can’t avoid such situations altogether.
For instance, delaying marriage where one’s urge for sex is strong could lead him or her to it (Zina). Also, if you are easily attracted to the opposite gender (and who is not?), then you should minimise your interactions with them, unless there’s a need. And when you have to, and must interact with the opposite gender, it should be in the open; in a professional setting. One should try as much as possible to ensure the presence of a third party. Just not only the two of you in a secluded place!
If you live in the Internet (and you know what it means to live in the internet. Don’t you?), then be cautious of your usage of social media. Let your use for Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram be for good. Do not allow them to lead you to pornography which leads to zina or the secret habit. Similarly, movies, dramas and some media materials can be damaging to the modesty of the Muslim, in many ways that could lead him or her to zina.
The Qur’an explicitly indicates that it is immoral and an evil way. It is such danger that the Qur’an doesn’t only command us to refrain from, in fact it warns us from getting near it in any manner. This is what is understood in the verse of Surah al-Isra’, 17:32:
“And do not even approach zina, for it is an outrageous act, and an evil way…’
My people! Know that the dangers and implications of zina include psychological, physiological, social, health-related and spiritual dangers.
Under the psychological aspect, two dangers are suggested. They are the anxiety caused by zina and the permanent sense of guilt caused by zina.
The first psychological danger of zina is anxiety. The Muslim who has an atom weight of Iman in his heart will remain with uncomfortable feelings, if – Allah forbidden – he commits zina. This is no matter how much forgiveness he has sought from Allah. This is because, although Allah is surely forgiving for those who seek His forgiveness, the forgiveness granted does not eradicate the impact of the body contact that has taken place. The scene can’t be wiped out from the memory. Although Allah may have forgiven him, he cannot forget the sin he once or repeatedly committed. Why? Because it involves someone’s dignity. It involves someone’s daughter. It involves someone’s mother. It involves someone’s wife. It involves someone’s sister. She too can’t forget it because it involves someone’s son, father, brother or husband. This sense of constant anxiety grows bigger as the offender develops more consciousness towards Allah. Because the more shyness he develops towards Allah, the more uncomfortable he feels in the presence of Allah.
Also, it likely occurs in a hurried manner. Imagine a thief has to quickly grab whatever circumstance allows him to steal so fast that no one will see him… It also takes place in humiliating settings: in the backseats, backyards, in elevators, under stairs and under trees. The monkeys do it on the trees. The dogs do it in the streets. Places and situations like these never give any ‘zina couple’ enough time to create a digestive intimacy, have a quality time and develop a strong bonding. In fact, there’s no bonding to be developed in the first place when an intercourse is zina.
If a boy or a girl’s first encounter of sexual intercourse was by zina, which likely happened similar to the above description, then the manner in which the zina took place will imprint in him or her for the rest of his or her sex life. And that will affect his or her marriage life. The more it affects his or her marriage life, the more anxiety he lives in. This constant anxiety will subsequently evolve into guilt that hunts the person.
My dear brothers and sisters! Zina takes place with two parties of the opposite genders. It can’t take place with one only person. I’m afraid that may be a secret habit. It can’t also take place between two parties of the same gender. That’s even more dangerous than zina itself.
When it happens between two parties of the same gender, one party should be the instigator, who initiated it and convinced the other into it. And the convinced party shares the responsibility, as it would have never taken place had he or she refused to participate in it. Either way, both parties know, deep down in their hearts, that they are committing a sinful act. It’s only a matter of the level of sense of shame they possess at that point in time.
Furthermore, it will also hunt you, if anyone is affected by your action. And certainly someone will be affected. How could a thief break into someone’s mansion, steal his jewelries, take his possessions, and expect no one to be affected? The same thing applies when zina takes place. When you break someone’s virginity, isn’t he or she affected? When you drag someone’s son or daughter into zina, wouldn’t he be affected, even if he didn’t know about it? When you cause someone to betray her husband or his wife, isn’t that aggression to his or her right? Doesn’t that cause damage to the dignity and bond of a family? More important than all the abov it breaks the boundaries of Allah Himself. And we all knows the boundaries of Allah are only broken by aggressors.
People who possess an atom weight of Iman do not want their daughters and sisters to be involved in zina, let alone their wives and mothers. Once you do it, while you don’t want it to happen to your loved one, that guilt will hunt you, because you don’t know when any of your loved ones will fall prey to someone so stupid like you.
Both the constant anxiety and the permanent sense of guilt are greater when a married woman gives the lineage of her child to the father who he or she (the child) does not belong to. Meaning that a woman is impregnated by her secret lover, and she gives the child to her husband. You can imagine how dirty that can be. Can’t you?
Servants of Allah! Under the physiological aspect, four dangers of zina are suggested and they include the weakness caused by zina, the loss of Barakah as a result of zina, the loss of interest in Halal intercourse due to it and possible addiction to it.
By default, sexual activities weaken the son and daughter of Adam alike. Add to that, the fact that zina is not different from stealing. A thief, who manages to break into a shop of jewelries knows he’s got a golden ‘chance’. A ‘chance’ he must take advantage of, to the utmost. Therefore, he should carry as many jewelries as he can.
Similarly, the committer of zina also knows he or she may not be able to meet the other party for the act again. At least, not anytime soon. Thus, he would programme his mind to go as many ‘rounds’ as possible. If lawful sexual intercourse weakens the couple involved, where they’re presumably moderate in the number of ‘rounds’ they go, what more of thieves of dignity and chastity, who have to go as many ‘rounds’ as long as they’re conscious?
This weakness affects both man and woman. It affects their productivity. It affects their social interactions. And most importantly, it affects their acts of worship to Allah. Once one is weakened towards ‘Ibadah, then expect him to be unproductive where he’s expected to be one.
In addition to the fact that one’s time is deprived from lots of Barakah (blessings) as a result of zina, which renders him helpless and weak person, zina engages the doer in Islamically unlawful spending. Anything you spend to facilitate the process of the zina is Haram. Committing the act is an offence on its own. Spending money for it is also another offence on its own. One of the four things the son of Adam will be answerable about is the source and exits of his earnings.
If this is the state of the one who spends on zina, what more of the one who earns from zina, or runs a hotel or a company, physical or online to facilitate zina? What about the one who knowingly provides professional services to zina outlets? Not only his entire income is Haram, he also accumulates shares of sins, anytime anyone makes use of his facility or service to commit zina.
In addition to that, he’s feeding his family with Haram earning, that will affect their spiral and moral wellbeing in the long term.
Brothers and sisters! It’s evident that individuals who engage in zina face the struggles of lack of interest in their lawful spouses. This could be as a result of the energy they lose while in the Haram act. It could also be, that the beautified acts that attracted them to zina, is not being produced or acted by their legal spouses. The implication of this is that more domestic problems emerge that lead to the breaking of more families. In a Hadith reported by Imam Muslim from the narration of Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA), the Prophet (Pbuh) says:
“The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart.”
This means a woman is by default attractive to man. So if a man is attracted to a woman who is not lawful for him, he should go and seek his satisfaction from his lawful wife. Those who choose to seek that pleasure from the ladies they see in the streets, wallahi are unable to generate desire when they meet their lawful wives.
My dear friends! They say, “forbidden fruit is sweet.” Zina is not an exception. If one is tested with zina, he or she can be addicted to it, at the time he or she may fail to satisfy his or her lawful spouse. This doesn’t mean that zina grants satisfaction, whereby lawful intercourse can’t. No. It rather means that, similar to the addiction of watching porn and practising the secret habit, you may be addicted to it, deluded that it brings you satisfaction, and the more you do it, the more of it you want. The more of it you want, the less satisfaction you achieve. And the addiction persists!
What zina committers fail to understand is that, unlike intercourse in matrimony, zina lacks the human touch, the intimacy developed, the reassurance of the need of each other that couples give during intimacy and the bonding they eventually strengthen. All that are achieved in any accomplishing intercourse that takes place in a matrimony. But it’s absent in zina. Therefore, yes, it’s addictive, but never fulfilling nor satisfying.
Servants of Allah! As for the social danger of zina, five dangers are suggested. They include bad example, family shame, abortion, street children and hike in divorce rates.
One may not know the extent to which he influences those around him. But the truth is, everyone influences his surrounding in a way or the other. It doesn’t matter whether or not he’s aware of that. Children and the young ones among us make their role models out of the adults around them. Some of these adults may have chosen to exemplify good in their life. Others among them may have chosen to exemplify evil. Depending on who the child is more closed to, he’s impacted and influenced. This brings about the importance of ensuring that our kids and we have righteous companions. So, if we have no good to pass to them, they’ll have no evil to share with us.
How could one advise and warn a child against the dangers and implications of zina, when he is, and he knows the child knows, that he’s addicted to zina? Wallahi, leading by example is more influencing and is more effective when done than preaching.
Servants of Allah! Whenever we’re engaged in any degrading act, five types of people are likely to be dishonoured. These degrading acts can be anything undesired, anything illegal, or anything sinful. It ranges from corruption, theft, betrayal, zina and all sorts of immoral offences you can think of. These five people are our parents, spouses, children, our teachers and our other loved ones, i.e., friends, relatives, associates and acquaintances.
In most situations, we regard some of these or all of them as the most important people in our lives. And this explains why they serve as pillars of strength in our lives. And their presence influences many decisions we make in life.
Instead of opting for it, if the offender was to go for a lawful marriage, these are the same people who would take the pride and witness and bless the union of the couple. These are those who could protect him or her if his or her marriage was to face any challenges. These are the people, who will have great impact on his children, as they will be surrounded by them.
These people whom most of us consider their pillars of strength, find it as an unacceptable choice, unless they’re also nurtured in the culture of zina. Thus, they bear the shame when others get to know that their loved one is engaged in it or other immoral activities. In fact, they will do all they can to extend their advice within their means and capacity. In most cases, these are those who cared for us and possibly safeguarded our success. We’re expected to make them proud. If we fail to make them proud, then they don’t deserve to be ashamed by our actions.
Also sexual intercourse is the gateway to human reproduction. The process of conception and reproduction takes places whether the intercourse is lawful (Halal) or unlawful (Haram).
It’s unusual for a couple to engage in a lawful intercourse and decide to abort the baby that result from the process. But it’s not unusual for couples who engage in unlawful intercourse to decide to abort the baby. And we all know that, aborting a baby who is already been given a soul is killing. And killing of innocent souls is prohibited in Islam. You see? Abortion that comes after zina entitles the couple involved to two religious offences. The act of zina is one. And act of killing an innocent soul through abortion is the other.
And the effects of zina on any society, the non-conservative and more so the conservative, are countless. As indicated above, sexual intercourse leads to conception, regardless of whether the intercourse is lawful or unlawful. Once conception takes place, a human breeding is expected.
Some women who get impregnated through zina choose to maintain the baby until birth. They then dump the child in the street. In many cases, those who impregnate them are either unknown, known but they refuse to take responsibility, or known but they run away or are uncontactable.
Some still keep the child, but fail to provide him or her with good and sound education, and it’s the society that has to bear the cost of the educating of the child. Some of these (if not many) end up in the street. Unfortunately, some of these street children are exposed to crime, rape and pose social risk.
In fact, some continue the same circle, through which they were reproduced. And more street children are reproduced. Why? Because it all started with some stupid and irresponsible parties.
My people! Although sex plays a vital role in the establishment of any marriage, family is started based on love, and the common objectives between the couple involved. And although sex occupies a very insignificant percentage in marriage life, the love, the strong bonding, and the sympathy that couples develop for each other are generated through the few times of accomplishing intercourse.
As indicated above, the one who seeks sex through zina, loses his interest for sex when he or she meets his or her lawful spouse. In the absence of this interest, the emotional support which couples need from each other diminishes, and the couples end up sharing roof, but interact as strangers.
It’s worth indicating that concrete evidence shows that couples who wait until marriage report more satisfying sex lives than those who do not wait. And since sex is so important to the bonding of the couple, couples who marry as virgins have a much lower divorce rate than those who commit zina before marriage.
Brothers and Sisters! When it comes to health, zina poses different dangers to its committers. We believe that Allah afflicts whoever engages in immorality with infections. These infections however are not standard. Thus, it depends on how Allah wants to afflict the person involved.
Also, we know of various sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, etc. But we can’t comfortably say with certainty that only zina or unprotected sex results to HIV/AIDS, or gonorrhea or any STD. This is because one could be infected with some STDs even though he or she has never encountered zina. And someone who encounter zina, may not be afflicted with any STD, but he or she’s instead afflicted with psychological, physiological or emotional implications of zina that could be more dangerous and more damaging than any of the STDs one can think of.
What’s there more dangerous than been kicked out of Allah’s Rahmah and Mercy, or being deprived from any blessings (Barakah) from Allah as a result in involvement in it?
Fellow Muslims! The most dangerous implication of zina is that it’s a sinful act. Committing it invites Allah’s wrath. A community or society that normalises zina (adultery and fornication) is affected with numerous (if not endless) hardships, unless they refuse to acknowledge it as such. This is regardless of whether or otherwise, the community or society is a Muslim.
No doubt, one may be afflicted with any of the above-mentioned dangers, even if he didn’t commit zina. But as long as one is indulged in it, unless he repents, Allah’s promise of punishment for fornicators and adulterers will hunt him. And until he repents, he remains in the company of the devil.
In addition to the fact that committing zina is an outrageous act and an evil way, as implied by verse number 32 in Surah al-Isra’, engaging in zina takes one out of Allah’s company. There’s no way one will remain in the state of Iman while in the process of performing zina.
The Prophet (Pbuh) says in a Hadith reported by Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim:
“When the fornicator is committing fornication, he is not a Believer.”
Thus, among the characteristics of the chosen servants of Allah (Ibad al-Rahman) is that they don’t commit zina. Also, among the qualities of the believers is that, they safeguard their chastity. Failure to observe that lands one in the company of the evil.
Respected servants of Allah! Allah has created us and outlined some boundaries of His, which we should observe. The implication of crossing these boundaries affect us and our loved ones with us not knowing. A man who is known for zina activities has done injustice to his children, as no any reasonable person would like to build a kinship with him.
Allah the Almighty says:
“…And he who transgresses the bounds set by Allah commits a wrong against himself.” (Surah al-Talaq, 65:1)
Kinship is one of the noblest thing to Allah. He reserves high regard for it. With the transgression of zina, we don’t only do great injustice to ourselves as well as our loved ones. We also commit a greater transgression to the boundaries of Allah, and something that is highly regarded by Allah.
Therefore, the spread of zina and the easy access to it impose the need on us, Muslims, to develop more awareness of its dangers and implications. Your level of education (as in cleverness and intelligence), or your position in society doesn’t immune you against the dangers of zina. Neither does your high level of religiosity immune you from its dangers. Worst still, you can’t stop it from spreading. But we can create some layers of protection against it, Inshaa Allah.
When it take place, both parties involved (the male and the female) have done a great injustice to themselves. However, the female is victimised more than the man. In other words, it’s common to see male fornicators looking for virgin females to marry, after they’ve abandoned the females they’ve dragged into it. But it’s uncommon to see female fornicators looking for virgin males for marriage. Where can they find them?
Insult made may be forgiven, but the words can’t be eradicated. Damage done may be pardoned, but can’t be undone. Zina committed may be forgiven by Allah if He wish, but the pride lost to the virginity broken can never be reclaimed. The humility attained to loss of dignity can never be returned. Allah may forgive us, for breaking his boundary. But our victims, our spouses, children and loved ones who are affected as a result of our bad actions may not forgive us. And that could undo the forgiveness granted for breaking Allah’s boundary.
O Allah! Forgive our sins, Purify our hearts and safeguard our chastity.
Oh Allah! Make every single aspect of our life be for You and in service of all your creation, irrespective of their race, tribe, region or religion. Please remove all false intentions that we have.
Oh Allah! save humanity from being its own enemy. Protect your creation from oppression. Save our country and the people of Nigeria from internal and external oppressors and give them justice. Protect us all from violence, fear and danger, You are our Protector.
Oh Allah! increase us in beneficial knowledge, let this knowledge be with sincerity, not for seeking fame, glory, status or material wealth. Let this knowledge serve your cause in a way that you accept, and let it benefit humanity.
Oh Allah! please guide our children and all children. They are surrounded by so much temptation and forbidden things. Protect them our Lord from all of the evil influences that are around them. Give them friends who will strengthen their faith and help them stay on the Straight Path. Ameen Thummah ameen.
Wassalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa bara ka tuhu.
Written as a Nasihah (an Advice) by your brother:
Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, from Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.