Adultery, Fornication, & Pornography


Part 1 Description:  Today, a large portion of people cohabit with their girlfriends, have casual sex, or watch porn.  These lessons will te...

Part 1

Description: Today, a large portion of people cohabit with their girlfriends, have casual sex, or watch porn.  These lessons will teach a new Muslim what Islam teaches about a topic that directly effects the hearts.
·       To understand how prevalent fornication and pornography are in modern society.
·       To learn the clear ruling of Islam on zina, how it effects faith, and what punishment it can bring.
·       To learn about the zina of the eyes, tongue, and mind.
·       To learn what to do if one has committed zina.
Arabic Terms:
·       Zina -  Adultery or fornication involving vaginal and anal intercourse, but also refers to other types of inappropriate sexual behavior.
·       Haram - Forbidden or prohibited.
·       Imaan - faith, belief or conviction. 
·       Kabeerah - Major sin.
·       Shirk - a word that implies ascribing partners to Allah, or ascribing divine attributes to other than Allah, or believing that the source of power, harm and blessings comes from another besides Allah.
·       Barzakh - intermediate stage between this life and resurrection.
AdulteryFornication1.jpgAdultery or fornication, known as zina in Arabic, is considered a sin in all religions.  The seventh commandment of the Bible says “Thou shall not commit adultery.” The Bible decrees the death sentence for both the adulterer and the adulteress (Lev.  20:10).  Adultery is a criminal offense in 23 states of the US[1], with punishments ranging from a $10 fine in Maryland to life imprisonment in Michigan.
Nevertheless, this sin has been committed throughout history and opportunities for adultery abound in today’s culture.  While tabloid stories report affairs of politicians, millionaires, and movie stars, many movies promote adultery.
How prevalent is adultery? The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior estimates that “More than one-third of men and one-quarter of women admit having had at least one extramarital sexual experience.”[2]

Fornication is a Sin in Islam

In Islam, Allah has laid rules for sex.  Zina is forbidden and one of the most serious major sins (kabeerah) after shirk and murder.  Zina destroys imaan, takes away the quality of faith from a person, and exposes him to punishment and humiliation unless he repents.  Allah says:
“And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated -  Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful..” (Quran 25:68-70)
“And do not come close to zina.  Verily, it is a great sin, and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allah forgives him).” (Quran 17:32)
Scholars point out that in this verse Allah does not say, “don’t commit zina,” but “do not (even) come close to zina.”
Scholars explain: don’t do any deed that may get you close to zina or lead to it.  An example would be if a person remains alone with someone from the opposite sex in uninterrupted privacy, touching, looking, going to promiscuous places such as bars and nightclubs, speaking in a seductive manner to a woman, and thinking about and planning immoral acts.  This includes cyber sinning and virtual adultery.  This would also indicate that one must stay away from pornography on the web, movies, magazines, and phone sex.
How harmful is zina to one’s faith? The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said: “No adulterer is a (true) believer at the time when he is committing adultery; no thief is a (true) believer at the time when he is stealing; no drinker of wine is a (true) believer at the time when he is drinking it.”[3]

Zina of the Eyes, Tongue, and Mind

Islam does not give the name of zina only to vaginal intercourse outside of marriage, which is just one of its many types.  Pornography is perhaps the most prevalent form of zinatoday. 
Of people who use the Internet, 43% visit pornographic websites.  Some 40 million Americans are regular visitors to pornographic sites, with pornographic downloads at 35% of all Internet downloads.  Of the 40 million regular visitors, 33% are woman, while 70% of men aged 18-24 visit pornographic sites monthly.  It’s not just adults.  “Sex” and “porn” are among the top 5 most frequently searched terms for children under 18.[4]  The revenue produced by the pornographic industry is bigger than all the major technology companies combined.  It is the number one topic for Internet searches.  On average, a child of age 11 is exposed to it.[5]
The Prophet said, “Allah has decreed for the son of Adam his share of zina which will inevitably catch up with him.  The zina of the eye is looking and the zina of the tongue is speaking.  The heart wishes and longs and the private part confirms that or denies it.”[6]
Watching pornography is zina of the eyes.  Sex talk is zina of the tongue.  Fantasizing about sex with a stranger is zina of the mind.

Punishment of Zina in the Hereafter

The punishment of those who die without repenting from zina begins in their grave.  In a long hadith, Allah’s Messenger related a dream in which he saw Jibreel and Maalik accompanying him in the form of men, showing him how a number of sinners were being punished in the Barzakh
The Prophet said: “…We proceeded until we came across a hole in the ground that resembled a baking pit, narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.  Babbling and voices were coming from it.  We saw in it naked men and women.  Underneath the pit was a raging fire; whenever it flared up, the men and women screamed and rose with it until they almost fell out of the pit.  As it subsided, they returned to the bottom.  I said: ‘Who are these?’ They said: ‘… they are men and women who indulge inzina…’”[7]
In a similar narration Allahs Prophet said: “We moved on until I saw people who were awfully swollen, and had the most awful smell, their stench was like that of the sewers.  I asked: ‘Who are these?’ They replied: ‘Those are the male and female adulterers.’”[8]

What To Do If One Has Committed Zina?

1.    Recognize that Allah forgives all sins.  Therefore, the person should sincerely repent to Allah.  The Prophet said, “Whoever repents, before the sun rises from it’s setting (the west), Allah will forgive him.”
2.    The person should conceal his sin and not casually announce it to others.  One must consult with a knowledgeable scholar what to do in case of marriage as STD’s might be involved.[9]

[1] (
[2] Samuel Janus and Cynthia Janus, The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1993), 169.
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] (
[5] (
[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[7] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[8] Ibn Khuzaymah & Ibn Hibban
[9] Saheeh Muslim

Part 2

·       Learn about the effects of zina on health, relationships, and children.
·       Learn about the four measures laid down in Islam for protection from zina.
Arabic Terms:
·       Zina - Adultery or fornication involving vaginal and anal intercourse, but also refers to other types of inappropriate sexual behavior.
·       Imaan – faith, belief or conviction.
·       Tawheed – The Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah with respect to His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and in His right to be worshipped.
·       Salah – the Arabic word to denote a direct connection between the believer and Allah.  More specifically, in Islam it refers to the formal five daily prayers and is the most important form of worship.
·       Dhikr - (plural: adhkar) remembrance of Allah.

What are Some of the Consequences of Zina?

AdulteryFornication2.jpgPre-marital sex is documented to have long-lasting negative consequences including having children outside of marriage, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), emotional problems, promiscuity, and future break-up of marriages.
Today in the US, 35% of all births are outside of marriage.  Mothers and fathers who have children from zina are less likely to marry and more likely to suffer from depression and to live in poverty than are those who do not have children outside of marriage.  Children born to teen mothers are more likely than other children to have lower grades, to drop out of high school, to be abused or neglected, to have a child as an unmarried teenager, and to be delinquent. 
Those who engage in zina have a high risk of contracting an STD.  Each year there are 15 million new cases in the US, and more than 65 million people in the US currently have an incurable STD.  Each year 3 million teens are infected with an STD. 
Our Prophet gave an amazing prophecy relating the spread of STD’s with the prevalence of zina.  He said:
“If zina will prevail till people will advertise it in public, Allah will inflict on them diseases which did not exist before.”
A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in zina often leads to depression.  Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in zina are two to three times more likely to be depressed and they are more likely to commit suicide.
The media greatly influences teenagers falling into zina.  A study in Pediatrics found that teens who watched high amounts of TV with zina were twice as likely to commit zina during the following year as compared to those who watched minimal amounts.  According to the study, discussions of zina on TV had the same effect on teens as depictions of zina.
Religion plays an important role in helping teens not fall into zina.  In a 2004 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, teens stated that the main reason they had not donezina yet was that it was “against their religion or morals.”
A 2003 study found that teens, particularly girls, who pray, believe religion is important, attend religious organizations regularly, and participate in youth groups are less likely to dozina than less religious teens. 

Measures Laid Down by Islam for Protection from Zina

We should understand the four means laid down by Islam to prevent and reduce zina - 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 (adhkar) 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 zina.  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. 

 Ibn Majah
 Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim



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Jama Masjid: Adultery, Fornication, & Pornography
Adultery, Fornication, & Pornography
Jama Masjid
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