Zina Meaning In Islam | Everything About Zina

Zina is a term often heard but not always clearly understood by many Muslims. It is considered a major sin in Islam and is strictly forbidden.

To understand the meaning of Zina according to Islam, remember it refers to all forms of sexual intercourse (penetrative or non-penetrative), extramarital affairs, and premarital sex outside of a valid marriage. According to the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it violates the sacred bond between a husband and wife.

Islam places a strong emphasis on chastity and purity and views zina as a grave offense that can have severe consequences both in this life and the hereafter. Let’s discuss the different types of Zina, their punishments, and whether marriage is permissible after committing zina.

Types of Zina According to Islamic Shariah

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Zina is divided into two categories: Haqiqi and Majazi. Haqiqi refers to the physical act of fornication, while Majazi encompasses actions that are metaphorical or symbolic.

Zina Meaning In Islam

1. Majazi

Engaging in physical relations with someone besides your spouse is considered a form of Majazi (Zina Bil Jasad), according to Islamic Shariah. This includes any sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, such as premarital or extramarital affairs.

Allah SWT cautions us about this type of Zina in Surah: Al-Isra’ 17, Ayat: 32,

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ فَـٰحِشَةًۭ وَسَآءَ سَبِيلًۭا ٣٢

“Do not go near adultery. It is truly a shameful deed and an evil way.”

2. Haqiqi

Discussing Haqiqi Zina according to Islamic Shariah can explore three specific points.

a. Zina of the Eyes

Zina of the eyes (Qazf al-Ayn) refers to looking lustfully at a non-mahram woman. This act is considered a sin in Islam as it promotes immoral thoughts and actions. Muslims should guard their eyes and lower their gaze to avoid committing this form of Zina.

b. Zina of the Mouth or Tongue

Zina of the mouth refers to speaking lustfully or engaging in inappropriate conversations that incite desire. This type of Zina is considered a serious sin in Islam since it violates modesty, purity, and guarding one’s tongue. Be mindful of their speech and refrain from indulging in such behavior.

c. Hand Zina

Engaging in sexual touching of someone other than your spouse is considered Hand Zina, according to Islamic Shariah.

Hand Zina is a type of Zina (adultery) that involves the physical act of touching another person’s body sexually. This act is strictly prohibited in Islam, as it goes against the principles of modesty, purity, and faithfulness within marriage.

You must be aware of the consequences and severity of engaging in Hand Zina, as it’s a grave sin in the eyes of Islam. Allah SWT provides warnings about these types of Zina in Surah: An-Nur 24, Ayat:30-31,

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا۟ مِنْ أَبْصَـٰرِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا۟ فُرُوجَهُمْ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ أَزْكَىٰ لَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ ٣٠ وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَـٰرِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا ۖ وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَىٰ جُيُوبِهِنَّ ۖ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ ءَابَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَآءِ بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ إِخْوَٰنِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِىٓ أَخَوَٰتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَآئِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـٰنُهُنَّ أَوِ ٱلتَّـٰبِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُو۟لِى ٱلْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ ٱلرِّجَالِ أَوِ ٱلطِّفْلِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَىٰ عَوْرَٰتِ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۖ وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ ۚ وَتُوبُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ٣١

“˹O Prophet!˺ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments1 except what normally appears. Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their ˹hidden˺ adornments except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O  believers, so that you may be successful.”

Punishment for Zina in Islam According to the Quran and Hadith

When considering punishment for Zina in Islam, there are two main punishment categories:

Punishment for Zina in Islam According to the Quran and Hadith

1. Punishment for Premarital Zina

If you engage in premarital zina, according to the Quran and Hadith, you’ll be subject to the punishment outlined by Islamic law. The punishment for premarital zina, like other forms of zina, is 100 lashes for both men and women who are unmarried.

Allah SWT says,

ٱلزَّانِيَةُ وَٱلزَّانِى فَٱجْلِدُوا۟ كُلَّ وَٰحِدٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا مِا۟ئَةَ جَلْدَةٍۢ ۖ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌۭ فِى دِينِ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ ۖ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٢

“As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes,1 and do not let pity for them make you lenient in ˹enforcing˺ the law of Allah, if you ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment.” [Surah An-Nur 24, Ayat: 2]

This punishment serves as a deterrent and aims to protect the moral fabric of society.

2. Punishment for Extramarital Zina

If you commit extramarital zina, the punishment prescribed by Islamic law for such an act is death by stoning the married individuals involved. This punishment is derived from the Hadith, the primary source of Islamic law.

Narrated ‘Ubadah bin As-Samit in Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1434,

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا هُشَيْمٌ، عَنْ مَنْصُورِ بْنِ زَاذَانَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ حِطَّانَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ عُبَادَةَ بْنِ الصَّامِتِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ خُذُوا عَنِّي فَقَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً الثَّيِّبُ بِالثَّيِّبِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ ثُمَّ الرَّجْمُ وَالْبِكْرُ بِالْبِكْرِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ وَنَفْىُ سَنَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَأُبَىُّ بْنُ كَعْبٍ وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ وَغَيْرُهُمْ قَالُوا الثَّيِّبُ تُجْلَدُ وَتُرْجَمُ ‏.‏ وَإِلَى هَذَا ذَهَبَ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ وَهُوَ قَوْلُ إِسْحَاقَ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْهُمْ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرُ وَغَيْرُهُمَا الثَّيِّبُ إِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ الرَّجْمُ وَلاَ يُجْلَدُ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِثْلُ هَذَا فِي غَيْرِ حَدِيثٍ فِي قِصَّةِ مَاعِزٍ وَغَيْرِهِ أَنَّهُ أَمَرَ بِالرَّجْمِ وَلَمْ يَأْمُرْ أَنْ يُجْلَدَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُرْجَمَ ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ بَعْضِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ وَهُوَ قَوْلُ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ وَابْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ وَالشَّافِعِيِّ وَأَحْمَدَ ‏.‏

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Take from me. For Allah has a way made for them: For the married person (man or woman) who commits adultery with a married person is one hundred lashes, then stoning. And for the virgin who commits adultery with a virgin is one hundred lashes and banishment for a year.”

This Hadith provides further clarification on the punishment for married individuals engaged in extramarital relations. It states that stoning to death is the appropriate penalty for this particular offense.

Can I marry someone who committed Zina?

You can’t marry someone who committed Zina, according to the Quran and Islamic Shariah, unless she repents. Committing Zina is considered a major sin in Islam, and it’s necessary to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah before considering marriage.

According to Surah An-Nur, Ayat: 3, Allah says,

ٱلزَّانِى لَا يَنكِحُ إِلَّا زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةًۭ وَٱلزَّانِيَةُ لَا يَنكِحُهَآ إِلَّا زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌۭ ۚ وَحُرِّمَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٣

“A male fornicator would only marry a female fornicator or idolatress. And a female fornicator would only be married to a fornicator or idolater. This is ˹all˺ forbidden to the believers.”

Be sure to remember that Islam emphasizes the importance of seeking forgiveness and making amends for one’s past actions before moving forward in life.

Uphold Purity and Chastity With Islam by Staying Away From Zina

Zina is a grave sin in Islam that goes against the principles of purity and chastity. As Muslims, we are called to maintain our moral and ethical standards by avoiding acts of Zina.

Not only does it harm us spiritually, but it also jeopardizes our family and societal structures, leading to devastating consequences. Understanding the significance of Zina and its forbidden nature is essential for leading a righteous and fulfilling life. 

Muslims must adhere to the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad to lead a life of purity and chastity.

Talha Ubaidullah
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