Evilness of adultery

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Islam considers adultery a grave sin and a heinous crime. Ibn Abi ad-Dunya (RA) has quoted that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“There is no other sin after Shirk (to associate partner with Allah) as grave as adultery, in which a person releases his sperm in a womb that is unlawful for him”. (Jamai’ Sageer, Ibn Kathir)

During his last Hajj (Hujjatul Vida), Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) advised to refrain from four acts:

Not to associate a partner with Allah.

Not to kill a forbidden person.

Not to commit adultery.

Not to commit theft.

It is quoted in Musnad Ahmad that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked the Sahaaba (RA) about their views regarding adultery? They replied that it is unlawful and will remain so until the day of Judgment. (Ibn Kathir)

It is quoted in Musnad Ahmad:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ هَارُونَ حَدَّثَنَا حَرِيزٌ حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمُ بْنُ عَامِرٍ عَنْ أَبِى أُمَامَةَ قَالَ إِنَّ فَتًى شَابًّا أَتَى النَّبِىَّ
-صلى الله عليه وسلم- فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ائْذَنْ لِى بِالزِّنَا. فَأَقْبَلَ الْقَوْمُ عَلَيْهِ فَزَجَرُوهُ وَقَالُوا مَهْ مَهْ. فَقَالَ ادْنُهْ فَدَنَا مِنْهُ قَرِيباً. قَالَ فَجَلَسَ. قَالَ أَتُحِبُّهُ لأُمِّكَ قَالَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ جَعَلَنِى اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ . قَالَ وَلاَ النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لأُمَّهَاتِهِمْ قَالَ أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لاِبْنَتِكَ قَالَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ جَعَلَنِى اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ. قَالَ وَلاَ النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِبَنَاتِهِمْ قَالَ أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لأُخْتِكَ قَالَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ جَعَلَنِى اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ. قَالَ وَلاَ النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لأَخَوَاتِهِمْ قَالَ أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِعَمَّتِكَ قَالَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ جَعَلَنِى اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ. قَالَ وَلاَ النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِعَمَّاتِهِمْ قَالَ أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِخَالَتِكَ قَالَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ جَعَلَنِى اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ. قَالَ وَلاَ النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِخَالاَتِهِمْ قَالَ فَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَقَالَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ ذَنْبَهُ وَطَهِّرْ قَلْبَهُ وَحَصِّنْ فَرْجَهُ قَالَ فَلَمْ يَكُنْ بَعْدُ ذَلِكَ الْفَتَى يَلْتَفِتُ إِلَى شَىْءٍ.

“A young man asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for permission to commit adultery. The Sahaaba (RA) drew near and scolded him? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) called him towards himself and said, “sit down”. When he sat, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked him, “would you like this act for your mother?”. He said, “no, never, O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), may Allah sacrifice me on you”. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said to him, “then think, how will someone else like it (for his mother)?”. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) again asked him , “do you like it for your daughter?”. He rejected it also with the same emphasis. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “similarly nobody likes it for their daughters”. So, “do you like it for your sister?”. He again rejected it the same way. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “similarly, nobody likes it for their sisters”. Now, would you like if someone does this with you paternal aunt?”. He again rejected it firmly. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “similarly no one likes it for his aunt”. “Would you like it for your maternal aunt?”. He again rejected it firmly. Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) put his blessed hand on his head and invoked, “O Allah! Forgive his sin, and purify his heart, and make him chaste”. After this, the condition of this young man became such that he never looked up at anything”. (Musnad Ahmad)

What greater will be the misfortune than the fact that while committing adultery, a person looses his Imaan. If such a person dies during this act, what will be his fate? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says in the most authentic book after the Qur’an (i.e., Bukhari Shareef):

عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ أن رَسُولُ اللَّهِ
- صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لاَ يَزْنِى الْعَبْدُ حِينَ يَزْنِى وَهْوَ مُؤْمِنٌ

“It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Huraira (RA) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “the adulterer does not remain in the state of Imaan while committing adultery”. (Bukhari)

Allaama Ayni (RA) quotes its commentary from Imaam Bukhari (RA) himself, he writes:

قال البخاري ينزع منه نور الإيمان

“He is deprived of the glow of Imaan”

(Umdatul Qaari)

Hadhrat Ibn Hajr Asqalaani (RA) while narrating from Hadhrat Mujaahid (RA), who in turn narrates from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (RA), writes:

سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من زنى نزع الله نور الإيمان من قلبه فإن شاء أن يرده إليه رده

“I heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying that one who commits adultery, Allah Ta’ala plucks out Imaan from his heart and then if He wishes to return it back to him, He does so”. (Fathul Baari)

Its commentary, as quoted in the narration of Abu Dawood, is that the Imaan of such people comes out of their hearts while committing this type of crime, and when they finish this act, it returns back to them. (Ma’ariful Qur’an)

During the night of accession (Me’raj), where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was shown different kinds of scenes, he also passed by a band of people who were subjected to different kinds of punishment. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) passed by a nation before whom cooked meat was placed in one pot and uncooked and rotten meat in another. These people instead of eating the cooked meat were eating the uncooked and rotten meat. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) asked, “who are these people?” Hadhrat Jibra’eel (AS) replied, “these are the men from your Ummah who have Halaal and pure women but they spend their night with immoral adulteresses until dawn, or these are the women from your Ummah who have left their Halaal and pure husbands and spend their night with immoral adulterers”.

Adultery—a sign of Qiyaamah

Adultery is such an evil thing that it has been considered as one of the signs of Qiyaamah. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

مِنْ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ أَنْ يَظْهَرَ الْجَهْلُ ، وَيَقِلَّ الْعِلْمُ ، وَيَظْهَرَ الزِّنَا ، وَتُشْرَبَ الْخَمْرُ ، وَيَقِلَّ الرِّجَالُ، وَيَكْثُرَ النِّسَاءُ ، حَتَّى يَكُونَ لِخَمْسِينَ امْرَأَةً قَيِّمُهُنَّ رَجُلٌ وَاحِدٌ أطرافه

"From among the signs of the Hour are the following: general ignorance (in religious matters) will increase; religious knowledge will be taken away; illegal sexual intercourse will prevail: drinking of alcoholic drinks will prevail. Men will decrease in number, and women will increase in number, so much so that fifty women will be looked after by a single man." (Bukhari)

Therefore, it is clear from different narrations that close to the day of Qiyaamah, immodesty and obscenity will be on rise. So, when there is an apprehension of certain disease to spread, one should try his utmost to save himself from such a disease. It becomes necessary to strive for safety in such a situation and for the purpose of caution, all such routes and affairs which may serve as a cause of involvement into this abominable act are required to be banned.

Kinds of adultery

It is quoted in Musnad Ahmad:

عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ
-صلى الله عليه وسلم- قَالَ كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ حَظُّهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا فَزِنَا الْعَيْنَيْنِ النَّظَرُ وَزِنَا الْيَدَيْنِ الْبَطْشُ وَزِنَا الرِّجْلَيْنِ الْمَشْىُ وَزِنَا الْفَمِ الْقُبَلُ وَالْقَلْبُ يَهْوَى وَيَتَمَنَّى وَيُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ أَوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ الْفَرْجُ

It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Huraira (RA) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “The adultery of eyes is to see; the adultery of hands is to touch; the adultery of feet is to walk; the adultery of lips is to kiss; the heart desires it (and this is its adultery) and the sex organ confirms it (i.e., if it commits it) or falsifies it (i.e., if it doesn't commit it)”. (Musnand Ahmad)

There is another narration with the same subject but a little brief. It says:

عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ عَنِ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ الْعَيْنَانِ تَزْنِيَانِ وَالْيَدَانِ تَزْنِيَانِ وَالرِّجْلاَنِ تَزْنِيَانِ وَالْفَرْجُ يَزْنِى

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Masood (RA) narrated the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as saying: “The eyes also commit adultery, the hands also commit adultery, the feet also commit adultery and the sex organ also commits adultery”. (Musnad Ahmad)

Therefore, it is necessary for a person to save himself from the causes, motives and elements of adultery viz., kissing, embracing, fun, chatting etc., rather one should extremely avoid the basic cause of all these i.e., ‘to look’. One should always try not to look at any Gair-Mahram, and if he is extremely attentive in this, it is possible for him to remain safe, otherwise, the sight is the first ladder that leads to adultery. What harm is there in looking, thinks a person at the first instance; not knowing that this is such kind of fire which does not extinguish until it totally burns down everything. That is why it has been strictly prohibited in Ahaadith.

عَنِ الْحَسَنِ قَالَ بَلَغَنِى أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ
-صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لَعَنَ اللَّهُ النَّاظِرَ وَالْمَنْظُورَ إِلَيْهِ

“Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah has cursed the one who looks at (a stranger) and the one who is being looked at (because of his willingness to get noticed)” (Baihaqi)

While commenting on this Hadith, Hadhrat Mawlana Manzoor Nomani (RA) says:

One who looks at a stranger or at his/her Satr (the parts of body which are unlawful to reveal/look at), then the curse of Allah will befall on him i.e., he is deprived of Allah’s mercy. Similarly, the woman who deliberately gives an opportunity so that others may look at her, will also be deprived of Allah’s mercy”. (Ma’ariful Hadith)