Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Do I need to confine myself to my home in order to be forgiven for committing zina?

"]mercy forgiveness repentance tawbah

"O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance, And exalt Him morning and afternoon." [The Quran, Surah Al-Ahzaab (33): 41-42

Hi,

So I have read the post The Sin of Adultery and Fornication. Jazak Allah khair for this very wise and true article. All the young muslim people should read this and be remembered not to look at the disbelievers, who appear to lead a happy and exciting life. Or that they commit the biggest sins and still aren't punished by Allah and still are happy. (that was my biggest problem, when I was young).

I wish I had it read 6 years ago, but I doubt I had the knowledge and understanding that I do have now and I wish I studied the Quran more, because Allah says numerous times in the Quran this worldy life is passing and its enjoyments are not beneficent for you in the next life, which is everlasting. Maybe it would have helped me with this issues.

"The life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment." Quran (57:20)

"So let not their wealth or their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in worldly life and that their souls should depart [at death] while they are disbelievers." Quran (9:55)

I have committed great sins, like illegal sexual intercourse astaghfirrulah. I have repented and still do every day. So inshaAllah I will be forgiven. But when I read the The Sin of Adultery and Fornication article I saw this quote from the Quran:

"And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way". Quran  (4:15)

(Editors note: See: The million dollar question: How can we prevent ourselves from giving into our base desires? Point no.11. )

How literally should I take this? I study, go shopping now and then and meet my girlfriends. Am I not allowed to do this anymore? I ask this, because I'm prepared to give this up if it means Allah will be pleased with me.

Thanks in advance.

~AnonymousSister

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6 Responses »

  1. As-salamalaikum Sister,

    What you need to do is the following.

    1.Repent
    2.Stop committing the sin,and promise Allah never to return to it.
    3.Repent more
    4.Repent even more
    5.Repent every day till your are alive and beg ALLAH(SWT) for forgiveness.

    Allah is the most merciful and forgiving ,and inshallah ,when you turn and repent to him sincerely.

    Al Quran Surah 39, Ayah 53: "Say: 'O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God: for God forgives all sins (except shirk): for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'"
    A hadith further says: "When Allah accepts repentance and forgives His servant, then the recording angels erase their records, organs lose their memories, and earth removes its stains of evidence so that when that person appears before Allah, there is no one to be a witness against him."

    As far as confining yourself goes,keep good company,people who can talk and relate about the deen,believers,keep away from non-mahram men and cut complete(no text,no calls,not even seeing him ever) contact with whoever you have committed the sin with.

    Regards

  2. Sister, Asalaamualaykum,

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I should have clarified it in the article. The ayahs you are referring to are:

    S4:V15 And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way.

    S4:V16 And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.

    The above ayah (v15) was abrogated by Surah Nur, Verse 2. However, these punishments are only applicable if:

    1) Four people claim to have witnessed seeing the act of zina. This does not mean four people having seen two naked people on top of one another, or of the two private organs meeting, but it refers to four witnesses actually having seen the male private part literally entering the female private part. This is next to impossible.

    or

    2) The person confesses to having committed zina. But how many people will willingly confess to zina knowing the punishment? Not only this, in the time of Rasool(sws), if any one did come to him and confess to having committed zina, he would do his best to ignore it and to turn away because he didnt want to have to enforce the punishment. In one such situation, when a man confessed, Rasool(sws) kept turning away, but the man was insistent upon repeating what he had done. Only because the man was in his face so much about it, was he(sws) compelled to question the man about it and only in an attempt to find him not guilty. So he(sws) would ask questions such as: 'you only kissed her, right?' 'or you just did this or that, right?' - hoping that the man would say 'yes' and the case would be closed there. But the man wouldnt stop and so Rasool(sws) had to end up asking him if his private organ had actually entered the other private part - to which the man replied 'yes'. Even after this, Rasool(sws) did not enforce punishment. He was so desperate to prove the man not guilty of zina, that he went to his village to ask about his mental state, because if he could prove that he was 'insane', it could be said that the man did not know what he was claiming and so would then be free of punishment. Only after a very long process, did Rasool(sws) have to enforce the punishment. The men approached the zaani to take him to his place of punishment, but he ran in fright and the men ran after him, caught him and it was enforced. Upon hearing this, Rasool(sws) rebuked the men for chasing after him saying that they should have just left him. Maybe he wanted to retract his statement and do tawbah?

    So sister, can you see how merciful Allah(swt) is? His(swt) Laws are such, that it is next to impossible for anyone to be convicted of zina, because He(swt) would rather give us a chance to repent and become good Muslims, than be punished. If that man was punished for zina on earth, then Allah will forgive Him his sin. But that does not mean that that is the only way to be forgiven for zina. Rather, Allah(swt) wants to conceal our sins and He(swt) wants us to turn to Him in repentance. That is the better way forward.

    So see straight after those ayahs, Allah(swt) says in Ayah 17: 'Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness, and repent soon (afterwards).' The tafseer of this explains:
    http://www.quran4u.com/Tafsir%20Ibn%20Kathir/004%20Nisa.htm

    "Allah states that He accepts repentance of the servant who commits an error in ignorance and then repents, even just before he sees the angel who captures the soul, before his soul reaches his throat.

    Mujahid and others said, "Every person who disobeys Allah by mistake, or intentionally is ignorant, until he refrains from the sin.'' Qatadah said that Abu Al-Aliyah narrated that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to say, "Every sin that the servant commits, he commits out of ignorance.'' Abdur-Razzaq narrated that, Ma`mar said that Qatadah said that, "the Companions of the Messenger of Allah agreed that every sin that is committed by intention or otherwise, is committed in ignorance.'' Ibn Jurayj said, "Abdullah bin Kathir narrated to me that Mujahid said, `Every person who disobeys Allah (even willfully), is ignorant while committing the act of disobedience.'" Ibn Jurayj said, "Ata bin Abi Rabah told me something similar.'' Abu Salih said that Ibn Abbas commented, "It is because of one's ignorance that he commits the error.''

    Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, (and repent soon (afterwards)), "Until just before he (or she) looks at the angel of death.'' Ad-Dahhak said, "Every thing before death is `soon (afterwards).''' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said about the Ayah, (and repent soon afterwards), "Just before his last breath leaves his throat.'' Ikrimah said, "All of this life is `soon (afterwards).''' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger said, 'Allah accepts the repentance of the servant as long as the soul does not reach the throat'. This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''. By mistake, Ibn Majah mentioned that this Hadith was narrated through Abdullah bin `Amr. However, what is correct is that Abdullah bin Umar bin Al-Khattab was the narrator. Allah said, '...It is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.'

    Surely, when hope in continued living diminishes, the angel of death comes forth and the soul reaches the throat, approaches the chest and arrives at the state where it is being gradually pulled out, then there is no accepted repentance, nor a way out of that certain end. Hence Allah's statements, 'And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent,'''

    and, "So when they saw Our punishment, they said: "We believe in Allah Alone...'' (40:84)

    Allah decided that repentance shall not be accepted from the people of the earth when the sun rises from the west, as Allah said, 'The day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith.' (6:158) Allah said, " ...nor of those who die while they are disbelievers." Consequently, when the disbeliever dies while still a disbeliever and polytheist, his sorrow and repentance shall not avail him. If he were to ransom himself, even with the earth's fill of gold, it will not be accepted from him.

    Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that the Ayah: (nor of those who die while they are disbelievers), was revealed about the people of Shirk. Imam Ahmad recorded that Usamah bin Salman said that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said, 'Allah accepts the repentance of His servant, or forgives His servant, as long as the veil does not drop'. They asked, "And what does the drop of the veil mean?'' He said, 'When the soul is removed while one is a polytheist.' Allah then said: 'For them We have prepared a painful torment torment that is severe, eternal and enormous.'"

    ***

    So, to summarise sister:

    1. I am sure there were not four people who witnessed your sin.
    2. I am sure you do not want to go and confess your sin in public (neither is this recommended to do, and that is actually another sin).
    Hence the punishment described in Surah Nur (the abrogation) cannot be enforced on you.
    3. Allah(swt) orders us to conceal our sins;
    4. And Allah (swt) promises to accept out sincere repentance as long as the sun has not yet risen from the west and as long as the death rattle has not yet reached your throat. And alhumdulillah, neither of these two things have yet taken place, may Allah give you a long pious healthy life. So: you have an obligation to accept this gift and conceal your sin. And if you want to be forgiven, then simply and sincerely turn to Allah and do tawbah. Allah(swt) tells us not to despair of His(swt) Mercy, He(swt) promises forgiveness and great reward if we strive to become better Muslims with sincerity and good actions.

    The Prophet(sws) said: "Avoid these filthy things that Allaah has forbidden. Whoever has done any of them, let him conceal himself with the concealment of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted." Narrated by al-Bayhaqi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 663.

    Furthermore, Allah(swt) says in Surah Zumar, Ayah 53: "Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."" And this is what you should focus insha'Allah.

    Please read these links on Tawbah:
    http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/tawbah-in-islam/
    http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/tawbah-in-islam/its-not-over-til-the-trumpets-blown-tawbah-and-repentance/
    http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/tawbah-in-islam/poem-turning-back-to-allah/

    Insha'Allah this has helped you. May Allah give you peace and serenity and protect you with His Mercy, aameen.

    SisterZ
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. SisterZ is correct. Regarding the command in Quran 4:15 to confine those who commit zinaa, it was later abrogated by Surat an-Nur, as is explained in Tafsir ibn Kathir:

    The Adulteress is Confined in her House; A Command Later Abrogated

    At the beginning of Islam, the ruling was that if a woman commits adultery as stipulated by sufficient proof, she was confined to her home, without leave, until she died.

    Allah said,

    "And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way."

    `Some other way' mentioned here is the abrogation of this ruling that came later.

    Ibn Abbas said, "The early ruling was confinement, until Allah sent down Surah An-Nur (Surah 24) which abrogated that ruling with the ruling of flogging (for fornication) or stoning to death (for adultery).''

    Similar was reported from Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ata Al-Khurasani, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam and Ad-Dahhak, and this is a matter that is agreed upon.

    Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said,

    "When the revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah, it would affect him and his face would show signs of strain. One day, Allah sent down a revelation to him, and when the Messenger was relieved of its strain, he said: "Take from me: Allah has made some other way for them. The married with the married, the unmarried with the unmarried. The married gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death, while the unmarried gets a hundred lashes then banishment for a year.''

    Muslim and the collectors of the Sunan recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Prophet said, "Take from me, take from me. Allah has made some other way for them: the (unmarried) gets a hundred lashes and banishment for one year, while the (married) gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death."
    At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''.

    (End of excerpt from Tafsir ibn Kathir)

    *****

    However, since - as SisterZ pointed out - it is not appropriate to publicize your sins after Allah has concealed them; and furthermore there is no Islamic authority anyway to carry out such punishments; and since you have made tawbah and changed your life, there is no need to worry about these hadd punishments.

    Just keep on asking Allah's forgiveness for your past deeds, and stay away from such sins in the future. Do many good deeds in order to wipe out you bad deeds, and trust in Allah's mercy.

    Read the very next ayah following the verse of confinement:

    4:16 And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.

    It's important not to take one ayah out of context and try to derive conclusions from it. We need to look at the bigger picture of Allah's constant mercy and forgiveness.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • JazaakhaAllahkhayr for pointing that out Wael: 'It's important not to take one ayah out of context and try to derive conclusions from it. We need to look at the bigger picture of Allah's constant mercy and forgiveness.' It was in my mind as soon as I read the sister post but it slipped my mind when I wrote my response.

      Another thing I would also like to remind the sister of is this:

      That everytime Allah(swt) mentions 'Jahannam' in the Quran, He(swt) also mentions 'Jannah' either before or after it. They are mentioned an equal number of times for a reason. Our human wisdom tells us some of the reasons for this, and one is this: to highlight the importance of striking a balance of both 'hope and fear' of Allah.

      Allah(swt) called us the middle nation, so we should strive towards this middle path, by fearing Allah's Punishment which will help us refrain from more sin.. And we should hope for the Allah(swt)'s Mercy, so that we can live and worship Allah in peace and with sanity and serenity.

      And Allah(swt) says: "Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses over mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness over yourselves .." Quran 2:143

      SisterZ
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  4. Dear Sister, I would like to share some thoughts with you. Most people do not understand the purpose of religion. The purpose of religion is not just to appease God as God is never in need of anything. Being in need of something for personal gratification is particularly a human quality and God is way above these human desires and habits. Also, Quran is not just a religious book but rather an instruction manual that would help maintain the social order in a society. It is important to maintain a pious, solid and good life in this earthly world so you can get the reward in life hereafter. Therefore, we can say that this world is the pre-requisite of Akhirat.

    Getting back to your concerns, Zinah (fornication) is not to be called a sin because God is against sex or God personally doesn't like it. If it was so, then sex would've been prohibited in any form even after marriage. For acts like Zinah, it needs to be understood that Zinah (fornication) is prohibited for reasons that are entirely related to the problems of this world. In other words, "in a true Islamic society" Zinah (fornication) will not be a holy violation (the concept of holy violation is found in Hinduism or Buddhism) but rather a social crime which can be destructive for society individually and collectively as it can totally annihilate the family institution. On the other hand, adultery (a bigger form of Zinah) is indeed such a nasty act which can lead to other potential social problems and even criminal acts. Imagine a husband who sees another man on his bed with his wife and as a reaction kills or injures the lover by taking law into his own hands.

    Remember, for the reasons above, not just Islam but all preceding religions have spoken against fornication/adultery and have strongly encouraged marital unions and building family institution. Sex is a human need which needs to be regulated according to the divine guidance. Before blaming people in a sex free society, the law makers need to be blamed. Because when law makers legalize a particular act, then people in the society are free to perform that act and with the passage of some time, that act becomes a social norm. The other thing is that according to Quran, the laws of nature never change. And according to the laws of nature, every act has an exact recompense.

    Example: if a farmer has two lands: Land A and Land B and he constantly sows seeds in Land A and take good care of it but on the other hand, he plants expired seeds or poorly feeds the Land B, then as a logical consequence, the same farmer will find Land A fruitful after few days, however, he will find Land B fruitless and after some time barren and destroyed. This analogy perfectly fits with a society where people perform some good deeds and bad deeds. In West, people live happily because their justice system, their economic system, their political system and mostly importantly the provision of Food, Shelter, Cloth, EBT and Social Security are those qualities which were incorporated by Second Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar-e-Farooq in his great regime. So people in the West have planted good seeds in these matters and they are getting the fruits like the Farmer's Land A, yet the people in the West have failed to regulate the sexual behavior of their people and have ignored the institution of family on which Islam lays great emphasis. Therefore in this matter, Western society is not getting sweet fruits but instead the family institution in West has become fruitless like that farmer's Land B which is owned by the same person who also owns fruitful Land A but due to complete disregard for Land B's health and maintainance, the farmer is not able to produce any fruits from it. Also note that besides a weak family structure, there are many other severe problems in the West because of sexual freedom such as STD's, rising number of children without fathers, juvenile delinquencies, teenage pregnancies and millions of dollars which the West spends on neglected children.

    I hope it satisfies your concerns.

  5. SALAM. .i just wanna ask a question...

    [Editor's note: Please submit your question as a new post for publication rather than as a comment on an existing post. That way it can be published and answered in turn, inshaAllah.]

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