Question and answer details
|Dear sir/madam, I would like to ask you about the real definition of zina (sex outside marriage - adultery). Is it only the fact of having sex or is it also the fact that for example there was just a contact without penetration? Thank you|
Thank you for this question.
Scholars said that what makes some forms of gazing, talking, and touching forbidden acts is that they bring you near zina.
Allah also said:
Zina, as a legal term, has a more specific meaning because there are legal applications related to it. According to scholars, in its legal meaning zina is ‘the voluntary sexual intercourse outside of marriage when the male sexual organ is inserted inside the female one, regardless of the number of times.’
Thus, any sexual relationship, which fits this definition, is legally zina and deserves the application of a major legal penalty.
Zina in its broad meaning and its legal meaning are both haram (forbidden). However, committing zina (the legal meaning) leads to a major legal penalty, whereas committing anything that brings you near to zina is considered a bad deed for which one is accountable before Allah and it does not qualify for any specific physical punishment set out in Islamic law.
Zina is regarded among the major sins in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
‘There is no sin after shirk (polytheism) greater in the eyes of Allah than a drop of semen, which a man places in the womb which is not lawful for him.’
One may ask why zina is forbidden. The answer is that the sharia (Islamic law) has objectives and intents. The objective of the Islamic law is to serve the interest of people (masalih al-ibad). The five ultimate interests (al-kuliyat al-khamsah) are the deen (belief), an-nafs (life), al-aql (intellect), al-maal (wealth), and an-nasl (family and lineage).
The wisdom of preserving an-nasl (family and lineage) is to assure the recognition of the right lineage of people and their children, by which the social kinship and social network is kept safe and stable, as well as preserving society from sexually transmitted diseases.
Islam has two ways to preserve an-nasl (family and lineage):
Allah knows best.
I hope this helps answer your question.