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Punishment for Rapists

Question and answer details
Muslimah
2013/01/03
In the Shari`ah, is there a certain punishment for a rapist?
Ahmad Yusuf Sulaiman
Answer
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, thanks for your question, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Islamically speaking, the raped woman is not guilty of any sin because she was forced to it beyond her control. Stressing this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Allah has forgiven my Ummah for their mistakes, what they forget and what they are forced to do.” Thus, the raped woman is a victim and all members of her community should deal with her with honor and kindness and should encourage her to obtain her rights through all possible means.

In an attempt to furnish you with an answer to your question, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Sulaiman, professor of law and Islamic Shari`ah at Cairo University:

"If a woman is raped, she should press charges against the one who raped her. If it is proved that she was raped, then the court must apply discretionary punishment or ta`zir on the rapist. Such discretionary punishment may reach the death penalty, according to some schools of thought. This is based wholly on the fact that the rape is confirmed through medical tests and court procedures, without the confession of the rapist himself.

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In cases where the rapist confesses the crime, then the penalty for zina (illegitimate sexual intercourse) is to be applied to him. If he is not married, then he is to be whipped 100 lashes. If he is married, then he is to be stoned to death.

 

As for the rape victim, no punishment is to be inflicted on her. She is to be treated with dignity and honor, and all forms of help should be given to her to gain her rights."

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