Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Class #3: Feb 18th Notes

Note: please register for the class online at and sign in on the attendance sheet.

Nearly 4 out of 10 U.S. babies are born out of wedlock.
78 rapes an hour; 683,280 rapes each year.
1 out of 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

Allah swt says, “Do not even come near zina.” Not only is zina haram, but anything leading to zina is haram. This is very serious; it prevents an individual from entering Jannah.

Surat an-Nur: 4 – 10 Word by Word Breakdown

Alathee, alatheena (pl) – those, that, the one who

Yarmoon – to charge, to accuse

Mohsin – to be protected, to be preserved; a man/woman who preserves their chastity or who is married

Lam – negation in the past tense

Ya’tu (pl) – to come, to arrive, to bring forth

Arba` - 4

Shuhada – witnesses

Thamaneena – 80

Taqbal – to accept

Shahada – to bear testimony

Abadan – forever, eternally

Oola’ika – those

Al-fasiqun – someone who transgresses or goes astray

Tawba – to repent (admits guilt, feels remorse and seeks forgiveness)

Min – from, among

B`ad – after

Aslaha – to fix or to guide

Inna – indeed

Ghafoor – forgiving

Raheem – merciful

Azwaj – spouse, pair

Nafs – self, soul

Ahad – one, each, him

Sadiqeen – the truthful

Khameesa – fifth

Kathibeen - liars

Yadra`u – obstruct, prevent, keep away

Un – from, about, of, on behalf of

Ghadab – anger, wrath

Laola – had not

Fadhl – favor, bounty, blessing

Tawab – one who accepts in repentance

Hakim – all wise

Verse 4, 5: Slander

“And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever. They indeed are the rebellious. Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds; for such verily, Allah is Oft the Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Whosoever accuses a chaste woman of adultery – here is it clear, due to the context, that the person is accusing the women of zina – if they fail of proving their accusation of zina, they will have to be punished. In order for them to prove zina, they must provide four independent witnesses. The consequence of slander is that (a) they are flogged eighty times, (b) you can never accept their testimony, (c) that person is considered a Fasiq, they are not trustworthy. Allah will make an exception for those who repent to Allah (swt) and do righteous deeds – they have to prove their repentance by living a righteous lifestyle, to earn back their credibility.

This type of accusation, because of the damage that it causes and the pain it gives the individual, is considered one of the seven major sins if it cannot be proven. It is a crime. The minute you share this accusation of zina with someone else without having four eye witnesses, you are automatically considered a fasiq and the punishment in the Qur’an applies under Islamic law. This is the case even if they are truthful – because zina should not be publicized. This should be something forgotten, covered up, not publicized. The shari’ah does not want these accusations to become common practice. Now that the act is public, for the person now he or she does not care – haya’ is destroyed. Now they won’t care about committing the act, which will spread like a disease – more people won’t care. Moral standards will deteriorate. Haya’ was lost. If the accused is already a fasiq and known for committing sins openly and their chastity is not established, then the accuser is not to be punished for accusing them. The verse says “chaste women” because that is the most common thing, but it is also true for someone who accuses a chaste man.

HOMEWORK: Do the four witnesses need to be men or can they be women?

The accused must be a Mohsin: (a) sane, (b) adult, (c) Muslim, (d) chaste, (e) must be a free person.

The accuser must be a Muslim and free.

Case A: a Mohsin sister is accused of zina. The accuser must show four witnesses.

Case B: A sister who is not Mohsin is accused of zina. Technically, the accuser cannot be punished.

When these verses were revealed, the Chief of the Ansar asked what was he supposed to do if he found his wife committing adultery, wait to stop them until he brings four witnesses? Then this actually happened with Hilal bin Umayyah, who went and told the Prophet (s) that he found his wife committing adultery. Then the Prophet (s) told him to bring four witnesses or else he would be punished. At this there was a lot of anxiety because people did not see how this would be just. Hilal said, “By Allah, I hope that Allah will make for me a way out from this problem.”

The verses were revealed a little later… The Prophet (s) told Hilal to rejoice, and called Hilal’s wife to him. He then recited the verses to them both, and also reminded them of the severe punishments of the Hereafter. Hilal said he was speaking the truth about her, and she said he was lying. Then Hilal gave the testimony four times, and then he was warned of the significance of the fifth testimony (the curse of Allah swt) – but he was not afraid and made the fifth testimony. Then his wife gave testimony four times, and then she was warned of the significance of the fifth testimony (the curse of Allah swt) and she hesitated for awhile and was going to confess her guilt, but then she finally gave the fifth testimony. The Prophet (s) then separated them and told them that the child that came from her would have no father, and this child would not be accused. This was not divorce, so she did not receive alimony or her normal rights. Then the Prophet (s) made a prediction that if she gives birth to a male child with red hair and skinny legs, then it is Hilal’s child; but if she gives birth to a curly-haired child with thick legs then she is guilty of what she was accused of. She gave birth to the latter, and the Prophet (s) said he would have punished her were it not for the oath she swore.


Only between husband and wife
Must be an eye-witness

if a man found his wife cheating, he must bear testimony of the incident four times in court, and swearing by Allah swt that he is one speaking the truth. And then he must bear witness one more time to this incident, evoking the curse of Allah swt on himself if he is lying. Then the wife is given the opportunity to avert punishment by bearing witness four times that he is telling a lie, by Allah swt; and then she must swear a fifth time bearing witness that he is lying and evoking the curse of Allah on herself if he is saying the truth and she is lying.

If both of them swear:

the husband cannot be punished for slander;
the wife cannot be punished for adultery;
if a child comes from the union, the husband does not have to claim it is his;
the husband and wife are separated for life; their marriage is over.

Logistics of Swearing

The swearing should be done in a sacred place. (Makkah: black stone; Madina: Prophet’s mimbar (s); Jerusalem: the rock; anywhere else: in a masjid)
There should be a gathering of people to watch this – a public oath (adds to the pressure of the holiness of the oath being made)
After `Asr prayer

If he accuses a specific man for committing adultery with his wife, and then the adultery is not proven, then he can be punished for slander against the man he accused.

HOMEWORK #2: Why in the case of the man does he invoke the curse of Allah swt if he is lying, and in the case of the women she invokes the wrath of Allah swt if she is lying?

Answer to Homework from Last Week:

Why did the verse say zaniya wa zani (putting the woman first) when addressing the consequences of zina?

Suggested answers:

Women entice men into committing zina more.
The woman has to bear the risk of having a child, she will have to deal with the consequences more. She is also more rational, while the man is ruled by his passions!
Shaykh Faqih:

Look around and come back with a better answer!

Misc note: a slave under Islamic law only has to bear half the punishment of a normal citizen.