June 23, 2024

In the Name of Allah—the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Punishment for Rape in Islam

Punishment for Rape in Islam

In Islam, rape is
considered a grave and serious crime that violates the victim’s physical and
emotional rights. Islam requires that all individuals, regardless of their
gender or social status, are entitled to respect and dignity.

Sexual assault is a
traumatic and often violent crime that can leave lasting physical, emotional,
and psychological scars on the victim. It is a violation of a person’s basic
human rights and can have serious and long-lasting consequences on the victim’s
health, well-being, and ability to function in society.

sexual assault can occur on its own, it is not uncommon for sexual assault to
be accompanied by other crimes such as physical assault, attempted murder, or
kidnapping. This can be particularly true in cases where the perpetrator is
known to the victim and has a prior relationship with them, such as in cases of
domestic violence.

It’s important to provide support and resources for victims of

sexual assault and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. This can
involve legal action and criminal prosecution, as well as providing counseling,
medical care, and other support services to help victims cope with the
aftermath of the assault.
and ethical standpoint, it is important to ensure that any form of punishment,
including capital punishment, is carried out with fairness, justice, and mercy.
The severity of a punishment should be proportional to the severity of the
crime committed, and it should only be carried out after a fair trial and due
the perpetrator be brought to justice and punished accordingly. The specific
punishment can vary depending on the circumstances of the crime, the age of the
victim, and other factors.
for rape victims, and it encourages individuals to report any cases of sexual
assault to the authorities. Moreover, in many Islamic countries, rape victims
are offered support and counseling services to help them recover from the
assault from the Prophet Muhammad’s life.
in cases of rape, the testimony of four male witnesses is often required to
establish the occurrence of the crime and to prove the guilt of the
perpetrator. This requirement can make it difficult to prosecute cases of rape,
as it may be difficult to obtain the testimony of four male witnesses who have
direct knowledge of the crime.
important to note that the requirement for multiple witnesses in cases of rape
is a subject of debate among Islamic scholars, with some arguing that it is not
necessary or practical in modern legal systems, and that other forms of
evidence, such as forensic evidence or medical records, should also be
considered in establishing guilt.
while witness testimony can play a role in establishing the occurrence of rape
under Islamic law, it’s important to ensure that legal systems are also
equipped to consider other forms of evidence and to provide support and justice
for victims of rape and sexual assault.


While the Quran does
not specify a punishment for the crime of rape explicitly, Islamic law (Sharia)
provides guidance on how to handle cases of sexual assault or rape. In Islamic
law, rape is considered a serious crime that violates the victim’s rights, and
the perpetrator is punished accordingly.

Allah Almighty said:

recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do
mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed brutally or crucified or
their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from
the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs
in the Hereafter.”[1]

Many scholars
believe that this Ayah also includes punishment for rape which is a grave sexual
assault. Though, sexual assault is often accompanied by other crimes including
kidnapping or robbing, but in our opinion, sexual assault alone suffices to
administrate the Muharibah punishment described in the aforementioned

Rape is a heinous crime that can have serious
physical and psychological effects on the victim. As such, it is considered a
major crime in Islam and can be punished severely.
Stoning is a form of
capital punishment, which means that it results in the death of the convicted
individual. The use of stoning as a form of punishment has been debated among
Islamic scholars and is subject to interpretation.

From a legal

Islamic law is based
on a combination of the Quran and the Hadith, which are the sayings and actions
of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Quran provides general guidelines
for establishing a just society, and it emphasizes the importance of justice,
fairness, and compassion toward all individuals.

In cases of rape or sexual assault, Islamic law requires that

According to Islamic
law, the punishment for rape is severe and can include a range of penalties,
depending on the specific circumstances of the crime. If the perpetrator is
convicted of rape, he can face punishment ranging from imprisonment to death.

Islamic law also emphasizes the importance of seeking justice

There is some debate
among Islamic scholars regarding the punishment for rape, with some advocating
for the death penalty through stoning as a form of retribution or
“qisas” under Islamic law. However, it’s important to note that the
application of Islamic law can vary depending on the specific legal system in
place and the interpretation of Islamic texts.

There have been reported a few cases of sexual

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى بْنِ فَارِسٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الْفِرْيَابِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا
إِسْرَائِيلُ، حَدَّثَنَا سِمَاكُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ وَائِلٍ،
عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ امْرَأَةً، خَرَجَتْ عَلَى عَهْدِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه
وسلم تُرِيدُ الصَّلاَةَ فَتَلَقَّاهَا رَجُلٌ فَتَجَلَّلَهَا فَقَضَى حَاجَتَهُ
مِنْهَا فَصَاحَتْ وَانْطَلَقَ فَمَرَّ عَلَيْهَا رَجُلٌ فَقَالَتْ إِنَّ ذَاكَ
فَعَلَ بِي كَذَا وَكَذَا وَمَرَّتْ عِصَابَةٌ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ فَقَالَتْ
إِنَّ ذَلِكَ الرَّجُلَ فَعَلَ بِي كَذَا وَكَذَا ‏.‏ فَانْطَلَقُوا فَأَخَذُوا
الرَّجُلَ الَّذِي ظَنَّتْ أَنَّهُ وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا فَأَتَوْهَا بِهِ فَقَالَتْ
نَعَمْ هُوَ هَذَا ‏.‏ فَأَتَوْا بِهِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمَّا
أَمَرَ بِهِ قَامَ صَاحِبُهَا الَّذِي وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ
اللَّهِ أَنَا صَاحِبُهَا ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ اذْهَبِي فَقَدْ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ
لَكِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ لِلرَّجُلِ قَوْلاً حَسَنًا ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ
يَعْنِي الرَّجُلَ الْمَأْخُوذَ وَقَالَ لِلرَّجُلِ الَّذِي وَقَعَ عَلَيْهَا
‏”‏ ارْجُمُوهُ ‏”‏

Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr:

When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet () for prayer, a man attacked her and
overpowered (raped) her.

shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such
and such to me. And when a company of the Emigrants (Senior Companions) came
by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man
whom they thought had raped her and brought him to her. She said: Yes, this is
he. Then they brought him to the Messenger of Allah ().

he (the Prophet) was about to pass sentence, the man who (actually) had
assaulted her stood up and said: Messenger of Allah, I am the man who raped
her. He (the Prophet) said to her: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you. But he
told the man some good words (Abu Dawud said: meaning the man who was seized),
and of the man who raped her, he said: Stone him to death.[2]


this case, a woman was attacked and raped by a man, and when she reported the
crime to the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), they brought the
accused to the Prophet (peace be upon him), for judgment. However, during the
course of the trial, the actual perpetrator of the crime confessed, and the
Prophet (peace be upon him), ordered that he be stoned to death for his crime.

In the case of sexual assault or rape, the victim is not
punished in Islam. Rather, the perpetrator of the crime is punished. This is in
accordance with the teachings of Islam that emphasize the protection of the
rights and dignity of all individuals, especially the vulnerable and
marginalized. The hadith of Wail Ibn Hujr you mentioned is a clear example of
this principle being applied. The woman who was attacked and raped was not punished,
but rather the perpetrator was punished according to the law.

It’s important to note that while this Hadith provides an
example of how sexual assault was dealt with during the time of the Prophet,
the specific circumstances of this case may not necessarily apply universally
to all cases of sexual assault. Islamic jurisprudence is complex, and rulings
on individual cases may depend on a variety of factors, including the specific
circumstances of the crime, the evidence available, and the interpretation of
Islamic law by qualified scholars.

The well-known
case of Ma’iz ibn Malik al-Aslami (May Allah be pleased with him) could be a
case of sexual assault because the victim was not punished.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ الأَنْبَارِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنْ هِشَامِ
بْنِ سَعْدٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي يَزِيدُ بْنُ نُعَيْمِ بْنِ هَزَّالٍ، عَنْ
أَبِيهِ، قَالَ كَانَ مَاعِزُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ يَتِيمًا فِي حِجْرِ أَبِي ‏.‏
فَأَصَابَ جَارِيَةً مِنَ الْحَىِّ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبِي ائْتِ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى
الله عليه وسلم فَأَخْبِرْهُ بِمَا صَنَعْتَ لَعَلَّهُ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ
وَإِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ بِذَلِكَ رَجَاءَ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا فَأَتَاهُ
فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي زَنَيْتُ فَأَقِمْ عَلَىَّ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏
فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ فَعَادَ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي زَنَيْتُ فَأَقِمْ
عَلَىَّ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ حَتَّى قَالَهَا أَرْبَعَ مِرَارٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ صلى الله
عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّكَ قَدْ قُلْتَهَا أَرْبَعَ مَرَّاتٍ فَبِمَنْ ‏”‏
‏.‏ قَالَ بِفُلاَنَةَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ هَلْ ضَاجَعْتَهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ
نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ هَلْ بَاشَرْتَهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ
‏”‏ هَلْ جَامَعْتَهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَمَرَ بِهِ
أَنْ يُرْجَمَ فَأُخْرِجَ بِهِ إِلَى الْحَرَّةِ ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا رُجِمَ فَوَجَدَ مَسَّ
الْحِجَارَةِ جَزِعَ فَخَرَجَ يَشْتَدُّ فَلَقِيَهُ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أُنَيْسٍ
وَقَدْ عَجَزَ أَصْحَابُهُ فَنَزَعَ لَهُ بِوَظِيفِ بَعِيرٍ فَرَمَاهُ بِهِ
فَقَتَلَهُ ثُمَّ أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ
فَقَالَ ‏”‏ هَلاَّ تَرَكْتُمُوهُ

Narrated Nu’aym ibn Huzzal:

Yazid ibn Nu’aym ibn Huzzal, on his father’s authority, said:
Ma’iz ibn Malik was an orphan under the protection of my father. He had illegal
sexual intercourse with a slave girl belonging to a clan. My father said to
him: Go to the Messenger of Allah ()
and inform him of what you have done, for he may perhaps ask Allah for your
forgiveness. His purpose in that was simply a hope that it might be a way of
escape for him.

So he went to him and said: Messenger of Allah! I have committed
fornication, so inflict on me the punishment ordained by Allah. He (the
Prophet) turned away from him, so he came back and said: Messenger of Allah! I
have committed fornication, so inflict on me the punishment ordained by Allah.
He (again) turned away from him, so he came back and said: Messenger of Allah!
I have committed fornication, so inflict on me the punishment ordained by

When he uttered it four times, the Messenger of Allah () said: You have said it four times. With
whom did you commit it?

He replied: With so and so. He asked: Did you lie down with her?
He replied: Yes. He asked: Had your skin been in contact with hers? He replied.
Yes. He asked: Did you have intercourse with her? He said: Yes. So he (the
Prophet) gave orders that he should be stoned to death. He was then taken out
to the Harrah, and while he was being stoned he felt the effect of the stones
and could not bear it and fled. But Abdullah ibn Unays encountered him when
those who had been stoning him could not catch up with him. He threw the bone
of a camel’s foreleg at him, which hit him and killed him. They then went to
the Prophet () and reported it to

He said: Why did you not leave him alone.[3]

This hadith relates to the punishment of stoning for sexual
assault in Islam. It illustrates the importance of taking responsibility for
one’s actions and seeking forgiveness from Allah for wrongdoing. The man, Ma’iz
ibn Malik, repeatedly confessed to committing the sin of sexual assault and
asked for the punishment prescribed by Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him)
gave him multiple opportunities to retract his confession, but when he
persisted, the punishment of stoning was carried out.

In Islamic law, witness testimony is often required to establish
the occurrence of a crime, including rape. However, the number of required
witnesses and the weight given to their testimony can vary depending on the
type of crime and the legal system in place.

For example,



The penalty of stoning to death is derived from the
aforementioned Ayah (5:33)

It is important to note that Islamic punishments, including
those for crimes such as rape and adultery, have been debated and interpreted
in different ways by scholars over time. But they are necessary to maintain the
social order and deter individuals from committing crimes. Committing grave crimes
like rape, murder or robbing is inhumane and should be checked by implementing
law and order.


[1] Al-Mayedah,

Sunan Abi Dawood: H#4379

Sunan Abi Dawood:H#4419

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