One of the aims of Islamic shareeah is to preserve honour and lineage, so zinaa (unlawful sexual intercourse) is forbidden. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way (that leads to Hell unless Allaah forgives) [al-Israa 17:32]
Shareeah blocks all the ways and means that could lead to zinaa, by enjoining hijaab and lowering the gaze, and by forbidding being alone with a non-mahram woman, etc.
The married man who commits adultery deserves the worst kind of punishment, which is stoning to death, so that he may taste the results of his deeds and so that every part of his body may suffer just as every part of his body enjoyed the illicit liaison. The fornicator who was previously unmarried is to be punished with the maximum number of lashes mentioned in shareeah, which is 100 lashes, in addition to the scandal of this punishment being witnessed by a group of believers, and the humiliation of being banished from his city and the scene of his crime for one full year.
In Barzakh, the punishment for men and women who were guilty of zinaa is that they will be in an oven whose top is narrow and whose bottom is wide, with a fire beneath it, and they will be naked therein. When the heat of the fire increases, they will scream and rise up until they nearly come out of the top, then when the fire decreases, they will fall back down. This will repeated over and over until the onset of the Hour.
What is even worse is when a man continues to commit adultery even when he grows old, death approaches and Allaah gives him the opportunity to repent. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor praise, nor look at; theirs will be a painful torment: an old man who commits zinaa, a king who lies, and a poor man who is arrogant. (Reported by Muslim, 1/102-103). Among the worst of incomes is the earnings of a prostitute which she takes before committing zinaa, and the immoral woman who earns her living by selling herself is deprived of having her prayers answered when the gates of heaven are opened at midnight. (The hadeeth is in Saheeh al-Jaami, 2971) Being in need or being poor are not acceptable excuses for transgressing the limits set by Allaah. There is an old saying that the free woman would rather starve than eat by displaying her breasts, so how about her private parts then?
Nowadays all the doors of immorality have been opened, and Shaytaan and his supporters have made it very easy for people to commit sin. This has been followed by the spread of tabarruj (wanton display) and unveiling among women, people allowing their gazes to wander to things they should not look at, an increase in mixing between the sexes, the popularity of immoral magazines and lewd films, increased travel to corrupt countries and the establishment of a market for prostitution, an increase in the violation of honour, and an increase in the number of illegitimate births and abortions.
O Allaah, we ask you to show us Your mercy and to protect us from immorality; we ask You to purify our hearts and to keep our private parts chaste, and to place a barrier between us and what is haraam.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If a man calls his wife to his bed, and she refuses, and he goes to sleep angry with her, the angels will curse her until morning. (Reported by al-Bukhaari; see al-Fath, 6/314).
Many women, when they have an argument with their husbands, punish them - so they think - by denying them their marital rights. This may result in major corruption if the husband is tempted to do something haraam, or it may backfire on the wife if the husband starts to think seriously of taking another wife.
A wife should hasten to respond to her husbands call if he wants her, in obedience to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): If a man calls his wife to his bed, let her respond, even if she is riding on the back of a camel (i.e., very busy). (See Zawaaid al-Bazzaar, 2/181; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 547).
At the same time, the husband must show consideration towards his wife if she is sick, pregnant or depressed, so as to maintain harmony and prevent discontent or hatred.
Many women hasten to demand a divorce from their husbands for the least little argument, or if their husbands do not give them what they want of money. Some women may be egged on by troublemakers among their relatives or neighbours to challenge their husbands with provocative words such as: If you were a real man, you would divorce me! The dire results of divorce are well known: breakdown of the family and children roaming the streets. A person may come to regret divorce when it is too late. For all these reasons and others, the Shareeah wisely prohibited such actions. Thawbaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce with no sound reason will be deprived of smelling the fragrance of Paradise. (Reported by Ahmad, 5.277; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 2703). Uqbah ibn Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Woman who ask for divorce and women who contend unnecessarily with their husbands are hypocrites. (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 17/339; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 1934).But if there is a sound reason, such as the husband abandoning prayer, drinking or taking drugs, or forcing his wife to do something haraam, or oppressing her and making her suffer by denying her the rights granted to her by Islaam, and he does not listen to advice to mend his ways, then in this case there is nothing wrong with a woman seeking divorce for her own sake and for the sake of her religion.
One of the expressions of the first Jaahiliyyah that is still widespread in this ummah is the phenomenon of zihaar, whereby a man says to his wife, You are to me like the back of my mother, or You are as forbidden for me as my sister, and other similarly ugly statements whose repulsive nature was confirmed by the Shareeah, because of the oppression of women involved. Allaah referred to this in the Quraan (interpretation of the meaning):
Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by saying to them, You are like my mothers back, they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie. And verily, Allaah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. [al-Mujaadilah 58:2]
The Shareeah has imposed a heavy penalty (kafaarah) for this crime, similar to that required for killing a person by mistake or for having intercourse during the day in Ramadaan; the person who has committed zihaar is not permitted to approach his wife until he has paid this penalty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) (by zihaar), and wish to free themselves from what they uttered, (the penalty) in that case (is) the freeing of a slave before they touch each other. That is an admonition to you (so that you may not return to such an ill thing). And Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.
And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And for him who is unable to do so, he should feed sixty miskeen (poor). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allaah and His Messenger. And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an adhaa (a harmful thing for a husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they have purified (from menses and have taken a bath) . . . [al-Baqarah 2:222]
So a man is not permitted to approach his wife until her period has ended and she has taken a bath (ghusl). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
. . . And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allaah has ordained for you . . . [al-Baqarah 2:222]
The repulsive nature of this sin is indicated by the words of the Prophet (pace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating women, or with a woman in her rectum, or goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, 1/243; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 5918).
Whoever does this by mistake, not deliberately, does not have to pay any penalty, but the person who does it deliberately and with full knowledge of what he is doing must pay the penalty, which according to the scholars with the soundest knowledge is one dinar or half a dinar. Some scholars say that there is a choice in the amount to be paid; others say that if a man has intercourse with his wife at the beginning of her period, when the flow of blood is heavy, he must pay one dinar, and if he does it at the end of her period when the flow is light, he must pay half a dinar. In modern terms, a dinar is equal to 25.4 grams of gold: this or the equivalent amount of currency must be given in charity.
Some perverted people who have little faith do not hesitate to have intercourse with a woman in her rectum (the place from which excrement emerges). This is a major sin, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does this. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: He is cursed, the one who has intercourse with a woman in her rectum. (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 2/479; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 5865). Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating women, or with a woman in her rectum, or goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi from Abu Hurayrah, 1/243; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 5918).Although there are many righteous and sensible women who refuse to do this, there are many husbands who threaten their wives with divorce if they do not comply. Some husbands even deceive their wives who my be too shy to ask a scholar about this matter; they tell them that this is halaal, and they may even misquote the Quraan to support their claim (interpretation of the meaning): You wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when or how you will . . . [al-Baqarah 2:223]. But it is well-known that the Sunnah explains the Quraan, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that it is permitted to have intercourse with ones wife in whatever way one wishes, approaching from the front or the back, so long as intercourse is in the place from which a child is born (the vagina); it is obvious that the anus, from which excrement is produced, is not the place from which a child is born. One of the reasons for this crime is the fact that many people enter what should be a clean and pure married life with an inheritance of dirty, haraam, jaahili, perverted practices, or memories filled with scenes from lewd movies for which they have not repented to Allaah. It is also well known that this deed is haraam even if both parties consent to it; mutual consent to a haraam deed does not make it halaal.
One of the things that Allaah has enjoined in His Book is fair treatment of co-wives. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e., neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear Allaah by keeping away from all that is wrong, then Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [al-Nisaa 4:129]
The justice that is required here is a fair division of nights, and the giving of each wife her rights as regards spending and clothing. This does not refer to emotions or love, because man has no control over his feelings. But some people, when they marry more than one wife, favour one and neglect the other, spending more time with one wife and spending more on her, and ignoring the other. This is haraam, and the person who does this will come on the Day of Resurrection in the condition described by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah: Whoever has two wives and gives one of them preferential treatment, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with half of his body leaning. (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 2/601; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 6491).
Shaytaan is always keen to tempt people and make them commit haraam deeds. For this reason, Allaah warned us (interpretation of the meaning):
O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan, then, verily he commands al-fahshaa (indecency) and al-munkar (evil deeds) . . . [al-Noor 24:21]
Shaytaan runs through the veins of mankind like blood, and one of the ways in which he induces people to commit indecent acts is by leading a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Islaam blocks this way by forbidding such conduct, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman, but Shaytaan will be the third among them. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 3/474; see also Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3118). Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: From this day on, no man should enter upon a woman whose husband is absent unless there is another man or two with him. (Reported by Muslim, 4/1711). It is not permitted for a man to be alone in a house, room or car with a non-mahram woman, including his brothers wife or a servant. Similarly a female patient should not be alone with a doctor, and so on. Many people are careless about this matter, whether because they trust themselves or for some other reason, with the results that many commit indecent acts or take the steps that lead to them, which in turn results in the tragedies of confused lineage and illegitimate births.
This is one of the cases where incorrect social customs have taken precedence over the laws of Allaah, to such an extent that if you try to talk to people and show them evidence that this is wrong, they will accuse you of being backward, having a complex, trying to break family ties, doubting their good intentions, etc. Shaking hands with female cousins, brothers wives and uncles wives is now easier than drinking water in our society, but if we look properly we will understand the seriousness of the matter.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle it would be better for him than touching a woman whom he is not permitted to touch. (Reported by al-Tabaraani, 20/212; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 4921).There is no doubt that this is an act of zinaa, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The eyes may commit zinaa, the hands may commit zinaa, the feet may commit zinaa and the private parts may commit zinaa." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 1/412; see also Saheeh al-Jaami', 4921).
Is there anyone more pure in heart than Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Yet still he said, I do not shake hands with women. (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 6/357; see also Saheeh al-Jaami, 7054, and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Daar al-Kitaab al-Arabi edition). And he said, "I do not touch the hands of women." (Reported by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 24/342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami', 7054 and al-Isaabah, 4/354, Dar al-Kutub al-'Arabi edition).Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: No, by Allaah, the hand of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never touched the hand of a (non-mahram) woman. He received bayah (pledge of allegiance) from them by word only. (Reported by Muslim, 3/489). Let them fear Allaah, those people who threaten their pious wives with divorce if they do not shake hands with their brothers.
We should also note that placing a barrier such as a piece of cloth is of no use; it is still haraam to shake hands with a non-mahram woman.