Alhamdulillah… All perfect thanks and praise are due to the Almighty Allah. I send perfect peace and blessings upon the purest and the most modest man who ever walked on earth, Sayyindinā Muḥammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path till end of time.
In a ḥadith reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim, from the narration of Anas ibn Mālik raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“From among the signs of the Hour (end of time) are that religious knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious scholars), ignorance will prevail, drinking of alcoholic drinks, and there will be prevalence of zina.”
This ḥadīth above is one of the sayings of the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam through which he divinely predicted some happenings that will happen in the future. The occurrence of the incidents he mentioned confirms and affirms his prophethood. Unarguably, fornication has emerged as a normal lifestyle in the world of today. The more it spreads the more its dangers widen. The Muslim, who hopes to meet his Lord and attain His forgiveness and mercy, and to be welcomed with open doors to the Paradise, is ought to know its dangers and seek protection against them, as long as he lives.
This article presents 15 dangers of zina which the Muslim should know, or be reminded of. Having awareness about these dangers is a requisite to seeking protection again them, which is discussed in my article, 7 Shields for the Muslim Against Fornication and Adultery. Check it out there.
First, let’s take a quick look at the definition, types and its ruling in Islam, before embarking on to its causes, followed by its possible dangers and implications.
Definition, Types and Ruling of Zina
The term zina is an Arabic word, which refers to fornication and adultery, where a man involves in a sexual intercourse with a woman to whom he is not lawfully married. This is regardless of the marital status of the parties involved. On the other hand, in English Language, the term fornication is used when the one involved is a single, whereas the term adultery is used when any of the parties involved is a married person. In other words, a couple may involve in zina, and one of them will be considered to have committed fornication, and the other, to have committed adultery.
Zina comes in different forms. There’s the zina of the hand, when one touches the opposite gender who is not ḥalāl for him or her. There’s also the zina of the eye, where one extends his vision to that which is not ḥalāl for him or her. Also, there’s the zina of the tongue, where one could ‘sweet-talk’ the opposite gender. We also have the zina of the ears, when we listen to the ‘sweet-talk’ of the opposite gender.
All that or some of them could be inevitable, as the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said. But the zina, which is discussed in this article is the major zina where sexual organs are involved. Sexual organs’ involvement in zina is meant when penetration of the penis into the vagina takes place. This is commonly termed as intercourse. Isn’t it? In a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Hurairah raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“Allah has written for the son of Adam his share of zina which he commits inevitably. The zina of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the zina of the tongue is the talk. The inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it.”
Now, what is the ruling of fornication and adultery in Islam? Unlike its implication, every act of unlawful sexual intercourse is called zina. This is whether the doer is young (but matured) or old, married or single, male of female. But its ruling differs between a married person and a single. “Single” here refers to someone who has never experienced an Islamically recognized marriage. This means, a man or woman who is divorced or widowed from a lawful marriage, and had encountered intercourse in that marriage, and comes to engage in zina is not considered as ‘single.’
In Islam, a bachelor who commits zina is to be given 100 lashes of the cane. And a married person (as well as a divorced or widowed from a legal marriage), who goes out of wedlock to commit it is to be stoned to death. This legislation and its implementation are bound by some very strict conditions that must be fulfilled, before its implementation. (Perhaps, that requires an article of its own.)
Major Causes of Zina
There’re several situations and reasons that can easily drag anyone into it. This is regardless of your marital status and the level of your religious commitment. The more you associate yourself with these factors, the easier it is for you to fall to the trap of zina.
Here, I’m not specifically indicating any cause that could lead one to it. I’m rather saying, any activity, situation or interaction that provokes your sexual desires can lead to zina. Unless the person involved is your legal spouse, it’s necessary to take preventive measures in such situations. That’s if you can’t avoid such situations altogether.
For instance, delaying marriage where one’s urge for sex is strong could lead him or her to it. Also, if you are easily attracted to the opposite gender (and who is not?), then you should minimize your interactions with them, unless there’s a need. And when you have to, and must interact with the opposite gender, it should be in the open; in a professional setting. One should try as much as possible to ensure the presence of a third party. Just not only the two of you in a secluded place!
If you live in the Internet (and you know what it means to live in the internet. Don’t you?), then be cautious of your usage of social media. Let your use for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram be for good. Do not allow them to lead you to pornography which leads to it or the secret habit. Similarly, movies, dramas and some media materials can be damaging to the modesty of the Muslim, in many ways that could lead him or her to zina.
The Qur’an explicitly indicates that it is immoral and an evil way. It is such dangerous that, the Qur’an doesn’t only command us to refrain from it. In fact, it warns us from getting near to it, in any manner. This is what is understood in the verse of Sūrah al-Isrā’, 17:32:
“And do not even approach zina, for it is an outrageous act, and an evil way…’’
In my article, 7 Shields for the Muslim Against Fornication and Adultery, I discussed ways of seeking protection against zina. So, mark the next three weeks in your calendar, inshā Allah. In the meantime, let’s, together, discuss the dangers of zina.
Dangers and Implications of Zina
This section suggests some 15 dangers of zina which the Muslim should know. The suggested dangers serve as my personal classification. Feel free to suggest one or more which you think pose as dangers and implications of zina. Please do so in the comments area, at the end of the article. The suggested dangers and implications of zina include psychological, physiological, social, health-related and spiritual dangers. Let’s start with the psychological aspect…
Psychological Implications of Zina
Under the psychological aspect, 2 dangers are suggested. They are the anxiety caused by zina and the permanent sense of guilt caused by zina.
#1: Zina Keeps You in a Constant Anxiety
The first psychological danger of zina is anxiety. The Muslim who has an atom weight of iman in his heart will remain with uncomfortable feelings, if –God forbidden– he commits zina. This is no matter how much forgiveness he has sought from Allah. This is because, although Allah is surely Forgiving for those who seek His forgiveness, the forgiveness granted does not eradicate the impact of the body contact that has taken place. The scene can’t be wiped out from the memory. Although Allah may has forgiven him, he himself cannot forget the sin he once or repeatedly committed. Why? Because it involves someone’s dignity. It involves someone’s daughter. It involves someone’s mother. It involves someone’s wife. She too can’t forget it because it involves someone’ son, father or husband.
This sense of constant anxiety grows bigger as the offender develops more consciousness towards Allah. Because the more shyness he develops towards Allah, the more uncomfortable he feels in the presence of Allah.
Also, it likely occurs in a hurry manner. Imagine a thief has to quickly grab whatever circumstance allows him to steal, so fast that no one will see him… It also takes place in humiliating settings: in the backseats, backyards, in elevators, under stairs and under trees. The monkeys do it on the trees. The dogs do it in the streets. Places and situations like these never give any ‘zina couple’ enough time to create a digestive intimacy, have a quality time and develop a strong bonding. In fact, there’s no bonding to be developed in the first place when an intercourse is zina.
If a boy or a girl’s first encounter of sexual intercourse was by zina, which likely happened similar to the above description, then the manner in which the zina took place will imprint in him or her for the rest of his or her sex life. And that will affect his or her marriage life. The more it affects his or her marriage life, the more anxiety he lives in.
This constant anxiety will subsequently evolve into guiltiness that hunts the person.
#2: Zina Puts You in a Permanent Sense of Guilt that Hunts You
Zina takes place with two parties of the opposite genders. It can’t take place with one only person. I’m afraid that may be a secret habit. It can’t also take place between two parties of the same gender. That’s even more dangerous than zina itself.
When it happens between two parties of the same gender, one party should be the instigator, who initiated it and convinced the other into it. And the convinced party shares the responsibility, as it would have never taken place had he or she refused to participate in it. Either way, both parties know, deep down their hearts, that they are committing a sinful act. It’s only a matter of the level of sense of shame they possess at that point in time.
Furthermore, it will also hunt you, if anyone is affected by your action. And certainly, someone will be affected. How could a thief break into someone’s mansion, steal his jewelries, take his possessions, and expect no one to be affected? The same thing applies, when zina takes place. When you break someone’s virginity, isn’t he or she affected? When you drag someone son or daughter into zina, wouldn’t he be affected, even if he didn’t know about it? When you cause someone to betray her husband or his wife, isn’t that aggression to his or her right? Doesn’t that cause damage to the dignity and bond of a family? More important than all the above; it breaks the boundaries of God Himself. The boundaries of Allah are only broken by aggressors.
People who possess an atom weight of iman do not want their daughters and sisters to be involved in zina, let alone their wives and mothers. Once you do it, while you don’t want it to happen to your loved one, that guiltiness will hunt you, because you don’t know when any of your loved ones will fall prey to someone like you.
Both the constant anxiety and the permanent sense of guiltiness are greater when a married woman gives the lineage of her child to the father who he or she (the child) does not belong to. Meaning that a woman is impregnated by her secret lover, and she gives the child to her husband. You can imagine how dirty that can be. Can’t you?
Physiological Implications of Zina
Under the physiological aspect, 4 dangers of zina are suggested and they include the weakness caused by zina, the loss of barakah as a result of zina, the loss of interest in ḥalāl intercourse due to it and possible addiction to it.
#3: It Weakens You
By default, sexual activities weaken the son and daughter of Adam alike. Add to that, the fact that zina is not different from stealing. A thief, who manages to break into a shop of jewelries knows he’s got a golden ‘chance’. A ‘chance’ he must take advantage of, to the utmost. Therefore, he should carry as many jewelries as he can.
Similarly, the committer of zina also knows he or she may not be able to meet the other party for the act again. At least, not anytime soon. Thus, he would programme his mind to go as many ‘rounds’ as possible. If lawful sexual intercourse weakens the couple involved, where they’re presumably moderate in the number of ‘rounds’ they go, what more of thieves of dignity and chastity, who have to go as many ‘rounds’ as long as they’re conscious?
This weakness affects both man and woman. It affects their productivity. It affects their social interactions. And most importantly, it affects their acts of worship to Allah. Once one is weakened towards ‘ibādah, then expect him to be unproductive where he’s expected to be one.
#4: It Deprives Barakah from Your Earnings
In addition to the fact that one’s time is deprived from lots of barakah (blessings) as a result of zina, which renders him helpless and weak person, zina engages the doer in Islamically unlawful spending. Anything you spend to facilitate the process of the zina is ḥarām. Committing the act is an offence on its own. Spending money for it is also another offence on its own. One of the four things the son of Adam will be answerable about is the source and exits of his earnings.
If this is the state of the one who spends for zina, what more of the one who earns from zina, or runs a company, physical or online to facilitate zina? What about the one who knowingly provides professional services to zina outlets? Not only his entire income is ḥarām, he also accumulates shares of sins, anytime anyone makes use of his facility or service to commit zina.
In addition to that, he’s feeding his family with ḥarām earning, that will affect their spiral and moral wellbeing in the long term.
#5: It Steals Your Interest for Halal Intercourse
It’s evident that individuals who engage in zina face the struggles of lack of interest in their lawful spouses. This could be as a result of the energy they lose while in the harām act. It could also be, that the beautified acts that attracted them to zina, is not been produced or acted by their legal spouses. The implication of this is that more domestic problems emerge and that lead to breaking of more families. In a ḥadīth reported by Imām Muslim from the narration of Sayyiduna Jābir ibn Abdillāh raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam says:
The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart.
This means a woman is by default attractive to man. So if a man is attracted to a woman who is not lawful for him, he should go and seek his satisfaction from his lawful wife. Those who choose to seek that pleasure from the ladies they see in the streets, are unable to generate desire when they meet their lawful wives.
#6: It Can Be an Addiction
They say, “forbidden fruit is sweet.” Zina is not an exception. If one is tested with zina, he or she can be addicted to it, at the time he or she may fail to satisfy his or her lawful spouse. This doesn’t mean that zina grants satisfaction, whereby lawful intercourse can’t. No. It rather means that, similar to the addiction of watching of porn and practising the secret habit, you may be addicted to it, deluded that it brings you satisfaction, the more you do it, the more of it you want. The more of it you want, the less satisfaction you achieve. And the addiction persists!
What zina committers fail to understand is that, unlike intercourse in matrimony, zina lacks the human touch, the intimacy developed, the reassurance of the need of each other that couples give during intimacy and the bonding they eventually strengthen. All that are achieved in any accomplishing intercourse that takes place in a matrimony. But it’s absent in zina.
Therefore, yes, it’s addictive, but never fulfilling nor satisfying.
Social Implications of Zina
As for the social danger of zina, five dangers are suggested. They include bad example, family shame, abortion, street children and hike in divorce rates.
#7: It Makes a Bad Example Out of You
One may not know the extent to which he influences those around him. But the truth is, everyone does influence his surrounding in a way or the other. It doesn’t matter whether or not he’s aware of that. Children and the young ones among us make their role models out of the adults around them. Some of these adults may have chosen to exemplify good in their life. Others among them may have chosen to exemplify evil. Depending on who the child is more closed to, he’s impacted and influenced. This brings about the importance of ensuring that our kids and we have righteous companions. So, if we have no good to pass to them, they’ll have no evil to share with us.
How could one advise and warn a child against the dangers and implications of zina, when he is, and he knows the child knows, that he’s addicted to zina? Leading by example is more influencing is more effective when done than preaching.
#8: It Brings Shame and Humiliation to Your Family
Whenever we’re engaged in any degrading act, five types of people are likely to be dishonoured. These degrading acts can be anything undesired, anything illegal, or anything sinful. It ranges from corruption, theft, betrayal, zina and all sorts of immoral offences you can think of. These five people are our parents, spouses, children, our teachers and our other loved ones, i.e., friends, relatives and acquaintances.
In most situations, we regard some of these or all of them as the most important people in our lives. And this explains why they serve as pillars of strength in our lives. And their presence influences many decisions we make in life.
Instead of opting for it, if the offender was to go for a lawful marriage, these are the same people who would take the pride and witness and bless the union of the couple. These are those who could protect him or her if his or her marriage was to face any challenges. These are the people, who will have great impact on his children, as they will be surrounded by them.
These people whom most of us consider their pillars of strength, find it as an unacceptable choice, unless they’re also nurtured in the culture of zina. Thus, they bear the shame, when others get to know that their loved one is engaged in it or other immoral activities. In fact, they will do all they can to extend their advice within their means and capacity. In most cases, these are those who cared for us and possibly safeguarded our success. We’re expected to make them proud. If we fail to make them proud, then they don’t deserve to be ashamed by our actions.
#9: It Leads to the Killing Innocent Souls (Abortion)
Sexual intercourse is the gateway to human reproduction. The process of conception and reproduction takes places whether the intercourse is lawful (ḥalāl) or unlawful (harām).
It’s unusual for a couple to engage in a lawful intercourse and decide to abort the baby that result from the process. But it’s not unusual for couples who engage in unlawful intercourse to decide to abort the baby. And we know that, aborting a baby who is already been given a soul is killing. And killing of innocent souls is prohibited in Islam.
You see? Abortion that comes after zina entitles the couple involved to two religious offences. The act of zina is one. And act of killing an innocent soul through abortion is the other.
#10: It Breeds Unwanted Children in the Streets
The effects of zina on any society, the non-conservative and more so the conservative, are countless. As indicated above, sexual intercourse leads to conception, regardless, whether the intercourse is lawful or unlawful. Once conception takes place, a human breeding is expected.
Some women, who get impregnated through zina choose to maintain the baby until birth. They then dump the child in the street. In many cases, those who impregnate them are either unknown, known but they refuse to take responsibility, or known but has run away or is uncontactable.
Some still keep the child, but fail to provide him or her with education, and it’s the society that has to bear the cost of the educating of the child. Some of these (if not many) end up in the street. Unfortunately, some of these street children are exposed to crime, rape and pose social risk.
In fact, some continue the same circle, through which they were reproduced. And more street children are reproduced. Why? Because it all started with some irresponsible parties.
#11: It Raises Divorce Rate in the Society
Although sex plays a vital role in the establishment of any marriage, family is started based on love, and the common objectives between the couple involved. And although sex occupies a very insignificant percentage in marriage life, the love, the strong bonding, and the sympathy that couples develop for each other are generated through the few times of accomplishing intercourse.
As indicated above, the one who seeks sex through zina, loses his interest for sex when he or she meets his or her lawful spouse. In the absence of this interest, the emotional support which couples need from each other diminishes, and the couples end up sharing roof, but interact as strangers.
It’s worth indicating that evidence shows that couples who wait until marriage report more satisfying sex lives than those who do not wait. And since sex is so important to the bonding of the couple, couples who marry as virgins have a much lower divorce rate than those who commit zina before marriage.
Health-Related Implications of Zina
When it comes to health, zina poses different dangers to its committers. We believe that Allah afflicts whoever engages in immorality with infections. These infections however are not standard. Thus, it depends on how Allah wants to afflict the person involved.
Also, we know of various sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), such as HIV/AIDS and gonorrhea. But we can’t comfortably say with certainty that only zina or unprotected sex results to HIV/AIDS, or gonorrhea or any STI. This is because one could be infected with some STIs even though he or she has never encountered zina. And someone who encounter zina, may not be afflicted with any STI, but he or she’s instead afflicted with psychological, physiological or emotional implications of zina that could be more dangerous and more damaging than any of the STIs one can think of.
What’s there more dangerous than been kicked out of Allah’s mercy, or being deprived from any blessings from Allah as a result in involvement in it?
Spiritual Implications of Zina
#13: It’s Sinful, and that’s Enough
The most dangerous implication of zina is that it’s a sinful act. Committing it invites Allah’s wrath. A community or society that normalizes zina is affected with numerous (if not endless) hardships, unless they refuse to acknowledge it as such. This is regardless, whether or otherwise, the community or society is a Muslim.
No doubt, one may be afflicted with any of the above-mentioned dangers, even if he didn’t commit zina. But as long as one is indulged in it, unless he repents, Allah’s promise of punishment for fornicators and adulterers will hunt him. And until he repents, he remains in the company of the devil.
#14: It Lands You in the Company of the Devil
In addition to the fact that committing zina is an outrageous act and an evil way, as implied by verse number 32 in Sūrah al-Isrā’, engaging in zina takes one out of Allah’s company. There’s no way one will remain in the state of iman while in the process of performing zina.
The Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam says in a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim:
“When the fornicator is committing fornication, he is not a believer.”
Thus, among the characteristics of the chosen servants of Allah (‘ibad al-Raḥman) is that they don’t commit zina. Also, among the qualities of the believers is that, they safeguard their chastity. Failure to observe that lands one in the company of the evil.
#15: With It, One Invades Allah’s Boundary
Allah has created us and outlined some boundaries of His, which we should observe. The implication of crossing these boundaries affect us and our loved ones with us not knowing. A man who is known for zina activities has done injustice to his children, as no one would like to build a kinship with him.
“and he who transgresses the bounds set by Allah commits a wrong against himself” (Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:1).
Kinship is one of the noblest thing to Allah. He reserves high regard for it. With the transgression of zina, we don’t only do great injustice to ourselves as well as our loved ones. We also commit a greater transgression to the boundaries of Allah, and something that is highly regarded by Allah.
The spread of zina and the easy access to it impose the need on us, Muslims, to develop more awareness of its dangers and implications. Your level of education (as in cleverness and intelligence) doesn’t immune you against the dangers of zina. Neither does your high level of religiosity immune you from its dangers. Worst still, you can’t stop it from spreading. But we can create some layers of protection against it, insha Allah.
When it take place, both parties involved (the male and the female) have done a great injustice to themselves. However, the female is victimized more than the man. In other words, it’s common to see male fornicators looking for virgin females to marry, after they’ve abandoned the females they’ve dragged into it. But it’s uncommon to see female fornicators looking for virgin males for marriage. Where can they find them?
Insult made may be forgiven, but the words can’t be eradicated. Damage done may be pardoned, but can’t be undone. Zina committed may be forgiven by God, the pride lost to the virginity broken can never be reclaimed. The humility attained to loss of dignity can never be returned. God may forgive us, for breaking his boundary. But our victims, our spouses, children and loved ones who are affected as a result of our actions may not forgive us. That could undo the forgiveness granted for breaking God’s boundary.
O Allah! Forgive our sins… Purify our hearts… and safeguard our chastity. Amīn!
If you have read to this point, consider suggesting one or more implications of zina from your viewpoint. Feel free to tell me what you think, if you have any input to share. I would like to hear from you.
If you find this article beneficial, please consider sharing it with your loved ones and. . .
Allah knows best.