The Quran about fornication

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

In the fight against crimes, the most effective method is the prevention of violations. On this approach, an exhortation in the Quran is built.

…and do not approach to excessiveness – what is apparent of it and what is concealed (6:151)

Say, “My Lord has only forbidden excessiveness – what is apparent of it and what is concealed – and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with God that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about God that which you do not know!” (7:33)


One of the gravest vices of mankind is adultery. This action in the Quran is described by the word “zinaa”, which translates as “fornication”.

And do not approach to fornication. Indeed, it is ever an excessiveness and is evil as a way! (17:32)


In this place, God reveals “zinaa,” that is, fornication as excessiveness and an evil road. The word excessiveness is heard in Arabic as “faahishatun”, “fahshaa,a”. Let’s consider what excessiveness is according to the Prescription.

  1. Intimacy with stepmother:

And do not enter into intimate relationships with those women whom your fathers had intimate relationships, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it is excessive, hateful and the way of evil. (4:22)


2. Sexual contact with a married woman:

And she certainly was interested in him, and he would have inclined to her, had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and excessiveness. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants! (12:24)


3. Same-sex sexual intercourse:

And Lut (Lot), when he said to his nation, “Do you commit excessiveness while you are seeing? (27:54)

And Lut (Lot), when he said to his nation, “Indeed, you commit such excessiveness as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds!” (29:28)



The punishment for fornication is severe enough, but not fatal, as it is practiced in some countries:

The fornicator woman or fornicator man – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the duty of God, if you should believe God and the last day! And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.

Male fornicator has no right to have intimate relationships except with a female fornicator or the one who ascribe partners to God. Female fornicator has no right to have intimate relationships except with a male fornicator or the one who ascribe partners to God. That has been made unlawful to the believers! (24:2-3)

But this punishment is not categorical. People tend to make mistakes and admit mistakes. Here in the case of sincere repentance, God prescribed not to apply the punishment:

And the two who commit excessiveness among you, cause them both suffering. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, God is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful! (4:16)

Same-sex relationships are punished more severely:

Those who commit excessiveness of your women – bring against them four witnesses from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or God ordains for them a way. (4:15)

In this case, it is said about intimate relationships between women. By analogy, we can apply the same punishment for men with homosexual relationships. What is the cause of a more severe punishment than for the fornication between man and woman?

The intimate relationship between man and woman is natural, whereas same-sex relationships are far from that. Forbidden by God, the intimate relationships between man and woman are dictated by the instinct of reproduction, whereas same-sex ties are more connected with the human psyche. Therefore, imprisonment without restrictions of such people is necessary on similarity with imprisonment of mentally unbalanced patients.

However, as we see, God also shows another way. What is the way? If we apply the analogy here, in the case of sincere repentance and correction, the punishment in the form of life imprisonment should not be applied.

Many underestimate the weight of the sin of fornication. After all, a provocateur for fornication is the disobedient (shaitan).

He only orders you to evil and excessiveness and to say about God what you do not know. (2:169)


It is the disobedient (shaitan) who commands excessiveness. So if a person commits fornication, it means that he obeyed the disobedient (shaitan), and this leads to polytheism.

And do not eat of that upon which the name of God has not been mentioned! Indeed, it is an apostasy! Indeed, the disobedient ones suggest to the ones they patron to dispute with you! And if you were to obey them, indeed, you would be the associators of partners to God! (6:121)


The result of the analysis of these passages is the following conclusion: fornication is not just excessiveness, but it also leads to associating partners to God – to POLYTHEISM.

Besides fornication, there are situations when intimate relationships are not recommended:

There is no blame upon you if you make an offer of betrothal to women or if you conceal it within yourselves. God knows that you will have them in mind. But do not date with them secretly except if you have already said approved words of betrothal. And do not determine to undertake intimate ties until the decreed period reaches its end. And know that God knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that God is Forgiving and Forbearing! (2:235)

To facilitate the control of passions, believers are recommended certain behaviour:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, God is Acquainted with what they do! (24:30)


And what should young people do? After all, they are also endowed with feelings and desires, which can lead to the condemned. They can only follow the command of the Lord.

Recite, what has been suggested to you of the Prescription and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits excessiveness and disapproved, and the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows that which you do. (29:45)


The behaviour of believers must be in accordance with the Lord’s prescriptions, which are set high, but at the same time, they are quite achievable slats.

So whatever thing you have been given – it is but for the enjoyment of the worldly life.

But what is with God is better and more lasting for those who have believed and upon their Lord rely. And those who avoid the major sins and excessiveness, and when they are angry, they forgive! (42:36-37)

And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth – that He may recompense those who do evil with what they have done and recompense those who do good with the best – Those who avoid the major sins and excessiveness, only [committing] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in forgiveness!

He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of those who circumspect! (53:31-32)