To convict an unfaithful spouse of adultery in Islam, four witnesses need to have watched them shag

Islam mandates a draconian punishment for those convicted of adultery: stoning to death. This sounds terrifying, but the good news is that a conviction for adultery is more easily avoided than you might expect. This is because four witnesses are required to prosecute the libertine in question.

According to a prophetic tradition brought to us by Abu Dawud, the Prophet Muhammad was once asked the following question: “If I find a man sleeping my wife, should I give him time until I bring four witnesses?” to which Muhammad replied in the affirmative.

One sees right away how impractical this is and how the Prophet seems to give adulterers a way out of their dilemma. According to another tradition, a man confessed his marital infidelity to Muhammad. In an effort to spare the hapless Muslim an agonizing death, Muhammad turned away three times, pretending not to hear him, but the man insisted on being “purified.” His dejected masochism won the day and he was duly chased down by a gaggle of True Believers and murdered with rocks.

Whether or not dodging such an outcome is easy, the huge disproportion in the severity of the punishment to the crime largely serves as a warning to Believers by highlighting the gravity of adultery versus other sins. In practice, one can speculate that the only people in serious danger would have to be been exhibitionists of the highest order!

wait right there!.png

Support Mohamed Ibrahim —

mypatronbutton-e1411832456266.png


Book Shop | Patreon | Twitter| Facebook | Instagram

Special thanks to Andrew Hall who runs the Patheos blog Laughing in Disbelief!

01 - final cover for volume 2

One thought on “To convict an unfaithful spouse of adultery in Islam, four witnesses need to have watched them shag

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s