Take Back Islam: Rape is NOT Zina

Take Back Islam: Rape is NOT Zina

Written by Theresa Corbin

In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a 23-year-old woman was “awarded” a one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing “adultery” and trying to abort the resultant fetus after being abducted and gang raped – Saudi Gazzette.

We live in a world where men in charge conflate rape with sex. We live in a world where women living in “Muslim” countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and many more, are charged with zina (adultery) when, in fact,  they have been victims of rape.

This is a dangerous game men play with the lives and well-being of women.

No one is free when others are oppressed

Rape is not sex. Rape is not zina (adultery). Rape is ightisab (taking something by force). The history of Islamic scholarship bares this out. It is well-known that in “Fiqh-us-Sunnah” (an Islamic legal book) rape is included in a definition of hiraba (terrorism or crimes of violence), which states: “A single person or group of people causing public disruption, killing, forcibly taking property or money, attacking or raping women, killing cattle, or disrupting agriculture.”

But by conflating adultery with rape, the “Islamic” courts insist that a victim of rape should produce four witnesses.

However, the four witnesses demanded in the Quran does not even apply to rape. The four witnesses are only required when accusing a woman of adultery (zina). 

Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse 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 Allah ordains for them [another] way.” (4:15)

It is absolutely absurd to claim that a rape victim is accusing herself of being unchaste and committing adultery and then demand she produce witnesses!

In reality–which seems to not exists when it comes to rape in these Muslim countries–Islam as a crime despicable rape where the rapist is put to death or given 100 lashes. And the victim is not to be put under societal or legal pressure, but should be offered state sanctioned support.

But I guess these lawmakers in “Islamic” countries didn’t see the verse after the four witness verse that says both involved in sin of adultery should be punished.

“Punish both of those among you who are guilty of this sin, then if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone. For Allah is always ready to accept repentance. He is All-Compassionate.” (4:16)

The fact that these “men” in charge call rape adultery and do not even punish the other party (rapists get off Scott free or even get to marry their victims) in the act is blatant evidence of their extreme misogyny and lack of understanding of the religion of Islam.

Because of this severely skewed sense of “justice” rape has sky-rocketed in the offending countries.

International rape scale

According to the Archives of Women’s Health study Violence Against Women in South Asian Countries:

“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) found a sharp rise in cases of rape over the decade with estimates suggesting that for every two hours, one woman was raped somewhere in the country. Other reports suggested the figure could be far higher, given that many instances of rape are never reported [understandably], as a result of social [and legal] pressures. Incidents of abusive incest and rape within marriage are also said to be common although most occur in a hidden form in the society.”


These governments and “scholars” twist and distort Islam till it is unrecognizable. But the question is why? What do they gain?

They step on the rights of women to gain political power, using rape and humiliation as a tool. One notable example is General Zia of Pakistan who gained his political power through systematic oppression of women, as can be seen in his introduction of the 1979 Hudood ruling.

Rahat Imran writes in an essay, Islamic Laws, Gender Discrimination, and Legal Injustices, that:

“Zia used the ‘women card’ as the first and most obvious symbol for his Islamization plan, knowing that a large majority of the male population of the country would have little problem in digesting its implementation […] because the law not only serves the purpose of terrorizing and subjugating women, but also resolves critical and controversial issues like proving rape in the court of law in men’s favor”

This and other grabs for power at the expense of women’s rights, like the Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Islamic” revolution, paved the way for future oppression of women under the guise of Islam.

Today the torch of violence against and subjugation of women in “Islamic” countries has been handed down to the likes of the Taliban who burn the flame brightly to the detriment of all. 

What can we do?

It is time we pull the rug out from underneath these “men” who rule on false claims of Islam.

The first thing we need to do is understand the truth. Learn the reality of Islam and not the version that has been bought and sold by governments and/or people seeking power.

Then we MUST educate those around you.

And call these corrupt rulers and law makers out on their heinous crimes against humanity and God. Where ever you see oppression done in the name of Islam, speak up. It is your duty.