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24:4 The Punishment for Fornication

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And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-

As explained earlier, since adultery is the most damaging and heinous
of all crimes for society, as such its punishment is also most severe under
Islamic law, compared to all other crimes. Hence it was the requirement of
justice and fairness that the special care be attached to prove this act.
Without having prescribed evidence under Islamic law, no one should
dare accuse any man or woman of adultery. Therefore, the Islamic law
has made it mandatory to produce four honest equitable just men as
witnesses to the crime, without which the accusation of adultery is
declared a big crime by itself, for which the prescribed punishment (-LF) is
eighty stripes. In view of this mandatory provision one would dare
making the accusation of adultery only when he is absolutely sure of
watching the crime happening himself. Not only that, at the same time he
should be sure that alongwith him another three honest men have also
seen the crime happening, for which they will give the evidence. Because,
if there are no other witnesses, or the total number is less than four, or
there is doubt if the witnesses will give the evidence, then only one man
would never like to venture evidence alone and be punished with eighty


Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .6 surah 24 verse 4)English-MaarifulQuran-MuftiShafiUsmaniRA-Vol-6.pdf (

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