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What does Islam say about rape?

What does Islam say about rape?


What is the Quran’s position on rape? The subject is never directly addressed which I find a bit puzzling.. The only time it is alluded to is when the fate of the people of Sodom is addressed but it seems that they were not punished specifically for rape but for lying with men. I make this distinction because the Quran permits taking women captives as sex-slaves during times of war which seems to undercut the anti-forced-sex message that can be read into the story of Sodom. What am I missing?

Salaam alykum,

The fact that the term “rape” is never addressed in The Qur’an does not mean that The Qur’an somehow endorses it, in any way shape or form. The mechanics of prayer are not mentioned in The Qur’an, and so, I am rather skeptical of this sort of perspective, because I feel that it is a disingenuous position to hold, especially as the corpus of Islamic Law has a very clear perspective on rape:

It is a heinous crime punishable by capital punishment, as well as the payment of tremendous fines payable to the victim.

I have written a response, on the issue of whether “Marital Rape” is permissible, which is a downright ridiculous idea. Imam Malik, within his collection of Hadith, Al-Muwatta, underlined that rape is a punishable offense, and that the law also included punishment for assault within the bounds of marriage. The evidence for this can be read here.

Furthermore, there is no need for “four witnesses” to establish whether a rape actually occurred or not, rather this “four witness” rule is to establish whether someone committed adultery. The Shariah, again, is abundantly clear on this issue, where not only does the need for four witnesses not appear, but that there are no penalties for the victim, of any kind. You can read the evidence for that here.

Furthermore, your assertion that The Qur’an permits the taking of women captives as “sex-slaves” is factually incorrect, full-stop. There is no evidence of this, and there is no historical record of this fact, either. This is not the opinion of “Muslim apologists” as has been asserted in the West, but this opinion was held by classic Islamic scholars and companions of The Prophet, such as Tabari, ibn Abbas, Mujahid, and Razi. You can read the evidence of this here.

I hope that this answers your question, and if not, please do not hesitate to ask me, insha Allah.

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