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This Is What Shariah Law Says About Rape and Sexual Harassment

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Rape is an act which is condemned by Islam and considered as an extreme crime that can potentially impact individuals and society detrimentally and also implies capital punishment.  The honor and protection of women are considered as a priority in Islam. 

Throughout Islamic history, some scholars have attributed rape to a form of terrorism. For example, at the times of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), a rapist can be punished upon the testimonial of the victim by death. In Islamic law, there is the misconception of considering sexual abuse to be equivalent to adultery. Adultery is done to the partners’ contentment while rape is forced. 

In order to condemn a man to be accused of sexual abuse, there should be solid evidence against him. The most common forms of proofs could be four witnesses, confession of the accused and physical evidence. All these requirements are needed for a death sentence. However, if the act cannot be proven to that point, other punishments can be afflicted such as imprisonment or fines. Conversely, a woman, if found deliberately and falsely accusing an innocent man, may be prosecuted for slander as this is a violation of Islamic law too. 

The Qur’an says that marriage should be based on love and affection and rape does not fit this picture. Some legal experts argue that there is a “standing consent” at the time of marriage so that they do not consider marital rape to be punishable. Others argue that rape is a non-consensual and violent act that can happen among married couples.  

Conclusively, rape is a crime in Islam. However, women should be always careful about her personal safety while being aware of the consequences of false accusations. Marriage is a blessing and it is important that both partners treat each other with dignity. 

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