By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Head, Darul Iftaa
Faculty of Jurisprudence & Islamic Verdicts
13 January 2013
I've been told that premarital relationships are haram because they lead to premarital sex, and that makes sense in the old times, when contraception wasn't as readily available, but in the modern era, where condoms are and other contraceptives are easily available, why are premarital relationships and sex prohibited? The way I see it, as long as STDs and unplanned pregnancies aren't an issue, there doesn't seem to be a huge problem with either premarital relationships or premarital sex. Care to explain?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
You have been wrongly informed regarding the reason for the prohibition of pre marital sex. In the past there were effective ways to avoid pregnancy. The illustrious Fuqaha have even discussed the laws of Azl( coitus interruptus) in which ejaculation takes place out of the womb. The prohibition of premarital sex is absolute whether one falls pregnant or not.
In fact every type of pre marital relationship is regarded as Zina. This includes talking to ones future spouse through telephone, Skype or internet chatting.
If potential spouses are convicted of pre marital sex, that is regarded as fornication and in an Islamic state both will be punished with 100 lashes. If pre marital sex was permissible, that would lead to fornication across the board. Two persons who are convicted of fornication would simply have to say that they are future spouses and justify their fornication. Taking it a step further, extra marital affairs too would be permissible as the convicted couple would simply claim that they are divorcing their marriage partner and would marry their ‘fiancé/e’.
The prohibition of pre marital sex is to safeguard the chastity, dignity, and honour of future spouses and especially the girl from abuse. What would happen if the future spouses engaged in sexual activity and then one of them have a change of mind not to marry? That could be devastating especially to a girl who may have sacrificed her virginity to the person. While we do acknowledge that this could happen even after marriage, however, there are laws regulating divorce issues to safeguard one from such injustices. That is not so before marriage. A woman would be used in the pretext of marriage to fulfill ones carnal appetite and simply be dumped. In this world of technological advancements where ones sexual appetite is unlimited, men conduct themselves like vultures to prey on women and abuse them. This is a common occurrence.
A women has a natural right of dignity and honor. She should never be left to be abused. She is not an object to fulfill someone’s passion and desire. She deserves much more than that. There is much write up about women serving as prostitutes in dens. They feel no more than animals and they themselves realize the beauty of Islam’s teachings in preserving women in Hijab.
A woman in Islam is treasured like a Jewel. She is thus preserved in her jewel box- her Hijab.