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Question

What is the punishment for rape in Islam? What happens to the rape victim?

Answered by

Sheikh Sâmî al-Mâjid
If it is confirmed that a man engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman by threatening to kill her or by using some kind of drug or anesthetic, then his crime will be more serious than that of consentual sex.

The punishment thereto is death by execution. He will not be entitled to any pardon or reprieve whatsoever, regardless of whether he was single or married.

The one who forces sex upon someone else under threat of death is an evil and vile member of the society and should be purged. He is involved in an act of open violence and transgression against others and the spread of mischief throughout the land. His is the fate of bandits and highway robbers:

Allah says: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution or crucifixion or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 33]

A woman will not be punished if there is any reason to believe that she was forced into the act. The least evidence in this regard will be sufficient to save the woman from punishment. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has pardoned my people for the acts they do by mistake, due to forgetfulness, and what they are coerced into doing” [Related by Ibn Mâjah and authenticated by al-Nawawî, Ibn Hajr, and al-Albânî].

Also, it was related by Ibn Abî Shaybah through Târiq b. Shahâb that a woman accused of adultery was taken to Caliph `Umar. The woman pleaded that she was asleep and woke up to find the man over her. `Umar released the woman. [The narration was approved by al-Albâni]. Ibn Qudâmah stated in his book al-Mughnî: “There is no punishment on the woman who was coerced into adultery.”