Undoubtedly zina is one of the major sins, one of the worst crimes, one of the most evil and immoral of actions. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him)”
“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace”
Hence Allaah decrees a severe punishment in this world for those who commit zina, namely the hadd punishment. Allaah says, describing the punishment for the unmarried person who commits zina:
“The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allaah, if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.”
[al-Noor 24:2 – interpretation of the meaning]
But for the muhsan (one who is or has been married) who commits zina, the punishment is execution. It says in the hadeeth narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a previously-married man (commits zina) with a previously-married woman, (the punishment is) one hundred lashes and stoning.” (al-Hudood 3199).
Because of the abhorrence and obscenity of this action, even the monkeys are offended by it, and they carried out the hadd punishment of stoning on a monkey which committed zina, as was narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari from ‘Amr ibn Maymoon who said: “During the Jaahiliyyah I saw a monkey which had committed zina, so the other monkeys got together and stoned it, and I stoned it with them.” (al-Manaaqib, 5360).
How can an adult, accountable Muslim whom Allaah has honored with Islam be content to stoop to the level of animals and beasts which, whenever their desire is provoked, they satisfy it however they want? The seriousness of this sin is not limited to punishment in this world only, rather the punishment in the Hereafter is far greater and far worse. According to a hadeeth narrated by Imam al-Bukhaari from Samurah ibn Jundub, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Two (angels) came to me last night, woke me up and set out with me… until we came to something like a tannoor (clay oven), in which there was shouting and voices. We looked inside and saw naked men and women, towards whom flames came from beneath them. When the flames reached them, they cried out. I said to them [the two angels], ‘Who are these people?’… They told me, ‘As for the men and women in the structure like a tannoor oven, they are the adulterers and adulteresses…’” (6525).
If a person dies committing this sin, what will be his situation? What will he say to his Lord when he stands before Him for judgement?? Is this the way to give thanks for the never-ending, innumerable blessings of Allaah? Is this the way to give thanks for the blessings of good health? Do you think that Allaah does not see you when you are committing this great sin? Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Truly, nothing is hidden from Allaah, in the earth or in the heaven”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:5]
Do you not know that these physical faculties with which you are disobeying your Creator will testify against you on the Day of Resurrection? Have you not heard the words of the Compeller (al-Jabbaar):
“Till, when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.
And they will say to their skins, ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will say: ‘Allaah has caused us to speak.’ He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return”
[Fussilat 41:20-21 – interpretation of the meaning]?
So our answer is that you must hasten to repent sincerely from this great sin, regret deeply what you have done, immediately give it up and give up everything that may lead to it. The causes of zina include the following:
1 – Unveiling and wanton display by uncovering the face, hair or any part of the body. It was narrated in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell whom I have not seen… Women who are clothed yet naked, who have gone astray and try to lead others astray also. Their heads look like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will never enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance may be detected from such and such a distance.” (Narrated by Imam Muslim, al-Libaas wa’l-Zeenah, 3971).
2 – Being alone with a man who is not a mahram for you, because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man should be alone with a (non-mahram) woman unless her mahram is present.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3842).
3 – Beware of mixing with those whom you are not permitted to mix with, for zina only happens as a result of that. You must pay attention to your conscience and do not pay attention to the whispers of the Shaytaan when he tries to make zina look attractive and to make this crime seem insignificant. The Shaytaan has sworn by Allaah’s Glory that he will mislead the sons of Adam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“[Iblees (Satan)] said: ‘By Your Might, then I will surely, mislead them all,
Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism)’”
The Shaytaan has gained a victory over you in this way, but he will not stop at making you fall into this sin, rather he is striving to make sure that you will abide in Hell for eternity – we seek refuge with Allaah from that – by making the idea of giving up prayer on the basis of this false reasoning seem attractive to you.
Because giving up prayer constitutes kufr or disbelief in Allaah. In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘Between a man and kufr and shirk there stands his giving up prayer.’” (al-Eemaan, 116). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that differentiates us from them is prayer; whoever gives it up is a kaafir.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Eemaan, 2545; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2113)
So you have to pray a great deal for forgiveness, repent and make du’aa’. You have to pray regularly and pray a great deal, and strive to be humble and focused in prayer, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah). Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahshaa’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)”
“And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as- Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins)”
You should not think that repentance is too difficult or feel that Allaah will never accept your repentance, for the Shaytaan is keen to sow the seeds of despair in your heart.
You should note that whoever repents, Allaah will accept his repentance and change his bad deeds into good deeds. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance”
The gate of repentance is open, and no one can stand between you and repentance. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will accept the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet reached his throat.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Da’waat, 3460; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2802).
Allaah rejoices over this repentance. According to a hadeeth narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh from Anas ibn Maalik, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah rejoices over the repentance of His slave when he repents more than any one of you would rejoice if he were travelling in the wilderness and his camel which was carrying his food and drink wandered off, and he despaired of ever finding it, then he comes to a tree and lies down in its shade, thinking that he will never see his camel again, then whilst he is like that he sees it standing next to him, so he seizes its reins and says, ‘O Allaah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ making this mistake because he is so happy.” (Baab al-Tawbah, 4932).
Finally, after you have repented you must cut off all the routes that may lead to evil, by means of the way prescribed in sharee’ah which Allaah has permitted, namely marriage. You should note that it is not permissible for a Muslim man or woman to marry a person who has committed zina unless he or she repents to Allaah. If he repents and gives up this sin, then it is permissible for you to marry him after he repents. Please see questions no. 11195 and 2627.
May Allaah help us and you to repent sincerely. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad.