Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sex Out Of Wedlock

If I'm not mistaken, sex out of wedlock is a sin for most, if not all, religions. In Malaysia, it seems that Muslims who indulge in sex out of wedlock are liable for a fine, or jail term, or both under the Syariah Law of the country. I'm not sure if that law and its punishments are applicable to all the states in Malaysia, although I think they probably are. But even if they're not, my guess is that there is only very slight differences in the law, such as the amount of the fine or the duration of the jail term.

But we're all humans after all and not immune from making mistakes. In the heat of the overpowering passion, some of us may well fall prey to lust; and during that moment nothing else in the world would seem more important than acting on that lust. But later, when it's all over, then the regrets set in; and of course the fear of punishment and shame. Worse, there are other side effects such as getting pregnant.

What would you do in such a situation?

Some people would choose to abort. And again, if I'm not mistaken, abortion is also a big sin in all religions. Many people I've spoken to consider abortion the same as committing murder. Yet, because of the fear of punishment and shame, many people would take their chances with abortion. They can worry about dealing with God later—they have to deal with the immediate problems first.

Some people, being afraid of committing a second sin by going through an abortion, would opt to go into hiding for the duration of the pregnancy. And then after the delivery, the child is put up for adoption etc. No one else outside the family circle should know about the mistake.

But some people are brave to face the music. They may take a bit of time to think things over, but in the end would decide to get married, and hopefully remain married forever and become good parents to the child. Such was apparently the decision this couple made. Only trouble was that they took far too long to decide, and was only married barely 24 hours before the baby's delivery. Because of that, they have attracted the attention of the Religious Department. Accordingly, they can now be sentenced to a fine of RM30,000 or jail for 24 months or both if convicted.

If that is the law of this country, there is nothing much I can say about it. Pleading ignorance to the country's laws is not exactly a good defence. I'm sure I've read somewhere that a girl in another Islamic country who was guilty of having sex out of wedlock was stoned to death. So I suppose a fine and jail term are just like a slap at the back of the hand!

However, I'm attracted to this line in the news report:

"He said the woman’s family was aware of her pregnancy and still allowed the solemnisation of her marriage."

When I read the above sentence, I thought to myself, "Well, what else was the family supposed to do then?"

Would it have been a better choice if the family did not allow the marriage to proceed? Or is there anything in the Quran that is against pregnant women getting married?

I would be pleased if any of my Muslim readers would be so kind to enlighten me on this issue. If indeed the Quran is against pregnant women getting married, is there any reason(s) given for such rule?


Socrates29 said...

I am not a muslim so I don't attempt to answer the question raised by you here.
What I do know is that there are different set of muslim beliefs and laws for muslims in this world.

Perhaps it will be helpful if one can understand both the Shariah laws and the Hadith/Sunnah laws to attempt to answer your question.
A muslim scholar well-versed in both the Shariah and Hadith/Sunnah Islamic laws can provide the answer here.

Cornelius said...


There is no doubt that there are different interpretations amongst Muslims. We have that in all other religions too, including Christianity.

It will still be interesting to know the different views amongst the Muslims, if any, on this matter.

Mimpi said...

to my understanding and limited knowledge in Shariah law, i am not aware of any restriction for a pregnant woman to get married under this situation (as far as "Rukun Nikah" is concerned). nevertheless, the baby status (as a result from sex out of wedlock) remain the same and could not be "bin/binti" by the father's name although he finaly married the woman. The baby shall be "bin/binti" by Abdullah instead. So imagine how serious the implication..even the real farther cant have his name on the baby! further, if the baby is a girl and the real father ignorantly decided to "binti" the girl by his name..and when come to time when the girl is getting married and required a "wali" (upmost requirement by law who is normally father of the bride), the solemnisation will be null and void in the eye of shariah law if the father be the "Wali". the girl will be living in sin forever arising from this. So even the couples eventually make up their mistake by getting married, the baby status out of wedlock child remains..

Cornelius said...


Thanks for sharing.

And wow! that sounds very harsh for the daughter. If she's unaware that she's not entitled for a "binti", and that the father is not qualified to be a "wali", her marriage won't be valid and she will bear the sin? Does that also mean that he own children are also not entitled to "bin" and "binti", since the marriage is not valid?

mimpi said...

in this situation,if the daughter knows her status, she still can be legally married by using "wali Hakim (judge)". It is responsible of parents to let their child bout this to avoid any unwanted events in the furture. as for you question, i am not so sure bout that..but look like similar principal apply for having child from invalid marriage. Just my humble opinion.

Socrates29 said...

Thanks Mimpi for the explanation.

Now I know why some malay muslim I met are having "Bin Abdullah" or "Binti Abdullah" as part of their names when both of their parents are malay muslims.

mimpi said...

Socrates29, be cleared that not all people who "bin" and "binti" Abdullah are out of wedlock children..since their father's real name could be Abdullah.hehe..

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this morning to do research for a short story I plan to write. I cam crossed your blog. How very interesting the Muslim faith is. Yet I am moved to great sadness for the women and young girls that have been raped. What happens to them. Stoning? and the purpatrater of the crime goes without a punishment at all? The very thought of it makes me sick. I know this comment does not help you any.