By Tashmin Ali
It is a universal phenomena that a person gets involved in more than one relation. In many societies it is considered to be bad and immoral.
There are different views on the actual meaning of the term ‘extra marital affair’. Extra marital affair can be emotional or it can be physical. In a physical sense it can be considered adultery. Adultery means (merriam-webster), “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband”.
Islam does not allow a male and a female to have extra-marital relationship. It not only discourages such an act but all such intentions and activities than can lead one towards illegal physical relationships.
It has been mentioned in the holy Qur’an that;
Do not draw yourself near Zina (fornication) because it is lewd and an evil. (17:32)
It has also been mentioned as a sign of the unbounded mercy of Allah Almighty that He gave you wives from among yourselves, that you might live in serenity with them, and put love and kindness in your hearts. Surely there are signs in this for those who think (Al Qur’an, 30:21).
It is further elaborated: “They are apparel for each other (2:187).
The nature of the marriage has been elaborated very convincingly by declaring it as ‘Apparel’. As it is a known fact that ‘Apparel’ not only covers and protects our body from cold and heat, but it also secures our modesty as well. Same is the case of marriage, in which a husband and a wife not only share their issues with each other but secure each other from being involved in vulgarity and lewdness by keeping themselves limited to each other and satisfying physical needs in a legalized and valid way, i.e. through Nikah.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) encouraged believers to marry in order that they fulfill their sexual urges in lawful ways as commanded by Allah Almighty. (Kitab Un Nikah, Al Jami Al Sahih Al Bukhari)
Islam not only discourages the act of extramarital affairs and considers it immoral, but at the same time it permits an Islamic State to implement and enforce the penalties in case a believing man and a woman commit the immoral act even after knowing about its lewdness.
It says that the man and the woman guilty of fornication flog each of them with a hundred stripes and let not compassion move you in their case in the enforcement of the law of God, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day.
And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. The man guilty of fornication may only marry a woman similarly guilty or an idolatress and the woman guilty of fornication may only marry such a man or an idolater. The believers are forbidden such marriages. (24:2-3)
So why nowadays do so many have extra-marital affairs?
As Pakistan is an Islamic state, it follows the guidance according to Quran and Sunnah. Hudood ordinance of Pakistan was made under the military rule of general Zia in 1979, which included The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, VII of 1979. Zina (adultery/fornication) is prohibited in the Qur’an and it is a punishable offence. This ordinance defined zina a lot more liberally, where zina means adultery, fornication, prostitution and rape.
There are several, social, cultural, psychological reasons of why they get involved in extramarital relations. Some reasons are: personal finances, early marriages, married without consulting (pressures from families), no common interests, dissatisfaction (physical/emotional), emotional disconnection, among several others.
Marriage should be respected. Marriage makes an incomplete human being a complete one. Marriage completes one’s faith.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH says:
“No house has been built in Islam more beloved in the sight of Allah than through marriage.” (Wasa’il ul-Shi’a, vol. 14, p. 3)
“One who marries, has already guarded half of his religion, therefore he should fear Allah for the other half.” (Kitab Un Nikah, Al Jami Al Sahih Al Bukhari).
Islam shows us the right path, then why not to tread on the path (Sirat Al Mustaqeem) of Allah? Why cheat on your spouses and wives? Don’t you fear from Allah and the life in Hereafter?