A Man Raped His Daughter-in-Law: Any Punishment?
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A Man Raped His Daughter-in-Law: Any Punishment?



Reply Date

Feb 24, 2019


As-salamu `alaykum. I want to know if a father-in-law rapes his daughter-in-law, then his daughter-in-law and her husband can live life together as husband and wife. What is the punishment for the father-in-law according to Islam?




Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- There is a severe punishment in the Shari`ah for rape. But the punishment should be carried out by the Muslim authority not by individuals.

2- As for the raped woman or girl, she is not blamable at all and she should make duaa to Allah Almighty to help her overcome such a situation.

Responding to your question, Dr. Muhammad Salama, PhD in Islamic Studies in English and an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Science, Al-Madinah International University, states:

This is a very shocking incident. Raping a woman is a very heinous crime that incurs the wrath of Allah as well as severe worldly punishment. To be committed by a father-in-law makes it more terrible. How could this father face his son after that?!

In the Shari`ah, a raper (a man who has forced a woman to have sexual intercourse) deserves the same punishment of an adulterer and a fornicator; that is, to be stoned to death if he ever has been married or to be whipped 100 lashes if he was a virgin.

According to Imam Malik, a raper has also to pay a suitable dowry for the victim in compensation.

Moreover, if rape took place under armed coercion, the raper becomes punishable by the penalties mentioned in the Quranic verse,

{Assuredly, the [just] recompense for those who wage war against God and His Messenger, and go about in the land sowing corruption, is nothing less than that they be killed or crucified, or that their hands and their feet be cut off on opposite sides, or that they be exiled from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this world. And for them there shall be in the Hereafter a great torment.} (Al-Ma’idah 5:33)

The judge decides the suitable punishment.

It is noteworthy in this regard that the Shari`ah penalties are to be executed by Muslim authorities not by individuals so as not to cause chaos in the society.

It is noteworthy also that when a wife has been raped, her husband should not have sex with her before she menstruates in order to make sure that she is not pregnant.

A raped woman is not blamable and her husband should support her in this shocking incident. The situation is difficult, of course, but such a woman has to pray to Allah earnestly to relieve her distress and help her overcome this great test.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Dr. Muhammad Salama

Dr. Muhammad Salama, PhD, Islamic Studies in English, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences al-Madinah International University (Mediu)

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