I saw a video about one or two years ago which i cannot seem to find at the moment, in which there was a muslim speaker preaching about Islam to a bunch of children, whom were also obviously muslims. In the video the speaker asked questions, and this was one of them (Probably not accurate word for word):

"The Qu'ran tells us death by stoning is the right punishment for adultery, so whom of you in this room think that this is the right punishment for adulterers?"

Every child in the room as far as I could tell were pointing their arm to the ceiling.

Does every child in the room want to kill adulterers with stones, or am I missing something here?

Is there a specific group/groups of islam followers who would be more primitive and violent like this than other groups?

  • Is it a fair summary of the question that you ask whether in islam, stoning to death is the punishment for adultery, and how well this opinion is subscribed to?
    – G. Bach
    Nov 28, 2016 at 19:22
  • Yes I guess that is the main part of the question I'm asking. Thanks for clarifying. Nov 28, 2016 at 19:30
  • No and I've been looking for the video forever without being able to find it unfortunately. Yes, the question was asked (in a very bias-provoking and aggressive way) and almost every child in the room raised their hand affirmatively as if they actually wanted to stone adulterers because that was what the Quran said to do; the "right thing" to do. May 31, 2017 at 20:09
  • @Envayo Correct, and the kids have given their answer already, however the question posed was not whether that was what they actually answered (I could see that in the video), but whether I might have misunderstood. I realize this might be impossible to tell without the original video, but I was looking for someone who might understand the eventual misconception (which is a lot to ask for without providing the video) or might have seen the video to answer. However, that was a blatant "yes" by the children to a blatantly obvious question posed about stoning adulterers. Jun 2, 2017 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


Stoning an adulterer is the universally accepted legal punishment among the scholars of sunni islam (see e.g. islamqa), and I think among shia scholars as well. The material law (i.e. what is the punishment and what constitutes adultery) is quite clear; penetrative sex while married with someone you are not married to constitutes adultery, and the punishment is being stoned to death.

The procedural law, i.e. questions of burden of proof etc., is a different matter. To prove adultery via eye-witnesses would require four adult male muslim witnesses of good standing who actually saw the penis enter the vagina. I have also seen the opinion that the husband who finds his wife having sex with another man could swear four times (this is called "li'aan"; search "should make him swear four times by Allaah" on that page) to replace the four witnesses in order to match the burden of proof; the so-accused wife can herself swear four times to avert stoning. Proving her husband has been adulterous by means of li'aan is not accepted from the wife according to that link. I do not know how widespread li'aan is, but the source for it, 24:6-24:9, suggests that it is probably widely accepted. Another way of meeting the burden of proof is a confession by the offender.

To gauge the popular support for this punishment in the general population, the pew research center polled the populations of majority-muslim countries; with Turkey at 16% of the muslim population in support of stoning adulterers to death forming the least committed group, it seems like a very significant proportion of muslims worldwide is willing to support this punishment, at least by voicing that opinion in a poll. The question whether they would work towards implementing it, or tolerate it once it is enacted into law, is not really answerable from that data, of course.

  • Why did you twist the IslamQA link (largely considered unreliable) by removing the part in which if the female does li'an she can avoid the hadd?
    – John Doe
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:47
  • @G.Bach No, it's a matter of proof also, as the one who sweared proof would not reach the hudud level of evidence to carry out the hadd. It's important yet you left it. In general IslamQA is unreliable.
    – John Doe
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:19
  • @G.Bach OK . . .
    – John Doe
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:22
  • Still no mention of the famous legal maxim that every Muslim jurist agreed on that "Ward off the Hudud by ambiguities" and no mention of other deterrents such as if a confessed adulterer/adulteress retracted his/her confession.
    – John Doe
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:25
  • This is just the kind of answer I wanted. Thank you G. Bach for an informative and well written answer. Nov 29, 2016 at 23:33

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