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I am a muslim girl, al hamdulilah convinced but always trying to love more my religion by knowing more, it can honestly get a little bit because I live in spain but i really try my best. So, when it comes to religion my references are quraan, books, the internet and of course my mother.

so we were talking about girls who got raped, and she basically said that she'd probably rather for the girl to be dead than raped. She is my mother, with all respect , I said: would you rather see me dead than raped? she just didn't answer.

I want to know what islam thinks about a girl being raped. Everything, from how she should be treated from where she should stands on the eyes of people.

I am really overwhelmed with this, I do not know what to answer her because she is my mother. Also I must clarify that she is an educated woman, she went to college, but she was raised in a very very conservative family in which woman had no right to say 'NO', so i think that tradition rule more than religion, something i try my best not to follow because I do not think it is correct. Please correct me if I am wrong. I want to be a better muslim and I seek knowledge.

thank you very much for your time.

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This is quite a broad question, so I will attempt to answer the major issues related to raped women in Islam.


Proof of rape

Proof of rape is the same as adultery:

  • Rape without threat (e.g., deception or exchange rape) requires four witnesses or a confession.
  • Rape with threat is considered banditry or harāba (Arabic: حرابة), which requires two witnesses (regardless of whether rape occurs or not) or a confession.

Punishment

The punishment for rape is as follows:

  • Rapist gets the same punishment as committing adultery: 100 lashes for a virgin rapist, and death by stoning for a non-virgin rapist, in addition to payment of a financial compensation.
  • Rapist gets the death or crucifixion penalty, in addition to payment of a financial compensation.
  • Marital rape, where a husband is accused of raping his wife, is not punishable in Islam.

In the gloss of Sharh al-Zurqāni of Muatta' Mālik 16/37 (Arabic: شرح الزرقاني على موطأ الإمام مالك), Imam Malik ibn Anas is quoted to have said that the man who rapes a woman, virgin or not, must pay her a dowry similar to that of her peers. The [adultery] punishment is only for the rapist, and there is no punishment for the woman under any condition. This is based on the opinion of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (see the account by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya below), and equally adopted by Al-Layth ibn Sa'd, Al-Shafi'i, and other scholars.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in his book Al-Turuq al-Hukmiyya (Arabic: الطرق الحكمية في السياسة الشرعية) said that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab was about to have a woman stoned to death for admitting to having committed adultery. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib questioned her reason, and she said that her business partner, when she was desperately thirsty, would only give her something to drink if she let him have his way with her. She refused three times but finally gave in. As this was a crime punishable through confession, it was considered exchange rape, and she went unpunished.

If the rape is committed under threat of a weapon or after an abduction, it is considered banditry, which is punishable by death according to the verse below (Ibn Qudamah in Al-Mughni 7322 said it is left to the judge to enforce either punishment):

إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَن يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.

Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:33


The Victim

The Prophet ﷺ said that we are exempt from punishment when the act is out of ignorance, forgetfulness, or force:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ قَالَ:‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَضَعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا اسْتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْهِ

It was narrated from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Allah has forgiven my nation for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do."

Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 10, Hadith 2123

The raped woman gets rewarded by Allah, in addition to the monetary compensation, in according to the following hadith:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ قَالَ: مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلاَ وَصَبٍ وَلاَ هَمٍّ وَلاَ حُزْنٍ وَلاَ أَذًى وَلاَ غَمٍّ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that."

Sahih al-Bukhari 5641, 5642


Self-defence

The scholarly view is that one is obliged to defend one's:

  • religion
  • life
  • honor
  • mental soundness
  • wealth.

An act of defense of any these five items that results in harm to the aggressor is not punishable:

عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ يَقُولُ:‏ مَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ مَالِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دِينِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ دَمِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ وَمَنْ قُتِلَ دُونَ أَهْلِهِ فَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ

Narrated Zaid: that he heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying: "Whoever is killed over his wealth then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his religion, then he is a martyr, and whoever is killed over his blood, then he is martyr, and whoever is killed over his family, then he is martyr."

Jami' at-Tirmidhi 1421

Accordingly, a woman should try to defend herself from her rapist, even to the extent of killing him if necessary, and she would not be punished for her act of self-defense.

Ibn Qudamah said in Al-Mughni that the view of Imam Ibn Hanbal was that a woman who kills her attacker to protect herself is not at fault, then he mentioned the hadith above.


Culture and honor killing

Culture plays a great deal when it comes to crime that touches the honor of the family. Honor killing is a major concern, to varying degrees, all over the world.

Rape victims may face severe punishment from their own family members for allegedly bringing disgrace to the family. This, however, is not based on teachings of Islam, albeit reportedly more prevalent in countries with a majority of Muslims.


More information

For more information, please refer to Islam Q&A Fatwa 72338: Ruling on the crime of rape.

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Matters like these are taboo in Muslim societies which leads to a lot of misconceptions. Your argument basically boils down to "can one take their life in extreme forced circumstances?"

This question was never more important that in current times. The logic of suicide bombing is exactly built on top of this question. And as you may already know there is difference of opinion on the matter, with some Ulema legitimizing actions like that but the vast majority condemning them.

We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. "This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire." When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet's statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. "The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man. [Sahih al-Bukhari]

A woman may resist, using whatever means, so much that she ends up dying in the process and this would be martyrdom, but taking away her life to escape rape would be tantamount to suicide. If she ends up killing the offender she won't have any sin on her.

And this makes great sense, because it is putting trust in Allah (swt) and doing a Jihad of your own. This is no promise that a Muslim will always be triumphant, defeat is an acceptable outcome of Jihad. If overwhelmed, however, then one must resort to Sabr. As traumatic as it is, it's still not the end of life and who knows what better rewards await one in the remainder of their life. The rapist will either surrender all good deeds to the victim on the day of judgement or will take up the victims sins on their neck, or both.

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