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In the below question asked earlier on this site,

What actions would constitute zina?

there is this below Hadith:

According to the version narrated by Muslim:

“The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the ears is listening, the zina of the tongue is speaking, the zina of the hand is touching, and the zina of the foot is walking. The heart wishes and longs and the private part confirms that or denies it.” Muslim, 2657

I understand the first five types but not the last. Can someone give a tafsir on the meaning of the last statement (in bold)?

There is a related question but I see no accepted answer. So not sure on what to accept as per Ijtehad. What is zina of the heart? What things constitute zina of the heart?

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  • By acting on it (i.e. committing zina) or leaving it (i.e. not doing zina).
    – UmH
    Aug 26 at 14:35
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The Prophet (SAW) in this hadith mentions many body parts committing "Zina" (e.g. the eyes commit "Zina" by looking at what is forbidden to look at), then he mentions the heart yearning to commit Zina, then he says:

ويصدق ذلك الفرج أو يكذبه‏

and the private parts confirm that or deny it.

Imam Nawawi says:

والفَرْجُ يُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ كُلَّهُ أوْ يُكَذِّبُهُ معناه أنه قد يحقق الزنى بالفرج وقد لا يحققه بأن لا يُولِجُ الفَرْجُ فِي الفَرْجِ

And the private parts make it all true or they make it false, meaning that Zina occurs in reality by the private parts and it does not occur in reality if the private part (of the man) does not go into the private part (of the woman). (Sharh An-Nawawi 16/206)

This means that all the previous "Zina's" are confirmed into true and actual Zina by the private parts acting or they are denied from becoming actual Zina by the private parts not doing Zina.

Allah says in the Quran:

And they who guard their private parts (23:5)

Those whose private parts remain guarded, they have denied the desires of the heart to commit Zina. Those whose private parts commit Zina, they have confirmed the desires of the heart.

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Asalaam Alaikum

in order to understand this, let us remind ourselves of these verses from quran and hadith from authenitc sunnah thus it will become easy then, insha Allah.

Allah the mighty and sublime says in the quran,

But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart [26:89]

it is narrated in sahih bukhari

Narrated An-Nu'man bin Bashir: (O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart. [sahih al-bukhari 52]

various scholars have also mentioned the importance of having a pure heart as it is the reason behind all our actions. please keep in mind the context in which we are taking the word 'heart'. all our whims and desires are born from our heart, it is also the place where our faith is.

this is about the part the heart longs and desires in another translation the heart wishes and longs [to commit the ultimate haram of zina]

now let us remind ourselves of these verses in quran,

That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn. [36:65]

Until, when they reach it, their hearing and their eyes and their skins will testify against them of what they used to do. [41:20]

these are the verses that explain the private confirms that or denies it.

we understand and believe that our intentions as long as it remains in our hearts, not put into action or words it is forgiven. once such a thing is put into action, that part of the body will testify against us infront of out Rabb on the aakhirah.

Ibn Battaal (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Looking and speaking are called zina because they invite one to true zina. Hence he said: “the private part confirms that or denies it.” [End quote from Fath al-Baari]

reference :

  • essay on the heart by ibn taymiyyah
  • diseases of the hearts and their cures by ibn taymiyyah
  • purification of the soul by jamaal al din zarabozo

may Allah the mighty and sublime grant you mercy and guide you to the straight path.

Allah knows best.

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Personally, I'm not convinced that 'private parts' is the best translation from the Arabic. It is often used but is not idiomatic English. It looks like it is a term in Arabic that has no straight forward single English word equivalent.

I would translate it as:

The heart wishes and longs, and the body confirms or denies this.

One hadith cimmentator, much more familiar with the English language, than some of the older translators are, translated it as:

Abu Huraira reported: Verily, Allah has written for the son of Adam his portion of adultery which he will inevitably commit: the adultery of the eyes is the lustful look, the adultery of the tongue is lustful speech. The soul craves and yearns; the passions will affirm or deny.

Often the body is used as a physical symbol of the more abstractly termed physical passions. Hence my translation is consonant with this.

The hadith is simply saying that everyone understand the truth of this hadith simply because everybody has a body and so understands the temptations of lust. This is straightforward.

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    You cannot simply change the question to match the translation you want. Keep your answer to explain why you think this translation is correct, but leave the original question as it is, since that is what the questioner asked.
    – The Z
    Sep 26 at 12:51
  • @The Z: I'm a native english speaker. I've only ever seen the term 'private parts' used in awkward translations of the Qu'ran/Hadith who were probably more familiar with classical arabic than English. The translation I used - the body - is common in poetic diction whereas the translation used by the hadith commentor/translator I referenced above used bodily passions. It's idiomatic English. Moreover, it's not just me who sees the usage as being awkward. Sep 26 at 12:58
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    Have you ever considered that they wrote the translation as private parts because the Arabic word means "private parts"?
    – The Z
    Sep 26 at 18:47
  • @The Z: Perhaps you might want to study translation theory? There are even MA courses on it. Sep 30 at 6:27
  • I am not sure of the relevance of your statement. If the Arabic word is cat, the translation in English must be cat, you can't translate to "animal." The Arabic word is private parts, hence that is the translation. It's great you want to translate idiomatically. But, you can't translate idiomatically than try to interpret the hadith's specific wordings with your translation! The point of an idiomatic translation is that the specific wording has been changed to fit the language.
    – The Z
    Sep 30 at 12:57

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