In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Quran: Chapter 18 ‘Qad Aflaha’ ‘Successful indeed are’, Sura: 24 ‘An Nur’ ‘The Light’, Verse: 2
Verse 2: The, Zaniya, fornicatoress and the, Zani, fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity with hold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let the party of believers witness their punishment.
Difficult words: Fornicator: refers to consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. Flog: whip, lash.
Explanation by samia2010oct: All types of illegal sex, whether between opposite sexes or between same sexes or with children or with animals, is included in this Verse. For unwedded female fornicatoress the punishment by Allah for illegal sex is one hundred lashes and confinement at her own home till she repents. After fornicator and fornicatoress repent and after the lashes they endure their honor in society is re-established in Islam and no one from society is allowed to verbally abuse them or talk about the punishment they endured. If anyone talks that way he or she commits Big Sin, Gunaahe Kabira.
It is Big Sin Gunaahe Kabira to commit illegal sex. For Big Sins, Gunaah e Kabira, there is the punishment of unbearable burning of whole body by Unending Fire. At this point we also remember that there are many sins for which the punishment by Allah starts in this world too and this sin is one of them.
Explanation by Ibne Kathir: This honorable Ayah contains the ruling on the law of retaliation for the person who commits illegal sex, and details of the punishment.
Such a person will either be unmarried, meaning that he/ she has never been married, or he/ she will be married, meaning that he/ she has had intercourse within the bounds of a lawful marriage, and he/ she is free, adult and of sound mind.
As for the virgin who is unwedded, the prescribed punishment is one hundred stripes, as stated in this Ayah.
In addition to this the unwedded male is to be banished from his homeland for one year if the person who is guilty of illegal sex is a virgin and unmarried, he should be banished in addition to being given one hundred stripes.
But if married, meaning he/ she has had intercourse within the bounds of lawful marriage, and he/ she is free, adult and of sound mind, then he/ she should be stoned to death.
Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, Meaning, with a ruling prescribed by Allah.
So the meaning of the Ayah is: “Do not feel too sorry for them where the laws of Allah are established.”
This does not mean that we should not naturally feel pity when carrying out the punishment. What is prohibited here is the kind of pity that may make the judge ignore the punishment altogether. This is what is not permitted for the judge.
And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.
This is more humiliating for the people who are guilty of illegal sex, if they are flogged in front of the people. This is because it is more effective as a deterrent and it conveys the sense of scandal and rebuke.