The Evil Consequences of Adultery and Fornication

All praise is due to Allaah alone; may Allaah exalt the mention of Prophet Muhammad, after whom there have been and will be no other Prophets.

Adultery and fornication bring about great corruption and evil which spread easily. Major evil effects result from these which cause serious damage to those who commit it as well as to the Muslim nation as a whole. Due to the fact that these sins are widespread, and because there are many avenues that lead to them, the evils consequences and great damage that result from these sins must be known. Adultery and fornication result in the following:

  • The combination of all evil qualities; it weakens faith, uproots piety and jealousy, corrupts morality and wipes out virtue.
  • Killing bashfulness and rendering the committers of them as shameless.
  • Making the face dark and gloomy to anyone who looks at it.
  • Darkening the hearts and making it lose its light.
  • Making the committer suffer from continuous poverty as Allaah says in the Qudsi Hadeeth:
    “I will destroy tyrants and afflict adulterers and fornicators with poverty.”
  • Making the committer insignificant in the sight of Allaah, and making him lose respect and value from mankind.
  • Depriving the committer from the description of being virtuous and chaste, and replacing it with the description of being a fornicator (or adulterer), a sinner and a deceiver.
  • Causing their committer forlornness which Allaah instils in their hearts and this reflects on their faces, while chaste people have cheerful faces and happy hearts, and anyone who sits with them rejoices – which is quite the opposite to fornicators and adulterers.
  • Causing people to deal with the committer with doubt and mistrust.
  • Things usually going against what fornicators and adulterers hoped for, and consequently causing them to become depressed. One who seeks enjoyment by disobeying Allaah will be punished by getting opposite of what he wished for. Good can only be achieved through obedience to Allaah, for Allaah did not make disobedience to Him a way leading to good. If only fornicators and adulterers knew the enjoyment that comes from remaining chaste, they would realize that what they missed out on is far more than the enjoyment they had in committing this sin.
  • Fornicators and adulterers lose the chance of enjoying the ladies of Paradise.
  • Stimulating the committer to sever ties with parents and family, earn ill-gotten money, oppress people and lose his family. This sin usually happens after committing other sins which lead to it, and it also causes more sins to takes place.
  • Destroying a female’s dignity and bringing shame upon her and her family.
  • Disgrace, which results from this act and is worse and longer lasting than that of those who committed this act as disbelievers, because once a disbeliever sincerely repents from his disbelief and embraces Islaam, his disgrace disappears and he is cleared Islamically as well as in the sight of other people. This is the opposite to Muslim fornicators and adulterers who do become Islamically clear after their repentance, but are still considered to have a lower rank than those Muslims who have always been pure and chaste. If one takes an honest look around their society, they will surely observe that those women who have committed adultery or fornication, subsequently find it very difficult to find a willing spouse.
  • If a woman commits adultery or fornication and later has an abortion, she has committed two major sins. If she is married and lies by claiming that this child is her husband’s, she is bringing in a foreign person to her home who will, as an adult, see members of the family whom he is not Islamically permitted to without cover; he would sit alone with some of them and inherit from them while he is not permitted Islamically to do so, as well as committing many other evil sins unknowingly.
  • Bringing into the Muslim community a child who would be deprived from having parents and kinship who would instruct and guide him while growing up. Moreover, this child would live through his life feeling degraded and less than others in rank within the community.
  • Men who commit adultery or fornication ruin the chastity of women who were previously chaste and this may result in their spinsterhood.
  • Instigating enmity and fuelling the fire of revenge in the family of the woman, because of the disgrace the family of the woman would feel as a result of this sin. Moreover, jealousy is a natural feeling of any normal human. Sa’d Ibn ‘Ubaadah may Allaah be pleased with him said: “If I see a man with my wife I would strike him with my sward” and when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam heard this statement he remarked: “Are you surprised at the jealousy of Sa’d; I swear by Allaah I am more jealous than him, and Allaah is more jealous than me; and the jealousy of Allaah is over evil sins committed openly and in secret.” ((Al-Bukhaari & Muslim).
  • It becoming easier for the females in the fornicator or adulterers family to fall into the same sin once his action is discovered, if their upbringing was not Islamically founded. On the other hand, one who refrains from adultery and fornication and does not accept it for himself and others gains respect due to this and this enables him maintain his household’s chastity.
  • Many physical ailments which can be uncontrollable and might even cause death, such as ‘Aids’, ‘Herpes’ and many other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The destruction of the Muslim nation which results from the anger of Allaah upon people, as a whole. Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him said: “Whenever fornication and adultery becomes widespread in a village, Allaah commands its destruction.” What proves that adultery and fornication are such great sins is the fact that Allaah has set special penal laws for those who commit them.

    Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Allaah has made the penal laws related to adultery and fornication distinct in three ways: first, is that the penalty of death for it (whenever applicable) is done in the harshest manner possible, second, is that Allaah forbade His slaves to be merciful with those who commit adultery or fornication while punishing them, and third, is that Allaah commanded their punishment to be carried out in public in front of the believers and not concealed, and there is a great wisdom behind this, for it acts as a deterrent to others from committing adultery or fornication.”

It is worth mentioning that people differ with regard to this sin; the one who commits it with numerous people is not like one who commits it with a sole partner; the one who commits it and hides this is not the same as the one who does it in the open; committing it with a married person is greater than with a single person, as this involves transgressing other’s rights and ruining their marital life.

Furthermore, committing adultery or fornication with a neighbour’s wife is greater than with other women, because those who do this harm their neighbour and violate the command of Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not to harm them. Likewise, committing it with the wife of a person who has left for Jihaad is worse than with other women.

Just as the gravity of the sin varies according to the woman being slept with, it also differs according to the time and place it is committed in. The one who commits adultery or fornication during the month of Ramadhaan is worse than one who commits it outside that month, and the one who commits it in a sacred place is worse than one who commits it away from it.

Adultery or fornication committed by an old man is worse than if it is committed by a youth; a scholar is worse than a common person and wealthy men who can afford to get married are worse than those who do not have the means to get married with respect to adultery and fornication.

How to repent from adultery or fornication

After we have discovered the gravity of adultery and fornication and its destructive evil consequences upon individuals and communities, we must state that sincere repentance from adultery or fornication is mandatory upon whoever has committed it or assisted others in doing so; such a person must also regret what they have done and never return to adultery or fornication again.

One who commits adultery or fornication must not turn himself in to the authorities and confess to his crime; it is enough for him to sincerely repent to Allaah and keep his sin concealed. If he possesses photographs, videos, or audio tapes of the one with whom he had this illicit sexual relation, he must destroy them all and if he gave any of these to anybody then he must retrieve them all and destroy them.

The woman who commits adultery or fornication should not stop from repenting because someone recorded the sin; she must rush to repent and not hold back from this due to threats of blackmail, because Allaah is sufficient as a protector. She must know that the one who is blackmailing her is a coward and will be exposing himself if he distributes these tapes. Which is easier, being exposed in front of the people for a short period in this life with a repentance which wipes away the sin, or in the Hereafter in front of all creation, and then go to the Hellfire as an abode?

It is recommended that she seeks the help of a wise man from her Mahaarim (her husband or any male relative whom she cannot marry from her relatives, such as her father, brother, uncle, etc.) to help her find a way out of this predicament.


People must repent from adultery or fornication and break ties with anything which might remind them of this sin; they must humble themselves before Allaah so that perhaps He will accept their repentance and forgive them, and replace the sins that they have committed with rewards. Allaah says what means, “And those who invoke not any other god along with Allaah, nor kill such life as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse; and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic monotheism) and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Furqaan: 68-70).

Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Hamad