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ADULTERY

see also Marriage.

Upon the testimony of four witnesses, or if the husband caught his wife in the act, he is to swear "by Allah four times that he is truthful and the fifth that Allah's damnation be brought upon him if he was lying", the adulterer and adulteress are to be punished. It is said that the wife would be given the final word and would acquit herself completely if she takes a counter-oath "swearing four times by Allah that the man is a liar, and the fifth that Allah's damnation be brought upon her if he was truthful". Those who falsely accuse chaste women are to be flogged with 80 stripes (an-Nur 24:4-10).

Much controversy has surrounded the source of the punishment for adultery. The penalty prescribed in the Qur'an is 100 stripes (an-Nur 24:2). However, Muslim jurists have made a distinction between pre-marital sex and extra-martial affairs. Some traditions say that the verse is missing from the Qur'an. The sharia rests its authority on the hadiths to prescribe the penalty of stoning for married adulterers.


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