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 In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his family, and companions.

 

Zinaa (adultery) in Islam is among the greatest sins that Allah has promised its doer with great punishment. Moreover, He forbade any action that might lead to committing adultery in the end. He -Almighty-  says:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلاً﴾ (الإسراء:32)

Which means: "Do not even approach adultery. It is indecent and an evil act" [17: 32]

He also says:

﴿وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ﴾ (الأنعام:151)

Which means: "And come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret"

The prohibition of Incest is and has been one of the most common taboos in many religions and cultures – both in the present and past societies. Most societies have laws and regarding the prohibition of closely consanguineous marriages. As for Islam,  incest is a sin greater than adultery because if adultery is Haraam among general people, it is more Haraam to commit incest, along with being contrary to the common sense and an evidence of morality degeneration. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said: "The greatest Zina at all is incest". The clear and detailed evidence on the prohibition of incest in Islam is mentioned in the Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah;

Allah Almighty says:

﴿حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُمْ وَعَمَّاتُكُمْ وَخَالَاتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الْأَخِ وَبَنَاتُ الْأُخْتِ وَأُمَّهَاتُكُمُ اللَّاتِي أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَاتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَاتُ نِسَائِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّاتِي فِي حُجُورِكُم مِّن نِّسَائِكُمُ اللَّاتِي دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُوا دَخَلْتُم بِهِنَّ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَائِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَابِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُوا بَيْنَ الْأُخْتَيْنِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴾ (النساء:23)

Translation:" Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives' mothers, your step daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in - but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), - the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, Allah is Oft­ Forgiving, Most Merciful" (4:23)

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever has intercourse with a Mahram relative, kill him;" (Sahih according to Ibn Majah)

 

As for the penalty of incest, Muslim Scholars are unanimously agreed that the one who commits incest deserves the Hadd (penalty). They only differed with regard to the nature of hadd; some say that the doer must be executed in all cases, whether he was married or unmarried, based on the above Hadith. This was narrated from Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him), and this is also the view of Jabir ibn Zayd, Ishaq, Abu Ayyub and Ibn Khaythamah.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said that the one who commits incest must be executed with in all cases.

He said: It is apparent from the author's view that there is no difference between zina with a mahram relative and others, but in case of incest, the penalty is execution in all cases, based on a saheeh hadeeth that speaks of that. This is also the view of Ibn al-Qayyim in his book al-Jawaab al-Kaafi (the adequate answer).

However, the majority of Scholars are of the view that he must be subjected to the hadd of Zina in general; so if he was married he must be stoned until death, and if he was not married he must be given one hundred lashes. This is the view of Al-Hasan, Malik and Al-Shaafa'i. Allah knows best.

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