It is not just penal laws that find mention in the Qur’an. In fact, Islam views the recourse to penal law only as a last resort. The Qur’an teaches that all circumstances which can lead to extra-marital sexual affairs must first be removed. All laws and regulations for that purpose are provided by the Qur’an. They can be summarized as follows:
One : Men and women are to dress decently. As sight constitutes the prime motivation of the sexual impulse in man, women are not to dress in such a fashion as to display their beauty.
Two : There should be nothing in society which is of a sexually provocative nature. Indeed, in an Islamic society caberrets, dances, beauty contests, ballets and the like are never permitted.
Three : The unrestricted mingling of the sexes, which ultimately leads to adultery, must be prevented.
Four : The use of sex as a profession must be completely banned. For in an Islamic society, prostitutes, call-girls, sex-bombs, nude models and the like are an impossibility.
Five: Men and women (excepting for the husband or any relative with whom marriage has been prohibited ) are not to travel together.
Six :Men and women are not to converse freely except in the presence of another person.
Seven : Unless they have become mates through the institution of marriage, men and women are not to gaze at each other with lewed passion.
Eight : They are not to speak, or flirt, in a manner that evokes lust.
Nine : If a man comes with the offer of marriage, the guardians of the woman must come forward to offer her in marriage to him if he is seen to be of a suitable person.
Ten : In the case of the men who cannot find contentment in a single woman, there is also the provisions – albeit, a conditional one – to marry more than one woman.
Firstly, the Qur’an seeks to remove all situations which serve to inflame sexual passions and to promote crime of adultery. Secondly, it provides for an open permission for the fulfillment of desires through recourse to a lawful procedure. Even after this, those who opt for illegal means for the fulfillment of their desires actually destroy the moral fabric of society as well as the family. Islam’s prescription here is to award severe punishments in such cases.
Circumstances play not an insignificant role in tempting man to commit sin. In actual terms, therefore, due to the transformation of the media and the market into the promoters of sexual provocation and the current stand of the society in seeing in extra-marital relationships nothing of a sinful nature, the attacks against womenhave only risen to alarming heights. Take the case of Kerala itself. If the number of reported cases of rape in Kerala in 1997 was 193, 266 in 1995 and 399 in 1996, it rose to 588 in 1997. A 121.05 percent increase in just two years! By the month of October’98, 461 cases of rape were reported. (Courtesy: Mathrubhumi Weekly, 24.05.1999). What could be the reason for this ? The shift in the position of the society as regards to extra-marital affairs and the exploitation of feminine charms by the media and the market have played out not a small part of their own in dontributing to the riseof atrocities against wemen. If such a state of affairs is to continue, even women who lead decent lives will not be allowed to go about in peace in Kerala. This situation cannot exist in an Islamic society. For there can be no instance wherein women cannot live free of the fear of losing their chastity. Indeed, in the time of the Prophet very few people, whose number could be virtually counted by the fingers of one’s hands, were punished for adultery. So was it during the reign of the Caliphs. Although thesway of the media and the influence of western culture have all served to create much decadence, the low rate of crime even today in countries where the Qur’anic penal laws are implemented highlights its practicability through all ages.