Repetition of zina not condition to implement the hadd
Fatwa No: 320974

  • Fatwa Date:6-4-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 28, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. About the verse about whipping the one who fornicates, I heard a person quote Ibn ʻAshoor, saying that the noun shows that this is only for people who did it over and over again, not just once. Is this interpretation true? Please do not send me another fatwa unless it answers my question.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

After careful research and investigation of the possible interpretation of the statements about this topic in Ibn ʻAshoor's book At-Tahreer wa At-Tanweer, one of his most famous books, we could not find any trace of this statement. Muslim scholars mentioned a set of agreed-upon conditions and others about which they held differed views for implementing the hadd (corporal punishment) of fornication in their books ; none of them stated that one of the conditions is repeating the sinful act of fornicating. You can refer to the Fiqh books and review these conditions according to the different schools of Fiqh.

If you mean repeating the confession of committing fornication, then some scholars held that it is one of the conditions for implementing the hadd. Ibn Daqeeq Al-ʻEed  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

The Hanafis held that the person who fornicated must confess his crime four times as a condition for the execution of the hadd. They believed that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, delayed the execution of the hadd in the incident of the man who fornicated until he confessed it four times because the hadd cannot be implemented except after four confessions. They argued that if one confession was enough to implement the hadd, the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, would not have delayed the executing it. Abu Hurayrah, the narrator of this hadeeth, said, ‘When he testified four times that he did it, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, called him...’ This indicates that the fact that he had confessed four times was the reason for subjecting him to the hadd.

The Shaafiʻis and Maalikis and their followers maintained that one confession is enough to execute the hadd based on qiyaas (analogy) with the other rights (hudood, plural of hadd). They did not hold that the execution of the hadd must be delayed until the sinner confesses four times was for the reason which Abu Haneefah mentioned. Rather, they believed that the delay was merely for the purpose of verification and investigation of the crime because prudence is the fundamental factor as far as the implementation of the hadd is concerned and they are dismissed in case of uncertainty.” [Ihkaam Al-Ahkaam]

Also, this issue itself was not addressed in Ibn ʻAshoor's book At-Tahreer wa At-Tanweer.

Allaah knows best.

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