Pre-marital sex is absolutely forbidden in Islam, no matter whether it is with a girl-friend or a prostitute. Pre-material sex is adultery (zina).
It is also an irresponsible sexual behaviour. There is no responsibility involved in such relationships. The most vulnerable person in such relationship is the woman. Statistics can over-whelmingly prove that man has often cheated innocent woman in pre-material sex. Today half of all American men and women in their 30s cohabited before marriage, many of them on the assumption that it is better to look -deeply- before they leap. But studies now demonstrate that couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who do not.1 Glen Elder, a sociologist at University of North Carolina, has this to say about cohabitation: “It’s a relationship that attracts those, mainly men, who are looking for an easy way out and it is uncertain what, if anything, it contributes to marriage.”2 A 24 years old lady wrote the following in a letter to Ann landers: “… The line [in a previous letter] that struck home was from the teenager who said she knew lots of girls her age who had several partners ‘just for the fun of it’. I found that odd because I was having sex at 16 and it was no fun at all. Sleeping with guys wasn’t exciting or thrilling, it was degrading. It made me feel lonelier and emptier than ever. I also worried from month to month about being pregnant. That can be a real hell … If I could talk to the young girls who read your column, I would tell them that teenage sex doesn’t solve problems, it creates more. It doesn’t make a girl feel loved. It makes her feel cheap. I’d let them know that it doesn’t make a girl ‘more of a woman’, it can make her less of one.”3
Allah says: Do not go near adultery, surely it is an indecency, and an evil way [of fulfilling sexual urge]. (17:32) Adultery has severely been condemned in the saying of the Prophet and the Imams. In Islam, pre-marital sex is considered an immoral act against the girls of Allah and one’s own sexual organs.
It is a sin punishable by the Islamic court. If an unmarried man and an unmarried woman are found guilty of adultery in an Islamic court, their punishment will be as the following: The adulteress and adulterer -scourge each of them a hundred whips; and in the matter of God’s religion, let no tenderness for them seize you if you believe in God and the Last Day; and let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (24:2) If the unmarried man or woman commit adultery more than once, then they will be punished three times by hundred wipes; and if they are proven guilty for the fourth time, then they will be put to death.4 (As for extra-marital affair, its punishment is even more severe because married persons have no excuse, whatsoever, to commit adultery. The shari’ah says that married persons guilty of adultery should be stoned to death).
Therefore, pre-marital sex is out of question as a means of fulfilling sexual urge.
1. Newsweek, p. 57
3. The Vancouver Sun, Dec. 5, 1989.
4. See the chapter on “hudud” in Sharaya’ and Sharh Lum’a; also al-Khu’i, Takmilah, p.37-8.
Adapted from: “Marriage & Morals in Islam” by: “Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi”