Is fornication considered zina?

Adultery is considered zina. So, what if a single man is having relationship with a woman or an unmarried woman with a man, is this situation called as sinning or is it considered zina?

Zināʾ (Arabic: الزنا‎ ) is generally defined by Islamic Law as unlawful sexual relations/intercourse. All type of sexual relations such as adultery, fornication and other types (between the owner and his female slave) are considered zina. Islam strictly prohibits any kind of sexual relationship between the people without having  a marriage.

Being single does  not give you the permission to have sexual relations with others. Following verses from the Holy Qur’an covers this issue:

وَالَّذ۪ينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ اِلَّا عَلٰىۤ اَزْوَاجِهِمْ اَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ اَيْمَانُهُمْ فَاِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُوم۪ينَ

They who guard their private parts; only to their wives or those their right hands possess, they will not be reproof. (Al-Mu’minon/The Believers 23:5-6)

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا اَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ اَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِه۪ شَيْـًٔا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ اِحْسَانًا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوۤا اَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ اِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَاِيَّاهُمْ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّت۪ي حَرَّمَ اللّٰهُ اِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ذٰلِكُمْ وَصّٰيكُمْ بِه۪ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

…do not approach to indecencies, what is apparent of them and what is concealed… (Al-An’am/The Cattle 6:151)

اِذْ تَلَقَّوْنَهُ بِاَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَتَقُولُونَ بِاَفْوَاهِكُمْ مَا لَيْسَ لَكُمْ بِه۪ عِلْمٌ وَتَحْسَبُونَهُ هَيِّنًا وَهُوَ عِنْدَ اللّٰهِ عَظ۪يمٌ

…Zina at the sight of Allah, is a grievous sin.

(Surat An-Nūr 24/15 “Zina” word located in the 2nd verse of the Surat and carried on its meaning to the following verse) 

 وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنٰىۤ اِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاۤءَ سَب۪يلًا

And do not approach to unlawful sexual intercourse(adultery, fornication); surely it is an indecency and an evil way. (Al-Isra/ The Night Journey 17:32)

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Date: Feb 2, 2012