Punishment for Rape
What should be the punishment for ‘rape’ according to Qur’an?

Qur’an determines principles and measures to formulate the punishments for crimes; and then introduces exemplary solutions.
Crimes are categorized according to their qualities: towards person, towards society, towards God. 
Punishments are also categorized being worldly and ethereal, so are the verses related to these categories.

Let us see the particular principle that Allah introduces for criminal law:

“Whoever commits a misdeed shall not be requited except with its equivalent (misl); but whoever acts righteously, whether male or female, while he is faithful—such shall enter the Garden, and they will be provided for therein without account.” (Al-Mu’min/The Believer 40:40)

“The recompense of an evil deed is an equivalent punishment appropriate for it. Whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is given by Allah. Indeed, He does not like the wrongdoers.” (Ash-Shura/The Consultation 42:40)

According to our researches performed in the light of Qur’an, two types of sanctions must be imposed on the rapist. First of them is compensations, and the second one is punishment.

The rightful due of Allah that arises by the crime is between the criminal and Allah. If the criminal repents and corrects himself, then he is relieved from the burden of ethereal punishment. Since the punishment of his crime is considered in public-order crimes, the criminal cannot escape the punishment by any means, after conviction. The compensations can be forgiven by the aggrieved party since they are considered as sanctions of personal crimes:


Compensations may vary by the situation of the aggrieved party. One or more of the following may be approved at a time:

a. Criminal Fine (Blood Money/Diyat): The compensation to be paid in return of the injuries that have occurred due to rape is determined based on blood money in full.

b. Equivalent Marriage Gift [1] (Mehr al-Misl): Basing on the probabilities that the aggrieved party’s marriage may end, or she may never marry, or she may have to marry a spouse who is not her equivalent; the perpetrator is fined to pay for the marriage gift of an equivalent girl/woman to the aggrieved one.

For example, a virgin girl may lose the chance to marry an equivalent man she deserves or may have to marry a widowed man after being raped. Similarly, a married woman may face the probability of being divorced by her husband. Therefore, the perpetrator is imposed an ‘equivalent marriage gift’ penalty.

c. Hukumat al-Adl: The compensation to be paid in case that the aggrieved party loses the economical benefits she owns. Its amount is determined and decided by the experts in a proper method. As an example, the perpetrator is made to pay such a compensation when the aggrieved party loses her job, or her environment, or her prestige.


Since the perpetrator has forcibly harmed an organ, which is legally and ethically forbidden to be touched,  he deserves his organs being harmed. The damage caused by the perpetrator will influence the aggrieved party till the end of her life. Due to this characteristic of the crime, the punishment on the perpetrator must also be permanent. The only punishment with this characteristic is surgical castration. Therefore, punishment for rape is surgical castration.

Regarding the objections that claim; “permanent damage is done in return of a one time damage”:  that one time damage influences the aggrieved party till the end of her life so, its consequences are permanent. The same principle applies to theft; and the thief has to live without a hand until the end of his life.

And regarding the other objections that the punishment is severe: severity of the punishment sources from severity of the crime. Punishment for ordinary theft is amputation of one hand only; but in case of theft by fraud, one foot is amputated in addition to one hand (See Qur’an 5:33). Severity of the punishment increases by severity of the crime.

[1] Translator’s Note: The word we translate as ‘marriage gift’ is ‘mehr’. Mehr is money or properties given to the bride, and NOT to any of her relatives, by the groom upon marriage. Details about mehr may be found on the following link: http://www.islamandquran.org/fatwas/mehr.html

The article on this issue will be published online after being published in a peer-review journal.



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Date: Mar 25, 2015
Other Fatwas In This Category:
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1 Laughing in Public 2014.08.04 4,175
2 Whose approval stands first in marriage? 2013.06.02 2,924
3 Ruling on Women’s Working 2013.10.28 3,010
4 Eyebrow Plucking or Threading 2017.04.12 2,351
5 Do we need to have a major ablution after gynecologic examination? 2013.01.23 2,737
6 Visiting friends 2013.06.04 1,700
7 Women’s Visit to Their Parents 2013.10.30 3,385
8 Are Muslim Women Allowed to Go to Space? 2017.05.29 1,124
9 Is it lawful to choose a male doctor while there is a female doctor available? 2013.01.23 2,641
10 Breastfeeding without major ablution (ghusl) 2013.06.11 3,700
11 Women Working in Trousers 2013.11.04 3,832
12 Does a woman need to get a major ablution when she got examined by a male doctor? 2013.01.23 3,444
13 Circumambulation of a woman during her period 2013.08.29 4,550
14 Make-up, Nail Polish and Hair Dye 2013.11.11 7,938
15 Women Traveling Without a Mahram* 2009.09.02 9,654
16 Indifference of the husband 2013.06.14 3,753
17 Women swimming in public beaches 2013.12.04 4,246
18 Can a bride be with her father-in-law with her hair uncovered? 2013.02.06 4,665
19 Dowry 2013.06.15 2,492
20 Swimming alone and uncovered 2013.12.20 2,861
21 Can a woman be with her grandfather with her hair uncovered? 2013.02.06 2,186
22 Should women cook for their husbands? 2013.07.01 13,246
23 Veiling during nights 2013.12.27 6,770
24 Is it permitted to dance with the opposite sex for the purpose of personal development? 2013.03.10 3,710
25 Fasting of women during menstruation periods 2017.04.25 4,406
26 Being uncovered in home 2014.01.13 5,902
27 The Women’s Right To Divorce-Iftida 2009.08.25 3,404
28 What is the waiting period (iddah) for a woman who is divorced by her husband? 2013.03.19 3,885
29 Sexual intercourse during pregnancy 2013.08.23 33,808
30 The purpose of iddah 2014.01.29 4,352
31 Is Marriage Fard -Obligatory- In Islam? 2010.11.02 21,361
32 Is it a sin for a man and a woman to be alone in the same house? 2013.03.31 4,036
33 Women Travelling Alone 2013.08.26 3,019
34 Women in prayers 2014.03.16 2,505
35 Shaking hands with women 2011.09.19 4,290
36 What is the meaning of “people that your right hands possess”? 2013.04.15 4,097
37 Working of women 2017.07.05 3,690
38 Having children 2014.04.25 6,241
39 What is the ruling on polygamy? 2012.12.31 3,756
40 What is Mahr? 2013.05.08 3,164
41 Getting the period while fasting 2013.08.05 4,319
42 What is the minimum marriageable age of a little girl? 2016.04.20 9,731
43 Hair Dye 2011.12.30 21,954
44 Do men have a right to command to their wives? 2013.05.09 3,731
45 Talking to male relatives 2012.03.14 2,416
46 Touching and Reciting Qur’an Without Ablution or Ghusl 2016.03.30 9,513
47 Wife Beating 2010.10.20 7,025
48 Can a woman become a leader? 2013.05.18 2,522
49 Where should the wife stay when husband is away? 2012.12.26 11,855
50 Sex During Pregnancy 2014.09.04 14,669
51 Subsistence Money of Women 2011.07.27 2,333
52 Joint Family 2013.05.30 6,631
53 Do women need permission to attend a course which is far away 2013.09.03 1,648
54 Punishment for Rape 2015.03.25 6,681
55 Is it unlawful to touch women due to my job? 2011.09.17 2,939
56 Sexual rights of spouses 2013.06.01 13,192
57 Wife beating 2013.09.16 3,559
58 Fasting of pregnant and nursing women 2015.04.01 6,530