The Holy Quran has categorically ordered the people to abstain from zina or unlawful sex. Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
“And do not come near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way” (TQM-17:32)
Allah (swt) has commanded the adulterers to be punished severely in the Holy Quran.
“The (unmarried) woman or the (unmarried) man found guilty of sexual intercourse-punish each one of them with a hundred lashes and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of believers witness their punishment.” (TMQ-24:2)
“After a slave women gets married and then becomes guilty of adultery, her punishment is half that a free woman”. (TMQ-4:25)
The ahadith also echo the same views on zina.
Hazrat Anas (ra) reported that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, “The Iman is like a dress with which Allah clothes whomsoever he wishes. If a person commits zina, this dress is snatched away and if he repents it is again returned.” (Kitab-ul-Kabair)
It is reported that Prophet Mohammad (saw) one said, “O, Muslims, fear zina as it has six results, three in this world and three in the world here after. As for the worldly consequences the Noor vanishes from the face of the adulterer, his/her life gets shortened and the person gets poverty-stricken. As for the world hereafter, it causes Allah’s displeasure, difficult reckoning and it obligates the punishment of Hell” (Kitab-ul Kabair)
The severe punishment for zina is meant to serve as a deterrent to the others. The punishment can help others to understand the gravity of the sin. It would, therefore, dissuade them from indulging in such obscenity which spoils one’s lineage and spreads moral decadence and diseases in the society.
It is evident from the verse 4:25 that the Islamic Law for zina has been framed while keeping in mind the background, circumstances and the social conditioning of the adulterer.