A protest to the UN about polygamy in Saudi being fair to the society because it limits the number of wives to four, and obligates the man to support them all, got me thinking on the issue of adultery in Islam!
In the defense of Islam, a website lists many Pre-Islamic religions and cultures and how they punished such sin. It, then, concludes, “Unlike almost all pre-Islamic traditions, the Qur’an makes no distinction between men and women who commit heterosexual offences, neither in the degree of sin nor in the punishment.”
Furthermore, “Almost all pre-Islamic traditions are quite lenient to a man, married or unmarried, who has sexual intercourse with an unmarried woman. The Qur`an greatly strengthens the sanctity of marriage by making all heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage equally punishable.”
Yet I think the very weakness of adultery punishment in Islam is equality! If a married man and a married woman commit adultery, they are punished equally under the law of Islam. But should they?
Let us assume that both married parties committed adultery because they were not fulfilled in their marriages, under the law of Islam as is practiced today:
1- A man has a right to peruse 3 additional wives.
2- A man has a right to divorce his current wife.
3- A man has a right to remarry immediately after divorcing a wife.
4- A woman cannot pursue additional husbands.
5- A woman cannot easily divorce her current husband, she has to seek court, and some financial losses might be involved in the process as well as losing guardianship to kids of certain age.
6- A woman has to wait after being divorced, for a specified period of time.
If a men and women’s rights to marriage as well as within the marriage are not equal under the laws of Islam, why should their punishment in adultery be equal?