What viewpoint does Islam take on incest? Please clarify. Also, why do non-Muslims associate it with Muslims? Is there any particular reason in your knowledge? Is it because the importance of close knit families is stressed in Islam (obeying parents etc. and caring for your kin)?
What are the punishments for it? What if no intercourse is involved but just contact?
Is repentance accepted?
True repentance of a sincere heart is accepted for all sins. There is no imaginable sin/mistake after which repentance is considered unacceptable in Islam. Nevertheless, we must take into account the fact that whether or not an individual is provided a chance of repentance after a given sin is completely in the control of the All-Knowing and Just God. He only provides those a chance to repent with a sincere heart, who deserve to be given this chance, according to His absolute knowledge, justice and mercy.
Incest, by its very connotation implies ‘sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry’1. Thus, there can be no such thing as incest involving no sexual intercourse.
Islam considers incest to be an extremely grave sin. The punishment for incest is the same as that of fornication and may, sometimes, even be considered a crime of the category of Fasad fil Ardh by the state and, subsequently, may be punished as such2.
As for the association of incest with Muslims, I am completely unaware of it. Nevertheless, I would like to add that anyone who does associate incest with Islam is clearly unaware of the stress of Islam on the creation of the family structure as well as on the spiritual and moral cleansing of man. Such ignorant comments on Islam clearly do not deserve our attention.
I hope this helps.
August 22, 2003