I could not completely understand the interpretation of the verse Surah Al-Nur: 3
The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers.
Why is the Qur’an talking about adulteress or idolatress’ marriage in the above verse? It could have just said that the believers should not marry any adulteress or idolatress.
I hope you could understand my question.
The reason why the Qur’an has not simply stated that ‘believers should not marry any adulteress or idolatress’ is because it is not merely the prohibition of marrying people guilty of fornication and adultery or those ascribing to polytheism that the Qur’an intends to convey. In addition to that, the Qur’an wants to:
Draw an analogy between fornication and adultery – an unchaste act symbolizing disloyalty in human relations – and polytheism – an unchaste act symbolizing disloyalty of man with his Creator and Greatest Benefactor. This is done especially to register the gravity of the crime of fornication and adultery in the minds of the addressees1;
Make severance and disallowance of marriage with chaste believers a part of the punishment implemented upon those guilty of fornication and adultery.
It may be added that fornication is the only crime regarding the punishment of which the Qur’an has expressly directed the Muslims to implement it in public.
It is clear from the related directives of the Qur’an that according to the law of God, a person convicted of this heinous crime should lose all honor and respect in the society (through public flogging) and all chaste believers should socially boycott that individual.
These directives of the Qur’an are indicative of the gravity of this crime, in the eyes of our Creator.
I hope this helps.
June 6, 2002
- The Bible has also drawn a clear analogy between fornication and adultery and idolatry and polytheism. Jeremiah 3: 9 says:
And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
The American Tract Society Dictionary of the Bible, under the word ‘Fornication’ writes:
This word is used in Scripture not only for the sin of impurity between unmarried persons, but for idolatry, and for all kinds of infidelity to God. In Eze 16:1-63, the Jewish church is symbolized as a female infant, growing up to womanhood, and then wedded to Jehovah by covenant. When she breaks her covenant by going after idols, she is justly reproached as an adulteress and a harlot, Jer 2:20; 3:8-9; Ho 3:1. [↩]