Monday, September 24, 2007

A Definition of Adultery, Please

The article in yesterday’s Jordan Times about the new born baby girl who was found in the trash was shocking. The good news is that the child is alive and hopefully will be well cared for. According to the report, the baby’s grandmother is guilty of attempted murder and should be the person in jail. Instead, the parents of the infant are in custody charged by the prosecutor general of Amman with adultery. I went to my dictionary to verify the definition, and I’m correct. Adultery can only be charged to a married person. Neither one of the parents of this child is married. What’s more they are both consenting adults of legal age to marry – so there is no question of seduction of a minor, incest, or rape. However, they may face up to a minimum sentence of five years in prison for a crime that isn’t a crime to my knowledge.

Does Jordan have a unique definition of adultery? Who did this couple hurt? Certainly five years in prison is a punishment far exceeding the importance of this ‘crime’ especially when a man will only get six months for murdering a female relative in a crime of honor.

ASH

7 Comments:

Blogger Hani Obaid said...

Yes that's the English meaning of the word, but I think the Legal definition may be extra-marital sex.

i.e. Sex between two people who are not married (to each other).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

I think that the journalists actually use the wrong word in translation, or that it is the common word misused. I just feel that it is disgraceful (if true) that the person who actually dumped the baby (the grandmother I understand) has not been charged as well. Sometimes there is a charge called 'illegal pregnancy' which can be used. Honestly there are so many awful things going on in this world, what a waste to put these people in prison. T

Tuesday, September 25, 2007  
Blogger The Observer said...

I think they meant the word forcination instead of adultery. I had it wrong on my blog and Hatem correct me.

So now they are telling us that we have a law against sex outside marriage boundaries?! That is too bad because a lot of people would end up in jail for that!

The question is: what is the definition of sex for them? Is it just intercouse?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When on earth will people realise that it really is none their business to interfere in anyway nor stop two Muslims of a legal age to marry who wish to marry each other. If their marriage has the blessing of their elders and family, so much the better, but if not, tant pis ! They are free to make their own choice. Jordanians are usually Hanafi Muslims and Hanafi Muslim women are legally empowered to marry whomsoever they choose provided he is a Muslim. I still cannot believe that the wretched grandmother has still not been charged with attempted murder. What I would really like is for the grandmother and her like her like to be crushed in a garbage disposal truck because that is what they are - garbage !

Wednesday, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Hani Obaid said...

"The question is: what is the definition of sex for them? Is it just intercouse?!"

Not according to Bill Clinton. He did not have sex with that woman !

but seriously, I hope it never gets to the point where a law against extramarital sex is enforced in Jordan.

Friday, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Hayyah said...

According to Islam there are two types of 'adultery': adultery by a married person and what's often translated as fornication (a Christian word) meaning unmarried people having sex. Adultery by unmarried people has the stricter punishment.

Both are considered crimes against society and not just personal sins. The reason is adultery in marriage harms the person who was cheated on as well, and any future children are often faced with a life-long stigma, so it's a crime to them too. And it carries an influence to other people and therefore can harm society. Therefore it has a legal punishment. However, Jordan doesn't give the one prescribed 1400 years ago.

'Fornication' is also a crime against society because, again, it's a crime to any resulting children who either must be raised by a struggling single-mom (yes they can be great moms but we can't be superwomen and work full-time to feed kids and still have the amount of time we could spend with them if we had a spouse helping), or raised by other relatives (so this is a type of crime against them even if they loved the child because it's not their responsibility), or raised by someone other than the father and never have the chance of a relationship with their father like the child born to married parents would have. Or the child goes to an orphanage so the state takes care of him/her -- again putting the responsibility on others and depriving the child of a family.

Usually, if the two marry, then the punishment is revoked or lessened. But it's still a crime in how it influences others in society, as the more it happens, the more people think it's not a big deal. And spiritually it's considered a crime against our heart and our fitra as being with multiple people, as often happens when one engaged in premarital sex, results in heart-breaks and distrust and focusing on things other than what matters, and often rebellion against parents, etc., as caring parents try to keep the youth's focus on what does matter. Anyone who denies this is being foolish or living in a fantasyland.

When older people fornicate, they influence youth to do the same. Or they go out on dates and leave their children at home, thinking about their parents being with other people, which is often damaging to them. I know this from personal experience.

So yes, it's a legal and spiritual crime. It's an exaggeration, or at least selfish rationalization, to claim it only affects the two people involved. More often than not, everyone around them is affected, directly or indirectly.

The grandmother however has committed the worst crime and should be put to justice.

Wa salaam

Saturday, December 17, 2011  
Blogger Hayyah said...

Sorry -- I meant adultery by married people has the stricter punishment, according to Shari'ah.

Saturday, December 17, 2011  

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