Q526 :What is the Islamic answer to prostitution? How can it be eradicated?

A526 : As you realize, Islam has a very serious moral code. It does not approve of any sexual practices, outside marriage. Islamic legislation includes very severe punishments for adultery. To go to a prostitute earns the man the same severe punishment. When we want to know the answer Islam provides to a social problem, and prostitution is one, we have to consider Islamic society as a whole. In a Muslim society, no woman needs to work in order to earn her living. Many prostitutes are first drawn into this horrid practice by their poverty. Some girls find themselves having to earn the living of other people in their families, such as a sickly mother or young children. They are unable to find any proper work. Some of them may fall in the trap of a person who runs a brothel and they are dragged into a vice net. In a Muslim society, such a girl need only go to the authorities and explain her position. She will either be given a job or provided with an income to look after herself or her family. I realize that this is not the case in many Muslim countries, simply because many of them have abandoned Islamic values and principles, and they do not implement Islam as a whole. Once they move towards Islam, such problems will start to be solved in the easiest of manners. I will give you the example of Sudan when, a few years ago, the former president Numeiri decided to put the country on a course that would regain its Islamic character. One of the problems addressed was that of prostitution. Women who were engaged in this practice were dealt with on individual basis. The circumstances of each one of them were considered separately. If it was possible to find any one of them a husband, she got married. If not, she was helped to find a proper job. Some were helped by the state to run a small shop. Moreover, they were put under supervision. They were clearly informed that if they reverted back to prostitution, they would be locked up. Most of them were very happy with the new arrangement because it saved them of a practice which they abhorred. I suppose that if any Muslim country decided today to implement Islam in full, it will deal with this problem on the same lines.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )