Women provided protection

Q697 :If a Muslim woman is raped by a non-Muslim and she gets pregnant, what is her position in Muslim society, and what is the position of her child? If the woman is married, how shall the husband deal with this matter? Can he divorce his wife? Can he accept the child as his own?


A697 : We have to be clear about what we are discussing. When we speak of rape, we mean that a woman has been forced to submit to an attacker who would kill her if she does not yield to him. If this happened in a Muslim society, then society is at fault for not providing its members with effective protection to ensure that no such attack takes place. A Muslim woman who finds herself attacked by such a person and tries to defend herself, and is killed as a result attains the position of a martyr. Therefore, she should not yield to her attacker if that is at all possible. However, women react in different ways in such conditions. Some of them freeze because of fear, and the assailant is thus able to get what he wants. Some others may lose consciousness. Whatever the situation, if a woman is raped she is not to blame, as long as she had not encouraged her assailant or given in easily to him. You ask whether her husband may divorce her. If he does so as a result of the rape, he is being unfair to her. However, divorce is permissible in Islam. A husband may divorce his wife provided that he gives her all her dues. The child that is conceived as a result of the rape is blameless. No stigma should be attached to the child. That child should be treated absolutely fairly. In Islam, no one bears the responsibility for what another person does. The child could not be blamed for the sin of the rapist. There is a rule in Islam, which states clearly, that a child belongs to the husband on whose bed it has been conceived. The word, "bed", is used here figuratively. A wife is considered a "bed", as it is normal in Arabic to use the name of a place in order to refer to its occupant. Thus, the child of the rape belongs to the woman's husband. The rapist has no right or claim to it whatsoever.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )