Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Rape: Overview
(2,321 words)

In Islamic law, rape is placed under the category of ḥadd (pl. ḥudūd) crimes, which are offenses with specific punishments ordained by God. Ḥadd crimes include offenses such as apostasy, drinking, theft, zinā (sexual indiscretion), and false accusation of zinā (qadhf), and are crimes warranting some of the harshest punishments in Islamic law including the death penalty. Rape is defined as a zinā crime in juridical writings. Unlike Western legal traditions, Islamic law does not consider rape …

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Semerdjian, Elyse, “Rape: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0141a>
First published online: 2009

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