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Zinā al-Muḥṣan or al-Muḥṣana (Arabic:زنا المحصن او المحصنة) (adultery or extramarital sex) is a zina (out of wedlock sexual intercourse) done by a married man or woman. It is proved by four eyewitnesses or confession. In certain conditions the adulterer is punished by stoning.


Main article: Ihsan

In Islamic laws, the fornication of a married man is called "Zina al-Muhsan" and of a married woman is called "Zina al-Muhsana". A man who has Ihsan is called "Muhsan" or "Thayyib" and a woman who has Ihsan is called "Muhsana" or "Thayyiba".[1]


According to Shi'a jurisprudence, in addition to the special conditions of proving Zina and general conditions of Taklif such as: being adult and sane, some conditions must be met in order to prove adultery:

  • The adulterer has a permanent spouse
  • The adulterer has consummated his/her marriage
  • The adulterer's spouse was available at all times
  • Having intercourse with the spouse was possible[2]


Faqihs believe that issues such as: Hayd, Nifas, traveling, imprisonment, diseases that prevent sexual intercourse would exclude the adulterer from being Muhsan.[3] Likewise, even if the wife is available but refuses to submit to the husband's sexual desire, the husband is not counted Muhsan.[4] In Shi'a jurisprudence Talaq al-Ba'in (irrevocable divorce) causes exclusion form Ihsan; however, there are disagreements whether Talaq al-Rij'i (revocable divorce) has the similar effect or not.[5] Moreover, some believe that if a man becomes al-Murtadd al-Fitri (Muslim-born apostate), he is no longer Muhsan.[6]


Zina is proved by confession in four different sessions or by the testimony of four sane, adult, male eyewitnesses who have seen the act of penetration.[7]


In Islamic Laws, the punishment for Zina of a sane, adult Muhsan or Muhsana is stoning.[8] In addition, if the adulterer is an elderly person, he/she is flogged 100 times before being stoned.[9] The Hadd (specific legal Islamic punishment) for someone who has not Ihsan and for the Zina of Muhsan or Muhsana with the insane or minors is 100 flogs.[10] Some faqihs maintain that the punishment for someone who has married but did not consummate it, is 100 flogs and sending into exile.[11] Some faqihs said that if one sees one's spouse committing Zina with another person, one is allowed to kill both of them; however, others said it is not permissible.


  1. Hāshimī Shahrūdī, Farhang-i fiqh, vol. 1, p. 307.
  2. Tawḍīḥ al-masāʾil, p. 896; Tabrīzī, Usas al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt, p. 29.
  3. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 177; Muntaẓirī, Mujāzāthā-yi Islāmī, p. 151.
  4. Gulpāyigānī, Majmaʿ al-masāʾil, vol. 1, p. 543.
  5. Mūsawī Ardibīlī, Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt, vol. 1, p. 234.
  6. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 178.
  7. Hāshimī Shahrūdī, Farhang-i fiqh, vol. 1, p. 393; Kadkhudāyī, "Barrasī-yi ḥukm-i sangsār", p. 28.
  8. Mūsawī Ardibīlī, Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt, vol. 1, p. 198.
  9. Hāshimī Shahrūdī, Farhang-i fiqh, vol. 1, p. 293.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī Burūjirdī, Manābiʿ fiqh al-Shīʿa, vol. 30, p. 637.
  11. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 179.


  • Gulpāyigānī, Muḥammad Riḍā. Majmaʿ al-masāʾil. Qom: Dār al-Qurʾān al-Karīm, 1409 AH.
  • Hāshimī Shahrūdī, Maḥmūd. Farhang-i fiqh muṭābiq bā madhhab-i Ahl al-Bayt (a). Qom: Markaz Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif al-Fiqh al-Islāmī, 1423 AH.
  • Kadkhudāyī, Muḥammad Riḍā. 1390 Sh. "Barrasī-yi ḥukm-i sangsār dar Islām." Kāwushī Nu dar Fiqh-i Islāmī 67:13-64.
  • Khomeini, Rūḥollāh. Taḥrīr al-wasīla. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1425 AH.
  • Muntaẓirī, Ḥusayn ʿAlī. Mujāzāthā-yi Islāmī wa ḥuqūq-i bashar. Qom: Arghawān-i Dānish, 1429 AH.
  • Mūsawī Ardibīlī, Sayyid ʿAbd al-Karīm. Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Jāmiʿa al-Mufīd, 1437 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī Burūjirdī, Ḥusayn. Manābiʿ fiqh al-Shīʿa. Translated by Ḥusaynīyān & Ṣabūrī. Tehran: Farhang-i Sabz, 1429 AH.
  • Tabrīzī, Jawād. Usas al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt. Qom: Daftar-i Āyatollāh Saykh Jawād Tabrīzī, 1417 AH.
  • Tawḍīḥ al-masāʾil, Qom: Intishārāt-i Tafakkur, 1372 Sh.