Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sex Before Marriage

Rabbi Maryles wrote an essay on Immorality in Western Culture (12/22/06). In the comments section I took issue with what he said. The following post is a reworking of some of my remarks on the narrower topic of immorality in the liberal Jewish world.

Socially conservative Orthodox Jews often feel that outside their walled city, America is experiencing a serious decline of morals. My feeling is there are many, many reasons why one ought to be Orthodox, but the fear that otherwise one’s children will become drug-addicted, sex-obsessed degenerates is not one of them. There are two reasons why I believe this. I don’t believe America is drug-addicted or sex-obsessed, and I don’t believe that children of liberal Jews end up in a bad way.

We first need a sort of clarifying point. Let’s say it’s true that no Orthodox child ever ended up taking heroin, and let’s say that a tenth of one percent of non-Orthodox children ended up heroin addicts, i.e. 5,000 addicts. Would that be a reason, in and of itself, to be Orthodox? I think not. A certain number of people die every year on a highway, we continue driving. A certain number of people die every year swimming in the ocean, or mountain climbing, or taking an airplane, or living in Chicago. Most people will not run away from these activities, because there is some slight danger. So, the argument from drugs, I think, can be dismissed straight out. The danger is too small, even if it is thousands of times larger than in Orthodoxy.

Let us now turn to the issue of sex. It is not true, in my opinion, that most non-frum kids are promiscuous or sex-obsessed. I believe what happens in general is this… Many if not most non-Orthodox Jewish people have or hope to have premarital sex. That is they meet, they date, they have sex, they move in together and they eventually split or get engaged. The full cycle is from 6 months to five years. The big problem in secular American Jewish life is that both young men and women can’t find suitable partners to begin the cycle. The typical marriage age is in the mid thirties which is a human and a Jewish tragedy.

Young singles may not even enter a relationship with the intent to marry, but they are not 'sleeping around'. They take a wait and see attitude towards marriage, but such behavior cannot be described as casual sex or promiscuous. The point may be something less than obvious to some. I remind everyone the meaning of promiscuous is having casual sexual relations frequently with a number of different partners; or having sex in an indiscriminate way and lacking standards of selection. The liberal Jewish kids are in violation of halacha for multiple reasons, the most serious being the woman are menstruating and are not going to the mikvah. They may not be acting properly according to senses of propriety and baalbatishkeit that were dominant in the past, and are still prevalent in Orthodoxy and other socially conservative Jewish circles. But they do have standards, even if they are newly developed standards, and there is a logic to their behavior. With a 50% divorce rate there is something to be said for people who for independent reasons do not feel bound by halacha, and are still finding themselves as individuals to try things out for a while and see how it goes.

I doubt if there is a serious attempt being made in liberal Jewish life to promote abstinence before marriage. It is accepted as natural part of the dating and marriage ritual. Even where there are intense feelings about abstinence, religion in general seems to have little impact on premarital sex. 80 percent of Americans are Christians, 90 percent believe in God, 70 percent pray regularly, and half attend church at least once a month. Evangelicals are one third of the population or 100 million. Roman Catholics are 60 million. Both preach abstinence and are conservative on social issues. More than 80% of the population has premarital sex. Preaching and teaching against sex without marriage, outside of Orthodoxy, is something of a beracha levatalaw, ( invoking God’s name in vain.)

People who believe the basic rule for sexual encounters in society is casual sex disassociated from feeling do not take into account the very real fears of AIDS and the many types of s.t.d.'s. Jewish kids in general are careful, do not get pregnant and take care of themselves in a responsible way. I can’t prove this, but I can offer anecdotal evidence. I have never, ever heard parents of non religious Jewish college kids voice any serious concerns about the dangers their children are facing in college and after. Having asserted that the dangers are not overwhelming, I acknowledge some young Jewish singles and some not so young singles act out and are promiscuous for a while. Nobody knows the percentages, but it is much, much more than in Orthodox life. Here the danger is not so low that it can be dismissed easily. To put a number on it, say 10-20 % are shall we say partying too intensely. Even here the behavior has to be put into a context. The average American kid has sex while still in high school. Jewish kids marry in their late 20's early 30's. They say the average age in the NYTimes only simchas pages is 32. They are not being promiscuous for 14 years straight. It doesn't go like that. People go through periods, people are different, and most everyone stops. Some don’t. They are for the most part guys, aspiring Don Juans These guys are indeed cads, do a fair amount of damage and frequently end up alone and depressed.

Orthodox Jews when confronted with a 10-20% chance their child might act out even for a short period of time find the possibility so horrendous they feel reconfirmed in their way of life. Liberal Jews, though hoping such an event never comes to pass are more understanding and accepting of the dangers of freedom. They consider the possibility of going off the beaten path, of stumbling and becoming confused part of the process of growing up as an autonomous free person. They feel you can’t both encourage children to think for themselves, develop their own unique personalities and creativity and guarantee there will never be any false steps. I would say the key difference between Orthodoxy and the rest of Jewish society, besides the obvious halacic considerations, is not the attitudes towards risk. Most galuth Jews are not gamblers and buy insurance. I think the main difference lies in the degree of perfectionism. It is less horrendous to a liberal Jew that their child is not firmly on the road to carrying out a coherent life plan. They have a greater tolerance for the false starts that frequently occur, the late adolescence, the lack of clarity or firm purpose, the need to experiment and find oneself throughout the life cycle. As in life, so in sex and marriage. Liberal Jews are more tolerant of grey, Orthodox Jews less so.

IMHO, from the little I know, the current scene isn’t ‘chassidish,’ but it is quite different from the sixties, which was wild and really immature. Political conservatives keep on talking about America as if everyone is today in the middle of Haight Ashberry in the summer of love. Vice and sin are everywhere. (We must keep in mind that liberal Jews are not part of the quasi permanent welfare underclass, where indeed there are many who lead chaotic lives) Why they feel the need to see America as sexually irresponsible and out of control is an interesting question that lends itself to different possible interpretations. For one thing, they might be right and I am the one who refuses to see the world as it really is. A person’s attitude to pre-marital sex is as good a test as any to find out where one stands on the liberal- conservative spectrum. I prefer to see the world as a friendly and safe place, full of opportunities and interesting possibilities for all Jews.

27 Comments:

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

WADR, I think that your view of American culture borders on the naive. Read the NY Times "Styles" section. It is no secret that the music for the MTV generation pushes the envelope with respect to sexulaity and drugs far more than the relatively tame music of the pre-pyschodelic era. The ratings system for today's movies and TV are a joke. Sports "heroes" are steroid enhanced and often one trip away from drug rehab. The scommercials on sporting programs and the subject matter and language most TV programs render them or should render them beyond the purview of a Shomer Torah Umitzvos.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

steve brizel...maybe I am naive. I certainly don't want to maintain an attitude of 'I know, I really know, I am a sophisticated man of the world.'I tend to think that someone like yourself, you said you were a lawyer is more involved in the world.

OTOH...your logic is weak. It would be like saying I know what the CIA spooks do,I watched many James Bond Movies. Saying you know what single life is like for the Jewish or American young because you saw a gangsta rapper on MTV is not exactly the sort of sophisticated reasoning I would expect from a non-naive person,WADR.

Teasing aside, I certainly agree with you that many of the commercials on TV are inappropriate for a shomer Torah Umitzvos.

I can't resist one final off topic tweak. My late beloved wife, a''h, who was in a position to know, never stopped pointing out to me how much intelligence, creativity and marketing genius went into the
commercials on TV; many times far more than the intelligence and creativity of the shows.For her the commercials were the main event, the show a silly something or other.I guess you see, to some extent what you are looking for.

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

EJ-Believe it or not, I lived on the Upper West Side where I met my wife. I am a lawyer, but one cannot ignore the obvious. If you buy a newspaper in an office building or stand in line at a supermarket check-out counter, the drek that passes for "celebrity news" in the tabloids/People Magazine etc and the consistent focus of both men's and women's magazines on sex, glamour and dieting is rather omnipresent. In the summer, "casual attire" in MYC resembles a beach more than an office. In NYC, some of the cultural elite bemoan the elimination of what was known as the "Deuce" in the midtown area without realizing that the same shmutz can be "obtained" for free by simply clicking a mouse. I know that advertising pushes the envelope even more so than the actual content.As far as music is concerned, rap and hip hop are the dominant strain. Just reading reviews of the lyrics and the contents of the videos should be enough to convince anyone that this strain of popular music is a long way of the pre psychedelic Beatles and Beach Boys.

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

One more point-I think that you can find some good old movies, documentaries, programs and sports on TV. However, that assumes that you view TV as an ideal medium for broadening one's mind. I don't because it is a passive experience as opposed to reading a book. I also don't think that bans on the web ,etc work because the technology is easily available, bans increase the notoriety of the banned object and because we have to have more trust that people can control themselves. If we were better parents and educators, the issue of banning the net, etc would be a moot issue.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger ashuber said...

"My feeling is there are many, many reasons why one ought to be Orthodox, but the fear that otherwise one’s children will become drug-addicted, sex-obsessed degenerates is not one of them."

This statement is very true. I think there is a tendancy not only from the right wing to try to scare us into conservatisim, but also pressure from the Orthodox world as well. One can be an Orthodox Jew and just as messed up as the rest of regular society. Its up to the individual to apply the teachings of Torah to their life.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

Ashuber is correct, but only to a point. Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim would necessarily include the beauty of the experiential elements of Shabbos and Yom Tov. Yet, one can argue that the chukim as to Kashrus and Arayos are equally important elements in how a Jew should view the world.

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous1:44...I just saw your comment, and while I am appreciative of your kind words about me, I must delete what you said. Shaming anyone and ad hominem attacks are not things I want to happen to me or to anyone who plays by the rules of civilty ,courtesy and sincerity, none of which were violated in this instance. So as we have been saying WADR, trust me on this one, and please do not take offense.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Harry Maryles said...

Premarital sex, even if you do not classify it as promiscuous is never-the-less not a standard that we should be extolling the virtues of.

Many people pointed out when I wrote about it that for a non-Jew premairital sex is not even Assur. Perhaps not. I'm not sure. But be that as it may, it is besides the point. Certainly a moral-Christian would not consider pre-marital sex appropriate at all. He would condier it immoral

That many people do it anyway (90% according to a study I referenced in my orignal post) says to me that the moral teachings of the church have failed to be transmitted to the Christian flock.

Is this the kind of society we want to live in... where people meet and after dating a few times they decide to hook up for a while in order to see if they are compatible marriage partners? That you talk positively about this phenomenon, EJ, is perplexing.

If general society has such values it is not unreasonable to assume that many within our own community has such values. The difference for us, as you point out is that a Jew hooking up with a Jewish woman violates an Issur Karres. And perhaps that is one reason that it is not part of the Orthodox Jewish Culture. Although as I pointed out in my original post, I'm not so sure about what the perecntages of upper west side singles are that are careful about that.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Rabbi Maryles…the positive comment was this: looking at the issue from the point of view of the participants, THEY feel that they want to live together before they marry, I said it has a certain logic, given where they were. I went on to explain as a fact of life that liberal parents are willing to accept the kids stumbling around until they settle down. You should not be perplexed at my approaching the issue this way. I, first and foremost try to understand behavior from the point of view of the participants. I do ’moralize’ but I try to keep it to a minimum, and usually appeal to consequences and other pragmatic considerations.

In the minds of those who have premarital sex today, not fifty years ago, a sizable majority don’t believe they are acting immorally. It is voluntary and the parents aren’t putting their heads in the ovens. I would prefer everyone was at the level of kedusha, of holiness so that they did not engage in this new style of dating. I believe all cases of adultery are immoral including open marriages, invariant of religious affiliation , frum or not, Jew or Christain. In the case of premarital sex for those who do not consider halacha binding I do not believe what they are doing is immoral. It did at one point violate the morals of a society, and then it was inappropriate. But unless it causes great pain to significant others it is not immoral. It is in violation of an important halacha, whatever they believe, and if violating a halacha knowingly, makes something immoral, then so is premarital sex. What has happened is to be compared to the outlawing of polygamy, but in the other direction. The boundaries of what constitutes unacceptable sex has narrowed, the institution of marriage has de facto been changed in our lifetime.

 
At 6:12 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Rabby Maryles…one last general point. Forgetting about sex and vice for a minute, I want to say there are far more people in America isolated, alone, incapable of forming relationships than there are promiscuous people. I believe there are significant numbers of married people who have difficulties of intimacy, caught in lifeless, dead marriages and some of these couples have difficulties with sex. Certainly in the case of singles who schlep around forever looking for Mr/Ms. Right, there are significant issues of intimacy. I believe intimacy issues are more prevalent and more disruptive of people’s happiness than premarital sex as such. Intimacy issues, though hardly ever discussed are,lo uleinu, also found in the Orthodox world, depite the lack of premarital sex.I wonder if you would agree?

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you say about the phenomenon of oral sex among nine and ten year olds?

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, secular parents have more tolerance for "Finding oneself" and long-term promiscuity wasn't the norm. However, among young adults, the hooking up culture persists into mid and late twenties nowadays for a significant population of professionals.

Something has changed in the culture. The 60s were about establishing emotional connection and intimacy even with casual acquaintances. Now it's about separating sex from emotion. This may only be a trend among a subset of the population, but it tells us something about the change in culture that is worrisome.

I don't think it's premarital sex per se that worries people.

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Steve Brizel said...

EJ-Let's assumne that fear of committment and emotional detachment/isolation are two of the causes of "hooking up" for lack of a better expression.If that's the case, then those of us in the Orthodox world have a major job in educating our young men and women in the simple facts that the Torah is neither hedonistic nor monastic in its view of sex. Instead, sex within the marital context is seen as the greatest possible display of marital intimacy . IMO, just educating our young men and women on Hilcos Nidah will is an inufficient way of presenting this issue to them. It is no secret that too many young men look for a spouse who looks as thin as possible and that anorexia and eating disorders are present within the O world. Such a condition exists, IMO, because some young men and women have bought the line that women are mere objects to be looked at.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Anonymous 9: 55… I believe it is totally unacceptable. We are not talking about consenting adults but children. The children’s wishes or pt. of view are immaterial. Normal parents, who knew this was happening besides being shocked and upset, would do whatever they need to put an end to it. I believe premature sexualization of children does serious damage to a child.

A little anecdote. Evanston has a large population of college kids. The girls dress in normal sportswear, which is fine by me. I go to Highland Park, a mostly Jewish suburb and I see these tweens, 11-13 yr. old girls with streaked hair and makeup and midriffs showing…and I am livid. What kind of Jewish mother prematurely sexualizes their daughters? The kids might not even be having any sexual activity at all, IMHO dressing them this way is wrong. There are explanations…it is being done…but none of them take away from the failure in parenting. My problem with Rabbi Maryles type position is that these distinctions aren’t noted…everyone is mired in vice.

Anonymous9:57...ok, if there are significant subgroups that have prolonged periods in their lives where sex and relationship are separated it is indeed worrisome. We are on the same wavelength, but you have now re-described the behavior in accordance with a new value that I believe most Jewish kids buy into…sex without a relationship is not the way. Social conservatives don’t make this distinction.

Steve brizel...it is a rare treat for me that I can respond to a comment of yours by saying 'I agree'

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Harry Maryles said...

there are far more people in America isolated, alone, incapable of forming relationships, etc.

I do generally agree with thisas well as the rest of your comment. But it is a separate and, in my view, an unrelated issue. Certainly the trend toward pre-marital sex is not a solution to the marital intimacy problems of or loveless marriages. Nor is it the solution for singles who are unwilling or unable to commit to marriage. You raise a very important issue.

 
At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you may have misunderstood me. (Anonymous 9:55 and 9:57 are the same.) I was not trying to imply that since you are not labeling premarital sex as immoral or obviously immoral that you think that it's just dandy if kids that age engage in oral sex. I was trying to highlight that something really has changed in the culture. You are right up to a point, at least for the past. People having premarital sex in relationships that may not last are not the issue people are exercised about IMO; that is already part of the culture for decades. But I don't think that the culture has stayed at that point.

You point to the phenomenon of kids dressing in overtly sexual ways - I was thinking of that too and didn't mention it. That is the sort of thing people mean when they say the culture has become more overtly sexualized. These are not healthy developments, and I believe they are related to the hooking up culture. I don't know how large this culture is but I think it deserves more focus than you give it.

I think fundamentalist types whether Xian or Jewish do make a distinction between people in relationships and those not, even if they don't want to see any premarital sex in their own social groups. Social conservatives are a large group, around 50% of the country is voting republican and when we are done with social liberals and fiscal conservatives and fiscal liberals and social conservatives, I'd bet that around half the country is somewhat socially conservative. Half the country, as you point out, doesn't view premarital sex as immoral (and I am not clear that from a halachic perspective there is any difference for bnei noach).

At risk of giving up the meeting of minds here, I think this phenomenon is related to the hard and fast distinction people have begun making between professional behavior and personal behavior. On the job, everything is not OK, even the mildest indiscretion or flirtation is unprofessional (or potentially harassment) - and that goes hand in hand with the attitude that whatever one does in one's personal life, so long as it doesn't harm anyone, and is consensual, is OK. I think this has also led to denigration of relationships and focus on or excessive tolerance of sex without intimacy. I don't mean to imply cause and effect, but there is something going on in the culture that I am finding deeply disturbing.
The porn-internet industry also plays into this.

"I believe most Jewish kids buy into…sex without a relationship is not the way. "

Why do you say this? Maybe upper middle class Jewish kids play it safer and are more stable, but this is a real phenomenon beginning before college and it seems continuing for quite some numbers post college, as they say they wish to focus on career and are not ready for relationships. I am skeptical that Jewish kids are immune.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous 1:46...I am appreciative of your thoughtful and relevant comment. We are basically in agreement...we are looking for data.How extensive is the phenomenon you describe? I don't know.You agree inferences from pulp media are an inaccurate guide..
Why don't we know...one factor is that ever since the Reagan administration it has been difficult to get govt. money for sex research. Why are conservatives so opposed to getting at the facts? Here is a paranoid thought. There is a secret they are trying to hide.What can it be? Only one way to go...the incidence of sexual molestation and incest is much higher than is being acknowledged. It destroys the idylic picture of the family that conservatives claim is being threatened by liberalism, media, etc.

If you follow me so far isn't it possible that if you factored out the sexually molested, the percentage of those who systemically split sex from intimacy comes down to manageable numbers.And preying that Jewish sexual molestation is small overall, the problem may not be a Jewish problem.

It is just a speculation I thought you might appreciate.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous 1:46...I am appreciative of your thoughtful and relevant comment. We are basically in agreement...we are looking for data.How extensive is the phenomenon you describe? I don't know.You agree inferences from pulp media are an inaccurate guide..
Why don't we know...one factor is that ever since the Reagan administration it has been difficult to get govt. money for sex research. Why are conservatives so opposed to getting at the facts? Here is a paranoid thought. There is a secret they are trying to hide.What can it be? Only one way to go...the incidence of sexual molestation and incest is much higher than is being acknowledged. It destroys the idylic picture of the family that conservatives claim is being threatened by liberalism, media, etc.

If you follow me so far isn't it possible that if you factored out the sexually molested, the percentage of those who systemically split sex from intimacy comes down to manageable numbers.And preying that Jewish sexual molestation is small overall, the problem may not be a Jewish problem.

It is just a speculation I thought you might appreciate.

 
At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is just a speculation I thought you might appreciate."

Tell me you are kidding so I can appreciate it.

You can't possibly believe this... Incest can't be growing this dramatically, or responsible for mothers dressing their kids this way, etc.

 
At 6:21 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Not incest but incest plus child molesting might be many times larger than we think. A child that is molested is, going to have an awful time maintaining object constancy, or so I would think. It might not be growing...it might just be a large number/percentage and we never knew.Are u following how the projected numbers are inflating inside Orthodox life?(500 Jewish therapists x 5 cases a year is a number being bandied about. Gevald)

Of course it has nothing to do with mothers who allow their kids to dress in unacceptable ways. In my HP case it's a combo of the mother's hysteria at their own aging and their dressing inappropriately, plus projecting onto their daughters that the daughter must be made sexually alluring or not find a guy. That's my guess.

 
At 1:22 AM, Anonymous quietann said...

i want to thank you for not dismissing non-O Jews out of hand. and not just assuming that those who have sex before marriage are promiscuous and bad. You are on to something here... The vast majority of the single Jews I know are fairly careful about who they have sex with and why, careful about safer sex, etc. Most are interested in having kids, just not starting in their early 20s and not six or more. Most want to marry and have kids with another Jew, but have seen that just marrying someone because they are a Jew isn't enough.

(At Brandeis, it's the ones from the orthodox families who tend to go wild, at least at first.)

 
At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not incest but incest plus child molesting might be many times larger than we think. A child that is molested is, going to have an awful time maintaining object constancy, or so I would think. It might not be growing...it might just be a large number/percentage and we never knew.Are u following how the projected numbers are inflating inside Orthodox life?(500 Jewish therapists x 5 cases a year is a number being bandied about. Gevald)"

Whatever this group is may be having emotional trouble, but I think this is weird, bordering on nuts (sorry) to suggest as an explanation for the phenemona I was discussing, such as oral sex in elementary school, the way kids dress, a large scale phenomenon of hooking up, which is continuing after college etc. Rather than denial of abuse, I think there is here a bit of denial that the trends in the culture really have changed.

"Of course it has nothing to do with mothers who allow their kids to dress in unacceptable ways. In my HP case it's a combo of the mother's hysteria at their own aging and their dressing inappropriately, plus projecting onto their daughters that the daughter must be made sexually alluring or not find a guy. That's my guess."

I think you are mistaken to view this as one item in isolation.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous1;46...you are probably right in what you say, including your idea that I am in denial.I shared the little I know including what I called my paranoid speculation.

The Eskimos have many words for white, we have one. Eskimos need to to see white accurately. If I lived in South Beach or Rio or Brentwood I am sure I would be convinced the world is a hot,hot place. At my age, and living in a place that tries to be home by eight , unless it's the symphony at which pt. we stay up 'till 10:30 I don't see what others might see.

Nevertheless my secondary pt. remaims...we need hard data. I am not going to start bemoaning oral sex in 5th grade unless it is based on more than isolated accounts.And my primary thesis, the world described by 'quiet ann' in an earlier comment remains unaffected by your sense that sex is unconnected these days to intimacy.

One last defensive pt.Has there ever been a decade in 20th century history that didn't seem or turn out to be sexually unbalanced...the 20's, the desperation of the late 30's going into the war, the hypocrisies of the 50's, not to speak of the 60's,70's and 80's. Are you saying a post AIDS world will be seen 20 years from now to be the worst of all? Even the gays are past anonymous sex.

What can I say..maybe you're right. Live and learn.

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Eskimos have many words for white, we have one. Eskimos need to to see white accurately."

I think this turned out to be untrue. They don't have more words, and they don't perceive more shades in snow.

I agree we need more data on what is going on. Maybe you are also right that it always appears more shocking to the previous generation than anything that came before, but one day the fuddy duddys will be right, no :-)

It also could be a passing trend, you never know.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous 11:26...I might be able to handle oral sex of 10 year olds,maybe. But telling me eskimos have only one word for white is too much to bear. My world view is shaken;I am thinking of taking to bed!

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Raul said...

If an unmarried person indulges in the act of fornication, he/she will be given 100 lashes. This is clearly mentioned in the Qur’aan, ‘The male and female fornicators, give them 100 lashes.’ (al-Nur Aayat2). This form of punishment is instituted in an Islamic country. In a non-Islamic country, the person should be informed of the punishment in the hereafter and also reprimanded severely. If a married person copmmits adultery, he/she will be stoned to death. Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] mentioned that whilst a person is engaged in this evil act, his Imaan is taken away. If he dies in that state, he will die as a non-believer. If a person deems premarital sex as permissible, he will be taken out of the fold of Islam, thus, becoming Kaafir. Fornication is totally Haraam. There is no scope for it in Islam.

 

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