“And having sex with her pleases God,” the ISIS member said, justifying his act of rape of a Yazidi child.

Rape is one of the world’s most heinous crimes as it involves extraordinary pain and injury to the victim, both physically and mentally.

A rape survivor encounters extreme trauma caused by the difficult and painful experience of a forced sexual assault. Aside from its common physical effects such as bruising, bleeding, soreness, difficulty and walking, and at times, unwanted pregnancy, a rape survivor, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, also experiences more extreme trauma, as follows:


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts
  • Depression, including prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness, unexplained crying, weight loss or gain, loss of energy or interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts. 
  • Dissociation, including not being able to focus on work or on schoolwork, as well as not feeling present in everyday situations


In 2015, an interview with a 12-year old Yazidi girl was released by the New York Times. In the article “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape”, the girl narrates her experience of being raped numerous times by members of the ISIS, who claim that this is not a sin in Islam. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the ISIS member said the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it.

The New York Times article stated “the systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.”

But what does Islam and the Islamic Law truly say about rape? The Al Hakam Organization gives us a clear understanding on this using evidence from Islamic Law.

The teachings of Islam stipulate that the state is responsible for the protection of the interests (maṣāliḥ) and rights (ḥuqūq) of their citizens. Through protecting these interests and rights of every individual, Islam has laid the foundations of a peaceful society. Based on the Holy Quran, all schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on five main types of human interests (maṣāliḥ) which need to be protected by the state – Religion (dīn);  Life (nafs); Intellect (ʿaql); Offspring (nasl); and, Property (māl).

The impairment of any one of these five constituents jeopardizes the safety and well-being of an individual. This results in the unrest and disorder in the community and the society. Islamic Law states that if a person violates any of these interests and is found guilty by the court, the state shall impose punishment on them.

What is the main goal of punishment in Islam?

The objectives of punishment in Islam are to establish justice, reform offenders, and caution other members of society.

The definition of crime in Islam is: Any act by which a person is forcibly harmed physically or mentally, whereby harm includes physical violence, bodily harm, attack on one’s honour, and death. (Imam Shāfiʿī, al Umm, Vol 6; Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid, Vol 2; Imam Ibn Taymiyya, al-Siyasat al-Shariʿah).

Now let us delve deeper on how Islam defines rape.

The Mālikī, Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools of Islamic jurisprudence define rape as the forced performance of the zinā or the unlawful and mutually consensual sexual intercourse between a man who is sane and who has reached the age of puberty (bulgh) and a woman who is not his legal spouse. (ʿAlaʿ al-Din Abu al-Kasani, Badaʿi al-Sanaʿi, Vol. 7, Dar al-Kutub al-Arabi, Beirut, 1982), as coerced adultery or rape.

According to Ḥanafī jurisprudence, ightiṣāb or rape is defined as coercing a woman to commit adultery against her will, and also includes determining whether or not the plaintiff incited the defendant to commit this act.

Thus, the definition of rape in Islam is:

“Forcible illegal sexual intercourse by a man with a woman who is not legally married to him, without her free will.” (Such definitions are generally agreed on in Islamic countries, for instance Pakistan, where section 6 of the Enforcement of Ḥudūd Ordinance (VII of 1979) defines it on similar lines)

It is clear from above evidences that rape in Islam is strictly forbidden and is considered as one of the most heinous crimes in the religion. While the Holy Quran and the Islamic Law ordained the protection of the rights and interests of its citizens, the ISIS have strongly defied and twisted this divine and sacred ruling. Therefore, ISIS are nothing but barbaric criminals who continue to disrespect the divine law and taint the hearts and minds of the  innocent members of our society.

Let this be a strong indicator that nothing is worth recognizing or emulating from these destructive, cruel, and evil people.