Home Quranet Chapter 3 What can we say to a girl who has been raped or forced into prostitution?
What can we say to a girl who has been raped or forced into prostitution?
Chapter 3

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحاً حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْراً وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاء إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّناً لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (سورۃ النور, آيۃ 33)

Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah gives them means out of His grace. And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them; yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them). (Surah 24, Verse 33)

Suha is in the ninth grade, child of a one-parent family. Her father died three years ago and her older brother Ahmed took over as head of the family. Suha comes to school in a despondent mood, unwilling to study. She often cries and is terrified of all males. She keeps her distance from the boys in the class. On one occasion, when the teacher wanted her to sit beside a boy, Suha started crying and ran out of the class. The teacher was upset at this incident and sent her to the counselor. The counselor invited Suha for several sessions. After a few meetings the girl began to trust her and told her that her older brother was forcing her to spend the night with men who gave her money. The counselor opened the Quran and read Suha Verse 33: "But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)."

"First, I want you to know that, according to the Quran, you are not to blame because these actions were forced on you," she explained. "I am telling you this because many girls in your situation feel guilty and responsible and all their lives feel that they are unworthy and do not deserve to marry, bear children and raise a family. So remember that you are guilty of nothing and your brother deserves to be punished severely for forcing his sister into such acts. If it is forbidden to treat a slave like that, how much more so a sister!"

The counselor summoned the brother and read the verse to him as well so that he would understand how grave his actions were. Then she telephoned the police and reported the story.

Explanation: in the world of psychology, it has long been accepted that girls who have been raped (through incest, sexual slavery or forced prostitution or assault) should be convinced that they are not to blame. The attacker is the sole transgressor. This is important because many women who have undergone sexual attack feel guilty and responsible. They think that perhaps they gave out some message to the attacker, perhaps by dressing provocatively, perhaps through hidden thoughts etc. Even if this is true, it can in no way justify rape. These girls may bear a sense of guilt and low self-esteem all their lives, feelings which undermine their ability to develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex or to raise a family. But the Quran states explicitly that Allah will forgive women who were forced into sexual relations. This is a therapeutic statement of the first order!