Journal Article

Sexualization of sharīʿa : application of Islamic criminal (Ḥudūd) laws in Pakistan


In 1979, General Zia ul-Haq promulgated the Hudood Ordinances to provide Islamic punishments for several offenses, but the prosecution for extra-marital sex (zinā) has been disproportionately higher. Based on the analysis of reported judgments, I argue that the higher rate of prosecutions for zinā was a direct result of new laws. Despite carrying the name “Hudood”, these Ordinances specified several taʿzīr offenses with the objective of ensuring prosecutions. By incorporating ḥadd and taʿzīr offenses for zinā, the Zina Ordinance blurred the distinction between consensual sex and rape, and thus exposed victim women, who reported rape, to prosecution for consensual sex. The Qazf Ordinance, which might have curbed the filing of false accusations of zinā, encouraged them by providing the complainants the defense of good faith. The number of zinā cases has decreased after the reform of the Zina Ordinance and the Qazf Ordinance under the Protection of Women Act, 2006.

Attached files


Abbasi, Muhammad Zubair

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Law and Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2024-05-07

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Sexualization of Sharīʿa: Application of Islamic Criminal (Ḥudūd) Laws in Pakistan


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 94