A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Adultery

Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried. He indicates that it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine the penalty for adultery committed by a married individual.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 200)


God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine mithqals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat
the offence. Such is the penalty which He Who is the Lord of Names hath assigned them in this world; and in the world to come He hath ordained for them a humiliating torment.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 37)


In one of His Tablets, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá refers to some of the spiritual and social implications of the violation of the laws of morality and, concerning the penalty here described, He indicates that the aim of this law is to make clear to all that such an action is shameful in the eyes of God and that, in the event that the offence can be established and the fine imposed, the principal purpose is the exposure of the offenders—that they are shamed and disgraced in the eyes of society. He affirms that such exposure is in itself the greatest punishment.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 200)



The severe punishment imposed upon adultery by Bahá’u’lláh we can understand. When marriage is entered into in the Bahá’í spirit and the promises are made not to one another but to God –"Promise not that which you cannot fulfill” commands Bahá’u’lláh — adultery is a complete violation of that pledge and a negation of the forces of unity; it is spiritual anarchy affecting both the innocent and the guilty; it is blasphemy towards that Source to which both turn.
(The Bahá’í World – A Biennial International Record – Volume VII – 93 and 94 of the Bahá’í Era – April 1936-1938 A.D. – Prepared under the supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada with the approval of Shoghi Effendi)


This aspect of the Bahá’í law of divorce, however, will need elucidation and supplementary legislation by the House of Justice. Therefore, at the present time, the year of waiting must be observed when adultery on the part of either party is proven.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 28 April 1974)


When we realize that Bahá’u’lláh says adultery retards the progress of the soul in the after life — so grievous is it … we see how clear are our teachings on these subjects.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 345)