It's A Crime. It's A Crime in Qatar! Living Together While Unmarried; Few Important Things to Know

It's A Crime. It's A Crime in Qatar! Living Together While Unmarried; Few Important Things to Know By Qatar Day - August 20, 2020
Living Together While Unmarried Few Important Things to Know

It's A Crime. It's A Crime in Qatar! Living Together While Unmarried; Few Important Things to Know

As more and more couples in the GCC are testing the waters before jumping head first into the sea of marriage, XPRESS explores the dangers lurking behind live-in relationships.

You may be doing it to save money, you may be doing it out of love, or blindly and unknowingly… whatever the reason, sharing a roof with an unrelated person of the opposite sex can spell disaster in the GCC.

With a Sharia law that strictly punishes unmarried people living in the same house, and an international population used to living as per the rules in their own countries, the blend of different traditions and cultures often leads to uninformed decisions, some of which end in tears and tribulation.

The Sharia law prohibits two unmarried and unrelated persons from the opposite sex living together.

Living Together While Unmarried in Qatar

While many unmarried couples do live together in Qatar, this is technically against the law as it is a Muslim country.

Men and women are not permitted to share a home unless they are legally married or are related to each other. This applies to friends, house or flatmates as well and not just couples.

Even if the couple is engaged while in Qatar, they are not allowed to cohabit together as they are not officially married yet.

Unless you are being investigated for another crime or your neighbours call the police because of your rowdy house party, it is probably unlikely that the police would arrest you for "living in sin" in Qatar.

If your housing is being provided by your employer, they may not look too favourably upon unwed couples living together since as your sponsors, they are legally responsible for your being here in Qatar. You may want to keep this in mind before inviting your boyfriend to live with you.

Be especially careful about co-habiting in Qatar, whether in a romantic or roommate capacity, with anyone of the opposite gender if they are separated, but not legally divorced. In the eyes of the law, they are still married and they could be charged with adultery which is a much higher offense in Qatar.

Although we enjoy many freedoms in Qatar, we should not lose sight of the fact that we are living in a Muslim country and we should try to respect their culture and laws.

Unmarried Women

It is very important to be aware that it is illegal for an unmarried woman to be pregnant in Qatar. The consequences of the authorities discovering that a single woman is pregnant include jail and deportation, and even physical punishment (lashings) in some extreme circumstances.

For that reason, women who are not married and find themselves pregnant while living in Qatar should plan to head for home, or to another country. As a marriage certificate is required to have access to maternity care, even getting married after conception will not resolve the situation. Unmarried women who do leave Qatar due to becoming pregnant may also face problems if they return to Qatar after giving birth.

Terminating a Pregnancy

Abortion is legal only under certain circumstances in Qatar. An abortion can be performed if it is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. It can also be performed before the fifth month of pregnancy if the pregnancy would cause "certain and serious" harm to the mother, or if the baby would be born suffering severe and permanent mental or physical deficiencies. In the second case, both spouses must consent to the abortion.

Abortion in Qatar must be performed in a government hospital on the recommendation of three medical specialists.

Punishment for Adultery in Qatar

The punishment for crimes varies according to the diversity and difference of interests that the law wants to protect. If the interest protected by the law is that of an individual, then he has freedom to claim his right or not to claim, and if the interest protected by law relates to the community, the public prosecution will act on behalf of the community in the criminal lawsuit against the perpetrator to punish him, and this right is called “the public right”. The observed and assessed punishment for the crime of adultery is considered among the sanctions that aim at protecting the interests of society as well as the protection of victims. The Criminal Code prescribed severe penalties for this crime that reaches death penalty, in order to maintain the fabric of society and so that the legal marriage would be the right way for engagement of men and women to form a family and to be the nucleus of the community. There is no doubt that the protection of women is of public interests and maintained by the community  so that she will not be trafficked.

The Penal Code No. 11 of 2004 deals with the crime of adultery, that anyone who indulges in sex with a female against her will shall be punished by death or life imprisonment, whether under duress or threat or deception, the penalty is death if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of her and her education or one who has authority over her or a servant of her or of the mentioned persons.

As the person shall be punished with imprisonment for life who indulges in sex with a female without force, threat, or deception knowing that she is mad or cranky or she is not sixteen years old yet, and the penalty will be death if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of her and her education or one who has authority over her or a servant of her or of the mentioned persons.

The law did not fail to accept the female’s role imposing her with the same penalty as the main perpetrator of the crime, where the Criminal Code refers that every one shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding seven years, who indulges in this illegal act with a female without force, threat, or deception when she has completed sixteen years of her age, and the female who has accepted the same for her will be punished with the same penalty, and the penalty will be life imprisonment or not more than fifteen years if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of her and her education or one who has authority over her or a servant of her or of the mentioned persons.

The crime of adultery is not limited to the woman only, that’s why the law mentioned a penalty when a male indulges in sexual intercourse with another male, as the Criminal Code indicates that he shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than fifteen years who intercourses with a male against his will whether under duress or threat or deception, the penalty is death if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of him and his education or one who has authority over him or a servant of him or of the mentioned persons.

As the person shall be punished by imprisonment for life who intercourses with a male without coerce, threat, or deception knowing that he is mad or he is not sixteen years old yet, and the penalty will be death if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of him and his education or one who has authority over him or a servant of him or of the mentioned persons.

The law mentioned that everyone shall be punished by imprisonment term not exceeding seven years who intercourses with a male without force, threat, or deception when he has completed sixteen years of his age, and the male who has accepted the same for him will be punished with the same penalty, and the penalty will be life imprisonment or not more than fifteen years if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of him and his education or one who has authority over him or a servant of him or of the mentioned persons.

We note here that the law has provided two models for the crime of adultery, the first model is when the victim is female and the second is when the victim is male, in both models the criminal and offender is male, while comparing the penalty in both of models we find that it would be hard in case when the victim is female, and it is because she is weaker than the man in defending herself, that’s why the penalty reaches to death or life imprisonment in case when it was done against her will, while the imprisonment does not exceed fifteen years if the victim is male and it was done against the will of victim.

The law has stressed the penalty when the male victim or the female victim is not aware, like being insane or young if they are not sixteen years old of age and it is for both sexes, and the penalty reaches to death if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of her and her education or one who has authority over her or a servant of her or of the mentioned persons, This is because the offender become among the persons those are entrusted to the victim.

Every one shall be punished by imprisonment term not exceeding fifteen years, who intercourses with a female without force, threat, or deception when she has completed sixteen years of her age, and she is forbidden to him for temporary or permanent basis while he knows that, and the female who has agreed for the person will be punished with the same penalty, and the penalty will be life imprisonment or not more than fifteen years if the offender is one of the victim’s origins or one who took care of her and her education or one who has authority over her or a servant of her or of the mentioned persons.

And this term will be applied to the accused “offender” if he is Muslim, as it has been mentioned exclusively in Holy Quran and Hadith (it is a long explanation we will prefer to take this in a separate article). The intended forbidden women according to the text of Holy Quran in chapter Al-Nisa are: “ Prohibited to you (For marriage) are: your mothers, daughters, sisters; father’s sisters, mother’s sisters; brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters; foster-mothers (who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives’ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful, also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.

And Allah says in chapter Al-baqara: “and do not marry idolatresses till they convert to Islam.”

By Qatar Day - August 20, 2020

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