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Fahisha or Fahash (Arabic: فُحْش, الفاحشة, فاحشة‎) is an Arabic word, commonly means lewdness and indecency.[1] It is an important term in Islamic terminology.[2][3] The opposite of fahisha is haya.


The word fahisha comes from the root shahwat (شَهْوَة) which means strong desire, commonly used in a negative manner.[4] According to Islamic scholars, there are two opinions about the meaning of Fahisha:

  • Either it is fornication and adultery (Zina as Fahisha Mubin),[5][3] as Quran states,

Do not draw near to fornication, for it is a Fahisha (indecency), and its way is evil.

— Sura Isra (17:32)
  • The second opinion is any bad deeds that deserves punishment such as stoning, killing, cutting a hand, etc.

The major sins included in Fahisha are numerous. Islamic Law consider a major sin any act that the religion has warned Muslims against doing it, or has promised harsh punishment for committing, or has prescribed a Hadd for it. Examples of major sins are disbelieving in Allah (God in Islam) after having believed in Him, Killing an innocent soul, dealing with Riba (usury, interest), treating one's parents harshly, adultery, fornication, giving false testimonies, etc.[2]


  1. ^ Ali, Maulana Muhammad (2015). Holy Quran. Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore USA. ISBN 9781934271148. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "IslamiCity.com - Q & A". www.islamicity.org. IslamiCity. 12 May 1997. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Can you please explain the term 'fahisha'? What are the things that are termed under fahisha?". IslamQA. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  4. ^ "The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Quran Dictionary". corpus.quran.com. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  5. ^ Khaled Abou El Fadl (2006). The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 110–115. ISBN 9780742550940. Retrieved 10 December 2018.