Kuwait Law: Sexual Crimes

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Last week I was helping out a friend with a university project related to sexual crimes under Kuwait’s Penal Law and I thought it would be something interesting to share on the blog as well because there’s a lot of confusion on the subject. Whether you or I agree or do not agree with the law, please stay safe and legal readers.

Note: Where I have written a person is guilty and age does not matter, that means the age does not matter for the crime to occur. That does not mean the person gets punished if underaged, instead juvenile laws are followed.

There is no article stating any punishment for acts between two females. There are also other crimes that I have not mentioned above like incest since I wanted to highlight the most common crimes only. But, you can find the full version of the law in Arabic [Here]

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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58 comments, add your own...


  1. R says:

    Article 188. I’m so confused, I mean she’s allowing him to have sex with her yet she’s still innocent. I don’t get it, it’s not fair. In case you’re wondering I’m an 18 year old girl.

  2. aaa says:

    Are these actually enforced or is it like the laws with Rupees in them

  3. Abdullah says:

    TOTALLY unfair. I think if you are over 21 can have sex with anyone you want as long as you want to.

    • Mark says:

      you screw you lose

    • Reality says:

      Who are you to say what is fair and what isn’t?!

      Each society has values and rules to protect these values. The US has it’s own values which it holds correct, as do the members of the EU, and every other country or society including Kuwait.

      Our Society has collectively agreed that such acts are against our values and to enforce rules on itself to prevent their occurrence.

      Your misguided opinion does not matter. For that matter, nether does mine.

      • Poppygoodwill says:

        The relevant question is: did your society actually “collectively” agree that these acts are against your values when it comes to two adults consenting to have sex? Are everyone’s views represented in this legislation? Or has it been drawn up based on a relatively small percentage of the population and their perhaps very biased views? For example, how many women were involved in the discussions? How many youth? How broad a cross section of devout and not so devout, or more traditional and more modern Muslims were involved in the discussion that created this legislation? Does it really represent the common values? I would hazard a guess to say that there are *many* people having consensual sexual relationships outside marriage. So what is the reality of the value that people hold?

    • Ashraf says:

      This is a Islamic country.. and this is the law.

      you cant have pre marital sex.. it’s forbidden & haraam.

      it just means if the girl and the boy consent to have sex..they might as well consent to get married..

      this is not the west.. where you can just go to any pub & pick up a random chic who thinks you are cute and have sex..

      it all seems pretty cool to think… but remember, we all have ladies in our houses.

      • aaa says:

        someone’s never been on 2nd ring road on a weekend night

      • Q8D says:

        Kuwait is not an Islamic country. It’s a constitutional monarchy with most of the laws derived from secular democratic principles. Islamic sharia law plays a small role in comparison. KSA on the other hand identifies itself as an Islamic country.

        • yousefq8 says:

          Sharia law does not play a small role. It clearly states in the Kuwait constitution that it is the main source of legislation.

          http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/ku00000_.html

          Article 2
          The religion of the State is Islem, and the Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.

          Please reply with a link/source that states that Sharia law only plays a small role. It clearly shows that it is the main source of legislation right in this post talking about having sex when not married. Do not reply with conjecture or your opinion.

          • Q8D says:

            The constitution (originally written over 50yrs ago mind you) can claim to be Sharia-based, but it isn’t. The penal code, which is a huge part of Sharia Law, is rarely followed. We don’t cut off the hands of burglars, we don’t require 4 eye witnesses in cases of adultery (or kill them if they are convicted), the entire science of forensic evidence is rejected by Sharia (in favor of eyewitness accounts), plaintiffs and defendants don’t represent themselves (as per Sharia law) but by lawyers, interest is legal, etc etc etc. Most countries do not follow the entire code of Sharia. Even KSA, which is one of the strictest countries when it comes to Sharia law sometimes bends the rules.

            en . wikipedia . org / wiki / File:Use_of_Sharia_by_country.svg

      • l says:

        Kuwait is not an Islamic country. Kuwaiti laws are primarily based on secular laws.

        An Islamic state means a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Sharia Islamic law. Kuwait definitely does not fit that category.

        • yousefq8 says:

          It clearly states in the Kuwait Constitution that the national religion is Islam and Sharia law is the main source of legislation.

          http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/ku00000_.html

          Article 2
          The religion of the State is Islem, and the Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.

          Please reply with a link/source that Kuwait is not an Islamic country and do not reply with conjecture or your opinion.

          • l says:

            The Constitution of Syrian Arabic Republic (Ba’ath/Assad Syria) also says that Sharia is a main source of legislation yet everyone, including Western media, are aware of the fact the Syrian Arab Republic is a SECULAR state in which Sharia law has a very minor role in legislation. The Constitution of Ba’ath Iraq also says that Sharia is a main source of legislation, yet everyone knows that most laws in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq were secular.

            In Kuwait’s actual penal code, Sharia law plays a very small part. The majority of Kuwait’s laws are secular including the financial laws:
            http://books.google.com/books?id=BIqIy0Hss5IC&pg=PA45&dq

            The Religion of State is irrelevant because 99% of Muslim-majority countries have identified Islam as their country’s State Religion. Yet most Muslim-majority countries are not identified as Islamic states in any definition aside from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen and a few others.

            An Islamic state is defined as a a type of government in which the primary basis for government is Sharia law (Islamic religious law). Source:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_state
            http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/601592?uid=3738400&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102608492463

            Kuwait most certainly does not fit that category because Islamic law is not the primary source of legislation in Kuwait. If Islamic/Sharia law was Kuwait’s primary source of legislation, then Sharia would govern the financial laws, mandatory veiling/hijab and an Islamic dress-code for women would be in place in Kuwait like it is in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

            Sharia law in Kuwait only governs alcohol and personal status laws, in every Arab country Sharia governs personal status laws including Jordan and Bahrain, in both of those countries homosexuality is legal yet Islam is declared as their Religion of State in both countries’ Constitutions.

            Many Articles/laws in Kuwait’s 1960 Constitution are not enforced. The same way many laws/Articles in the 1979 Syrian Constitution before the Syrian civil war (1979-2010) were not enforced.

            Article 2 of the Kuwaiti Constitution is irrelevant because an Islamic state is a country in which Islamic law dictates most, if not all, of a country’s legislation.

            • yousefq8 says:

              I would like to thank you for your insightful post and I will change my views and future statements on the subject. I now fully understand that Kuwait uses Sharia law as a source of legislation but it is not the main source as there are many laws that do not match up with Sharia.

              Thank you.

          • l says:

            Do you want sources that verify homosexuality is legal Bahrain and Jordan yet in their Constitutions, Islam is declared as the religion of State and Sharia is declared a main source of legislation?

            Do you want sources regarding the Syrian Arab Republic’s Constitution that declares Islamic Sharia a main source of legislation and sources about Sharia law playing a small role in Ba’ath-Syria’s legislation? Do you want sources about Ba’ath Syria’s general identification as a secular state despite what the Constitution says?

            Do you want sources regarding Ba’ath Iraq’s tiny Sharia laws in the legislation and the general identification of Ba’ath Iraq as a secular-like state?

            The Constitution of Arab and Middle East countries are invalid sources because many Articles in the Constitution are not enforced.

            In addition, the Kuwaiti Constitution explicitly states that Islamic law SHALL be a main source of legislation – which expresses an intention to make Islamic law a main source of legislation in the future tense. The Constitution doesn’t say that Islamic Law Is A Main Source of Legislation in Kuwait, it says it shall be. There’s a difference between ”shall be” and ”is”.

            The term ”shall” expresses a strong assertion or intention in the future tense, which indicates that nothing is set in stone.

            In contrast, Article 2 of the Constitution explicitly states that the religion of the State IS Islam in present tense rather than in future tense (keyword: IS).

          • l says:

            +You are contradicting yourself. You said, quote: ”It clearly states in the Kuwait Constitution that the national religion is Islam and Sharia law is the main source of legislation.”

            Article 2 of the Kuwaiti Constitution (you quoted) explicitly states that Sharia shall be A main source of legislation. Kuwait has several different main sources of law (approximately 4 or 5 different MAIN sources of law).

            Your claim that Sharia is THE main source of legislation contradicts the Kuwaiti Constitution itself. There’s a huge difference between ”Sharia is A main source of legislation” and ”Sharia is THE main source of legislation”. The sentence ”Sharia is the main source of legislation” means that Sharia is the only main source of law, whereas when someone says ”Sharia is a main source of legislation” it means the country has several different main sources of law.

    • MedoQ8 says:

      Yeah like that law is enforced

    • l says:

      The law is not enforced. In Kuwait, if you are over 21 you can have sex with anyone you want as long as you want to.

      • yousefq8 says:

        If the law is not enforced, it’s not like they enforce it only for under the age of 21. They don’t enforce it period. You can take your argument one step further and state that you can have sex with any person at any age with consent.

  4. Agja says:

    “There is no article stating any punishment for acts between two females”
    Ok, that explains a few of the parties I’ve seen here :-)

  5. Tee says:

    Considering how rampant homosexuality and sex between men is in the Gulf, I’m surprised the majority of the male population isn’t rotting in jail.

    Although I guess that would be counterproductive in a way…

  6. Salue says:

    so if a girl lets say started rubbing my ass in public and i called the police for sexual harrasment, they would put her in jail for 10years ?:3

    do i get money like a law suite ? XD

    but i Highly doubt that the system here would believe a man over a girl

    and it can go around like if u call for a sexual harassment and the police comes and then the girls lies and says the guy did this to me he is lying they will believe the girl in most cases

  7. Al-Kitab Wal-Sunnah says:

    These are not Islamic laws to begin with. None of these are in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. And Allah is more knowledgeable.

  8. Bader says:

    It’s pretty disgraceful that we have a law to jail people who have consensual sex.
    Let’s clear something up though this is not an Islamic law this is a secular law.
    I don’t think the law is enforced in reality. What I’ve heard is that if they get caught they are given the choice to get married and everything would be cleared which is at best idiotic.

    • aaa says:

      The reason I asked if it’s enforced earlier is because I know multiple people who have been caught and the police just said “if you’re gonna do this do it somewhere where you won’t be caught”

    • l says:

      The law is not enforced in reality. Many laws are not enforced. Kuwait is not like Saudi Arabia.

      People who have consensual sex in Kuwait rarely, if ever, get penalized.

  9. Ahmed says:

    I think you are screwed by default just by being born a male and having a dick between your legs make you guilty even if you are innocent.

  10. Sami says:

    These laws don’t stop sex, they just make sex hidden. And they also give people a fake feeling that they live in a “moral” and “pious” muslim country.

    • l says:

      Have you ever visited Kuwaiti malls? There isn’t a fake feeling of ”moral” or ”pious” Kuwait. Guys flirt with anything with legs. Flirting and sexual harassment at malls is too rampant in Kuwait, even flirting at roads in traffc. Kuwait is in no way a ”pious” Muslim country.

      The laws ”stopping” consensual sex don’t get enforced in reality.

  11. khan says:

    There’s a difference between an Islamic Country and a country with Muslim majority.

    I have high doubts if there is any Islamic country left as of 2013.

    • l says:

      Saudi Arabia and Iran are Islamic states in which Sharia law is the MAIN and ONLY source of legislation. Qatar is also identified as an Islamic state for some reason.

      Kuwait is most commonly identified as one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East and Arab world.

      • yousefq8 says:

        I would like to ask you how old are you? What is your educational level? You consistency reply to comments denying that Kuwait’s main source of law is Sharia law and it’s based on Islam, but you never cite a source ever. If you were even in a high school class you’d receive an F in a paper for stating that without a single source.

        I will reply with proof that Kuwait’s main source of legislation is Sharia law. Kuwait constitution article 2.

        Article 2 [State Religion]
        The religion of the State is Islam, and the Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.

        Please stop replying to every comment thread whenever Sharia law in Kuwait is mentioned and quickly saying that the law is not based on Islam. You have no evidence for that statement and there is tons and tons of counter evidence to your statement even if you attempted to show any proof. Your opinion or what you believe to be what is going on is not the truth. That is not the definition of truth, nor is it the proper way to discuss things. Truth is based on evidence and facts. The fact is, according to the Kuwait constitution and the majority of the laws in Kuwait, Kuwait is an Islamic state based on Sharia law. Just because it is not the ONLY source of law, does not make it so that you can say it isn’t an Islamic state. It doesn’t work like that.

        • l says:

          Another source: ”Today all ARAB countries except Saudi Arabia and Oman have modern Civil Codes based fully or partly on the Egyptian Civil Code.” http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=52976

          In the ”The Application of Islamic Law” section, it clearly says:
          Apart from Saudi Arabia and Oman, in Arab countries which adopted Civil Codes and civil legal system, Sharia plays a lesser role and applies mainly in the field of the family laws such as, marriage and inheritance (– Personal status laws).

          The majority of Kuwaiti laws are not Islamic laws. Some of Kuwait’s laws re Islamic laws, however MOST of Kuwait’s laws are not. There are so many different Kuwaiti laws – you simply can’t claim that the majority of Kuwait’s laws are Islamic laws. Your words, not mine: ”The fact is, according to the Kuwait constitution and the majority of the laws in Kuwait, Kuwait is an Islamic state based on Sharia law.”

          • yousefq8 says:

            I read your above comments and this one and I would like to thank you for insightful knowledge. I came off as harsh and I would like to apologize. You have changed my views on the subject and now understand it a lot better.

            Thank you.

        • Laila says:

          Article 2 [State Religion]
          The religion of the State is Islam, and the Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.

          the above articles states that Islamic Sharia is A main source not THE source therfore, we are not a purely islamic country but I do agree that most if not the majority of our legislations are dervied fron Islamic shariah, but you cant label us as an Islamic country, we are a muslim society.

          • l says:

            Where are my comments? I posted links.. My comments are useful contributions and I was commenting responsibly but I may have submitted two comment a million times by accident (sorry).

            Mark, please authorize my comments, they contain important links. Do I have to submit the comments again??

  12. Spikz says:

    Guys this explains a lot. One of my friend (male) was in contact with an Egyptian female at work. She used to get money from this guy. One day he said he would not give her money , she called him to office during one of the holidays and called the cops, accusing him of sexually harassing her.

    He was then put in jail for a few months and later released , she was scott free all the while. The authorities just weren’t ready to listen to him.

  13. will says:

    Yo dude come play this game zSilencer with us!

  14. D. says:

    So a 15-21 year old girl cannot consent to sex… unless she’s married?

    These laws don’t make a lot of sense. Keeping coercion in mind is one thing, insisting it is always the case is another.

  15. Odessa says:

    I see, so it’s safer to have sex with same sex??


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