The Qur’an considers Zina (fornication and adultery) and Fahisha (lewdness) as major sins. While giving worldly punishments prescribing flogging for Zina, it also refutes the notion that capital punishment was ever advocated for such. Proponents of capital punishment maintain that in cases of fornication, i.e. where the parties are both unmarried, flogging should be carried out while for married persons committing Zina, the punishment of lapidation/Stoning is prescribed. However it should be understood that the Arabic word Zina refers to both adultery as well as fornication and there is no distinction between married or unmarried persons.
Following are some proofs that for sexual offences there is no capital punishment in Islam:
For those guilty of Zina, the prescribed Quranic punishment is flogging, and not capital punishment:
24:2 “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, – flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.”
If indeed Zina incurred capital punishment, then the above verse stipulating flogging would not have been revealed for those guilty of the offence.
The Qur’an speaks of marital relations between adulterers and adulteresses
24:3 “Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty or an Unbeliever nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.”
The Qur’an forbids believers from entering into a marital relationship with those guilty of Zina. The guilty parties are allowed to marry each other and live. Clearly proves that their sinful act is not a capital crime.
The Qur’an halves the punishment for sexual offences for those from a less protected environment
4:25 And whoever of you cannot afford to marry the free women (Muhsanati) believers, then from those female servants (Ma Malakat Aimanukum) of the believing young women. And God is more aware of your faith, some of you to each other. You shall marry them with the permission of their parents, and give them their dowries (Ujura+hunna) in kindness to be married women (Muhsinatin) and not adulterous fornicators (Musafihatin) nor those who take [secret] lovers. If they commit lewdness when they are married, THEIR PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE HALF (50 STRIPES) that of free women (Muhsinati). This is for those who fear hardship from among you. But if you are patient it is better for you, and God is Forgiver, Merciful.
The statement: “…If they commit lewdness when they are married, THEIR PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE HALF (50 STRIPES) that of free women (Muhsinati)… ” clearly shows that adultery is not a capital offence as half ‘of death is not possible, while half of a certain number of lashes is practical.
HOMOSEXUALS ARE TO BE PARDONED AFTER RECEIVING THEIR SENTENCE
4:15 And those of your women who commit lewdness, you shall bring four witnesses over them from among you; if they bear witness, then you shall restrict them in the homes until death terminates their lives, or God makes for them a way out.
4:16 “If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for God is Redeemer, Most Merciful.”
The statement: “..If they repent and amend, Leave them alone..” is open proof that in Islam those guilty of homosexuality are allowed to live, and do not get capital punishment.