Islamic sexual jurisprudence  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sexuality in Islam is largely described by the holy book (the Qur'an), the sayings of Mohammed (hadith), and the rulings of religious leaders' (fatwa) as being confined to marital relationships between men and women. While most traditions discourage celibacy, all encourage strict chastity and modesty with regards to any relationships across gender lines, holding forth that intimacy as perceived within Islam -- encompassing a swathe of life more broad than strictly sex—is largely to be reserved for marriage. This sensitivity to gender difference and modesty (hijab) outside of marriage can be seen in current prominent aspects of Islam—interpretations of Islamic dress and degrees of gender segregation, for example.

While prohibitions against adulterous relationships are strong, permissible sexual relationships are described in Islamic sources as great wells of love and closeness for the couple involved. Specific occasions—most notably daytime fasting and menstruation—are times forbidden for intercourse, though not for other ways of touching and being close to one another. Issues such as masturbation, abortion and homosexuality are also strictly forbidden; contraceptive use is permitted for birth control.


Mutual masturbation

Both the Shia and Sunni Muslims believe that mutual masturbation that culminates in orgasm for both is permissible.It even bears merit for both parties as long as the partners are married.

From Shia point of view, there is no such thing as "Mutual Masturbation". The act that is perceived as mutual masturbation is considered as "foreplay" because masturbation (istimna) is nothing else than satisfying oneself by any means so stimulating the genitals of spouse is foreplay which is actually encouraged before intercourse or even without intention of having intercourse.

Anal intercourse

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a contemporary Sunni Muslim scholar, states that anal sex is prohibited. The Quran says "And they ask thee concerning menstruation. Say, 'It is a harmful thing, so keep away from women during menstruation, and go not in unto them until they are clean. But when they have cleansed themselves, go in unto them as Allah has commanded you. Allah loves those who keep themselves clean.'" (2:222) A wife must abstain from it should her husband demand it, and may seek divorce over it if her husband persists or tries to force her, as the act is forbidden. The act in itself, however, doesn't nullify the marriage, and the wife must seek divorce in order to separate from the husband.

Muslim scholars justify the prohibition on the basis of the Quranic verse 2:223, saying that it commands intercourse only in the vagina (which will lead to the birth of children). The vaginal intercourse may be in any manner the couple wishes, that is, from behind or from the front, sitting or with the wife lying on her back or on her side.

Oral sex

The issue of oral sex in Islam is controversial among Islamic scholars. Some allow the practice and some disapprove. However, the generally known Islamic rule is that whatever is not haraam (forbidden) in the Qur'an, nor by a prophetic statement or behavior, is to be allowed; as principally everything is allowed; the exception is what was prohibited by Allah or by his messenger. Based on this principle, oral sex is a disallowed act. Furthermore, oral sex is not permissible, even if it is practiced between husband and wife. The basic ruling is that any form of sexual contact from head to toe is permissible, with the exception of anal sex and sexual intercourse during menstruation.

See also

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