By Editorial Staff
The subject of sexuality is an interesting religious, philosophical and social issue. Our site always tries to explore and introduce some new aspects of similarities and differences between Hinduism and Islam. This article tackles many issues such as: permissible sex, prohibited sex, marriage, polygamy, sexual intercourse during the menstruation and puerperal bleeding, definition of adultery in Hinduism and Islam, forbidden ways of sex with wife, etc. This will be presented in the light of sacred texts in Islam and Hinduism. We hope that these lines will be useful for Muslims interested in the study of Hinduism and Hindus interested in the study of Islam and for the lovers of philosophy, religion and culture in general.
Sexual Instinct in Animal Kingdom
Sex is a common instinct between human beings and animals. According to the general observation, majority of the animal kingdom is based on the system of reproduction for its offspring through sexual activity. Some of them are based on the natural system of pregnancy and begetting system like; cow, goat and sheep. However, bats are birds but they are amongst the mammals not amphibians. Furthermore, the system of reproduction in some animals is based on the natural system of egg and chicken. Perhaps, most of the animals feel pleasure and happiness when they have sex and both, male and female, are driven by their natural instinct to meet. However, some animals do not accept more than one in its female partner in one time like the lion. Many of them accept more than one in its partner, like pigs.
Sexual Difference between Human beings and Animals
Animals in general do not tend to abnormal sex methods such as homosexuality and other forms of sexual activity. In fact, purposely abnormal or unnatural sex is rare in animal kingdom, or naturally they are not interested in abnormal sex. In most cases, the animals are motivated for sex in definite periods or specific seasons for breeding or reproduction and one male can have sex with many female animals of its kind irrespective of its mother or daughter as can be seen in the species of goat, cow, horse, etc. Most animals do not have sex only for sex; rather, they have sex in the natural seasons for reproduction. However, human beings are the only known creature whom Allah the Almighty has given absolute will for good and evil; including sexual activities. On the other hand, the angels were created on the nature of obedience for Allah the Almighty and they are free from lusts, hunger, thirst and other natural needs according to Islamic belief.
Adam and (Eve) Hawwa’ or the First Human Beings
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) are the first human beings who were created by the power of Allah the Almighty without prior example. Adam was created from clay and after that Hawwa’ was created from one of the ribs of Adam according to one opinion in Islam. Another opinion is that Hawwa’ was not created from the ribs of Adam; rather, she was created separately and independently like Adam (peace be upon him). And both of them were attracted to each other and exercised sexual intercourse and the human generation began spreading on the globe. The story of Adam and Hawwa’ was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah.
Ancient Marriage System and Abel and Cain
The tradition of marriage during the dawn of human history was different from the marriage system now. It has been stated in Islamic sources that Eve, the first woman on the earth, gave birth in every pregnancy twin; male and female. It was the law of that period that the male of one pregnancy married the female of another pregnancy. It was prohibited to marry the female of same pregnancy. In other words, the male twin was not allowed to marry his own female twin but the twin of another birth. Abel and Cain were sons of the first man on this earth and the first Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Cain was born with a beautiful twin sister, and Abel was born with a twin sister less in beauty. So Cain was not happy to marry the twin of Abel and wanted to marry his own twin sister. The story ended on the murder of Abel at the hand of his brother Cain. For more detail, the books of interpretation and translations of the meanings of the Quran in English with comments can be referred. (Al-Ma’idah 5:27)
Is Sexual Instinct Good or Bad?
The sexual instinct according to Islam is not good or evil in itself, but its goodness or evilness lies in its use. We can liken it to a knife which is not good or evil in itself, but both qualities lie in the usages. If a fruit is cut with the knife to eat, then no doubt that it is a good thing and there is no objection for this use. But if the knife is used to kill an innocent, then it is surely an evil. If you defended yourself with the knife against an enemy or predatory animal, then it is also good and beneficial and there is no blame in using the knife for this or for similar good purposes. The instinct of sex and lust is like the knife. If a person uses sexual power to satisfy the sexual thirst of his wife and to please her or to get a good offspring through a legitimate marriage, then it is good. This kind of good deeds deserves human reward before a reward from God as well as he gets good reputation among the people. Such righteous person will be recognized by his good character and nice behavior regardless of his faith and belief. But if a person uses the instinct of sex in the forbidden intercourse, illicit sex, rape, adultery, molestation, or in abnormal sexual activities, this undoubtedly is a bad use of this instinct. Such actions cause social destruction and create an atmosphere of enmity between individuals and families leading to anger of Allah the Almighty. Such persons are regarded as mean and ugly and deserve bad reputation from the people before the anger of Allah the Almighty. These facts about the sexuality are evident and intuitive in most of the world’s human societies; in India, China, the Arabs, non-Arabs, the East, the West, Islamic, non-Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain or other communities. Because there are some religious facts those are general human truths, such as goodness of honesty and truthfulness and the ugliness of lying and deceit. And the same is in the case of adultery and illegitimate sexual intercourse. These facts are obvious, clear and plain and they are ingrained in the nature of the people.
Marriage: A Legal Bond for the Legitimate Sex
In most religions in the world, including Hinduism and Islam, marriage is a sacred contract and a true path to the legitimate sexual intercourse between man and woman. Marriage issues are mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith in detail. Through the marriage agreement each spouse is allowed to enjoy other’s body freely, weather with the intention of offspring or only for enjoyment. This subject has been dealt with in the Glorious Qur’an and the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in clear words. Allah the Almighty says in the description of marriage bond between spouses: “It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:187)
Why Are the Spouses Described as Dress in Qur’an?
In the above-mentioned verse, the description of dress is a metaphor for the spouse because both of them protect and cover each other from any sort of harm and abomination, as the dress protects the body from the heat and cold and covers the private parts from being exposed to others. The style of expression in the Glorious Quran for this meaning has a high level of figurative method and a lofty genre of simile. Because sex, intercourse or lusts are words a normal man and woman feels ashamed when pronouncing them. Therefore, the words of the Glorious Qur’an are very nice, when described that intimate relationship in a pleasant and metaphor that suites to high taste. Furthermore, Allah the Almighty says: Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers. (Al-Baqarah 2:223) According to Islam, the spouses are allowed to enjoy each other sexually and there is objection in that. Regarding the carnal desire, the husband and wife have to avoid what has been declared forbidden in the Qur’an or in the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as sexual intercourse in wife’s back (or anal), which is a major sin in Islam, and sexual intercourse in wife’s vagina during her bleeding whether menstruation or after child birth. Allah the Almighty says: And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. (Al-Baqarah 2:222) Except the above-mentioned prohibited forms of sexuality, the wife and the husband have full freedom to enjoy each other in the framework of approval and not harming any party.
To be continued……