Sexuality in Islam and Hinduism (2/4)

By Editorial Staff

Permissible Sex: Worthy of Reward in Islam

Mankind is not only a sexual being and not only a divine entity, rather a combination of both.

This issue has been elucidated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he said: “And in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is a Sadaqah (or a reward equal to a charity given to poor).” They (the Companions) asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Is there a reward for a person among us who satisfies his sexual need?” He answered, “You see, if he satisfies it in something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he satisfies it legally, he should be rewarded”. (Muslim) In this Hadith, Prophet Muhammad has explained clearly that if one comes to his wife for sexual intercourse, and intends to fulfill his own and wife’s sexual need and keep himself and his wife away from forbidden sex, then he gets the reward on his natural act. The same is applicable if the wife intends the same. Furthermore, if both seek a righteous descendant useful to them after the death, they are rewarded for this pure intention.

Supplication before the Intercourse

It has become clear from the previous lines that the sexual intercourse between the spouses is a good act for which both, husband and wife, get reward from Allah the Almighty. Therefore, it is recommended for the couple to recite the following words before beginning the sexual foreplay. (Bismillah i, Allahumma jannibna-sh-shaitan, wa jannibi-sh-shaitan ma razaqtana) ‘In the name of Allah, O Allah, keep us away from the devil  and keep the devil away from what you have blessed us with.’ If the supplication is recited, the child conceived and born after the recitation of this prayer will never be harmed by Satan. This du`aa’ (supplication) is very important because reading this du`aa’ before intercourse keeps the expected child after the intercourse from many kinds of moral, physical, psychological, behavioral, mental and other diseases, especially from the diseases of permanent disabilities and the developmental problems. Reading the du`aa’ keeps Satan from participating in the sexual intercourse.

Why is Anal Sex with Wife Prohibited in Islam?

Muslim jurists have concluded from the evidence of the Glorious Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that sexual intercourse in the wife’s back is prohibited like the vaginal intercourse during her bleeding period. Allah the Almighty has forbidden sexual intercourse in her vagina during the time of menstruation because menstruation is dirt and harm so the intercourse in her back (anal) has the same reason. The wife is described in the Qur’an as a place of sowing in order to get progeny and that is in vagina and not in the back. In addition, all types of sexual intercourse and enjoyment between the spouses are permissible and legitimate according to Islam except wife’s vagina during her period. Her entire body for her husband and his entire body for the wife is allowed to be enjoyed sexually except the vagina in the case of menstruation and sex in her back. Homosexuality and anal sex with male or female are strictly forbidden in Islam.

Sex outside Marriage in Islam

The intimate relationship between men and women in Islam is not based on mere free lusts, rather, intercourse outside the marriage is strictly forbidden. While intercourse within the framework of marriage between men and women is a matter of reward and merit in Islam. Additionally, the reward is doubled if the valid sexual intercourse is accompanied by goodwill and pure intention. Basically, intercourse in Islam is a natural source of continuation of human offspring on earth. Also, sex is a natural source for the continuation of animal kingdom on the earth in general.

Prohibited Marriages in Islam

In Islam, marriages between men and women having certain family relationship to one another are prohibited. These prohibited marriages are either of a permanent nature or a temporary. The permanently prohibited marriages have been explained in the Glorious Quran. Allah the Almighty says: “And do not marry those [women] whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and hateful [to Allah] and was evil as a way. Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives’ mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives unto whom you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And [also prohibited are] the wives of your sons who are from your [own] loins, and that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (An-Nisaa` 4:22-24) The relations mentioned in the Glorious Quran in the above-mentioned verses are not marriageable in Islam, and the marriage is invalid if conducted.

Some Temporary Prohibited Marriages

According to Islamic Jurisprudence, there are some marriages that are invalid for temporary reasons and when the reasons end the prohibition ends as well. Those marriages include the following: 1) Keeping two sisters in marriage together at the same time is prohibited in Islam. Allah the Almighty says in this regard: And [also prohibited is] for you to take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:23) Similarly, it is prohibited in Islam to take [in marriage] simultaneously a woman and her paternal aunt or maternal aunt. 2) The wife divorced three times by her husband is not allowed to remarry the same husband as they cannot return to each other but only after she gets married with another husband and is divorced again. Allah the Almighty says: And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. (Al-Baqarah 2:230) 3) The fifth wife for a person, who is already married to four wives and the wives are still in his marriage. Islam has permitted a man to marry four wives and keep them in his marriage in one time if he is able to fulfill their rights properly. So, it is not permissible for him to marry the fifth. Allah the Almighty says: Then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those, your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. (An-Nisaa’ 4:3) 4) It is forbidden to marry the wife of others, and also the woman who is in the waiting period after a divorce or death. Allah the Almighty says: And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. (An-Nisaa’ 4:24) Allah the Almighty says about waiting period for a divorced woman: Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods. (Al-Baqarah 2:228) About the waiting period after the death of the husband, Allah the Almighty says: And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days]. (Al-Baqarah 2:234) 5) It is not allowed for a Muslim woman to get married with a non-Muslim man. In addition, it is not permissible for a Muslim man to get married with a polytheist or atheist woman but he is allowed to marry a Jew or Christian woman according to some Muslim jurists. Allah the almighty says in this regard: And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. (Al-Baqarah 2:221) Furthermore, Allah the Almighty says: And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. (Al-Ma’idah 5:5)

Forbidden Sexual Intercourse in Islamic Jurisprudence

We will discuss here some forms of the forbidden sexual intercourse in Islamic Jurisprudence which are not mentioned directly in the Glorious Quran, but they were mentioned in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or in the consensus of the Muslim scholars. According to the Islamic jurisprudence, there are four types of basic legislating sources for permission or prohibition in Islam: 1- the Glorious Qur’an’ 2- the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); 3- The consensus of the Muslim scholars on the permissibility or prohibition; and 4- The Qiyas (analogical reasoning). If anything is found permissible or prohibited in one of these sources, it is forbidden or permissible in Islamic jurisprudence, although the four sources are not same in strength rather, there is a big difference between them in authenticity.

Cohabitation of Wives Simultaneously

It is not permissible in Islam to have sexual intercourse with more than one wives at the same time and in one bed. Suppose, if a man has four wives, the husband is allowed to have sexual intercourse with each wife alone and separately but it is not permissible to have intercourse with two of them or all of them at once. Co-wives or the fellow wives are not allowed to uncover their private parts to each other. All of them are wives of the same man, but not wives to each other.

Sexual Intercourse with Animals

According to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the consensus of Muslim scholars and the Qiyas (analogical reasoning), sex with animal is prohibited in Islamic jurisprudence, for both men and woman.

Masturbation in Islamic Jurisprudence

Most Muslim scholars forbade masturbation for male and female, referring to the verse of the Glorious Qur’an: And they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. (Al Mu’minun 23:5-7) In addition, the sexual intercourse; whether permissible or prohibited; both lead to the major ritual impurity for both parties. According to Islamic jurisprudence after the sexual intercourse, a full body bath is required before any prayer, entering a mosque or touching a Qur’an. In addition, this bath is compulsory after any ejaculation caused by any sexual activity. Moreover, the sexual intercourse between husband and wife must be kept in complete secrecy, privacy and away from the eyes and ears of the people and it is prohibited to disclose the private activities done or talked between the couples during the intimacy to other people. Therefore, it is forbidden in Islam to take a video or photo of the intercourse between the husband and wife to show others. Additionally, lesbianism and homosexuality in Islam are prohibited and are considered a major sin.


The issue of sex in Islam revolves between permission and prohibition. The subject of sex in Islam is characterized by dignity, shyness, decency and privacy, not to harm others and not to be harmed by others. Islam does not deprive human being of fun, pleasure or enjoyment in the framework of common taste, social norm, religious tradition intending to build a stable, peaceful, strong and tranquil society and community through the family regarding the sexuality a source of good offspring. The philosophy of Islam does not view human being as mere animal or mere angel. Islam sees mankind as a mixture of materiality and spirituality, rather, human being is a respected entity in the universe that surpasses the angels if he/she is good and rightious and lower than animal if he/ she is evil and bad.

To be continued…

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