Sexuality and Islam: prohibition between taboos and ignorance

6 years ago

By Said Zinnid (Morocco World News)

Sex education has always been taboo in Muslim societies. Whether within family or at school, the sexual act is never addressed from an educational perspective. In fact, a total ignorance seems to have settled on what is allowed in Islam and what is not in the life of a couple. For married couples, some Muslim scholars say that the famous “Qiwama” begins in bed.

A “Qiwama”that is based on total and mutual satisfaction of both spouses. Let us say it openly then, any action that may promote sexual fulfillment in a couple is even a duty. Everything, really everything? Yes, when the relationship is legal, with only two obvious exceptions.
What is prohibited then? The sexual act in Islam is regulated. First, a well-known law: “everything is permitted except what is forbidden.” This means that as long as there is no text that clearly notifies the prohibition of an act, the act is tolerated.

Regarding the sexual act in a couple, Ulemas (Muslim scholars) agree that there are two clear-cut prohibitions: sodomy and vaginal intercourse during the period of menstruation. The first prohibition is framed by several texts. Al Boukharis, Muslims, Jabirs and many others, relate the same hadith: “The Jews said: if the man penetrates the vagina of his wife from behind, the child will be born with strabismus.” So Allah revealed: “Your women are for you a soil to cultivate. So, come unto your soil from where you will.” In one version of Tirmidi, Ibn Abbas added: ” (if he desires) from the front or from behind, and stay away from the anus and menses.”

The prohibition of sodomy is even clearer in the following hadith narrated by Ibn Dawud: “Omar explains the verse saying: “from the front, from behind, lying on the side, that means (penetration should) always (be) in the vagina.”

“The second prohibition, namely vaginal penetration, is strictly prohibited in the same verse: ”And they ask you about menstruation. Say: “It is an impurity. So, keep away from the women during menstruation; and do not have intimacy with them until they are cleansed. But when they are cleansed, then go unto them from where Allah has commanded you. Surely Allah loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure” Al Baqara verse 222.

The hadiths also widely mention this question: “Whoever takes a menstruating woman or a woman from behind, or goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says, has certainly misunderstood what was revealed to Muhammad.” “Do everything except penetration.”

It should be noted in this case that the Ulemas (Muslim scholars) agree that it is permitted to penetrate a woman with breakthrough bleeding (blood loss more or less of uterine origin occurring outside the menstrual period), because it is not considered an impurity .

Fellatio and cunnilingus? No ban has been verbally expressed in this regard. It’s true, some Scholars say that this practice refers to bestiality and man must rise from such practices. But in Islam, prohibitions do not work that way. The rule quoted above is clear: everything is permitted except what was prohibited, in the text of course.

God says in Surat Al Baqara, verse 187: “They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”

This verse expresses metaphorically and very strongly the degree of the relationship, including physical, that must exist between a woman and her husband. The degree of intimacy is total. God also said, “Your women are for you a soil to cultivate. So, come unto your soil from where you will.” (Al Baqara , verse 223).

He also said: “Those who strictly guard their private parts save from their wives, or those whom their right hands possess; for with regard to them they are free from blame.”(Al-Mu’min?n , verses 5-6). These three verses clearly express that fellatio and cunnilingus are not prohibited at all.

 Proponents of the ban have several arguments, the most famous is the hadith of Aisha: “I have not seen that from him as he did not see from me (that is to say, the private parts).”

However, according to the majority of Ulemas who do not see fellatio and cunnilingus as prohibited, this hadith is in total contradiction with several other hadiths of Aisha, in which she says she did her complete ablutions with the Prophet. This implies that it is possible to see the other one’s genitals. Better yet, in another hadith, the Prophet is believed to have said: “Make sure that nobody except your wife can see your Awra (private parts).”

That is to say spouses have full rights to enjoy their partners’ bodies. Fellatio and cunnilingus fit into this framework, on the sole condition that the practice is mutually agreed. In other words, if both partners agree, they can do whatever they want.


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