Sex in Islam
Sex & Marriage in IslamReprinted from the Stony Brook Minaret Online Edition
Sex and Marriage in Islam: Some Q & A (Adapted from various articles)
Sex has always been a difficult topic to talk about publicly among the Muslims. This topic is always shoved aside and not dealt with in an honest manner. Every young Abdul and Ayisha is confused by the ambivalence shown toward sex by their parents and elders. They go out in the world where sex is a commodity, everyone is engaging in sex and talking about sex but then they come back to their Muslim communities only to find that their elders are unwilling to engage the topic in a manner both relevant and ethical. This article will try to address some common questions about sex & marriage by presenting a compilation of different ahadith, quranic ayahs, and scholarly statements on the etiquettes of sex.Q1: Is Sex and relationships before marriage allowed in Islam?
Sex outside of marriage is categorically prohibited and that includes touching, kissing, fondling, hugging a non-mahram man or woman
Q2: But I am in a relationship with this person, I really love her and I am going to marry her!
Nevertheless you should cease all physical relationship with her. It is understandable that you have feelings for her, which is not haram (prohibited) by the way, but you are expressing your feelings in ways God has prohibited. Love can make you do crazy things but you must see that this can ruin your afterlife. You do not necessarily have to stop all contacts with her, which would confuse and hurt her, but tell her plainly that you want to behave more islamically and she should support you. If you truly love her and she loves you truly then you wouldn't want to do things with her that can destroy her afterlife. Forego the immediate haram physical pleasure for an eternity with her in heaven, inshallah.
Q3: When should I get married? I cannot wait!!!
Marriage is a hefty responsibility. It is immensely rewarding but also emotionally taxing. According to Sh Abullah Adhami,
"By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend. She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you. When you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be hers; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world."
Also Sheikh Abdullah Adhami advices that one should not marry unless one has a job and can pay for his wife's expenses. In the Quran it says:
Also do not make a girl wait for you by promising her that one day you will marry her. Approach a parent of the girl you are intending to marry only if you are sure that you can marry her the next day (hypothetically speaking), move her into your place and be able to support her. If you can not then you should not leave a woman hanging with empty promises and uncertainty. It is not allowed in Islam to make another suffer from one's own uncertainty. It can be emotionally and spiritually very damaging for her and for you.
Q4: Many people in America use different types of aphrodisiacs, preventative measures and enticement techniques in their sex life which has no precedents in the Prophet's time. Are they allowed in our religion?
This is a tough question. Certainly there are some things and practices that are clearly prohibited in Islam. However the absence of a practice in the Prophet's (pbuh) time does not necessarily make it haram. Please consult a jurist for rulings on specific issues. One rule of thumb to follow is that any practice or act that somehow demeans or hurts your significant-other should be avoided.
Q5; Hi, I am a sister and I will be married soon! I was wondering if you could tell me and my future hubby how the Prophet (sa) approached his wives and what did he suggest?
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: "In the sexual act of each of you there is a sadaqa." (i.e. a good deed, an act of charity). The Companions replied: "O Messenger of Allah! When one of us fulfils his sexual desire, will he be given a reward for that?" And he said, "Do you not think that were he to act upon it unlawfully, he would be sinning? Likewise, if he acts upon it lawfully he will be rewarded." (Muslim)
The First Time
The first time is very special and a man should take extra care with his wife. Most likely his wife has been very modest all her life and will be very shy. She will feel very uncomfortable, at first, about undressing herself in front of a man (that is you) right away.
A wise man said "Women are like beautiful flowers. Their petals are very soft and sensitive so be careful when handling them."
I have no advice for women about how to treat men because, well simply men are easily satisfied (trust me on this one).
The Prophet (s.a.w.) recommended that on the wedding night the husband should be kind to his bride, and comfort her by offering her something to drink when they meet the first time after the official marriage ceremony (Zawaj.com Editor's Note: this does not refer to alcoholic drinks, but rather milk, water, juice, etc).
The man should put his hand on her forehead, say the name of Allah (Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim), and pray to Allah (make a Du'a) to bless their marriage.
The groom and the bride are also recommended to pray two Rak`ahs together when they meet on the first day of marriage.
The Prophet (s.a.w.) recommended that the couple should start every intercourse by saying: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (in the name of Allah ), and by praying to Allah (making a Du'a) to protect them from Satan, and to protect the child from Satan if a child comes from that intercourse. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: "If one of you when going to his wife said: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of Allah ), O Allah! Protect us from Shaitan and protect the sustenance (child) you give us from Shaitan, and if Allah then gave them a child, Shaitan would not affect it at all." (Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet (s.a.w.) also told the men not to leave their wives before they too had been satisfied, as is their right. The man should not surprise his wife by starting the intercourse suddenly, since that is harmful to her, and the consequences could be harmful to her faith. He should get acquainted with her and should make her feel comfortable instead. "Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; but let there first be a messenger between you." (Zawaj.com Editor's Note: this "messenger" consists of sweet words and caresses).
And Imam al-Ghazali says: "Sex should begin with gentle words and kissing."
The Prophet (saw) said: "The best of you, is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best of you toward my wives." (At-Tahaawi: Saheeh )
And Allah knows best.