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Sex and the Ummah

Muslims’ Unfortunate Bragging Rights for Sex Searches! (Sex & the Muslim Ummah)

In my last post, I discussed sex ed. as it relates to children. As I started doing some background research for Part II of this article regarding the need or lack thereof of sexual education for adults, I came across some interesting data, which seemed to deserve its own post, this one!

google_trends_logo_intro_350.gifIt should be pretty obvious to most of us, especially the Muslims who still maintain ties/visitations to the “motherlands” that the Muslim world does indeed have a problem with sex. There is a growing level of promiscuity, sexual frustration, intimate problems in marriage, etc. that are causing havoc in the Muslim countries. Tariq Nelson had discussed this topic sometime back in this article.

A quick analysis of google-trends affirms the problem. See the table below, which may be somewhat startling to some people, yet not surprising at all to others. Pakistan has the unfortunate bragging right, atop the list for the most proportional searches of the term “sex” on google (based on all-time searches). Proportionality measures the number of times that the term “sex” is searched, divided by the total number of all searches. Sadly, 7 out of the top 10 “sex”-search nations are Muslim countries, including the countries usually considered the most “conservative” in popular opinion– Saudi Arabia and Iran. Interestingly, while Pakistan and Egypt are firmly entrenched as #1 and #2 respectively, Saudi and Iran have slipped out of the top-ten in the last 2 years. This of course is not voluntary. Thankfully, both Saudi and Iran have installed web filtration that is preventing this feed of mental perversion to the region, likely in the time frame of 2005-2006.

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google-rank.JPG

Of course, while internet may have been somewhat effectively blocked (though I reckon that novice users would find their way around the filters) , the steady flow of other sources of pornography, erotica and other destroyers of hearts and minds continues. There is Satellite TV, videos, etc. that provides what internet may have been prevented to.

The crippled, hollow hearts then search for all sorts of ways to engage in what the body is forbidden or does not have the resources to engage in. New technology continues to provide new ways to engage in secret rendezvous, which eventually lead to further corruption. No more need for cell-phone flinging when you can use blue-tooth now. No more need for scribbling cell-phone numbers… as this blog entry from a few months ago highlights.

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It begs the question though as to whether bans really do the trick? While I am a proponent of starving the inflow of perversity through any channels to a Muslim populace, the question is why is this populace in so much need for this trash? Why is there this desperation, this hidden desire for haraam? I know many older immigrants from the Muslim countries will insist, and rightfully so, that this is a relatively recent phenomenan, perhaps dating back to the last 20 or so years.

My theory for what it is worth is that the advent of pornography on demand in the form of videos, satellite TV, and then internet has slowly fed sexual perversion into the hearts and minds of the Muslim youth for the last two decades. While on the outside, the norms of Muslim society prevented the actual “practice” of what the corrupted hearts and minds now desired, people have been caught up between two different worlds: a world of sex on their TV sets and computer monitors, and a world of the literal and metaphorical hijab and “parda” on the outside. This of course breeds the underground world of sexual escapades and desperation, to the point of being turned-on by the sight of feet (as in the case where women wear complete jilbab/niqab), secret messages and encounters, and the like.

So, what to do about it? The solution is not and cannot be to open up the society and have a free for all as in the Western world. Yes, if you open everything up, people may not need to search for sex on the internet when it becomes readily available in the physical form. But that of course is worse and not the goal.

Part of the solution, IMHO, is to start with the kids and I already discussed this in the Sex ed. post I wrote before. If children are trained and raised in a way that prevents (to the extent possible) the desire for secret perversions and “secret learnings” where sex is this huge taboo that has to be talked about when parents are not present, then this prevention would be a positive first step. Knowledge is power, even for kids. And pure knowledge of Islam is the most powerful foe of Shaytan’s planned little steps for little kids.

This does not solve the problem for those who are already affected. In this case, early marriage is definitely a help. As Dr. Athar mentions here,

“I am not proposing that all Muslim youth be married at age 16. But I must say that youth should accept the biological instinct and make decisions which will help a more satisfied life devoted to the career rather than spending time in chasing (or dreaming about) the opposite sex. Parents should help their sons and daughters in selection of their mate using Islamic practice as a criteria and not the race, color or wealth. They should encourage them to know each other in a supervised setting.”

And there is no guarantee that marriage will solve the problem. I have heard from enough sources that there is a strong underground swingers movement in Pakistan, revealing not only the level of sexual perversity but also a complete disappearance of a sense of chivalry amongst some Muslims. Thus, not only is there a need for early marriage, but also a need for “continuing education” classes for adults, in the light of Islamic texts. Dr. Heba Qotb is filling some of this need on an Arab Satellite TV (see here and here). I have to admit that I haven’t seen any of her programs, so I am not in a position of evaluating the content. But it does seem that she is approaching it the right way.

There is no doubt that Muslim adults have a lot of questions… about 10% of all questions on the popular Islam-QA site are related to the search term “sex”– in all about 600 questions; more than “basic tenets”, “Quran” and “Hadith” combined! So, my next article will talk more about this subject. Until then, chime in. And to throw in a related curve-ball, I would like you to especially chime in whether you think there should be sex ed. talks at Texas Dawah, separate for men and women?

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mujahideen Ryder

    July 29, 2007 at 4:06 PM

    Good post. This is a very sad disease within the ummah.

    May Allah (swt) protect us from this.

  2. Avatar

    Vallie

    July 29, 2007 at 10:39 PM

    “My theory for what it is worth is that the advent of pornography on demand…has slowly fed sexual perversion into the hearts and minds of the Muslim youth for the last two decades.”

    Translation of Sahih Bukhari,
    Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:
    Narrated ‘Ursa:
    The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/062.sbt.html

  3. Avatar

    Nasir

    July 29, 2007 at 10:50 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    I dont agree brother because if you use more explicit sexual terms the results for muslim countries are much lower.Searching the word sex is more a sign of curiosity rather than perversity.

    I problems howver arise becasue people on the computer lack the hayat (shyness) they would in real life.

    I think the best solution is as one Shaykh said to keep the computer in an open area of the home such as the living room.

    And not to allow yourself or your children to keep the computer in their bedroom room or access the internet in a private place.

  4. Avatar

    Sequoia

    July 29, 2007 at 10:54 PM

    Vallie,

    first marriages were consumated at a younger age back then. Mary (mother of Jesus) was herself very very young when she married Joseph who was much older than her. I have no clue what the average age for marriage was for woman during Muhamed or Mary’s time….but I think you are misreprenting the problem. Basically what you are trying to say, is that Muhamed was a “pedophile” and all the sexual problems within the ummah or Muslim countries stem from this. I find it a very very weak argument. So let’s see….Amad says that easier access to pornography has led or at least contributed to this problem. How can you disagree with this? Sexual curiosity has exsited in all cultures and all countries from the beginning of time. But with the advent of the internet and easier access to pronography, there is the consequence of more people having access to it. There is no doubt that porn does cloud peoples perceptions of sex and does affect relationships. To me your quote was just an attempt to insult every member of this community and cheapen the discussion.

  5. Avatar

    The Wahhabi Misanthrope

    July 29, 2007 at 10:56 PM

    “This of course breeds the underground world of sexual escapades and desperation, to the point of being turned-on by the sight of feet (as in the case where women wear complete jilbab/niqab)”

    I don’t see how that particular fetish is any less strange than those surrounding any other parts of female anatomy e.g. the neck or arm etc. It’s only because the effects of socialisation permeate you so thoroughly when it comes to sex, that certain fetishes are considred ‘normal’ and others aren’t.

  6. Avatar

    Abdullah

    July 30, 2007 at 12:09 AM

    Sequoia,

    The dirty woman isnt making a rational argument that the marriage to Ayesha RA is the cause of Fahisha, rather she’s insulting the prophet saw.

    And when the Pagans insulted the prophet saw what did Abu Bakr say, He RA told them to go suck on the womb of Al Uzzah

    And likewise I tell her she can go to hell

    Don’t waste your effort giving dawah to people who’s intention is to mock or insult the deen of Allah or his Nabu saw.

    Dawah should be given to a person who seems receptive, curious or shows interest. Not a person who’s making an attack on Islam.

  7. Avatar

    Someone

    July 30, 2007 at 4:39 AM

    Pseudo social science at its very worse. A non story contrived out of non-data.

  8. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    July 30, 2007 at 8:36 AM

    >> “I think the best solution is as one Shaykh said to keep the computer in an open area of the home such as the living room.
    And not to allow yourself or your children to keep the computer in their bedroom room or access the internet in a private place.”

    SubhanAllah…this is such a wise thing to say

  9. Amad

    Amad

    July 30, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Abdullah: your last comment was deleted. Please refrain from direct attacks or cursing. Btw, Sequoia is not “giving dawah”; he does not share our Islamic faith. He is responding in a logical, calm manner… manner that is consistent with most religions, incl. ours. So, Sequoia: Thank you for your “calm” response.

    Vallie: we have known you for a long time with the same shtick… posting unrelated information and in general, acting like a troll. Please note that your future comments, if not directly linked to the topic, and if having no real purpose except to inflame, will be also moderated.

    Someone: This non-data was not created out of thin air by google, unless you believe that this is another Jewish conspiracy?

    Nasir: I can agree with the spirit of your comments. Even in this “bad” news, there is some good news. That people have some level of haya to do it secretly. And that it is not “open game” in the society that is forcing them to go “undercover”. While in the West, there is no need to hide, because there is little modesty and fahsha is available openly and easily.

  10. Avatar

    ExEx Blogger

    July 30, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Oh…beef going on here.

  11. Avatar

    Steven_L

    July 30, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    I’ve just amused myself for 10 minutes on ‘Google trends’ searching for various sexual terms.

    edited – sorry some of the content material was too explicit for this site. -mod

  12. Avatar

    Asiya

    July 30, 2007 at 5:01 PM

    It’s interesting how out of hand the comments seem to get. This was a really good post. I’ve often wondered about the obvious sexual perversity of many Muslim countries and can’t help but feel really ashamed of our brothers (and sisters?) but also angry at ourselves for not doing anything to help. Children AND adults need a good lesson in sex ed and it needs to start from a young age and continue into adulthood. The doors of communication need to be more open so that people don’t have to resort to looking up info on the net where information is very unreliable.

  13. Avatar

    AnonyMouse

    July 30, 2007 at 5:07 PM

    Well, I’m not in Texas, but I do think that it’s a very important subject to talk about.

    The weekly women’s halaqah that we have here almost always, at some point or another, ends up discussing this subject simply because the grown women have so many misconceptions regarding it – and I’m sure the men have their own issues too!

  14. Amad

    Amad

    July 30, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    “Well, I’m not in Texas”

    Actually, the Texas Dawah Convention happens during the Christmas break annually and more than 50% of the people who come there are not local.

    Sr. Asiya, jazakAllahkhair for trying to steer the post discussion back on track. I was a bit surprised that this post did not get the traction I thought it would, considering what the data is telling us.

    For many folks, who dream about migrating back to the “motherlands”, this is something they need to consider. Unfortunately, Muslim countries may not have that much open perversity as the West, but the secret, hidden one may actually make it HARDER, not easier to keep the children/teens away from fahshah. Because, you can’t point to something and say that “Muslims don’t do this” because everyone pretty much is Muslim. So, it becomes harder to explain. Moreover, because everyone is “in on the secret”, it provides greater underground opportunity than in the West.

    So, what to do? Stay here and expose the children to the open fahshah, or go “back” and expose them to a secret underground world that is growing massively by the day. It’s a conundrum with no simple answer!

  15. Avatar

    Zahra Billoo

    July 30, 2007 at 5:45 PM

    subhan’Allah. Great minds think alike?

    Affad Shaikh addressed the same topic months ago at Muslamics.

    Check out his perspective:

    http://muslamics.blogspot.com/2007/03/sex-deprivedwhat-is-going-on.html

    • Avatar

      Nur

      January 6, 2016 at 8:02 PM

      Women and men are not respected as equals in reality. Equality must be granted to women. : not having segregation of people on the basis of sex – because that results in women becoming prisoners in their own homes and if everyone is dressed there is nothing wrong with it – it’s called communicating with one another as human beings. Also, so that the adab of communicating with each other is learnt from School age and so that meetings with the opposite sex are not turned into a sexualised event.
      Women and men having equal rights: to seek divorce, to represent and run mosques and charity boards, to have access to all prayer space front and back, to not be objectified through the subject of clothing – eg almost exclusively this is an obsession in regards to females, to become imams, to be accepted into Islamic education establishments to become scholars, to recite aloud the adhan and the Quran and anything else. Without this I don’t see things changing. It’s a worldwide issue but the above inequalities cause women to see themselves and men see them as unequal and objectified. Sexual abuse and harassment is taboo but is very much alive, esp in segregated Muslim countries where to not cover up is either a crime by law or in societies eyes – so there is no choice FOR women that is. There is an attitude of male entitlement towards women who have become so objectified and invisible that they are only considered in terms of sex. I am absolutely sick of it.

  16. Avatar

    MK

    July 30, 2007 at 6:49 PM

    Getting back to the article, I ran the same search for 2007 and founds the list to be somewhat different to the above articel:
    1. Egypt
    2. India
    3. Viet Nam
    4. Morocco
    5. Turkey
    6. Poland
    7. Romania
    8. Hungary
    9. Denmark
    10. Belgium
    A much more equal split between East and West.

    More of interestingly, when I ran the word “islam” – the following results appear:
    1. Indonesia
    2. Malaysia
    3. Pakistan
    4. Morocco
    5. Turkey
    6. Egypt
    7. Norway
    8. Belgium
    9. United Kingdom
    10. Sweden

    From this would we conclude the Muslim nations are interested in Islam, a long with a number of western countries?!

  17. Amad

    Amad

    July 30, 2007 at 8:56 PM

    Yes, I tried it again, and the results appear different from when I posted the article. Very interesting.

  18. Avatar

    Ahmad AlFarsi

    July 30, 2007 at 10:02 PM

    Vallie,

    The Prophet Muhammad, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him), embodied the perfection of morality. You do not. As Muslims, we derive our standard of right and wrong from the Divine revelation. However, it seems you, and those with you, tend to derive morality from cultural standards.

    Let me break it down for you. Due to your “cultural sensitivities,” it is wrong for a 50+ year old man to marry a 6 year old… no matter what. Probably if you lived in Arabia in the 6th century (right before Islam), you would also find it “morally wrong” to not kill your infant daughter. After all, when your moral sensibilities are derived from culture, they will vary this vastly. (Note: when Islam arrived, it harshly condemned the practice of female infanticide, although this practice was accepted as culturally necessary by the pre-Islamic Arabs.)

    According to modern day American standards, it is perfectly acceptable to go meet up with a girl randomly, sleep with her (have a one night stand), and carry no responsibility for this action whatsoever. Most Americans believe this is OK… of course as long as they use protection …. see what I mean? To make a long story short, when one derives his or her moral standards from culture (instead of from God), they will end up morally depraved.

    According to the hadeeth you quoted, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) married Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) when she was six, and the marriage was consummated when she reached puberty. As a Muslim, I find nothing wrong with this action in the least; the Prophet (sallAlllaahu alayhi wa sallam) was the best of mankind.

    I pray that Allah guides you to the straight path of Islam. Aameen.

  19. Avatar

    Vallie

    July 30, 2007 at 10:09 PM

    As I expected, my post deleted and Muhammad venerated. So be it.

    “To me your quote was just an attempt to insult every member of this community and cheapen the discussion.”

    To me that quote represents all that is wrong with Islam. Someone points out an uncomfortable truth and instantly they are called a bigot or a troll and the uncomfortable truth goes unconfronted. Until those many truths within Islam are dealt with it will continue to be seen as a seventh century throwback. I do not wish to insult “this community,” especially Ruth, but perception is everything sometimes. The general perception of Islam among the many people I know who are familiar with the subject is …well, not good.

    *
    Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11, verses 31-33
    Tell me who are You in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of gods, be merciful! I wish to understand You, the primal Being, because I do not know Your mission.

    The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist.

    Therefore, get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these (warriors) have already been destroyed by Me. You are only an instrument, O Arjuna.
    *

    All of us are but instruments. Gods decide what they will.

  20. Avatar

    abu ameerah

    July 30, 2007 at 10:59 PM

    @ Vallie …

    Wow! You are actually trying to use Hinduism as some kind of model religion or enlightened form of thought. I find that somewhat comical.

  21. Avatar

    Abc

    July 31, 2007 at 5:06 AM

    The claims of cultural relativity aside (made by Ahmed) as well as all the other rude remarks by other, I hope this may spread some light on the hadith for Vallie.

    Vallie,

    The hadith that you quote translates the word “dakhala” to mean “consummated”. However the primary meaning of “Dakhala” is “to enter upon” and was used in certained allegorical senses to mean “connsumate”. However its primary usage, even in cases of marriage, is that a man has taken a woman into his home and become financially liable for her.
    1. As was arab custom (and as is the case in most pre-modern and 3rd world areas) marriage was contracted for social and economic reasons first and foremost, affections and emotion were generally not primary or even essential reasons for the contracting of a marriage.
    2. As was Arab custom, a man would become financially responsible for a woman when she came of age, and as such would live in his domicile.
    3. This taken into consideration, as well as the linguistic meaning of the hadith, the following can be said:
    – A. The translation is faulty and poorly thought out, and one that projects cultural anachronisms.
    – B. This hadith states that Aishah’s marriage was contracted at the age of six, i.e. the marriage was agreed to and contracted.
    – C. No where in this hadith is there evidence that sexual contact occurred or was even the reason for her moving to the Prophet’s home, in light of Arab Custom.
    – D. Granted that even her move to his home seems strange to some, there is nothing to suggest that a man should not or cannot take financial liability for his legally contracted wife.
    – E. Therefore though for some this is strange culturally, culture relativism does come into play in this instance. It would be no stranger than the Kanyadaan or giving dowry to a man is to an American couple getting married.

    Others have raised contentions as to the meaning of this hadith, however those contentions still remain to be researched thoroughly.

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  24. Avatar

    Vallie

    July 31, 2007 at 8:15 PM

    I don’t know why you just don’t go ahead and delete ALL of my posts. Oh well, so much for debate.

    Abc says, “- C. No where in this hadith is there evidence that sexual contact occurred or was even the reason for her moving to the Prophet’s home, in light of Arab Custom.”

    No evidence huh?

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/004.sbt.html#001.004.229

    Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 229:

    Narrated ‘Aisha:

    I used to wash the traces of Janaba (semen) from the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water were still on it (water spots were still visible).

  25. Avatar

    Dawud

    July 31, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    So is it normal for Islamophobes to spam on blogs?

    I would simply ignore them and not waste my breath.

  26. Avatar

    Abc

    August 1, 2007 at 1:54 AM

    @ Vallie,

    Ok, that is a hadith, but there is nothing in that hadith that mentions that sexual contact occurred between Aisha and the Prophet at the time of the other hadith.

    The first hadith which refers to her young age in no way correlates to this hadith. It can be said as well that this hadith pertains to when she was older, not when she was young.

    She did progress in age as any human does, and there is nothing in this hadith to indicate when this event happened. So whether she was young or old is up in the air.

  27. Avatar

    brnaeem

    August 1, 2007 at 3:13 AM

    AA-

    Amad, you said: “Muslim countries may not have that much open perversity as the West, but the secret, hidden one may actually make it HARDER, not easier to keep the children/teens away from fahshah. Because, you can’t point to something and say that “Muslims don’t do this” because everyone pretty much is Muslim. So, it becomes harder to explain.”

    I’ve heard that logic so many times and to be honest, I find it extremely lacking. First of all, by having a haram constantly in your face (as we find in the West), it creates a desensitization, which is obviously very dangerous.

    For example, many of us actually enjoy watching beer commercials because they are soo funny. That’s a problem. Instead of disgust, we are welcoming to such celebrations of the prohibited.

    Secondly, a vigilant parent who plays an active role in raising the child will have a MUCH easier time in raising the child in the East than in the West. You are comparing apples to oranges with your logic. You seem to be comparing an unmindful parent in Muslim countries to an Islamically conscious parent in the West – that is NOT a fair comparison.

    There are more fallacies to this widespread misconception…I’m still thinking of putting together a post on this topic (concepts of sex in East-West)…maybe your thoughts will finally get me motivated.

    Thanks for your thoughts bro!
    WA-
    Naeem

  28. Amad

    Amad

    August 1, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    I’ve heard that logic so many times and to be honest, I find it extremely lacking. First of all, by having a haram constantly in your face (as we find in the West), it creates a desensitization, which is obviously very dangerous.

    ASA Br. Naeem. Don’t misunderstand me. I do not mean that this I quoted from you does not happen. And neither am I saying that you are “safer” in the West than the East. All I am saying that it may be harder to explain certain things in certain times.

    There are pros and cons of every situation. I tend to agree that it may be easier to raise a child Islamically in a Muslim country because an involved parent can keep up with the “secret life” and the open perversion is not as, I guess, open. I guess that’s why I still have a plan on my books to move. Maybe not for the “Hijrah is obligatory” reasons that I believed in before (and don’t know), but because of children.

  29. Avatar

    Ibrahim

    August 2, 2007 at 1:16 AM

    br. amad, i agreed with your first post on this issue about not hiding away from what’s in Islamic texts about sex. but, i don’t know how much “education” you want to give to children and “continuing education” to adult….really, it comes down to putting the fear of Allah, really! It might seem simplistic because it’s. This concept of “continuing education”, in my view, is a product of Western thinking, where people aren’t expected to grow forever! If you are an islamically educated muslim in your mid to late teens or older and still affected by this fitna, then I don’t think much education is going to help. also, exactly what education would you give to let’s say a 20 year old (i am not just asking retheorically)? the best thing is to fast, marry early, study Quran to acquire taqwa/fear and have a circle of people who are religious because outside of marrying, fasting, Quran, etc. the friends/family have the most affect here. Allahu A’lam

    about statistics, both good or bad that has been quoted (‘sex’ search and ‘islam’ search), what would be more interesting to see is the % of population for each country, but google doesn’t provide that. i mean the poplulation of pakistan is approximately twice that of egypt, i think. now, of course you would hope higher number of people are searching ‘islam’ in pakistan just because there are twice as many people than compared to egypt.

  30. Avatar

    Ahmad

    August 3, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    Practicing Islam maybe harder in the West but it is ultimately more rewarding. Think about it, if I have access to all that is haraam yet obstain is this not evidence of stronger faith than someone who obstains because it is unavailable?
    I remember once reading some literature by an iman who explained why castration or monasticism is not Islamic. Basically, conquering or controlling the desire is more worthy than removing the desire. And I think that is what some Muslim countries do, try to remove the desire or deny the desire yet it comes back to bite them in the foot.
    I think this article is an example of how suppression of desires doesn’t lead to their removal but only manifestation in other forms.

  31. Avatar

    Subhan

    August 4, 2007 at 3:56 AM

    How accurate is this analysis to prove that these Muslim countries are on top of list for “porn searches”?

    You have used the keyword “sex” for this, try using “porn”, “erotic”, “slut”, “gay” or any other related term. Do you get the same results?

    In all these other keywords u would English speaking nations.

    First, in non-english speaking nation “sex” is the only word commonly known and used. So a regional population in these nations looking for porn material will most likely used the word “sex”. But for English speaking nations the same net-population has much higher vocabulary for porn-search. And hence their ranking is diminished. (even though collectively they might be on top of the world)

    Second, Use of word “sex” can be for many purpose, apart from porn-searches, like sex-problem, synonym of word gender, etc. It does not exclusively means porn.

    But other words (which ranks the Western/European nations on top) are exclusive for porn.

  32. Avatar

    jinnzaman

    August 4, 2007 at 10:35 AM

    Vallie,

    Your argument is flawed since it is predicated on the implicit assumption that marrying a young girl was socially unacceptable. The argument regarding pedophilia is a modern Eurocentric moral judgment that is being made upon a non-European man who lived 1400 years ago. Before one can apply such a critique, one must determine if it is valid.

    Even in the time of the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam), while the Arabs accused him of many things and tortured him and abused him, they never accused him of pedophilia. The Arabs themselves had no problem with marrying young girls nor with having multiple wives nor with engaging in fornication. The latter two were both prohibited and limited in Islam. You can’t apply Victorian era moral standards to critique Islam. If you like, we can apply the same moral standards of Islam and critique Western civilization. Look at how your women dress, like sluts and show off their bodies while our women are protected in their honor and beauty. Your men fornicate and leave your women and children with broken homes, while our men protect their homes and preserve the rights of their women. We take care of our elders, while you put them in nursing homes. You people are overweight because you eat unhealthy food from fast food places. Our food is halal and we protect the best interests of both the animals and humans in how we produce our food. We can make an ad infitum amount of moral critiques of Western civilization ranging from religious practices to social issues to political issues to miltary issues and so on and so forth. However, you would response ‘well thats what you believe in Islam, thats not what we believe in.’ The same argument you would make if we critiqued you on those grounds apply to yourself. If you believe morality is universal, then by all means, show us your proof why you feel Western morality is superior.

    Nor did the Persians nor did the Romans nor did the Abyssinians.

    Moreover, during the Crusades, many kings and nobles had wives who were as young as 12 years old. Since you quoted the Bhagavid Gita, you should realize that marriage between young people was also a common practice in India. Would you bash Mahatma Ghandi for getting married at the age of 13 with his Kasturba who was also 13?

    In fact, up until the mid-nineteenth century, the global age of consent ranged from 10 to 13 years old. That was not the average, but the range of age of consent.

    So its entirely illogical to take a concept that has only existed in one part of the world for only 150 years and use it to criticize a global practice that existed for thousands of years.

    If your argument is that, well, its scientifically proven that marriage at a young age is x, y, or z. My response would be that science is not a source of morality. It is merely the process by which humans make judgments about the universe. It is not a source of a model for human behavior. That can only come from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and His Rasul (sallahu alayhi wa sallam).

    If you feel Islam is incorrect, then by all means, meet the challenge of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) which is to produce something like the Qur’an since it is a miracle. If you can’t do something as simple as that, then you must recognize that the Qur’an is inimitable and comes only from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).

    May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) give you hidayah. Ameen.

    masalama

  33. Avatar

    jinnzaman

    August 4, 2007 at 10:39 AM

    Amad,

    Not sure if I agree with the inferences you’ve drawn.

    Firstly, not everyone who searches the word ‘sex’ is going to commit zina or watch pornography. You yourself searched to find information about this topic. This doesn’t mean that you engaged in those actions. Some people who search these terms might have a sincere intent to find out the ruling on a particular sexual practice.

    Secondly, not everyone in those Muslim countries has access to the internet. The amount of people in Muslim countries who have access to the internet are not as high as they are in America. What you are looking at is probably the upper crust of the Muslim world and those people have always tended to be secular and irreligious anyway.

    So I don’t think your presumptions are necessarily correct. You can’t make generalizations based on Google Analytics. That data changes constantly and just because the day you went on there were a lot of Muslim countries, doesn’t mean that its always like that.

    masalama

  34. Avatar

    jinnzaman

    August 4, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    Vallie,

    I also wanted to point out that there is a lot of evidence that sexual activity in America begins at the age of 10. If you like, I can share articles with you if you like.

  35. Avatar

    The Wahhabi Misanthrope

    August 4, 2007 at 12:34 PM

    @ Jinnz: Excellent points. :) It complements my long post here on the husbands thread…

  36. Amad

    Amad

    August 4, 2007 at 3:06 PM

    salam JZ… good points as always

    Firstly, not everyone who searches the word ’sex’ is going to commit zina or watch pornography. You yourself searched to find information about this topic.

    The data is “proportional’ searches so I think we agree that on average the Pakistanis or Egyptians using the computer are searching for “sex” more than other countries. I disagree with the rationalization that somehow Pakistanis and Egyptians (just to use the 2 examples) have more research to do than other countries. Rather, it will be over-rationalization and perhaps naive to believe that they are searching “sex” for anything other than the “bad sex”. You quoted my example… but really how many people do you think are academically engaging in this? And even if I grant you this, are Egyptians and Pakistanis so academically in sexuality that their proportional searches exceed that of developed nations?

    What you are looking at is probably the upper crust of the Muslim world and those people have always tended to be secular and irreligious anyway.

    On this I agree with you. But that is a problem, isn’t it, when our educated and influential class are more into sex than into academics and other ways to improve the situations of our countries? That actually makes this even a more sad situation.

    Finally, I also agree that google trends and any “analysis” associated with it has very little scientific value. In fact, google trends tell you not to use their info. in research papers!

  37. Avatar

    jinnzaman

    August 5, 2007 at 11:19 PM

    Amad,

    As I said before, the people who look up the term ‘sex’ are not necessarily doing it for the sake of watching pornography. They could be using it to find out more information about sex. Such as about sexual behavior, sexual etiquette, sexual diseases, sexual habits, etc. There’s more to sex then merely the act. If one goes to various fatwa websites, a lot of the questions people ask are pertaining to sex, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people are fornicating or engaging in deviant behavior.

    So while it may be true that ‘sex’ is present on a lot of search engines in a lot of Muslim countries, it isn’t necessarily the case that this has to do solely with pornography or other haram activities.

    And again, as I stated, even if this premise is true, the corollary premise that you inferred from it is still not necessary since the people who do use the internet are but a small minority of the general Muslim populace.

    Either way, both inferences aren’t necessary nor highly probable. There needs to be more investigation into these types of issues.

    masalama

  38. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Pornogrpahy Addiction Among Muslims (Stories & Tips)

  39. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Pornography Addiction Among Muslims (Stories & Tips)

  40. Avatar

    curious

    October 23, 2007 at 4:54 PM

    To Ahmad AlFarsi:

    You said….

    “According to modern day American standards, it is perfectly acceptable to go meet up with a girl randomly, sleep with her (have a one night stand), and carry no responsibility for this action whatsoever. Most Americans believe this is OK… of course as long as they use protection …. see what I mean? To make a long story short, when one derives his or her moral standards from culture (instead of from God), they will end up morally depraved.

    I have been reading in Islamic forums for quite sometime, and this is a pervasive opinion of muslims ..that all americans/westerners act like this. This is not the truth, and if anything, far from it. This is what you see in movies and on the TV, but in reality, most of us, religious or not, do not feel that this behavior is normal or morally sound. I think that you should be more careful to not generalize a certain population…..it can be harmful to yourself as well as others who do not know the difference. There are people of low moral standards everywhere…those who leave their wife and children, etc…in all countries and cultures.

    curious

  41. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    October 23, 2007 at 5:34 PM

    Hey curious! Long time no see :)

  42. Avatar

    Ahmad AlFarsi

    October 24, 2007 at 12:30 AM

    Hi curious,

    Incidentally, I am from the very culture that you claim I am mistaken about. I was born and raised here in America, as a non-Muslim, and I reverted to Islam 4 years ago, all praise and thanks be to Allah.

    In reality, most of the non-Muslims I have met feel that a “one-night stand” is perfectly fine. I know for a fact that there are exceptions, but, based on the non-Muslims I have met (in South Texas, on the East Coast, and in New England), such exceptions are few and far between. Perhaps you have had a different experience…

  43. Avatar

    StatsMakeSenseMaybe

    June 11, 2008 at 2:55 AM

    I just came across this stuff. Interesting.

    Last I checked pornography is a 15 billion dollar business in the U.S and pretty high number with other “kaffir nations”. Now, there is a subtle but important difference between the word “porn” and “sex”, exception may be pakistan, as they make the list either way I think.

    So I think we should look at a stat that shows who likes to type the word “porn” and see how that measures up in the world. Or here is link for some good insights….”Western” countries are not safe from these “perversions”, in fact, it is quite the contrary. Even with paramount level of sexual revolution, western nations tend to take a much bolder step in that direction while the rest follow..!

    http://familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html#anchor3

    • Avatar

      Nur

      January 6, 2016 at 8:10 PM

      Let’s admit there is a problem. Step 1. Whilst I most certainly do not agree with everything in the article at least this is facing this …

  44. Avatar

    rob

    December 17, 2008 at 11:20 PM

    I think you chose an interesting choice of words in your post “The solution is not and cannot be to open up the society and have a free for all as in the Western world.”

    Funny that the so called “free for all” in the “western world” doesnt involve as internet perversion as muslim countries, as shown by google trends

  45. Pingback: [Comment]Why Some Muslims Are Violent - Page 3 - The Village Square

  46. Avatar

    Chris

    October 19, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Why is any of thus surprising? Must you not be human in order to be Muslim? Repression leads to desire. We are all sinners, get over it.

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#Islam

A Primer On Intimacy And Fulfillment Of A Wife’s Desires Based On The Writings Of Scholars Of The Past

*For mature audiences only

This short piece is intended to provide insight on the troubling and detrimental lack of understanding among Muslim men for the necessity and virtue of the female orgasm during sexual intercourse in married couples.  The importance of the female orgasm is substantiated by naṣṣ of Qurʾān, corroborated by the ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) , and has been elaborated upon by the fuqahāʾ throughout the centuries.

Many Muslim sisters have taken it upon themselves to tackle the issue online and anyone who has love and concern for the Muslim community should praise their efforts.  In initiating conversation on this matter, they have shown concern, initiative and courage worthy of the followers of Rasūlullāh .  The benefit which their writings, webinars, round-table talks have provided is obvious to anyone who ponders.  It is a known principle among the fuqahāʾ that knowledge is to be imparted to the masses by order of its need and prevalence of troubles within the masses.

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The anonymous testimonies of our Muslim sisters are undoubtedly a justification for drawing the attention of our Muslim brothers to what authentic Islām teaches us on the subject.  It is also known among the fuqahāʾ that women are the only legitimate source of information for matters specific to them; such as the different patterns of menstruation and post-natal bleeding.  Consequently, the only legitimate source for determining whether and to which magnitude the issue of reaching orgasm during intercourse is pertinent to Muslim women is the Muslim women themselves.

A synopsis of the most striking among those anonymous testimonials follows:

Testimonial 1: “Being married for 10+ years Alhamdulillah with 3 kids it’s a journey of pain and frustration in terms of sexual life.  I never knew till some 4 years of marriage that there is something called ‘orgasm’ for females.  I simply cannot explain the emptiness it leaves when he just sleeps calmly leaving me aroused once he is done. He feels hurt when I say I too want to be satisfied.  But my requests to all the brothers out there: don’t be selfish no matter how tired you are. If you want to be satisfied every single time of making love, make sure so does your wife too. Your wife will never be emotionally attached to you if you do not satisfy her with your own love and willingness in bed.”

Testimonial 2: “I am 2 years in this marriage and I’m highly dissatisfied. Because I’m outspoken I have told my husband clearly many times that even if he doesn’t want I do. But it only led to fights and more dissatisfaction. He tried to improve but after it had done enough damage already. He loves me, he kisses and cuddles a lot but his appetite for love making is very poor. I don’t feel desired.  We so often hear [sic] that we should not deny intimacy to the husband but why is it not the other way round too?”

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Testimonial 3 “In [my first] 5 years of marriage, I’ve orgasmed once with him though I love him with all my heart. I cannot stress on the importance of a female climaxing and reaching an orgasm with her husband because this has saved our marriage [after he realized how important it was]. It brings a couple so much closer. To all you ladies who think sex is a chore, I can guarantee none of you have ever had an orgasm. Had you had a true orgasm you would be pulling him to bed. It’s the best physical feeling ever and melts away the stress.”

These testimonials speak for themselves, and the verses of Qurʾān, aḥādīth and sayings of the fuqahāʾ below will demonstrate their legitimacy.

The Qurʾān unambiguously affirms the presence of lust in both men and women, without distinction:

“Tell the believing men that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts; it is more decent for them. Surely Allāh is All-Aware of what they do.  And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts” (s. 24, v. 30-31).

In Aḥkāmul-Qurʾān, Qāḍī Abū-Bakr Ibn al-ʿArabī (passed away 543 A.H/1148) comments on this verse as follows: “Just as it is not permissible for a man to gaze at a woman, it is likewise not permissible for a woman to gaze at a man; the man’s attachment to her is no different than her attachment to him.  His [lustful] intent from her is likewise identical to her [lustful] intent from him”.  It is noteworthy that Al-Qurṭubī also relays this statement of Ibn al-ʿArabī in his tafsīr.  This then raises the question: if lust is set to be fulfilled through marriage, then what is the purpose and benefit of such fulfillment?

The Qurʾān provides clear guidance as to the importance of a loving marital relationship.  “And it is among His signs that He has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them, and He has created love and kindness between you” (s. 30 v, 21).  The greatest mufassir among the Ṣaḥāba, ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAbbās, contends that “love is intercourse (jimāʿ)” i.e a loving relationship stems from the act of intercourse. It is simply inconceivable for the relationship to be a loving one, if one of the parties to intercourse is dissatisfied.  Mujāhid and al-Ḥassan al-Baṣrī ascribe the same meaning to love as Ibn-ʿAbbās.

The Qurʾān does not detail the requirements of the act of intercourse. That responsibility is carried out by Rasūlullāh .  While commenting on the verse “And We sent down the Reminder (The Qur’ān) to you, so that you explain to the people what has been revealed for them, and so that they may ponder.” (s. 16, v. 44), Al-Qurṭubī explains: “The Rasūl  explains on behalf of Allāh that which He intends in the rules of ṣalāt and zakāt as well as other commands, by detailing such intent where Allāh has provided  statements which are general in nature”.  This leads us to the aḥādīth below for the guidance of men on how to satisfy their spouses during intercourse.

إذا جامع أحدكم أهله فليصدقها فإن سبقها فلا يعجلها خرجه أبو يعلى عن أنس

“When one of you has intercourse with his spouse, then let him be truthful towards her.  If he happens to precede her then he should not rush her” .

Al-Manāwī comments on this ḥadīth as follows: “He should be truthful in his love and his display of good will towards her.  This means that it is commendable for him to make love to her with strength, resolve and make fine love to her”.

إذا جامع أحدكم أهله فليصدقها ثم إذا قضى حاجته قبل أن تقضي حاجتها فلا يعجلها حتى تقضي حاجتها خرجه عبد الرزاق وأبو يعلى عن أنس

“When one of you has intercourse with his spouse, then let him be truthful towards her.  Then if he fulfills his need before her need is fulfilled, let him not rush her until it is fulfilled”

Al-Manāwī comments as follows: “When he has fulfilled his need from her by reaching climax, then-as a matter of merit-he should not impel her to separate from him.  Rather he should carry on with her until her need from him is likewise fulfilled.  This will only occur by her reaching climax and her lust settling.”.

The next ḥadīth praising a woman whose appetite for intimacy is strong, should therefore not come as a surprise.

خيرُ نسائِكم العفيفةُ الغَلِمَةُ ، عفيفةٌ في فرجِها ، غَلِمَةٌ علَى زوجِها

“The best of your women is the one who is modest yet lustful.  She is modest with regards to her private parts (towards strange men) while she is lustful towards her husband”.

Al Manāwī comments as follows: “The modest woman refrains from the ḥarām. For her to be lustful means that her carnal desire is restless. However, such restlessness is not praiseworthy in an absolute sense, as explained by the ensuing part of the ḥadīth i.e she is modest towards strange men”.

The above references in ḥadith literature are not meant to be exhaustive. Other references exist, and the commentators have been consistent in their explanations.

The fuqahāʾ(jurists) in the Ummah have, from very early on, also unapologetically touched on the subject in the most emphatic and direct manner. Some are quoted below to demonstrate such.

In his commentary of Al-Naṣīḥa al-Kāfiya Ibn-Zukrī, a Moroccan scholar who passed away 400 yrs ago (1133 A.H) quotes from Ibn al-Ḥājj (passed away 737 A.H/1336), Imam al-Ghazālī (passed away 505 A.H/1111) and al-Manāwī (passed away 1031 A.H/1621). The quotations below are directly taken from his commentary on al-Naṣiha of Shaykh Aḥmad Zarrūq (passed away 899 A.H/1493). These dates are quoted here to stress on the fact that this subject is not a contemporary one, it is rather a subject that has existed from the very time Muslim scholarship has. What is most pertinent here is the unambiguous language the fuqahāʾ use to get their point across.

“And softness towards the woman, until her fluid mixes with the fluid of the man, is certain to induce love for her and for him as well”.

Ibn-ʿArdūn explains: ‘The author of al-īdāḥ explains: whenever their two fluids blend together at the same moment, it is the utmost form of reaching pleasure, love, affection as well as cementing love. The amount of pleasure and love will be commensurate with how closely in time they blend together’.

The author of al-Iḥyāʾ mentions: ‘And once he has fulfilled his need let him take his time with his spouse until she likewise fulfills her need because her climax may be delayed and to withdraw from her while her lust has been agitated would cause her harm. Differences in patterns of climax inevitably lead to repulsion and discord whenever the husband should reach climax first. It is more gratifying and pleasurable for the woman that she and her husband reach climax simultaneously because  he will be engaged and absorbed alongside her, accommodating thereby her likely shyness [she will enjoy her orgasm without bashfulness]’

In al-Madkhal [Ibn al-Ḥājj] explains: ‘It is fitting for him, when he has fulfilled his need, not to rush to rise because it is among the things which will upset and perturb her.  Rather he should remain agreeable and engaged until he ascertains that her need has been fulfilled.  The intent is to have consideration for her matter because the Nabī  used to advice [men] regarding women just as he used to encourage kindness towards them. At this juncture, it is not possible to show kindness to her without it [the fulfillment of her need]. The man should therefore thoroughly exert himself to achieve that goal, and Allāh will certainly forgive any incapacity’.

Ibn Zukrī then goes on to quote al-Manāwī’s commentary of the two first ḥadiths quoted above.

The author of the Naṣīḥa then goes on to explain, and Ibn Zukrī’s commentary follows:

“And whoever wishes to accomplish that, then let him not come close to her until her breathing becomes intense and her eyes hollow, and that she seeks to remain attached to him; those are signs of her lust having been awakened”

Ibn Zukrī : it is explained in the commentary of al-Waghlisiyya : part of the etiquette of intimacy is to engage in foreplay so that the wife’s heart becomes cheerful and that the attainment of her desire becomes easy. This should be done until the point that her breathing becomes intense, her agitation increases, and she seeks to remain attached to the man, only then should he come close to her [for the act of intercourse].

He continues to say: “Those preliminaries consists in abundant foreplay with her, fondling her breasts and rubbing his penis with her labia”.  Ibn Zukrī explains: the author of the Madkhal explains: ‘When one decides to intimately engage with his spouse, it is befitting for him to refrain from the prohibited behavior which some of the common folk adopt, which consists in approaching their spouses hurriedly. Rather he should not do so until he has played and bantered with her in permissible ways. That includes cuddling, kissing and similar actions, until he sees that she has aroused herself to what he is seeking from her, feels relaxed and takes interest in it. Only then should he approach her. The wisdom of the religious code in this matter is obvious, and it is that the woman desires from the man what he desires from her. If he were to come to her abruptly, he may very well fulfill his need while she would remain upset and her dīn and chastity may be compromised as a result.  If he however does as stipulated, then the matter will be eased for her and her dīn and chastity will be protected’.

End of quotes from Ibn-Zukrī. 

It is clear from the above that the fuqahāʾ have kept within the confines of the Qurʾān and the Sunna and, as is their responsibility, lucidly relayed the information contained therein to the masses, with a full understanding of the pertinence of the subject in society.

This article cannot be complete without mentioning what some of the people of ḥaqīqa i.e taṣawwuf have said on the subject.

Ahmad Ibn Ajība explains, regarding ḥaqīqa: ‘It is derived from the Qurʾān and the Sunna, as well as from the inspirations of the ṣāliḥīn [pious ones] and the spiritual unfoldings [futūḥāt] of the ʿārifīn [gnostics]. The subtle understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah is predominantly found among the ṣālihīn.  Their statements clearly show that.

In his book on the etiquettes of marriage, Muhammad alTihāmī Kanūn (passed away 1915) explains: Abul ʿAbbas Aḥmad b. Yaḥya alWansharīsī says in his abridgment of the nawāzil of alBurzulī: ‘The pious Shaykh AbuBakr alWarraq states: every worldly passion hardens the heart, except the passion of intercourse which in fact softens the heart, which is why the Anbiyāʾused to engage in it’.  It is also mentioned in hadith:

Three things have been made beloved to me among your worldly matters: perfume, women and the coolness of my eyes has been placed in salat’.

In fact, alQurtubi relates the statement from alWarrāq with a prelude explaining how it is said that the desire for intercourse is commensurate with one’s taqwa

Note: We will state the obvious here, that this is true for both men and women, in accordance with what has been stated above regarding their equivalency in the search for carnal satisfaction from one another.

Finally, the author of marginal notes on Tafsīr alJalālayn Aḥmad alṢāwī states: ‘One of the gnostics [ʿārifīn] has mentioned that intercourse is one of the avenues towards reaching [the ma’rifa of] Allāh’.

These last statements from the ṣālihīn should serve as an admonition as well as an encouragement to the Muslim brothers who are lacking in being mindful of their spouse’s sexual needs. They may beg the question: is it a deficiency in taqwā which causes a man to not be mindful of this? It clearly makes the case for an opportunity for spiritual development through the act of intimacy

There are many related subjects which have not been discussed here, as the intent was very specific. However, our brothers and sisters should certainly take it upon themselves to contribute in educating the Muslims on those issues. Issues such as: the need and importance of marriage counseling; how to nurture a good relationship outside of the bedroom; how to address psychological and/or medical issues related to intimacy; how to educate Muslim adolescents (girls and boys alike) on sexuality, etc. There are, alḥamdulillāh, many competent and articulate brothers and sisters who specialize in different fields, and/or have valuable life experience which can be put to the profit of the Muslim Ummah

And we all ask Allāh for tawfīq.

PDF of sources in Arabic with references

  1. Aḥkāmul-Qurʾān, Vol. 3 p. 380
  2. Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, Vol. 16 p. 412
  3. Idem.
  4. Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, Vol. 12 p. 329
  5.  Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 1 p. 325. Ḥadīth n. 548. 
  6.  Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 1 p. 325. Ḥadīth n. 549.
  7.  Al-Manāwi mentions that this is mustahab, and he is correct.  However, the statement of istiḥbāb is only to encourage this action, in order to avoid harm to the woman.  If she is being harmed by the lack of satisfaction, then it becomes wājib. 
  8.  Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 3 p. 493. Ḥadīth n. 4093.
  9.  Sharḥ al-Naṣīḥa, Ibn-Zukrī Al-Fāsī, p. 651.
  10.  Reference from Hikam.
  11.  Qurratul-ʿuyūn bi-sharḥ naẓm ibn-Yaʾmūn, p. 48. 
  12. It is worthy to mention here that the commentators of hadith have determined that “three things” is an addition from the narrator as opposed to being the speech of the Nabi SAW.  Salat is not part of worldly matters. The hadith should therefore be: ‘Among your worldly matters perfume and women have been made beloved to me and the coolness of my eyes has been placed in salat’.
  13.  Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Vol. 6 p. 419.
  14.  Ḥāshiya al-Ṣāwī, Vol. 3 p. 204.

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Manners

Podcast: How Intimate Can a Couple be Post-Nikkah, but Pre-Marriage? | Yaser Birjas

Question:

I just had my nikkah done with my husband and we are having our rukhsati done soon (in the next few months). The reason for [the] delay is just mainly to prepare for the wedding and  [to] accommodate family members’ schedule [for] the wedding. After the nikkah is it permissible to do all the acts that are permissible between a husband and wife even if the rukhsati hasn’t been done?

Sincerely,
Getting married in my 20s

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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#Life

Rebuilding Self-Love  in the Face of Trauma

touch trauma

“…there is beauty in breaking” – Amir Sulaiman

Words fell softly from her lips as tears streamed down her face. A young woman, newly married, had reached out to me via social media to ask a question about how to reconnect with her body after trauma. Receiving intimacy and sex-related questions from Muslim women all over the world is a large part of my work.  But there was something about this particular questioner that struck me in a very deep place. I intimately knew her pain as a survivor. Not long after taking my shahada, I was the victim of sexual assault. The amount of trauma I suffered is indescribable. But rather than pulling me away from the faith, I relied heavily on the deen to pull me through one of the darkest periods of my life.

After trauma, rather than pulling away from the faith, I relied heavily on the deen to pull me through one of the darkest periods of my life. Click To Tweet

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Healing after trauma took action, not only faith. For years, I struggled with the ability to connect with my body and to understand how to properly process emotions.  Intimacy, of all kinds, was a challenge for me. Reclaiming agency over my own body and establishing my right to pleasure led me down a life-changing path that has led to me now assisting other women in understanding and owning sexuality from a sacred perspective. My trauma broke me but it also showed me new ways to heal.

But getting back to pleasure really requires coming back to a sense of oneness and power within one’s self. It means owning your narrative and rebuilding the parts which have been broken. @TheVillageAuntieClick To Tweet

Re-engaging with sexual pleasure after trauma can be very difficult, especially for Muslim women who have been taught their whole lives to vigorously guard their bodies and not discuss sex. Talk of intimacy is still seen as taboo and, worse yet, the ability to report sexual assault and abuse remains a very difficult task for many women, regardless of faith.

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But getting back to pleasure really requires coming back to a sense of oneness and power within one’s self. It means owning your narrative and rebuilding the parts which have been broken.

I have developed a five-step plan for helping women to navigate the heartbreaking process of reclaiming the body and opening one’s self to pleasure.

[*This plan is not to be used in place of mental health care (cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, trauma-informed somatic practice, etc.) but is meant to supplement intervention from a trusted licensed mental health provider.]

  1. Practice mindful forgiveness. This is not meant to be directed toward the abuser. Mindful forgiveness after trauma focuses on a need to forgive one’s self for the range of self-directed emotions that can be detrimental in the aftermath of sexual trauma. Sometimes women blame themselves when abuse takes place. This internalized oppression requires forgiveness because a victim should never assume blame for the heinous acts of others. Forgiving ourselves for any negative self-talk and asking Allah to grant His indelible mercy is a key foundation for the development of a healing path. It took years after my assault for me to understand the ways in which I had wounded myself with disparaging internal scripts. When I increased my level of istighfar and asked Allah to excuse all the instances where I doubted myself and harmed my spirit in the process, I was able to finally uncover long-hidden emotions and set about the work of true healing and reconciliation with my body.

    rights of women in Islam

  2. Seek knowledge about one’s own body and its rights. When I became a Muslim 21 years ago, I had no idea that Islam was such a sex-positive religion. The Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is full of instances where he demonstrated the beauty and importance of sex as a form of marital bonding as well as an act of worship. Scouring books of fiqh, I learned the rights of women in Islam which affirmed that we are not human possessions meant to be tilled; women have undeniable rights to pleasure and protection of our most sacred human parts. Understanding that Islam is a guide for all areas of life can give a sense of comfort and provide a pathway to explore the sacredness of sexuality. This is key, especially for women who have been abused by men of faith or who have been victims of spiritual manipulation for carnal gain. Also, learning about the female anatomy, how the brain is an integral part of harnessing pleasure, and ways to use the mind to develop an internal sense of pleasure can also be extremely helpful in re-igniting one’s love of self.

  3. Activate the sensuality of everyday life.  There is a misunderstanding of the role of sensuality in pleasure. Sex is the physical joining of bodies. Sensuality, however, is a conscious internal awareness of pleasurable stimuli. It does not involve engaging with another person. This is key because many trauma sufferers may find physical human touch triggering.  Recognizing the sensual aspects of daily life requires the mindful perception of things that titillate or arouse. It can be as simple as the feel of a particular fabric against the skin, the smell of the air after a heavy rain, a sound that evokes sensual memories, a scent that conjures an arousing mood. Why is this important? Sex is not the sole route to pleasure. For women, pleasure is largely dependent upon a spiritual or mental connection within the body. By engaging in self-motivated pleasurable sensations, this can assist women in realizing the power and control that we have over our physical vessels. Muslim couple healing reciting Quran

  4. Be easy with yourself. In the Qur’an, Allah reminds us “O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)  During the process of reclaiming one’s power, there will undoubtedly be times of anger, grief, sorrow, and resentment. These are human emotions and are quite reasonable given the magnitude of trauma’s effect on the heart. Be patient with yourself. Channel love and support during times of difficulty. Do not neglect your healing journey because of a setback. It is important to practice patience with one’s self and utilize prayer as a stabilizing force. Allah is Al Wali, our greatest Protector, and Supporter. During times of emotional despair, rather than directing our energy inward, we can learn to release these emotions through dua and remembrance. Trauma is not a fundamental characteristic of who you have become. Reclaiming your narrative means understanding that you have the power to create a different story with a powerful ending. Give yourself the time and space to rewrite your script.

    Allah is Al Wali, our greatest Protector, and Supporter. During times of emotional despair, rather than directing our energy inward, we can learn to release these emotions through dua and remembrance.Click To Tweethealing from trauma

  5. Find your circle. Healing is not a solitary act. Sometimes it requires the love and support of others. Do you have a circle of support? Who are the people in your circle? And if you don’t have one, how can you create one? When I was at my lowest, my circle was there to remind me of who I was and how far I had come. They were the ones with whom I could be my most authentic self. One of the ways in which we can heal trauma is by seeking human connection. Select your circle carefully and lean on them during times of need. The healing power of your personally curated community can be transformative and life-changing.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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