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Sex & the Ummah: As A Virgin


The latest buzz in France is about a court case regarding a Muslim couple whose marriage was annulled due to the woman lying about her virginity. Besides the issue of religion vs. secularism that’s particularly sensitive in Europe, especially considering the hijaab ban, cartoons, and other infamous incidents, another topic is brought to light: that of virginity and hymen restoration.

A quick Google search will yield hundreds of results – the majority focusing on the European phenomenon of women from Muslim families seeking “certificates of virginity” and/ or hymen restoration surgery before they get married. Debate rages on about European Muslims importing such cultural backwardness as vaginal blood on newlyweds’ bedsheets to be proof of the bride’s virginity, affecting the generation of youth born and brought up on Western soil.

Reading these stories, several things come to mind. The situation isn’t just about women’s virginity; it’s about many convulated societal ills that the Muslim community is facing.

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First and foremost is straying from the Deen, placing culture over religion and possessing strange priorities. It seems that in many of the cases, the women (and men) involved weren’t very religious to begin with, hence their dilemma. In at least one case, a boyfriend/ girlfriend couple were engaged to marry, but then the groom’s family demanded proof of the bride’s virginity; apparently the only way for her to obtain this was hymen reconstructive surgery. Clearly, to them, proof of (technical) virginity was more important than the fact that their son had been dating for some time already.

Furthermore, the entire concept of proof of virginity is alien to the Deen and completely absent in the Shari’ah. It is commanded of both Muslim men and women to abstain from pre-marital relations. Since, the only Islamically acceptable way of knowing whether someone has broken this rule is by confession, or having been caught fornicating by the required four witnesses, the whole idea of physiological “proof” is redundant.

Ignorance is another contributing factor to this sensitive issue. Far too many people believe that a woman’s hymen is destroyed by intercourse alone. The truth is, however, that accidents, physical activity, and even everyday movements can result in the ‘puncturing’ of hymens. Thus, the expectation of vaginal blood as proof of virginity is a faulty one that cannot be relied upon for accuracy.

Double standards are another sign of culture being placed over religion. Many families are willing to turn a blind eye to their sons “playing the field”, but become borderline psychotic if their daughters are caught doing so. It must be clearly understood that the Shari’ah does not differentiate between male and female when it comes to gender relations and sexual conduct. Pre-marital relationships are 100% forbidden. It isn’t “worse” if a woman commits zina, or “not as bad” if a man does. In both cases, it is WRONG and the gravity of the sin is equal in the eyes of Allah.

To end, Sheikh Yaser Birjas kindly provides us with a scholarly overview of the issue:

Asking for a ‘virginity test’ is something new in the Muslim society due to the social change occurring as a result to the proximity with western culture. Its hard to find anything regarding this issue in such a straight forward manner in classical works of fiqh, for such a request implies suspicion in the chastity of the woman and hence falls under ‘Qadhf‘ false accusation. The rules of Shariah are based on ‘sitr‘ concealing blemishes when possible and promoting chastity, therefore, unmarried women are assumed virgin unless an evidence suggests otherwise. Women are not obligated to prove their virginity, but if it appeared to their husbands they were not virgin then an explanation is required if requested by the husband or his or her wali. The husband has no right to go around speaking ill against her, he would have the option to dissolve the marriage and take his mahr back or stay with her on that condition.

This request is not only a violation to her body, but also to her innocence and to her honor.

If the man or his family were suspicious of the virginity of a woman then they should dissolve the contract, not demanding such request. This request springs out from fear of shame on the part of the groom or his family. They do not wish to be accused of calling off a marriage for no reason fearing that this might cause a cultural backfire on them.

On the “Bloody Bedsheets” Tradition

This is absolutely haram, awful and works against the request of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to keep intimate matters private. If speaking about what happens between a husband and wife behind closed doors was made haram per the statements of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), how about then showing it or put it on display? The Hadith in Sahih Muslim:

Verily among the worst people before Allaah on the Day of Judgement is a man who approaches his wife sexually and she responds and then he spreads her secrets.
And in Musnad Imam Ahamd, “On the authority of Asmaa bint Yazid who narrated “that she was once in the presence of the Prophet and there were both men and women sitting. The Prophet then said: “Perhaps a man might discuss what he does with his wife, or perhaps a woman might inform someone what she did with her husband?” The people were silent. Then I said: “O, Yes! O Messenger of Allaah verily both the women and men do that.” Then the Prophet said: “Do not do that. It is like a male shaitaan who meets a female shaitaan along the way, and have sex with her while the people look on!

On Hymen Reconstruction Surgery

If the reason behind the loss of the hymen was accidental with no haram act involved then its permissible. In some cases a doctor provides the patient with a letter attesting for the reason of this accidental loss. There is some disagreement among contemporary scholars if the reason was rape, but absolutely wrong if the woman was a fornicator, divorcee or widow.

See more here: Ruling on Hymen Reconstruction Surgery

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Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of



  1. Ibn Masood

    July 14, 2008 at 4:09 AM


    Interesting…I hear about this a while back… but I didn’t know that this was such a big issue….

    I agree with IslamQA on that one :)

  2. anon

    July 14, 2008 at 4:13 AM

    “The groom, an unidentified engineer in his 30s, left the nuptial bed and announced to the still partying wedding guests that his bride had lied. She was delivered that night to her parents’ doorstep.”

    That was a quote from the NY Times article about the French couple and all I can say to that is, wow, what a complete [jerk] the man was. Making an announcement in front of the guests?!?! WTH?! Itdon’t think she should have lied (all thought with the cultural mentality she was raised in it’s fairly obvious why she would have), but at this point if the woman wants to get married she’s probably gonna have to move to a new continent and get her hymen restored while she’s at it.

    Anyways, good article Anonymouse. There is really quite a lot of hypocrisy all over the world with regards to how men and women who have premarital relations are viewed. When is the last time you ever heard a man referred to as a slut or a skank?

    “Asking for a ‘virginity test’ is something new in the Muslim society due to the social change occurring as a result to the proximity with western culture”

    I did find this statement to be pretty ridiculous, however. First of all, I would hardly call the virginity tests “new”. And it truly amazes me how literally every societal ill that plagues the muslim world is somehow the fault of the west. People really need to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions. Its pathetic. Is female circumcision/mutilation also due to the close proximity to western culture? Have to keep those over sexed girls in line so they don’t become like the westerners?

    Comment slightly edited for language

  3. Shirien

    July 14, 2008 at 5:01 AM

    I actually wrote about this very same topic 2 weeks or so ago on my blog. I put an article that the International Herald Tribune had published.

    Here’s the link:
    “Some Muslim Women Create Illusion of Virginity”

  4. Mezba

    July 14, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Wow … though I wonder if these are extreme cases – I have never heard of such demands in the Bengali community.

    I wonder if it’s a problem with some religious people (i.e. who make a ‘show’ of their religion and are not pious per se) and have to follow the letter of the law.

  5. Nirgaz

    July 14, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    THANK YOU! Great Article!
    The youth in our community are having issues with this too here in America…you see boys having premarital relations, having kids outside of marriage etc…and then accepted by everyone to marry(sometimes even married off to someone overseas too naive to know about their past)…but if a girl does the same thing…families will shun her, disown her and she is forever considered tainted.

  6. Abū Ilyās

    July 14, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    I recently asked around as to why females are not given PE lessons here at school in Saudi Arabia and the answer came back that there is a fear that through the physical exercise the girl might damage her hymen and then she’ll find it difficult to marry in later life.



    July 14, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Assalamualaikum…i believe for some reason girls are more forgiving in this sense. If they marry a guy with premarital relations in his past for some reason it does not seem to bother them as much or they just don’t let it show for the sake of wanting to get married to him in particular therefore looking past their sins which they may have repented for. Guys on the other hand are very sensitive about this issue. I know some guys who have had lots of premarital relations and then expect to marry a virgin. But if someone has made these mistakes, made tooba and refrained from these sins for some time then what type of person should they marry? Some people say they deserve someone like themselves (with a past) and some people say they deserve a pious spouse. Overall you want to marry someone who has good character/morals and follows the deen at that present time. Since Allah (swt) is all Merciful and Forgiving then if someone was astray and Allah (swt) has guided them then I believe their past should be as if it has not happened bearing in mind they made tooba. I think one big problem with the youth is the “let me have fun now and follow deen once i get married” attitude.

    Another question i wanted to bring up is that I seem to see a lot of brothers who were not practicing Islam fully come back to Islam more than sisters. I discussed this with a group of friends and everyone pretty much agreed. Seems like more brothers find their way to the deen but the sisters that are lost tend to stay that way. You hear of more sisters taking the hijab off permanently then sisters wearing it for good. I think the problem comes from the fact that brothers are more keen to trying to get the non-practicing brothers on the straight path so they spend time with them and speak with them and try to educate. What about the sisters? Do we see this type of activity going on? I see more sisters kinda despise and outcast the non-practicing sisters rather then befriending them and showing them what is better for them in a proper manner.

    • barbiee

      April 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Absolutely right… 100%

    • Kadidia

      June 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      I agree with some of your thoughts brother. However statistics have shown that women find their way to Islam more than men. In fact there are more women converting to Islam than men.


  8. Abu Yasmeen

    July 14, 2008 at 2:55 PM

    Super Tight Article… Al humduulilah.. JazackALlahuu Kahir. I was a little bothered by the ads by Google…

    -Ad removed, jak for pointing it out -Editor

  9. abc

    July 14, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    ” see more sisters kinda despise and outcast the non-practicing sisters rather then befriending them and showing them what is better for them in a proper manner.”

    very true. The problem I think lies in how for a woman, the sign of religiosity is almost synonymous with outwardly behavior and dress-code, and for someone with an uncovered head or bare elbows to be considered as religious is unfair.
    What we forget is that sometimes people are starting to learn, in a transition phase– for someone coming back to faith, it is important for them, i feel to understand the larger issues in islam before we come down to the appearances aspect. You strengthen the faith, and insha Allah, the importance of the physical modesty will manifest itself.
    I think part of it, particularly in the west, is when women who do cover feel like they have it harder than the others (and they do in many cases), but that leads to a feeling of superiority, which is very dangerous. we forget that humility is also a part of our religion.

    As for the virginity issue, i don’t think its an issue that comes from proximity to the west; I have heard of historical incidents in eastern africa and north india where if the bride doesn’t bleed on her wedding night, they are humiliated banished..they’re more elements of jahiliya in tribal cultures than anything else, many of which were, like female genital mutilation carried into muslim practice (by which i mean, practiced by people who were muslim, but not necessarily doing islamically sanctioned acts)

    the attitude towards women and sex in most of the muslim community is so taboo that in some circles, women talking about sex, asking questions are considered dirty. That pushes so many things underground, that you end up having these subcultures and double standards, and if a girl has in her past made a mistake, she is made to feel like she is tainted and tarnished forever, however much she repents with God. Its amazing how while we firmly believe in God’s capacity to forgive, as humans, we’re unable to do so.

    May God protect our girls from falling into sin, but if they do in moments of weakness, may He give them the strength to not just repent and ask forgiveness of Him, but also the strength to face their communities that may shun them forever.

  10. iMuslim

    July 14, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    What? Only nine comments? Mouse, I am ashamed… you normally have at least 52 by now, hehe. Alhamdulillah.

    Ameen to above aadiyah.

    I am sure there are many theories floating around as to why women get a harder time than men if they stray from the path (even if they return, repentant). The risk of pregnancy is definitely a contributing factor. Perhaps there is also a perception that men have less control over their sexual urges than women (this is somewhat rooted in physiological terms, when you consider the effects of testosterone on libido), and so women have less ‘excuse’ to fall prey to their desires, i.e., “boys will be boys”, but girls should know better. Even if this were true, in that men have stronger sexual desires, Islam does not say that they are exempt from protecting their chastity – if anything, my limited reading suggests the reverse to be true, for example, in terms of instructions of how a Muslim man should deal with a non-mahram woman, compared to what is allowed for a woman dealing with a non-mahram male.

    Plus we have been given control over our base desires, which means we are held accountable if we give into the haram ones – male or female. Though Allah is most forgiving to those who repent to Him.

    I do get quite annoyed when men are made out to be sex-crazed fiends. This idea has been propagated in all societies. Statistics like “men think about sex every 10 seconds” or whatever it is, certainly do not help. I wonder if it is nature or nurture that encourages men to give into their hormonal urges – if you tell someone enough times they are essentially incapable of self-control, I imagine it doesn’t take long for them to believe it, and behave accordingly.

  11. ibn insaan

    July 14, 2008 at 8:39 PM


    Al hamdulilah another very article.

    Of course much of this is culturial. but allow me to ask a few questions/points related both to the article and some of the (few) comments so far:

    – Since we can establish the fact that in Islam the one who repents from a sin, is like one who did not commit it in the first place with Allah; but still is it not true that there are many ahadeeth stressing/encouraging muslim men to choose women who have not had anysexual encounters before? Furthermore is it not tru that there aren’t any ahaadeeth (at least commonly known) encouraging Muslim women to choose a virgin male? On the contrary is it not almost the other way around in that polygamy being something encouraged islamically may mean that women would (and should and are) more ready to marry a muslim male who is not a virgin, per se?

    As I said, there is obviously also a cultural (and emotional) dimension to this, especially in terms of acceptance to things like marriage to more than one wife. But that is not my point – my point is that islamically does there not seem, perhaps rightfult so, to be difference in terms of approach from the differrent genders.

    Also medically speaking, is it not true that in terms of diseases such as the human papilloma virus – for women, then women increase there chance of cancer (cervical) potentially speaking, with every extra ‘partner’. On the contrary, the effect -I’m told – that it has on men’s gene and in terms of the vialbilty of gametes is to give it an increased immunity in different ‘environments’ This is what a few papers I came across in my days of science stated. This of course, gives no type of license to any male thinking of commititting haram -and we seek Allah’s refuge from that – sicne one can rest asure that any such ‘benefit’, if true, could/would be detracted by the evil that would perpetrated – And Allah is not oppressive to His servants. That is what they would deserve.

    So anyway the point: from a shariah point, and from a medical point and one may argue mentally/socially – there may well be a difference; all of which may combine (in addition to cultural and emotional notions/feelings) to give a conclusion which may have some basis. That is th econclusion – not the practice delineated in the article or other similar extreme manifestations. We ask Allaah for protection.

    – Also in terms of the question raised in the comment above; while i’d like to agree – what stopped me and made me think was the fact that when speaking to non-muslims we often raaise the exact oposite point. So I’d ask the same question: if it is possibly true that men, once upon a time, were 100% equal to women desire wise – then why (other than physical factors) is it that rapes almost completely take place for one gender in exclsusion to the other (in real terms)? Is it not, at least partially, got something to do with the lieklihood of one gender to try to follow out their thoughts/desires? And is it not perhaps for this reason that in the story of Yusuf alayhis salam the action of the wife of the Aziz is frowned upon so much – in the stroy it self, and always thereafter? Allaah knows best

  12. Aminah Muhammad

    July 15, 2008 at 9:30 AM

    These men that punish women those this stupid reason should be ashamed. I mean there are more things to worry about than women’s virginity. In parts of East Africa women are expected to be virgin before marriage and if they’re not they’re punished and are divorced. Sometimes they’re even humiliated in front of everyone and can’t marry for the rest of their lives. I just think it’s nonsense, why worry about something so small. If the women are going to be punished for this, then men should also be punished for the same reason.

    You never hear men being divorced because they’re not virgin. Some men who are not virgin themselves expect to marry someone that is virgin. Why the double standard? In some parts of Somalia if the women is suspected of having relationships before marriage her parents punish very bad and even kill her. I even witnessed a women getting beat in Kenya the morning after she got married because her in laws found out that she didn’t bleed on the white sheet that she slept on. If the women made tooba then she should be forgiven. Allah is merciful so why not us to?

    Insha’Allah we’ll learn to forget and forgive. If she will be humiliated for not being virgin after marriage then the men should also be humiliated for that same reason also. But I realize one the reasons why the west think we Muslims treat women bad is because they see something like this and they think that way. It’s true many Muslims give women hardships for the stupidest reason when we let men do whatever they want.



    • Mahmud

      February 6, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      Do you really think your comment will stop me and numerous other men from divorcing her the moment we find out(if it happened)?

      Do yourself a favor and instead of focusing on us, focus on your sisters who need to be protected.

      • Med

        April 1, 2015 at 2:30 PM

        If you divorce her, then that’s your loss. The fact that you divorce her doesn’t stop the fact that Allah may even bless her and her offspring way better your virgin wife. We should depend more on Allah.


    July 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    ABC is you bring up an amazing point. When trying to bring someone back to Islam you must approach them very very carefully. Like you said the do’s and don’ts will happen InshaAllah when the person really understands his deen. True the dress of a sister is very important but the one who is not practicing might not have a real idea of who her Lord really is. Sure she knows who Allah (swt) is but does SHE REALLY KNOW!?!?! Does she know his mercy and love for his creation? Does she knows the favors and blessings he gives to all his creations and especially insaan? I believe once someone really and truly understands who Allah (swt) really is they can start to develop that love for Him and then they will want to obey him to the best of their abilities. As people start to practice more and more then issues such as dress will take care of itself. But we cannot sit there and outcast these sisters who need our help. Sisters will one day become mothers which will raise the next generation, they are just as important as the brothers in regards to the Ummah. Sadly when someone is not dressed properly it seems the other sisters will barely talk to them. One hadith that I heard was that when Islam was revealed many of the people at that time were heavy drinkers. The first commandment was not, “WINE IS HARAM” because I believe Aisha (RA) basically implies no one would have left alcohol right off the bat. There hearts were attached to Allah first and foremost and to the heaven/hell. Once this happened, then alcohol was deemed haram and as people heard this they obeyed instantaneously, MashaAllah, to the point that people instantly dropped the glass they had in their hands, spit out whatever was in their mouth, and the city streets were flowing with alcohol. Just my two cents here, please forgive me if i said anything to offend anyone. InshaAllah Allah makes us the ones that please him fully and makes it easy for us.

  14. Musilmah

    July 15, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Mezba: Virginity tests have nothing to do with Islam and it’s usually people who otherwise unobservant Muslims or who are “cultural” Muslims who indulge in the practice. It’s definitely prominent among the Arab community but again, it’s like honour killings where pre-Islamic cultural practices are mixed with Islam.

  15. AnonyMouse

    July 15, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    @ Mezba
    Perhaps it seems extreme because we see that the girls are going for actual surgery, which we rarely hear about in our own communities – however, I think that the double standards of it being okay for guys to play the field but girls to be shy modest virgins is most definitely there amongst desis (including Bengalis).

    Also, as another commentator mentioned, this takes place more amongst cultural Muslims than the truly religious and observent.

    @ Abu Ilyas
    Strange indeed! But do they not realize that the lack of enforced physical education – in school, at least – contributes to the extremely high obesity and diabetes rate?

    @ Abdhullah
    “i believe for some reason girls are more forgiving in this sense.”
    I don’t think that’s it.
    Rather, it seems more like since they’ve FINALLY found someone willing to marry them (please see our numerous other articles on how challenging it is to find a spouse), they’re not going to make a huge deal out of it… OR – and I truly think this has more to do with it – the guys are highly unlikely to reveal their past and that they themselves aren’t virgins.
    Again, I think it has a great deal to do with double standards in which guys are cut some slack when it comes to their chastity (or lack thereof).

    “I seem to see a lot of brothers who were not practicing Islam fully come back to Islam more than sisters.”
    I both agree and disagree. The situations I’ve witnessed are that more women are accepting Islam, but more non-practicing brothers are coming BACK to Islam.
    I’ll respond to the hijaab issue in more detail insha’Allah, but I’ll move it to this post’s thread instead, where it’s more relevant.

    @ abc
    “the attitude towards women and sex in most of the muslim community is so taboo that in some circles, women talking about sex, asking questions are considered dirty.”
    Agreed! This is why I strongly feel that there MUST be more open yet Islamic discussions amongst those who have knowledge and the Muslim youth, so that they fully realize the magnitude of the issue and how to deal with it. Such programs have already been started in a few Islamic centres and masaajid; for example, here.

  16. AnonyMouse

    July 15, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    @ ibn Insaan

    1. If we’re looking at it strictly Islamically, then it’s not virginity it and of itself that is prized – it’s chastity. For both men and women, choosing a CHASTE spouse is what is emphasized over and over again.
    Allah talks about virginity, chastity, and marriage in Surah an-Noor:

    24.003: Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.


    24.026: Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honourable.

    Also, with regards to physical desire and polygamy, then I’ve wondered about whether the man’s right to polygamy has more to do with the fact that he is more emotionally – not just physically – capable of it.
    I’ve read in more than one (both non-Muslim and Muslim) source that men are capable of being emotionally involved with more than women without going off the deep end, while a woman who may have the same libido as that man can’t handle numerous partners at the same time for a prolonged period of time because the emotional toll is too great on her psche.
    Allahu a’lam as to the veracity of that statement, but it’s something that came to mind.

  17. ibn insaan

    July 15, 2008 at 6:58 PM

    @ the author

    BarakAllaahu feekum.

    it’s definitely true that it is chastity that is the most emphasised characteristic (as a subset of deen, in fact – although it’s given separate mention, perhaps due to its impotance and connection to the issue of marriage). The issue of chastity is to make the matter in fact even permissible: as it is not even allowed to for a muslim male regardless of his own background to marry an unchaste woman. However, amy be it would be fair to point out that the matter is not exactly as has been mentioned above, in that there is more than one hadeeth from the Prophet peace be upon him, such as the one in Shaih Muslim that Jabir married a no-virgin and the Prophet peace be upon him gently reprimanded him/questioned him advising that it is better if he had chosen someone who had not was a virgin (and then he gave some explanation — and I know there’s no need to be shy about matters of hadeeth – but I’ll leave it for the time being insha’Allah); when Jabir explained that he needed someone experienced to look after his sisters, the prophet salllalllahu alaihi wa sallam said that in that case there’s no problem. Indeed he sallallahu alaihi wa sallm had only Aisha who had not been previously married. Noenetheless there is an actual explicit encouragement for a muslim male to seek to the hand of a woman who has not been married over one who has, for instance; whereas I have never heard of such an encouragement mentioned for a woman when looking for a husband, by the Prophet (SAW). I myself only know this because someone of knowledge pointed this out to me once when I had said that i have no issue with marrying either type – as long as they are pious an dhave made true sincere tawbah to Allah ta’ala – in spite of having been by the permission of Allah practising and to the best of my ability chaste from a very young age, al hamdulilah.

    Also my point with the polygamy thing, was that it seems therefore that the ‘norm’ could almost be that a woman would be marrying a non-virgin male (‘coz he’s already married!) whereas there is nothing to indicate that a second wife (for those who follow this sunnah in its context) *has* to be a non-virgin. Hence there would almost be an acceptance of such a mindset in Islam as I perceive it – and I, of course could be wrong. BTW I only thought of this dimension of it, as I read the article. It’s interesting when you come to think of it though. Allah of course knows best.

    Anyway a good article nonetheless mashAllah. JazakAllahu khayran.

  18. ibn insaan

    July 15, 2008 at 7:18 PM

    Sorry..the only one thing I would add – for those who indulge in haram and then demand this holier than thou approach which the article and comments talk off, is the verse: ” The impure males are for the impure females and the impure females are for the impure maels, and the pure men are for the pure females and pure females for the pure males” Subahanallaah what an amazing verse!

    But, also let everyone remember that tawbah is open for all, as long as it’s in time!

  19. ibn fellah

    July 16, 2008 at 4:55 AM

    Assalamu alaikum.

    (Yes Yes…my comments can be extremely distasteful but bear with me).

    Ok, overall not a bad post, you’ve brought up a real issue for the first time in a long time, Thank God. It is true that this whole hymen reconstruction seems to be a big problem in the middle east (haven’t heard of any such phenomenon in Sub continent), and there are a lot of social and cultural reasons as to why people look at this issue in a certain way. Obviously awareness needs to be spread. Etc etc…

    Anyway getting to the actual point I wanted to make. You article would have sounded better and much more representative of a truly mature understanding had it not been for the whole ‘culture vs. islam’ mantra. You really don’t seem to understand what culture really means. Or the fact that Islam takes into consideration ‘Urfi practices. Or the fact that placing culture and Islam, seemingly, into two mutualy exculsive categories shows a lack of comprehension of the term culture and what Islam stands for. Islam is not anti-culture to make it clear.

    Just to get to you started, the following may be a good piece to begin with on Culture 101:

    I hope you don’t mind it Ms. Anonymouse.

  20. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    July 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    ibn fellah,

    I agree that talking about culture is something a lot of us do sloppily, without really understanding the terms we are using or their implications.

    However, I disagree completely with your critique of Anonymouse’s post. There are aspects of people’s culture that contradict Islam. This is obvious. For a Muslim, the deen must be valued over culture in those cases. True, it doesn’t mean that one has to abandon one’s culture completely when one becomes a Muslim, or that anything that comes from ‘culture’ outside of Islam must be haram or bid’ah….but no one was saying that.

    So, as Shaykh Yasir (hafidhuAllaah) points out in the article disgusting, bizarre, and reprehensible concepts like demanding a “virginity test” or “displaying the bloody sheets” have nothing to do with Islam and if they are a part of anyone’s culture then that part of the culture must be abandoned. Throwing out the word “urfi” in no way can serve to legitimize such things. Again, neither I nor anyone else is saying that all culture is Haram or anything like that.

    Still, when it comes to matters such as we are discussing here and ranging to things such as honor killings or not educating women, etc. etc. it is absolutely horrifying and disturbing beyond belief that such practices continue to go on in the cultures of peoples who have been Muslim for hundreds and hundreds of years. And that people are so confused by this that the average person (I’m talking about Muslims in these cultures, let alone non-Muslims who observe such atrocities) will undoubtedly believe that such things must be part of Islam or at least acceptable in Islam.

    Similarly with the great campaign to create an American Muslim culture, about which I have very mixed feelings but certainly see the point of the concerns that someone like Dr. Umar Faruq Abd Allaah have raised; we have to be crystal clear on this point (a point about which I don’t think you or anyone else disagrees, but which often gets kinda blurry in practice) things from any culture which are haram and/or which are antithetical to Islamic values, principles, and practices must be rejected and should not ever be allowed to become a part of a mainstream, allegedly Muslim culture.

    And Allaah knows best.

  21. Suhail

    July 16, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Brother Ibn Insan,

    You didnt got the point of the post. The author is saying that while Boys are free to do anything before marriage and they are not reprimanded but the girls are targeted for this a lot. This is double standard. Marrying a virgin or not is not the issue. The issue is why are Boys given so much laxity while girls are reprimanded for the same thing. The standard should be same for both.

  22. coolred38

    July 16, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Im not sure why women go through the trouble of having their hymens replaced anyhow…its nearly impossible to tell whether a woman is a virgin or not by mere sexual intercourse. The vagina is made of very stretchy muscles etc..and as such can withstand quite a lot without bleeding etc. Not to mention they are not all cookie cutter shapes…everyone is different and thus “react”differently during and after the first encounter. I realize men think they are Macho He Men that can tell these things…but in fact…unless the girl confesses or you seen her with your own eyes…you really cant tell. The blood on the sheets crap is pure male pride in ownership similar to a gorrilla pounding his chest to let everyone know He The Boss! The fact that this practice is so prevalent in the Muslim world does nothing more than show what insecure babies men are…believing they can have their cake and eat it too…but women cant even walk past the bakery….sheesh!

    • Hala

      February 17, 2010 at 6:39 PM

      dont go through the trouble of restoring your hymen just dont have sex remain a virgin keep your dignity show some self respect , follow your own faith, i dont know why women have become obsessed with competing with men , it is not your husband who will be questioned for your sins, its women who give men such position of authority by ignoring what Allah said and going through impossible situations not to be “found out” by their dads. bros husbands etc
      good god

  23. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    July 16, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    The thing about parents and communities who have a double standard about pre-marital sex between males and females is that it demonstrates that the issue for these people is not really about the fact that pre-marital sex is sinful but some other concern that is not from the deen.

    Aminah Muhammad, Jazzak Allaahu Khayr for your comments and reminder about the importance of forgiveness. The way Muslim women are treated by Muslim men IS, without doubt, an absolute scandal all over the world. I know that this is not because of Islam, but actually it is only through really understanding and practicing Islam that this problem can be attacked. If we as Muslim men are not at the forefront of doing this, however, it is really our fault if non-Muslims believe it has something to do with our religion.

    Allaah knows best.

  24. Siraaj

    July 16, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    If we’re looking at it strictly Islamically, then it’s not virginity it and of itself that is prized – it’s chastity. For both men and women, choosing a CHASTE spouse is what is emphasized over and over again.
    Allah talks about virginity, chastity, and marriage in Surah an-Noor:

    Very excellent point – a person can commit many many indecent actions and remain, technically, a virgin, yet not chaste.


  25. Aminah Muhammad

    July 16, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    jazakalahu khair Abu Noor Al-Irlandee. I wish more women would comment on this and tell us their input. Insha’Allah we’ll learn our mistakes and forget and forgive.

  26. AnonyMouse

    July 16, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    re: culture
    Abu Noor answered perfectly; jazakAllahu khairan. Culture certainly has its place in our lives, but if it ever comes into conflict with the Shari’ah or violates Shar’i principles, then it definitely goes out the door. What’s left is a matter of personal opinion, I guess.

    @ ibn Insaan
    Yes, I agree that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) encouraged marrying virgin girls; however as Suhail pointed out, that’s not really what we’re discussing in this post.

    @ Siraaj
    The chastity point is one that comes to mind repeatedly as I read about what some youth in the Middle East and Iran are getting up to – they will be technically virgins in that penetration has not occured between them and their partners, but they are certainly involved in sexual acts nonetheless.

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  28. Katherine

    July 21, 2008 at 5:51 AM

    I’d like to point out that in many older cultures around the world (Islamic and otherwise) the displaying of the bloody sheet is still considered total proof of virginity. In Morocco for example some people insist on ‘showing the trousers’ (pyjamas) of the bride to the wedding party the morning after. One poor boy I knew was getting married to a traditional girl and was terrified in case they didn’t feel ready for sex on the wedding night but of course they would have had to, otherwise they risk him being seen as unmanly or her being seen as not a virgin. What an awful experience that would be for both of them. And what if he couldn’t? It should be nobody’s business but the couple’s.
    This trend for surgery is scary. Blood is not proof of virginity, in fact there is no proof of virginity, especially for a man!
    Chastity and virginity are not the same thing. Young people in American communities which are very religious have high rates of STIs because they are all having anal sex (unprotected) to save their virginity. who are they kidding? Do they think God doesn’t notice?

    • Don

      June 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      There is proof of virginity in a man, it’s called a polygraph test…

      Also, you’re right, an STI check should also be asked for because as you rightly point out there is plenty of unprotected anal sex going on!

      For what it’s worth, a girl could just as easy take a small lancet used to test blood sugar and use that to produce the required sample. These old people are fools.

  29. Dalya

    August 18, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    My family is from Egypt, and yes they do treat women like this. My family does to the virgin test on the wedding bed. The husband comes out of the room with a rag/cotton swab of the virgin’s blood, and shows it to her family. This practice is just barbaric.

    “I just think it’s nonsense, why worry about something so small. If the women are going to be punished for this, then men should also be punished for the same reason.”
    Women are STILL oppressed in Islam because of the “virginity phenomenon”. Yes a lot of Muslim women have jobs, are well educated, but before all of their opportunities, they are kept in their family’s house until getting married. Why? Virginity is like gold to many families. A lot of families believe this is the ONLY way to get rid of their daughter, if she is a virgin.
    Another scam to note, is that in many families, the “dowry” money that is supposed to go to the Wife, is given to the family of the wife. In other words, it’s selling a woman, a human being, just on terms of skin between her legs.

    The virginity phenomenon dominates many lives of Muslim women. They cannot go where they please, they are watched CONSTANTLY. This forbids Muslim women from expanding their education, so they need to stay near home.

    Men need to be watched more because they don’t have a hymen. The majority of Muslim men marry when they themselves aren’t pure, and yet they whine that they want a virgin wife. What the hell? You did a FILTHY crime, what makes you think you should obtain a pure wife?

    Asking for a “virginity test” is just OUTRAGEOUS. It’s disgusting. You are questioning a Woman’s honor and chastity, they should question the MAN, not the Woman. Why are men NEVER questioned? What goes on in the bed, should stay in bed. It shouldn’t spread like gossip like a bunch of chuckling teenagers. Sex-life is to be kept solely private.

    As the article says, when a girl is thought to be involved in fornication, the family goes INSANE. But when their own son does it, it’s okay, a slap on the wrist I should say.

    Virginity does dominate my life. At the age of 8, my Mother accused my neighbors of touching me. I told my mother countless times that nobody harmed me and that I was busy stuffing my face with snacks and watching an animated movie. She didn’t budge, and I was EXAMINED with police in the room. This situation makes me cry every night, I can’t believe that virginity can dominate my life like this.

    I also injured myself in PE class by jumping onto a hurdle. I was bleeding, my mother took me to the hospital and I was examined AGAIN. My mother was parading around the table asking “IS IT THE HYMEN!?!” And it wasn’t. I busted a skin flap, nothing to do with the vagina/hymen. After a few years, I figured out what she meant by that, and yelled at her. My parents even thought that I had sex on the PE field.

    This situation makes me very depressed, I can’t believe the stuff that I have went through. My parents do not like talk, so I am stuck with it.

  30. sum1

    September 5, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Salam sister Dalya, I feel so sorry for you I wished that muslims considered their religion above culture..:(
    we were learning aboubt this during bio in class and the teacher showed us an article which said that the Qur’an says that man should only marry virgins, astaghfirullah, how ridiculous!

    • Hala

      February 17, 2010 at 6:42 PM

      why is it ridicilous that he wants to marry a virgin when his relgion states that virginity is encouraged for both men and women why does he want to marry a loose person when he has saved himself and followed the commands of allah?, ofcourse i dont agree with displaying bedsheets etc but making out virginity is a bad thing is also plain ridicilous

  31. akpower

    October 26, 2008 at 2:20 AM

    The write up is ok; but the title is misleading. Seems like the title is nothing more than an attempt to get more clicks.

  32. .....

    April 2, 2009 at 4:17 AM

    ASA. The most disgusting thing is parading and announcing and having the family waiting to hear the news of whether the bride bled or not and then sharing the news when the bride bled. It does not matter whether its family, outsiders, male, female, they just have go ahead in talking and spread their so called good news. It is ridiculous that Muslim families allow their sons to go ahead and mess up different girls and its no shame but it proves that their son is a real man, but to their daughters it is such a huge crime. I am a muslim and I feel so disgusted by this culturel attitude and hope and pray that it would change. It is definitely not necessary to bleed on your wedding night due to the tention of what could happen even though you know for a fact you have not had sex previously. May allah forgive all of us on all this wrong thinking and wrong doings. AMIN.

  33. Whitney

    April 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM


    Jazak Allahu Khayrun sister for this entry. This is something that is so dominant in the Muslim community. However I have not seen this practiced in the states alhamdulillah, but I have heard of this many times talking to friends from different countries. This practice is un-islamic and it is sickening to think that anyone could even think that it would be apart of our deen. To judge a marriage solely on basis of virginity is wrong, especially the means that they go about to do that. There is no physical proof to tell if someone is a virgin or not and hymen reconstructive surgery is unneccessary for any woman because she does not have to prove her virginity. Only Allah swt knows and it is up to the person and Allah swt on what the did in the past. There is a huge stigma of divorced women as well, communities shun on them to get remarried because they are not virgins… but marriage is a chaste relationship, the whole point of marriage is to preserve ones chastity, so chastity and virginity are two different things.

    Another thing I wanted to point out after reading a few articles and books was the prevalance of husbands that commit adultery overseas on business and use the excuse of “islam allowing concubines” and then they contract STI’s or HIV and then contract it to their wive(s) when they return home. This is then gone unnoticed because the husband will either blame the woman on cheating or the entire disease is left untreated especially the woman because many women in uneducated areas of third-world countries are unable to see a doctor because women are not educated in their area and there are no women doctors but their husbands won’t let them see a male doctor, even though thats all the medical professionals that are available to them. It’s a very sad situation that is gone unnoticed.

    I do however think that especially in the west regardless of questioning ones virginity or pureness… all couples wanting to get married should get tested and it can be a clear way to avoid any accusations on either part, just simply make it mandatory to have blood tests and regular physicals should make everything safer because it doesn’t matter whether someone is a virgin or not, that is between them and Allah swt… but what does matter is the people that do not take any tests because of fear of being accused that they were not virgins. This needs to be addressed in the Muslim community, because there are a lot of diseases that can be spread unknowingly and before someone gets married or is planning to get married they should get themselves tested regardless of their V-status. This way it can rule out any diseases and also if someone was sexually active prior to becomming more religious or embracing Islam than they can get cured if it is a cureable disease and if its not than they may want to seek more treatment and possibly avoid marriage until they know more about their own situation.

  34. racheal

    December 13, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    top aticle


  35. Revert girl

    December 15, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum

    If a girl lost her virginity while she wasn’t muslim yet and then later on when she knew Islam she reverted and never had sex again once Muslim, should she tell to the men who proposes her that she is not a virgin from her non muslim past? she is so practicing now that people hardly believes she ever had boyfriend, should she tell her husband to be that she is not virgin when he is thinking she definitively is virgin ?

    • Hala

      February 17, 2010 at 6:44 PM

      i think you should tell because otherwise he might feel misled and like angry?, however as i understand muslim men do recognise that revert women have drunk alchohol dated and maybe had sex, so if he really is interested in a revert and cares for her that shouldnt matter, if god forgives it who the hell is he to judge?

  36. Hala

    February 17, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    i think the bedheets thing is disgusting unnecesary embarassing and down right shameful for a society that encourages modesty and shyness etc especially for the women how this can be considered not shameful is beyond me, you woudlt display her periods so why display that why are people so unbeleivably ignorant a3udbilah
    however i do beleive that virgiity is a good and great and wnderful thing and not backwards , saves people from STDs makes your wedding night special, and is encouraged in islam, why would you want to have sex with a random guy youll never see again and lose your virginity to him and then get married a non virgin is beyond me i think muslims are the ones who place more importance and value on these things and rightly so, like i was watching a couple who lived together slept together had kids together and then decided to get married, what the hell of a difference does being married make now? its like wedding party, back to your life, i dont know its all the more special to get married then have it, then have kids and have a life like that its like people are so into doing everything back to front lately

  37. Irfan

    September 22, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    gravity of the sin is equal in the eyes of Allah.-What does “Allah” mean here? Who is the writer calling Allah?

  38. Hussain

    March 7, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    There is a double standard in which young generation men get away with it, but this is only by physical default of men not having hymens (obviously) thus their virginity cannot be attested. Having said that, it is for the parents generation to put the same restrictions on their sons as on their daughters. I know a few families whose sons have an active sex life outside marriage, as students, while the daughters are kept looking holy.

    Parents need to be consistent with how they bring up their daughters and sons. I’m saying this, myself, as a male student. For example, not allowing their sons to go out late at night- parents cannot be that ignorant as to what their sons are up to.

    However, alot of people see an inconsistency in why women are more accepting of a guy’s bad past while men are less accepting. Such a question should be asked to the sisters. Why do they accept guys they know have conveniently just got interested in deen just before marriage and who most certainly have a past with women. Nothing is stopping women from being choosy with men in this regard. What enrages sisters about this is simply being excluded from being considered fro marriage- I can tell you male students looking for marriage (but who are disregarded because they are not working full time yet) are just as annoyed since they are being excluded from being considered even though their degrees are being close to finished. It may sound rather over simplified but women do, inspite of what said, place choosy expectations on financial security etc. while men tend to be fussy over attraction. The immigrant community are too fussy in this regard. Coloration etc. on women while finance on men.

    Most people would agree a jobless muslimah could still get married but a jobless or even part-time working brother will find it near impossible to find a spouse. A guy who has a questionable past with women can still get married (once he’s working a fairly good job) while a sister who lost her virginity would find it hard to get married… it all works out about even in the end. This also shows where men and women in the 21st century still place their priorities. Stereotypes such as the rich ugly old man with the beautiful young wife may be exaggerations but all stereotypes have some degree of truth behind them otherwise they would not have been formed in the first place. This also sheds light on the fact that the ultimate issue for men is always issues relating to sex while for women its money (I know this is a crude simplification but it does shed light on the mechanics of what’s happening in the immigrant community’s mindset: what degree does he have…Oh she’s very fair skinned etc..)

    Islamically, there is something beautiful about 2 people keeping themselves and breaking intimacy with eachother for the first time in marriage. When you have a fling with someone outside marriage- you’re betraying your future wife/husband.

    • Nab

      June 26, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Well explained brother

    • An "Evil" Man who has saved himself for his future wife whether she has or not

      March 13, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      “Most people would agree a jobless muslimah could still get married but a jobless or even part-time working brother will find it near impossible to find a spouse. A guy who has a questionable past with women can still get married (once he’s working a fairly good job) while a sister who lost her virginity would find it hard to get married… it all works out about even in the end.”

      Absolutely agree. But unfortunately Islam has been hijacked by feminism so a man’s troubles don’t matter anymore. Islam is only for women now and men should shut up about their legitimate haqooq or become a woman themselves after few operations lol. No wonder majority of reverts are women and men don’t see the “(P)light” of “Modern” Islam.

      However, I DO feel very sad for reverts who have to face this but I don’t really see it changing in the near future. I hope it does change though as reverts are the only true Muslimahs I know of – in England at least. For rest it’s about having brown skin and arabic name.

      • Aly Balagamwala

        March 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        Dear Sir

        Our Comments Policy requires a valid name or Kunyah to be used when commenting. You may also use a blog handle provided your blog is linked, the email address is a valid one, and it is not advertising a product.

        Best Regards
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