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Sex MashaAllah | Muslim Vignettes on Female Sexuality

Disclaimer- this post is meant for a mature audience only as it contains sexually explicit material.

Many men and women in our communities live under the illusion that only men feel desire or have an interest in being sexual, and that women should not or cannot feel attraction, do not experience sexual pleasure, and can live healthy intimate lives without sexual satisfaction for lengthy periods of time.  This leads to misunderstandings and disappointments about wanting sex, initiating intimacy, and/or feeling excitement when sexual stimulation occurs.

This series of articles contains the perspectives of several Muslim women at different stages of life who have grown up and lived in different parts of the world, East and West, and want to share some insights with Muslim men – both married and unmarried – who don’t want sexually repressed, bitter spouses and failing marriages.  This is a look behind the scenes to aid understanding of a universal social issue. For the sake of privacy, each writer is identified only by her marital status. May Allah bless all of us with loving, passionate, and fulfilling intimate lives.

Married 20 Years, On Learning and Teaching Female Sexuality

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With all due respect to my beloved and respected shuyukh, to whom I owe much of the knowledge I have gained about my religion, and for inspiring me to higher spiritual goals in my life, I firmly believe teaching female sexuality should be primarily handled by females – especially those who counsel on marital issues, psychologically or spiritually, and are familiar with the extended intimacy problems amongst women.

We already have issues with Muslim women not being sexually satisfied in their marriages, and these issues are exacerbated when women hesitate before approaching a male scholar to discuss their sexual challenges. It is time for us to acknowledge a serious problem we are facing in our Ummah: the issue of female sexuality.

Married 17 years, From the View of a Therapy Couch

Female sexuality is a source of confusion and frustration for many men due to misinformation. As a therapist, I have come across a number of issues faced by couples. Some men believe that women are not interested in sex because they are somehow disgusted by it.  Others think that women are not capable of being fulfilled sexually. Due to a lack of knowledge, experience and know-how, a multitude of men are not fulfilling their wives. As a result, many women experience painful sex without climax.  The majority of the clients I have done therapy with have expressed that sex is either painful or uneventful.

The reason that women are experiencing this level of disappointment is NOT because they are incapable of having fulfilling sexual experiences, rather it is because some men are detached emotionally from their wives and not fulfilling their needs outside the bedroom which prevents women from opening up in the bedroom.  Other men have corrupted themselves through over exposure to pornography and seductive pictures of surgically enhanced, air brushed women which as a result causes them to be overly critical of their wives who in turn feel inadequate and unattractive. When women don’t feel attractive or confident they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable and perform sexually. When men take the time to bond with their wives, nurture their relationship and familiarize themselves with sexual needs of their wives, they can be successful in fulfilling them on a regular basis.

There are Muslim women that report having fulfilling sexual experiences with their husbands. It is evident that individuals who have these experiences usually have a very strong friendship with their spouse. There is mutual love and respect with open communication.  The men have taken the time and effort to learn the techniques (not from porn, but from proper educational sources) while investing in the relationship and making their wives feel like a valuable gem.  This form of consistent affirmation allows the wives to feel nurtured and to open up sexually to their husbands.

In this vicious cycle of confusion and frustration with female sexuality there is hope! In order to improve the sexual experience for both husbands and wives, there needs to be a great effort put forth towards improving the marital relationship. When a couple has good communication, conflict resolution and commitment to excellence on a personal and marital level, then the environment is created which is conducive to romance, fulfillment and joy. Our Muslim brothers and sisters need to focus on increasing their knowledge, skills & emotional know-how in having the best marriage in order to increase their chances of a mutually enjoyable sexual experience.

Married 15 Years, On the Importance of Arousal

 “On the authority of Jaabir bin Abdullah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Jaabir bin Umar, both reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:“All things in which there is no mention of Allah are frivolity, absent-mindedness and idle play, except for four things: a man being playful with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals and teaching another man to swim.” [An-Nisa’ee in al-Ishrah and at-Tabaree] [1]

As someone who has been married for several years and has counseled women about intimacy, I see some core issues that frequently come up amongst those seeking counseling that I would like to share with both, husbands and husbands-to-be.

Arousal 101

love marriage sex muslimA lot of people (even women) don’t realize that when men and women become sexually aroused, their genitals become prepared for sex. In women this normally results in an enlargement of the clitoris and surrounding tissues (comparable to a male erection) and secretion of vaginal lubrication (i.e. she becomes wet).

Why is foreplay so important?

Imam Ibn Qudama [ra] the Hanbali Jurist narrates a hadith that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not begin intercourse until she has experienced desire, like the desire you experience, lest you fulfill your desires before she does.” (AlMughni 8:136)

I cannot stress the importance of foreplay enough. Men who cuddle and kiss their wives and know how to enjoy sensitive foreplay will often find that their spouses will not only enjoy sexual intercourse more, but will also reach orgasm  easier. The method varies from person to person – flirting outside the bedroom, talking, kissing, massage, touching, hugging, fondling, undressing, French kissing (which is from the sunnah [1]), petting – anything to get in the mood and more importantly to reach full arousal and enrich the sexual experience. Most women need prolonged stimulation in order to reach a state of complete arousal, and foreplay will provide them with the required stimulation (some don’t, and only a loving open relationship will let you know what your spouse needs and wants) and she will love you more for it.

Using lubricant is amazing as an aid but cannot be a substitute for natural arousal.

Dear brothers, giving pleasure to one’s spouse is an act of virtue with immense rewards. Ask her what makes her feel good and tell her what gives you pleasure. Listen to her voice, look into her eyes, watch her body –  they all give clues even if she is too shy to say anything. Lest someone thinks that these are all novel, 21st century ideas, many ahadith, classical Islamic books and our pious predecessors[2] paid a lot of attention to the needs of women.

Narrated by Sayyidna Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said  “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Musnad Al Firdaus- Imam Daylami)

“If you would have pleasant coition, which ought to give an equal share of happiness to the two combatants and be satisfactory to both, you must first of all toy with the woman, excite her with kisses, by nibbling and sucking her lips, by caressing her neck and cheeks….Then when you observe the lips of a woman to tremble and get red, and her eyes to become languishing, and her sighs to become quicker, know that she is ready.”Shaykh Muhammad Umar Nefwazi in The Perfumed Garden

Don’t be selfish; it will harm your lovemaking in the long run. Investing in foreplay makes the whole lovemaking experience much more enjoyable. Most women want to please their man. Seeing him reach his climax is very satisfying and gives her a boost, but it is not enough. “Many women need a transition period between dealing with the stress of everyday life and feeling sexual,” Dr. Ian Kerner, Ph.D and certified sex therapist says, “a few minutes of foreplay usually isn’t enough.”

Inadequate or ineffective foreplay (as well as depression, poor self-esteem, sexual abuse, feelings of shame or guilt about sex, stress, fatigue and illness) can impede arousal. Your wife may desire sex but if her genital area fails to respond normally, it makes sex painful and sometimes impossible.

In a healthy relationship, sex is only 10 percent of a marriage, meaning the focus of the marriage doesn’t revolve around the quantity or issues, but when something is wrong, sex becomes 90 percent of the marriage.  Couples start arguing about it and  it causes fractures in  marriage.

Married 20 Years, The Woman Behind The Big O

As a community doyen who often hears women’s complaints, is familiar with their struggles with regards to sexuality, feels their sexual dissatisfaction, and listens to their sexual fantasies, let me be very clear: if a woman is not having an orgasm for 1-2 years, she should seek counseling with her husband.

 

[divider]

[1] Sayyida A’isha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)

[2] One day while” Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) May Allah be pleased with him) was walking in Madinah during the night, he heard a woman saying: “What a long night! I do not have a lover with whom I can play. By Allah! Unless Allah watches me, there will be someone to make love with me. Accordingly, ‘Umar asked about that woman. He was told that her husband was away from her for fighting in the cause of Allah. Then, he ordered that they must gather together. He sent for the husband to return. He entered upon Hafsa and asked, O daughter! How long can a woman stay away from her husband? She said, Five or six months. Therefore, he issued a command that warriors in the cause of Allah should not be taken away from their wives more than six months.

[3] In another version: Every thing that does not pertain to the remembrance of Allah is amusement except the following four things: 1- Caressing one’s wife,  taming one’s horse, shooting arrows, learning how to swim. [Reported by Al-Nisa’i] [Tuhfatul Aroos]

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107 Comments

107 Comments

  1. Avatar

    married 20+ years

    May 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Excellent article..One thing i did not see mentioned was the difference between vaginal and clitoral orgasm.This should be explained. Also sex can be enjoyable without orgasm, let your husband have a “quickie” on occasion. He will appreciate it.

      • Avatar

        Liv

        May 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        dude why did so many people dislike this, did they even read it? its not debating whether or not orgasms exist for women but whether there are multiple types!

      • Avatar

        alliyah

        July 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        Don’t need a debate on this. It is evident. But thanks for the post.

    • Avatar

      Iman Abdulaziz

      May 4, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      But it isn’t the man not supposed to take his pleasure without his wife having hers? That is what I have always heard and read!

      • Avatar

        married 20+ years

        May 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        Imam Addulaziz,, sometimes you just are not in the mood but you say yes anyway because he is. Marriage is based on compromise.

        • Avatar

          Sameena

          December 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

          But does it EVER happen the other way around? do men satisfy their wives orally or in other ways without getting any satisfaction for themselves? why should women continue to enable male entitlement?

          • Avatar

            A Muslim Brother

            January 2, 2014 at 6:39 AM

            With due respect sister, because men ARE entitled to sexual pleasure from their wives, and I don’t see why that should bother you. If you could elaborate on why that bothers you, it would be helpful.

            In response to your question though, it rarely happens the other way around it’s because most men, while performing oral on their wives WILL be aroused after only five minutes and want to satisfy their desires as well. The opportunity for them to just get up and walk away after taking the time to arouse their wife just isn’t there. Besides, if a woman is in the mood and puts on something sexy and charms her husband right, he’s usually aroused and will try to fulfil both of their desires. So again, it’s not as often the case that a woman is in the mood and she is unable to get her husband in the mood, it doesn’t take much really.

            Besides, the responsibility of the man is not to consistently reject his wife, where as the responsibility of the woman is to never reject her husband even once (exceptional circumstances aside). That’s because our basic biology is different and we know from ahaadith as well as science that women have more strength in controlling their desires where as men are weaker in this area.

      • Avatar

        JJ

        October 13, 2015 at 1:02 PM

        @ A Muslim Brother, Husbands and wives are supposed to satisfy each others needs equally. Not inconsistently for the woman and consistently for the man.

    • Avatar

      My-doll

      September 29, 2016 at 1:30 AM

      I really liked the post and will be looking forward top see more post from you in the future

  2. Avatar

    Siraaj

    May 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Good article, masha’Allah. It’s great to read not only a number of these misconceptions on female libido for men, but women as well.

    One thing I do hope to see in future articles in this series is coverage of where the responsibility lies in terms of overall well-being that leads to sexual satisfaction i.e. women taking responsibility for themselves and not waiting for (or depending on) their husbands to make them happy.

    Siraaj

    • Avatar

      Liv

      May 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      I agree with what you’re saying. Though unfortunately some women are “imprisoned” nearly in marriages that make them miserable regularly, many women do not pursue endeavors outside of their housekeeping and childcare responsibilities. I think women often blame men, and in some cases this IS true as some men are too controlling, but in many cases I have seen women have taken a defeatist attitude and have stopped allotting time to workout, read, write, or pursue a hobby. Many times women could be more vocal, organized, or proactive about finding time for these things but they dont and say “i just don’t have time” and wonder why they have mommy burnout.

      • Avatar

        Anila Nakrawala

        May 4, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        I agree 100% with both the above mentioned comments. I feel women go into marriage looking to be happily fulfilled by their spouses, and soon find out, its not “all what its made to be”, because they relied on the wrong source of “happiness”.
        At the same time, this article emphasizes a lot on confidence and self esteem, which most of the time does rely on the husband’s response to his wife and with that being said, theres a lot to learn on both ends of the spectrum prior to and throughout marriage.

    • Avatar

      RR

      October 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Assalamu alaykum brothers and sisters.
      Alhamdulillaah for this article, it’s been sooo long and overdue! I have been searching and asking around about this for a very long time. And because everyone (in our ummah) seems to be very shy about it, I am not getting proper response. I thought of writing an article about this, but I was weighing whether I would either get a reward for it or punishment.
      While it is true that most men are more sexual than women, at least this is what most people think, it is also true that because men have less to think about or responsibilities than women. So they have spare time to think about sex or women especially when they want to relax. On the other hand, women need to look after their homes, children, husbands, families outside their own homes, community services and most of all themselves. Notice I put “themselves” last? Not that they don’t think about sex and relaxation also, but they think that they need to priorities other things first before thinking of resting…this is just women for you in general (for the most part of the world). I really could write a whole article about this alone. To make my long reply short, because women are created by Allaah Subhanahu wa ta’ala differently than men and more capable of multitasking and juggling 5 or more things at a time, this does not mean we, women, should forget that our bodies long for rest and pleasures as well. When we are tired, we tell our bodies to get some rest. The same thing with when the body is asking for pleasure, we should tell our bodies to get some. Now…I don’t know about you gals,”but gurls…you gotta do what you gotta do because ain’t nobody gone give it to you, ya hear?” Okay, don’t wait for your tired-from-work men to initiate the love that you’re longing for. There are many ways to make them give you what you want from them. But the best way, and I always say this, “what you give is what you get!” Like we Muslims say all the time, “it is better to give than to receive”; “give more and you will get even more”; “give in charity and Allaah will give you 700x more”…so if you want “romance”, then give it to them and you will get more back inshaa Allaah. The bottom line is “DO NOT BE SHY AND DO NOT THINK THAT THEY THINK YOU’RE…hmmm, what would be a nicer word than a S–T with an L next to S?

      • Avatar

        Michelle

        June 30, 2015 at 5:03 PM

        When there is true love, Either can get the other aroused with a look………

  3. Avatar

    Megan Wyatt

    May 3, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    “This notion that sex is a trade-off for women in exchange of provision, protection and emotional love in a marriage doesn’t make sense to me and to most women I know. It objectifies the man as a cash register and denies his needs for emotional love. The idea of this trade-off may motivate some women who do not have any sexual desires (a VERY low percentage of women, and this cannot be used to make a general ruling for all women).”

    Thank you for the above – I also feel the same way and teach many of the notions expressed in this article to women and for couples. I think comments suggesting “trade off” is not only detrimental to the well being of a marriage, but it’s one of the level categories many relationships fall into, which we call “bartering” and that is considered a place to NOT remain in as a couple. There is a greater level of love, intimacy and connection when a couple moves out of that state. The whole “I did this so you should do that” mentality.

  4. Avatar

    Commenter15

    May 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Excellent and highly important topic of discussion.
    Jazakallahukhair.

    ps. Get ready for an onslaught of snarky comments about the author/MM :P

  5. Avatar

    Mullah101

    May 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    OMG -Asta’gh fir Allah- talking about sex on MuslimMatters…..LOL.. Is it really a Muslim matter? Yes/No , may/be..WOW…anyway a good try having this kind of articles, because I know some of our Muslim bros/sis think that having sex with your wife is….. what?what?.Should be “shy” bro.

    Anyway a good article, especially the approach author took to make it sound a normal thing for a normal human being who happen to be a Muslim (Al Hum Du Li Allah) and one is not breaking the laws of the religion by having intimacy with the spouse. At the end I like this sentence on the page 4: “…Something that is often missing from these discussions is the spiritual component. I like to think of it in this way: everything that we do – love, bear children, have sex, feel good – has to take us higher spiritually and closer to Allāh…”

    • Avatar

      Iman Abdulaziz

      May 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      There is no topic that is off limits in Islam. When things are about important matters of life, it can an should be discussed. Of course, tastefully and with respect and keep it clean and to the point.

      • Avatar

        Samana

        October 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        Extremely important topic. The idea that sex is a forbidden or haram subject to talk about publicly is one of the main reasons why muslim women remain unhappy and frustrated. In 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. 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.

        • Avatar

          Abu Musa

          May 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

          Dear Samana jazakALLAH for the clues. Also all the sisters should know that men get arroused so soon and need no special treatment. So the sisters should try to get arroused themselves and help the husbands in getting orgasm, as time matters. If they will behave active in the bed with husbands. it will be more intense relationship. And from the first night the women should not be shy as husbands are husband their legal spouse. if wife will shy in these matters then how the relation will proceed and will result in unsatisfaction of husband. as wife is a need of husband , also wife should make husband her need. this is compromise. not a single side matter.

  6. Avatar

    bint deen

    May 3, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Assalaamu Alaykum,

    MashaAllah an extremely informative and much needed article for our Muslim sisters. I really benefited myself. I was wondering if there can be something added under the Sex after Kids section possibly in a future article. I have a question in regards to that. How do you make time for sex with kids in the picture? Not that we don’t love them, I am so grateful for my beautiful babies, my blessings from Allah Alhamdulillah. But many nights we try to become intimate but because a kid wakes up or a baby cries, we get interrupted and can’t “get back into it.” It seems to really hurt our sex life. And I want to please my husband many nights and love being intimate with him sexually but it feels so hard to go all the way because of these interruptions. This is especially the case when you have a new baby that wakes up every few hours in the middle of the night and sometimes it takes a while to get the baby to go back to sleep. Any advice or a possible solution in a future article will be very very helpful. Again jazaakum Allaahu khayran to all the writers, it was a great read.

    • Avatar

      mom of 7

      May 3, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Get a babysitter on occasion, it is worth it. Meanwhile, continue being sexually active, even if it has to be quick and quiet. One day it might be his “turn” one day it will be your” turn” for him to pleasure you. Having a baby makes having orgasms much easier in my experience, you feel more comfortable with your body.

    • Avatar

      Siraaj

      May 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Get a white noise app and see if you can get your kid to stay asleep for extended periods (iphone, android, etc). Our third child loved the white noise app, put her to sleep and kept her asleep

  7. Avatar

    umm sulaym

    May 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for this insightful article. i pray that it become of immense benefit to married couples everywhere.

  8. Avatar

    sarah

    May 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    oh wow! your explanation for the tilth verse has completely changed my understanding of the verse. I used to struggle with my view of it as a license to kill for a man and the woman to be submissive, but your explanation is 180 degrees opposite!

    • Avatar

      Hyde

      May 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Are Sarah from the goatmilk blog ?

  9. Avatar

    Z3d

    May 3, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I wish the article would have also provided links to proper educational material regarding this topic.

  10. Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    May 4, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    JazakumAllahu Khairin to all those who took the time out to educate us on this extremely important topic. We often think of sex as an “unislamic” topic and it is really the culture of certain countries which has led to this. I hope this would be the start of a series of articles on similar subjects that seem to have become taboo in our culture and thus when we are confronted with them in the contemporary world we feel that our religion is “backward” and “closed”. The classical texts never shied away from this topic (albeit always maintaining a proper decorum).

  11. Avatar

    an

    May 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Excellent and well needed article, jazak Allahukhairn for this initiative!

  12. Avatar

    Married 1.5 years

    May 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Jazakallah for this article. It is really helpful. I have been married for a year and a half and I have a great relationship with my husband alhumd. wE engage in foreplay and flirt etc outside the bedroom too. He tries to satisfy me too but I don’t think I have ever really experienced the big O. It’s not that I am not comfortable with him or don’t love him and we have a great emotional connection too. I can talk to him about this too and about anything, but although I feel aroused at sometimes more than others, I dont feel like I have ever climaxed. But very rarely if ever, do I end up feeling unsatisfied. There isn’t too much of a high but I enjoy the foreplay and the connection and being able to satisfy him. Is there something wrong? What should I do to be feeling that climax? I did come from a sexually repressed culture though as a lot of us do so I did struggle with coming to terms with somethings in the start of marriage but Im grateful to have a supportive husband. What I would want to know is how can I improve, how can I experience what I havent. Does every woman experience it. This is also something you could cover in future articles esp on the newly wed ones.

    • Avatar

      married 20+ years

      May 7, 2013 at 7:19 AM

      Married 1.5 years, just be patient. Some sex therapists would recommend touching yourself, discuss this with your husband. Maybe try it in front of him.

      • Avatar

        married 7 plus years

        May 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        some sex therapist say some women never get an orgasm. My question is what if you are not attracted to your husband(anymore or ever?) how do you counteract that problem?

        • Avatar

          Man from the Dark Side "The Undertaker"

          June 5, 2013 at 3:21 AM

          *Comment Removed by Comments Team*
          Attention “The Undertaker” – you have been banned and your comments are not welcome here.

      • Avatar

        omar

        June 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        You are advising self-masturbation which is against Islamic principles. A more Islamic alternative is if the husband manually stimulates the wife. Masturbation is not acceptable

      • Avatar

        Jalabie

        November 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM

        Actually I beg to differ. According to Yasir Qadhi masturbation is permissible, not a very good practice but isn’t something to be called impermissible. The evidence used is imam ashawkani

    • Avatar

      Sameena

      December 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      feel comfortable touching yourself. Most women get orgasm when a man touches them or orally stimulates their clitoris. Ask your husband to try that. Sexual pleasure is one of the joys of life and you should be ashamed of wanting it and every human being deserves a healthy respectful mutually satisfying sexual experience

      • Avatar

        Vampire

        October 23, 2015 at 5:07 PM

        Is oral sex allowed in Islam?

      • Avatar

        Jalabie

        November 26, 2016 at 11:01 AM

        Yes oral sex is permissible. When it comes to sex everything is permissible unless states otherwise (anal, and during wife’s period)

  13. Avatar

    Married 10+ years

    May 5, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    Assalaamu alaikum,
    JazaakumAllah khairan MM for this initiative. I am sure it’ll be appreciated by many Muslimahs worldwide. Sadly we are living in a culture where it really doesn’t matter if the wife is satisfied in bed or not. All the importance goes to the husband’s pleasure be it in terms of sex, food or any other stuff.
    Being married for 10+ years Alhamdulillah with 3 kids it’s a journey of pain and frustration in terms of sexual life. Being married at 21, I never knew till some 4 years of marriage that there is something called ‘Orgasm’ for females. When I realized and discussed with my husband he too was surprised. Till this day he isn’t keen on satisfying me though I do my best to be proactive and attractive before making love. I also approached for divorce, but due to family pressure I had to retract. Though he fails every time to satisfy me in bed, he expects his food, clothes etc. to be ready on time. If not he really gets mad. But he is Allah fearing,well behaved and a good person. He has fulfilled basic needs like clothing, accommodation etc . I am grateful to him for his spending on us. May Allah reward him for his goodness and guide him for his ignorance. Aameen.

    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. I have taken it as Allah’s will to continue in this relationship for the sake of Allah, kids and family…
    for this Duniya was not meant to be Jannah. I will try my best till my death to keep him happy in bed, though at times I wonder if my days in this duniya will ever come to an end.. It is far better to remain a spinster than to live in a hollow, lonely and unsatisfied marriage.

    Females do have strong sexual appetite. There might surely be ups and downs in that depending on the circumstances, hormonal levels etc.

    Also recently I started realizing how did Imam Shafi’ee’s mother live without remarrying? If any other women can do it, I too can do it inshaAllah.

    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. Remember before she is your wife, she is a Muslimah. And it is your duty to fulfil the right of another Muslim’. Your wife will never be emotionally attached to you if you do not satisfy her with your own love and willingness in bed.
    May Allah grant us all righteous, loving spouses. May He keep us chaste. Aameen

    • Avatar

      Hyde

      May 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Even though I read all of this article, and yes I had some reluctance in accepting weather articles like these should be openly be viewed on blog sites, but then again with all the smut out there on Muslim blogs, I trust the judgment of MM.

      And after reading your entry sister, I say first of all you are martyr for you are living for the sake of Creator. And second of all, if I may be blunt, infusing male ego and libido, I mean why wouldn’t you want your girl (i.e. your Muslim wife) reaching a climax? Wouldn’t it be that her satisfaction is part of your satisfaction? Again I suppose internet anonymity can allow me to be impetuous (but not impolite) that part of male ego is that his wife is sexually satisfied, ergo he knows how to get the job done! Never understood why men would only take “their” pleasure only.

      May God keep us from fitna, and May he give us the reward in the Next Life for He is Just.

      • Avatar

        Dan

        June 6, 2013 at 4:47 AM

        Ever thought about making an effort urself too ?? A man gets satisfied in the end bcs he is the one doing everything i.e making an effort to satisfy himself . What most women do is lye in bed like a lifeless doll and expect the man to do everything i.e satisfy himself too and the woman too .. How much more different is it having sex with a girl like this or having sex with a sex doll ? In the end both are gonna lye in bed like a dummy. So unless women are not willing to make an effort to get involved in sex, they shouldnt complain about it either.

        • Avatar

          Sameena

          December 15, 2013 at 3:42 PM

          when a man goes inside a woman he get the stimulation he needs to climax. Women on the other hand need to have their clitoris or g spot stimulated to achieve an orgasm. Why should a man be allowed to use a woman’s body for gratification without giving her anything in return?

      • Avatar

        Abu Musa

        May 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        PLease Married 10+ years and Sameena with due respect in this situation I advise you all sisters pls pls do inform your husbands and tell them openly about your needs, what you like, what you dont, how you can he can satify you. please as husbands dont know really because of their wives shyness. in this way inshALLAH husband will help his wife in great sense.

    • Avatar

      Siraaj

      May 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Is he unable to sustain himself long enough for you to climax?

    • Avatar

      MZN

      May 8, 2013 at 7:18 AM

      Why don’t you and your husband make a visit to a proper marriage counselor/sex therapist? The idea of it may sound awkward to your husband but it should work, iA.

    • Avatar

      Married 10+ years

      May 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      @ hyde, JazaakAllah khair for the comforting words. May Allah accept it.

      @ Siraaj, at few occasions he is able. The fact is I am not emotionally attached to him. That really makes it difficult to concentrate. There are continuous thoughts going on in my mind about the previous time spent in bed or outside the bedroom, the conflicts. My mind is already set that I am going to be left alone unfulfilled. It isn’t so easy to climax with intercourse alone. Also many a times there is no foreplay.

      @ MZN I don’t know of any counsellor in the place where I live. Few years back I did take my husband to meet my gynec. It wasn’t of any help though.

      SubhanAllah brothers and sisters this Ummah is in chaos. Matters within many couples are not like how they appear to the outside world.
      It is very comforting to know that there are Muslims in this Ummah who want to lend a helping hand. My voice is the cry of thousands of other women as well who are going through this dilemma. Please do remember all of us in your du’as.

      Ignorance and unwarranted bashfulness are the main causes of our pathetic condition. We don’t shy away to sin in secrecy forgetting Allah SWT is watching us. But we are shy to learn about intimacy from proper sources and also be open about it with our spouses. All this leads to injustice and then society wonders why there is increase in extramarital affairs. May Allah save us.

      MM has done a wonderful job in creating awareness about ‘Female Sexuality’ which is often brushed under the carpet. May Allah azzawajal bless you and your families immensely. Aameen.
      Ma’assalaama

    • Avatar

      Sameena

      December 15, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I am not surprised at the CRUELTY of your husband. I have heard this story from Muslim women again and again. Muslim culture teaches a very toxic understanding of male/female relations where sex is not about intimacy but about putting the woman in a one-down position. The pain and hurt you feel has been felt by many Muslim women. My truthful advice to you as a woman, is not to stifle your anger, not to listen to the nonsense that tells you to suffer “patience” – it is because our mothers and grandmothers put up with such cruel men without letting their anger out, that we still have to deal with this very deep-seated hatred of women. If you want a better world for your daughter and granddaughters, dont let him shame you about your sexuality and dont be afraid of divorce if you can afford to live independently. Life is too short and too beautiful to spent unlived, stewing in sexual starvation. May you have a chance to live your life, truly LIVE your life.

  14. Avatar

    Asma

    May 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I will be honest, i have mixed views about the article. Its good that someone took the courage to discuss such a sensitive topic and i appreciate it. However i have reservations on some of the content of the article. one, though this is for adult readers only, Islam does not support such topics to be discussed so openly. If you take Quranic verses regarding husband-wife relationship, they have been narrated in a shell; using metaphors and i think it is expected from us to do the same. Also, one of the hadith by Hazrat Ayesha regarding physical contact while she would be fasting is contradictory to Quranic verse Surah Baqrah Verse 187 where it is clearly mentioned that one cannot maintain intimate relationship during fast.

    • Avatar

      Addo

      May 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      @Asma – Well, to be honest, as uninteresting and irrelevant this topic is to me as an unmarried, still-in-his-teen-years guy, I don’t think this could harm anyone. I mean it’s not like explicit details were elaborated nor is it possible that a kid who is ignorant to the whole issue could understand what it’s talking about. And this could actually be helpful to those who are shy to inform themselves more about the sexuality of their partners in Islamic light.

    • Avatar

      Addo

      May 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      @Asma – Oh, and regarding the contradiction you claim exists between the fact that the Prophet (SAAWS) kissed his wife while fasting and the command in the Quraan in which we are told not to have sex with the partner while fasting, I’d like to remind you of the Narration (don’t remember which so if someone could point out its details, I’d be glad) in which the an elderly man asked the Prophet permission to kiss the man’s wife while fasting and he allowed him but when a younger man asked the same thing, the Prophet rejected, explaining to his companions how the first man’s kiss is unlikely to develop into having sex, which is what is actually prohibited, while the younger man could get tempted into having sex while fasting if he starts with a kiss. So, kissing does not break one’s fast but if someone feels like he might end up having sex from merely a kiss, he should avoid it. Hope it’s clear now.

  15. Avatar

    None

    May 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I don’t find any reason to object to such a topic. For people who are bashful and ignorant about such things, find some other reading material on the site, others may improve their relationships with those whom they are contractually obligated, and it (the relationship) might even become enjoyable for them. The Muslim experience is different for everyone and the sahabah (radiaAllahanhu ajmaeen) were wonderful examples of the various facets of Islam mashaAllah. JazakAllah khair to the author for sharing.

  16. Avatar

    Umm Hadi

    May 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Masha Allah, Tabarak Allahu fii. The article is very useful and beneficial, especially with soo many Muslim men and women who are shy as well as ignorant.

    May Allah add barakah in your work. Ameen

  17. Avatar

    Uzma

    May 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    We woman are here on this earth to fill the desire of the male. We have the feelings too but ultimatly we have to please our man. So he can carry out duty of good muslim. This we should be explain the all society.

    • Avatar

      Mariam

      May 11, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      What nonsense. We are not here to fulfill anyone’s desire. We are here only to serve Allah SWT.

      • Avatar

        Hyde

        May 11, 2013 at 2:02 AM

        One of reason women are here is because they fulfill mens desires in a halal way and likewise one of the reason men are here because they fulfill womens desires.

      • Avatar

        asiila

        May 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        MARITAL SEX IS AN IBADAH…only Allah (SWT) could come up with such a win/win scenario. Masha’Allah. Why do we, Muslims especially, have to make it so much harder than it has to be…???

    • Avatar

      Jalabie

      November 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      As a Muslim man about to get married (inshaAllah) I would have to respectfully disagree. Marriage isn’t just about compromise, it’s about giving and receiving. Talk to your spouse tell her or tell him how you feel. If he’s a decent person inshAllah he’ll do the right thing. Part of his duties as a husband is to satisfy his wife in bed.

  18. Avatar

    Michael

    June 5, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    in islam its not permissible to for men and women to discuss sex in this manner you are not married to these sisters and sisters you are not married to these men fear Allah and refrain from such things in the name of mordenity,the angels are writing this down and haraam will always be haraam no matter how you try to justify it

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 6, 2013 at 4:57 AM

      Dear Michael:

      JazakAllahu Khairin for your concern. Can you please elaborate further on your point with evidence that such a discussion is “haraam”.

      Best Regards
      -Aly

  19. Avatar

    Michael

    June 6, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    islam forbids us from mixing with the opposite sex and so how can you justify talking to each other online about sex ?

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 7, 2013 at 5:32 AM

      Islam does not forbid discussion of issues relating to society – there is no restriction on the interaction between sexes but on “free mixing”. Yes certainly decorum must be maintained in all discussions but there is no prohibition in interaction. And Allah knows best.

      • Avatar

        islam is the best

        June 7, 2013 at 5:56 AM

        i dont know what you mean by ” there is no restriction on interaction” and here you have women discussing explicit sexual details with strangers ,if the shoe were on the other foot and it was your wife/husband discussing your sex/private life you wouldnt like it so how are you protecting your partners/fellow muslims honour by engaging in such activities?

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          June 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM

          1) The comments are anonymous
          2) We ran it by our scholars and did not find any objection
          3) Some of the people commenting are MM staff / authors

          JazakAllahu Khairin for your concern on this subject. If you feel uncomfortable by the content, we request you read other content on the site that may be better suited for you.

          Best Regards
          -Aly

          • Avatar

            Michael

            June 7, 2013 at 7:51 AM

            ok its fine as long as its done anonymously?thats good..the last thing i want to ask is who are your scholars ?

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            June 8, 2013 at 3:09 AM

            We have several scholars that we consult on different issues are Dr Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, Abdul Nasir Jangda, Yahya Ibrahim who are also authors for MM.

            This particular has been reviewed by Shaykh Abdullah Hasan. Here is a brief bio on him from his website.

            QUOTE

            Abdullah Hasan graduated with an Imam Diploma, BA and Ijaza Aliyah in Islamic Studies from the European College for Islamic Studies (Wales). He holds a diploma in Arabic from Zarqa Private University ( Jordan ) and studied with some of the Scholars of Jordan including Shaykh Ahmad Hawwa [son of the late Scholar Syed Hawwa , Syria ], and Jamal Ud Din Basha.

            He is a founding director of Spring Foundation (SF), which is a scholarship charity for students of the Islamic sciences. Abdullah Hasan has been involved with grass roots da’wah organisation in the UK since 1998 and has been active in the community.

            Abdullah Hasan is a Imam/Khateeb of Masjid Ibrahim, London U.K, and is an Islamic advisor at Nour Domestic Violence charity. He also delivers talks on various Islamic issues at university campuses, mosques and Islamic centres here in Britain and abroad.

            UNQUOTE

            My point on it being anonymous was that the sharing is being done for an academic purpose and not to divulge bedroom secrets. In addition, it is anonymous so you do not know whom this person is and not getting to know a specific someone’s personal details. The purpose is to help address issues faced by the community.

            Once again thank you for your concerns.

            Best Regards
            -Aly

    • Avatar

      Fiaz

      December 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      If you have a problem with the article then go elsewhere some people are here to gain knowledge

  20. Avatar

    Hyde

    June 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    @DiscoMaulvi
    Nice one sir. The explanation is worth it. If one is can’t get information form a Muslim website, then go where ? Chat rooms, the girl down the street, friends ? And in a modest, respectful manner, there is nothing wrong with writing about discussions of sexual intimacy and whatnot.
    Some neo-orientalatists, i.e. islamaphobes then to think the Muslim women are some sort of one dimensional creatures, who just lay there while their husbands enjoy themselves. That they do not have feelings or whatnot.

    None of the females are discussing one night stands, or having raffia or anything to with per-martial sex. so inside a marriage what is wrong with bringing up the subject ?

    Having sex with women (& otherwise around) is halal and an act of worship, so why not discuss it in a halal way ?
    (If one is troubled by this blog, then perhaps they should do a Google search to see what so called Muslims are really up to when it comes to sex)!

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 26, 2013 at 3:02 AM

      JazakAllahu Khairin. I know personally when I was about to get married, I looked around but I didn’t find much contemporary relationship advice in an Islamic light. Most books dealt with the fiqh points, the nikah, the simplicity, the duas, the criteria but once you are past that if you have to rely solely on off-the-shelf books from a non-muslim perspective then it is hard to separate the wheat from chaff.

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        Hyde

        June 26, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        Yes I know what you mean. A lot of rulings, but the nitty-gritty seems to be vacuous.
        Let’s be honest most men growing up in the west have a good amount of knowledge about sex, but where is the halaal and where is the haraam ? Perhaps someone should write a halaal version of the kuma sutra.

  21. Avatar

    sad

    July 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    it is weird, but i have been married for a short time and it seems like i have to beg my husband for sex. our foreplay is sad. and i have no idea what to do or think. i have gotten myself in a notion that i will not beg or ask, i will wait for him to want, which is hard to do. because it is sometimes two weeks or longer before he touches me, even-though he hugs me every night we sleep. He says it is because he is tired and work long hrs, but he does that on his own, not because he has to. i am not high maintenance, i am not an ugly woman, i am kinda overweight, but never had any issues, in my previous marriage.

    • Avatar

      Lamya

      December 16, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      Maybe your husband is a passive aggressive abuser : http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/pa_sex.htm

    • Avatar

      Abu Musa

      May 21, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      pls do inform your husbands and tell them openly about your needs, what you like, what you dont, how you can he can satify you. please as husbands dont know really because of their wives shyness. in this way inshALLAH husband will help you inshALLAH. dont be sad overweight is not the issue , the thing is love, how much you love him and how much he. as he should some by kissing you means he cares about you. but try to attract him towards you.

  22. Avatar

    umm

    July 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Salamalaikum wrwb i’m really shocked at the explicit title of the post and then all the brothers and sisters discussing such intimate matters with each other. Subhanallah. Really, is this the way to discuss this issue?

  23. Avatar

    Yusuf Abbas

    July 20, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Allah tells us in Qur’an that there is no altering His creation, and this includes the jewish / pagan ritual of circumcision, which removes something that Allah has designed, and has many good reasons to have. Further, there is NO hadith except by Abu Hurairah that states that the Prophet supposedly promoted circumcision. It is in the man-altered Torah however, and now we can see where this narrator got his information from, as with adam’s rib, sulaymon, days of creation, etc.

  24. Avatar

    Chelsea

    August 1, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Such great insight! I believe all women should enjoy their sexual health with their husbands and should have an open and honest discussion. This article gives women the confidence to do so.

  25. Avatar

    visitor2

    August 21, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    I found the information helpful and presented in a respectful manner. It should be helpful to many, no matter what faith. Thanks

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  27. Avatar

    Tasnim

    September 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Concerning the hadith:

    “[1] Sayyida A’isha raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)”

    I tried to find this hadeeth in Bazl’ul Majhood the commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud by Maulana Khalil Ahmad Sahanpuri, which has the matn (text) as well as sharh (explanation) and did not find the part “and he would suck her tongue.”
    There is only mentioned in the last hadith of the chapter “Kissing for a Fasting person” (under hadeeth 2385 in my copy) that a man came to Rasullullah s-w-t and said (translation from arabic)
    “Oh Rasulullah, I have commited a great thing (meaning sin)”, I kissed while I was fasting”. He s-w-t said: “Do you not consider if you had washed your mouth with water while you were fasting?”
    The commentary then says : meaning it is of no ordeal to kiss in sawm just as there is no harm in washing the mouth or gargling with water.

    Please check the sources of this hadith again if possible and the info of the copy of the book from which it is derived.

    Jazakumullhu khairan

    • Avatar

      Tasnim

      September 6, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      By the way Excellent article. very helpful, all Muslims should read it esp ones who are married or are planning to get married. Its kinda sad though, because many Muslim women find it extremely embarrassing to seek help from professionals, and sometimes they want to but they don’t know how, and don’t know who to turn to, because non-Muslim psychologist just do not understand the way of the Muslims. i know from experience.
      That is why i hope that Inshaa-Allah i shall one day become someone like Sister Umm Reem, and help the Muslim community here in Australia.
      ^.^

  28. Avatar

    julina

    December 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    this is the right way to discuss.

    why shouldn’t husband and wife celebrate their love? {perhaps there is no love..}

    inshaaAllah they get blessings, Allah SWT looks upon them in mercy. and they have a good time, release stress, become close and fondness grows between them at all times of day.

    teach your kids.. well, maybe not about explicit sex ok, but the intentions, that being about showing you care, being considerate, patient, loving, gentle, about not being overlay demanding, not being selfish. use hadits and ayat to give example. teach them its ok to let your hair down with your spouse, because, if not your spouse then who else?

    just a note, i guess for a person who has never learned warm loving intimacy from their own parents/ family, the very idea could be very terrifying, so be patient with your spouse and try to sell the idea of mutual enjoyment.. inshaaAllah we all have improvements in our relations.

    inshaaAllah if kids understand that it can translate into a good relationship later when they marry.
    thats my holistic view anyway..

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  31. Avatar

    sa

    January 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    As a man – I’d like to apologise for all the sexual
    frustrations of muslim women due to misinformation some men have about
    sex.

    Islam is a very open religion when it
    comes to sex and heavily emphasised mutual pleasure satisfaction and
    foreplay 1400 years ago, as a point of order. its conservativeness
    extends only to taking responsibilties for your actions – i.e one night
    stands bf/gfs etc.

    unfortunately some men have a holier than though attitude which has no basis within the laws of Islam.

    communicate with your partner, be open, be freaky. have fun. Islam want you to have fun during sex. why miss that opportunity.

    Why not show your wife appreciation from the moment you wake, kiss her despite morning breath, show her shes perfect whatever time it is. also theres various views on this but Men – dont be shy to give your wife oral pleasure.

    what happens between a huband and wife is private and the aim should be to please each other. Men we need to be more considerate to her pleasure which we do forget sometimes.

    • Avatar

      Abdullah

      November 4, 2016 at 10:21 AM

      Look, Im tired of men apologizing like this to women. Why are you “apologizing for men that are misinforned about sex”? When almost all women dont even realize the sexual frustration that men endure all throughout their life. Why don’t women apologize about that first before sincere hearted men like you apologize on our behalf and make women feel as if only their needs arent being met.

      Ever since teen years men have to endure the increase of strong sexual urges. Does anyone even recognize that? Do people like you even realize how hard it is to be a muslim man growing up in the west? Where you have urges for sexual climax as soon as you hit puberty at 12-13 or even earlier. The majority of women have absolutely no sexual desire until their first time with a man, experiencing some level of sexual intimacy. And as one of the women in this comment thread even stated, (paraphrasing) that if a women felt an orgasm she would draw her man to bed more often. Meaning women truly dont know what that pleasure is like or have that desire only until after they lose their virginity. Whereas men have to live with that all their lives. Allah has created us diifferent, and if women cant apologize-which they shouldnt-its about damn time they start recognizing a mans desires at the very least!

      And after marriage one thinks its the light at the end of the tunnel after years of abstaining from pre marital relations, lowering the gaze, and avoiding pornography/illicit images, abstaining from haram such as masturbation, but it isn’t. Then men have to face practically begging their wives due to their innate desires which makes many men feel almost animalistic that their desires arent mutual. And even if he does get it, it’s reluctantly. On top of that the feeling of rejection hurts a man like no other. Even if they don’t get rejected, the sheer fact that men have to ask and initiate it more often in it of itself is incredibly demeaning to a husbands ego. And for a husband to have an ego and feel loved by his wife is a good thing, it will in turn enable him to express his love with his wife which would please them both.

      So Im sorry, but as a man I will not apologize for my desires that Allah has given us to test us with and allowed us to enjoy. Its a part of womans test to understand the pain men have to go through from an early age, and whether they can relate to it or not if they love their husbands they will go out of their way to satisfy him and initiate sex. Women need to be more empathetic to a mans desires. Through doing so, their husbands will feel loved, desirable, masculine, and capable to fulfill their wives desires out of sheer for them. And they themselves will want to see their eives reach climax and be satisfied.

      Allah knows best, may he put barakah in this ummahs marriages

  32. Avatar

    Fa

    January 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Mashallah, such a respectfully written, to-the-point article! Based on the Quran and hadith used in the article it seems that Muslims nowadays are much more prudish than our Prophet (SAW) and his companions and wives. We all want to have good sex regardless of our religious beliefs, and it’s a blessing that our religion gives us such great information and guidance on how to get it. May Allah bless the writer and contributors!

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  36. Avatar

    dunesal

    February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Most of the Muslim couples I know have s#x once every 3-6 months (once a month in rare cases). From what I know about them:
    -they all have children,
    -some of them are dual income and some not,
    -the wife generally decides on when to have s#x,
    -the more religious couples seem to generally frown upon oral s#x and s#x for pleasure, especially the wives even when the husband seeks to pleasure them only
    -they are generally a busy bunch in activism and religious engagement,

    I recently learned that Muslims can’t go to sleep in a ‘janabah’ state. Considering they also have to wake up early every day for dawn prayers and that most couples have s#x at night when children and or other family members like in-laws are asleep, I wonder what time of the day they even have s#x… I imagine some of those couples, perhaps the wives more than husbands, often opt for sleep over s#x as a result of this alone.

    Despite the low frequency of s#x, they “seem” generally happy. How often do other Muslim couples in similar situations have s#x?

    • Avatar

      dunesal

      February 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      I failed to mention that most of the couples, especially where the wife does not work, live in flats because they believe it’s haram to take out conventional mortgages.

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  43. Avatar

    mahi

    May 24, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    I understand the responsibility of women. One thing that baffles me is when if wife is in complete no mood to have sex , does she not have any right to say no.. I mean if she is not ready how will she be able to do it and satisfy husband. And, it will ofourse be painful for her.

    • Avatar

      javaid

      January 8, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      In fiqh, the right of sexual satisfaction goes both ways but there is a difference and undoubtedly more focus on men and more requirements for the women. This is because Allah(swt) has himself said that men are created weak. The tafsir of this by ibn abbas(ra) points out to the lack of self control that men have in this matter. This is also a reason for polygamy. So men have the 2 privelleges that women don’t have. One is that his wife is obliged to satisfy him sexually in a more strict manner. Given that we understand the hadith of Prophet(sa) in a classical manner instead of some minority opinions. The second privellege is polygamy. Women on the other hand have only one outlet if they can’t be patient on not being sexually satisfied which is to seek separation from Qadhi.

      Now this obviously does’nt mean that men should’nt be patient if their wives are not in mood. Ideally, they should’nt be too strict in this demand. But at the same time, it has to be said that this situation should not occure frequently that is a husband wanting sex and wife not being in the mood.

      Regardless, some solutions of this problem could to that a husband seduces his wife to get her into mood. Or he uses lubrication to not cause pain. Or if wife is ill or something then at the least, she can masturbate for him. After this the only option for a man is to be either patient and if he can’t be patient then look for polygamy. A Muslim cannot in anycase fall for Zina and every effort has to be one to prevent it.

  44. Avatar

    single

    October 5, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    No experience, little experience from this article may Allah SWT reward all the contributors

  45. Avatar

    married

    January 6, 2016 at 12:43 AM

    Appreciate the effort and the courage.
    I wish someone enlightens us on a situation where the husband doesn’t like to have sex, who doesn’t think it’s important. 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 that we should not deny intimacy to the husband but why is it not the other way round too?

    • Avatar

      javaid

      January 8, 2016 at 5:53 PM

      If he tried to improve and he loves you otherwise then it means he does want that to happen but there could be some issues. So if you deal with the situation wisely then perhaps it could solve the problem. Like for example, ask him if he has stress then he needs counselling or if he is feeling a loss of libido then advise him to eat special diet or supplements. Plus making the overall atmosphere of the home harmonious would also help.

      The reason I want to stress this is because by your own words, your husbands looks a reasonable man and if kisses/cuddles then he should’nt be the one who is doing it due to loss of interest in marriage. By standards of men, its rather odd to not want do intimiacy after cuddling etc. Which may mean that your husband needs assistance by diet or by mental counselling. However Men are usually protective about these issues and will not discuss it openly. So you need to tackle this wisely and ask him to be more open about the issue.

      About your question, I believe that the obligation of satisfaction of sexual needs goes both ways although it is more stressed in case of men for natural reasons. But not all women are same, some might have desire to the extent that they might fear for falling into haram if their husbands don’t satisfy them. In that case, its better to ask a counsellor about what should be done.

  46. Avatar

    Riyaaz

    April 14, 2016 at 5:21 AM

    It’s a god gift for human being.

  47. Avatar

    Ohmy

    August 6, 2016 at 1:35 AM

    The comments where more enlighting to me. So many different viewpoints. I learned alot mainly that Islam religion somehow convinces more people to do things that end up hurting them in long run. Example being women, many naively believing whatever they are told all because its in Quran or a religious leaders, family members say it is correct. Im just sadden that it continues to happen

  48. Avatar

    SAS

    August 17, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Salam,

    Thank you for this article. It touches on very important issues that are not spoke enough sufficiently in our community. I would just like to point out to the editor that it is not only the man who faces rejection when he initiates sex – the wife does as well. This goes both ways, so if “constant rejection” is a sin, it’s a sin for either spouse to reject sex for “no reason”, not just when women do it.

    However, why would anyone reject sex for “no reason”? I would suggest that there is always a reason, whether the person rejecting it is the husband or the wife, and that the reasons are often commonplace, e.g. they haven’t been enjoying sex, or not enjoying it sufficiently; they’re tired and this is bad timing; they’re stressed, and they haven’t seen sex as a good de-stressor (likely because the husband/wife has not been doing a good job of making it enjoyable, whether out of negligence or ignorance); their partner is underestimating how busy/stressed they are (this could go either way, when either partner has a busy job or non-career related obligations/expectations…I hold that women in particular often fall into this category when the husband leaves all/most of the housework and child rearing to her (or she takes it upon herself), because she then she basically never has time off); they have issues with the marriage causing an emotional barrier; they don’t feel their spouse is sufficiently attracted to them or they don’t feel sufficiently attracted to their spouse (negligence of one’s sexual attractiveness and making one’s partner feel undesirable can go both ways); they’re gotten bored with sex due to lack of variety; they have low or decreasing libido (which can also go either ways – it’s more commonly expected of women because of acculturation, or because previous experiences have been unsatisfying, but it’s not that uncommon in men either, and can sometimes be a result of health issues or medication side effects (e.g. blood pressure medications can cause sexual side effects) or simply age (especially when the husband and wife are from different generations). Of course the above list is for even God-fearing couples, and doesn’t begin to address issues like disrespect, infidelity, pornography, etc.

    As to the wife naturally wanting to flirt with the husband, this assumes again that they managed to maintain variety and desire in their relationship, rather than settling into a rut. The responsibility for this goes both ways, and many Muslims have to be first exposed to this concept, and then taught how to do it (because they probably haven’t seen it modeled while growing up, except for inaccurate depictions on TV). And of course, thinking men or women are easily manipulated creatures is disrespectful, and in Islam the emphasis is on respect for all.

    I would strongly suggest that Muslims have (tailored) sex ed beginning at least from their high-school years so that they get a more accurate understanding of biology, married life, and also so that they know when they should seek professional counseling or a sex therapist.

    • Avatar

      SAS

      August 17, 2016 at 12:15 AM

      *spoken of sufficiently (please excuse the grammatical mistakes)

  49. Avatar

    Abdullah

    November 4, 2016 at 1:15 AM

    Yes the article is needed for many men, however whenever making any of these points it’s important to establish the pillars and basics as they are. Men have higher libido. Men have a significantly higher desire for sex and stimulation. The sheer fact that many women dont even know prior to years of marriage that such a thing as female sexual stimulation exists is proof enough that a mans desires are more significant. There’s a reason that the hadith are for the wives to never decline their husbands desires, because a man will rarely ever decline having sex. Whereas women themselves often have to fight it to fulfil the sunnah and increasingly say no altogether, whether they reach orgasm or not. And that leaves the man feeling unwanted, incapable, undesirable, and that the desires for sex are one sided. It belittles his desires and makes him feel as though he has to beg his wife, up to which point it isnt nearly as fulfilling because he didnt feel loved throughout the process. Personally I have met many men going through this problem in extended family and friends. Many of which whose wives have even experienced climactic intercourse from their husbands. If women only showed more interest for sex, and initiated it just as much as their husbands, if not more, it would in turn give the love and attention to men that they seek but are far too shy to admit and ask for, and after feeling that attention and love, and the feeling of being desired by their wives, will a man then do whatever it takes to satisfy his wife.

    The number one reason that men in the United States alone are found to have affairs is due to the fact that they dont recieve the attention and feeling of being desired from their wives. So instead of first and foremost having your husbands asking for sex and initiating it the majority of the time, then in turn expecting him to fulfil your desires, try giving him the feeling of being desired by his wife by initiating intercourse yourselves, and watch how he will try to please you out of his love for you. There’s a reason why the hadith didnt say “a man should get down from his camel when his wife desires him” because women wont naturally desire their men, as much as men desire their women. Take his feeling into accord next time. It goes against society’s notion of masculinity now a days, but why do only women reserve the right of being called sexy or attractive? Husbands want to feel the same love, desire, and attention from their wives. It’s a two way street. And sadly just because men still reach climax, and are too shy or afraid of feeling emasculated, these issues don’t get out under the spot light. And instead these men are portrayed as ‘selfish’ or ‘unwilling to satisfy their wives’. And just because women are more emotional and voice each and every one of their concerns and problems, do we see this as a problem only for women.

    There’s a big difference in having your husband initiate intercourse the majority of the time, and then also expecting him to fulfil both yours and his own desires. As opposed to at least initiating it equally as much, making him feel wanted and desirable, for him to be more passionate in the process. And many wives fail to address this concern.

    “is a husband punishable for not coming to his wife when she asks for sex? Should he drop what he’s doing to fulfill her needs?” Tell me, when has a man declined a womans offer to sex. There’s a reason why 1 of the 7 people granted shade under Allahs throne on Qiyamah will be a MAN that rejected zina offered to him by a beautiful woman.

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#Society

Raised by Converts

Note to the reader:  Some Muslims debate which term we should use for someone who has chosen to accept Islam. Is it supposed to be “convert” or “revert?”  In this article, I choose to use the word “convert.”  Before I start receiving comments from individuals who are convinced that the term “revert” is the only correct one, I would like to share this superb article on the issue written by Ricardo Peña, who says it better than I ever could.  

Nuha* thought she had found her soulmate and future life partner in Joel*, her co-worker. He was kind, hardworking, and charming, and the young couple wanted to get married.  Nuha’s father, however, would not give his blessing to the union because the potential groom had recently converted to Islam.  Nuha’s dad wanted his daughter to marry a man who had grown up in a Muslim family and therefore, presumably, had years of Islamic experience and fairly solid religious knowledge. He speculated about some of the things Joel might have done before embracing Islam and whether he had any habits that would be hard to break. He also thought it would be wiser for his daughter to marry someone from the same background; he doubted a white guy would really know how to relate to a Pakistani-American girl and her desi family. Most of all, he worried that Joel would not know enough about Islam to be a good husband, father, and imam of his family.  

Was Nuha’s father justified? Do converts make good spouses and parents? Can they ever truly move on from any un-Islamic aspects of their past and adhere to their new deen

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How do converts attain the knowledge necessary to raise children with Islamic knowledge, taqwa, and adab?

To answer this question I spoke with six Muslims who grew up in a household where one or more parents were converts to Islam. Their answers give insight into the true dynamics of what happens when converts raise children.  

Khadijah is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach from the United Kingdom. Her mother, a white British woman, converted when Khadijah was eight years old.  When she and Khadijah’s father had divorced, she had felt a need to find a deeper meaning in life. This searching led her to Islam.  

“My mum taught me Islam in stages,” explains Khadijah. “As she learnt things, she passed them onto me. We went to study circles together, and we learnt to pray together as well. She wrote the transliteration of the prayer on little blue cards for us to hold whilst we prayed. I wouldn’t say her knowledge was sufficient at the time, but whose knowledge is? I learnt valuable lessons as I watched her do her own reading, leaning, and questioning. I felt like we stumbled through together. As I grew up, this taught me Islam is a constant journey, and it’s ok to ask questions.”

Shaheda, a freelance writer from North Carolina, grew up in different circumstances than Khadijah, but the women’s stories have definite parallels. Shaheda’s parents are African Americans who were both raised in traditional southern Christian families. The pair converted to Islam in the 1960s when they were college students who were active in the Civil Rights movement. They began to learn about Islam after their introduction to leaders like Malcolm X.  

As different as her parents’ life experiences were from Khadijah’s mum’s, Shaheda enjoyed the same benefit of being able to see her parents growing and changing due to the love of Islam. “My parents were learning Islam as they were raising us,” explains Shaheda, “and so their increase in knowledge was tangible to us. We grew up in a community where you would see the physical manifestations of knowledge acquisition. The style of dress of the sisters became more modest, the separation of women and men became more pronounced in social gatherings, social gatherings took on a more religious tone, we began to attend Sunday school to learn Quran and Arabic.”

Though it may come as a surprise to some, in families where one spouse was a born to a Muslim family and the other is a convert, the convert is often actually the more knowledgable and practicing parent. Aliyah is a family counselor from the Midwestern United States whose Indian mother and white American father met when they were partners in pre-med.  “My dad had read about ‘Mohammedans’ and would ask my mom lots of questions about them,” explains Aliyah. “My mom was raised in a home that was only culturally Muslim. Plus, back then most immigrants just wanted to assimilate. She didn’t really know the answer to my dad’s intensive questions. One day she suggested he ask her father the same questions. My grandfather took him to the ISNA convention where he could ask more knowledgeable people. Alhumdulilah he got all his questions answered and converted!”

 She continues, “As a little kid we always looked at my dad as the sheikh of the house. We all agree that he’s the reason my family is even practicing. He would always patiently entertain and answer my questions, read me stories about the Prophets and Seerah, and really focus on aqeedah and comparative religions.  When I grew up and both our levels of knowledge needed to grow, we learnt together. As a teen, my dad and I would walk to the masjid together and attend the Friday night halaqa. In college, our favorite thing to do was attend al Maghrib classes. I would ditch my friends and discuss with him what we had learned during the lunch break.”

For Iman,* a stay at home mom who grew up between the United States and the Middle East, it was her convert mother — not her Arab father — who was her main Islamic influence.  “I was about 6-7 years old when my mom converted,” she explains.  “I grew up celebrating Christmas and Eid. We had a Christmas tree in our living room for the first several years of my life. My mother, who was raised a Southern Baptist, embraced Islam when my youngest brother was a baby, so for most of his life she was a practicing Muslim. We learned most of what we know from her.  I remember as a child seeing stacks of books on the dining table that she would check out of the masjid library to read and learn. She was a very intelligent woman who knew more about Islam than lots of born Muslims.”

Based on her own experiences, Iman asserts, “Generally speaking, I think converts are more knowledgeable than born Muslims. It can be challenging,” she adds, “when the convert is more serious about deen than their born-Muslim spouse.”

Anisa, a former teacher from Missouri, agrees with Iman.  “In some ways, I feel converts may have more Islamic knowledge than born Muslims because they have had to search for the knowledge themselves as opposed to growing up with it. Also,” she adds, “many born Muslims have grown up with so much culture mixed with the religion that the difference between the two can get blurred.”

Anisa’s mom, a white American woman who was raised Christian, met some Muslims at Oklahoma Baptist College back in 1970.  She started conversations with them in the hopes of converting them to Christianity, but ended up intrigued by their faith. She took an Islamic History class and read whatever books she could find at the library. She decided to become a Muslim at an MSA conference and made her shahada in 1973. “By the time my mother was raising my sisters and me, she definitely knew all the basics of Islam and was able to teach us,” says Anisa.

“She was the main parental source of knowledge for us, although we also attended Sunday school.”Click To Tweet

Mustafa is the child of an Egyptian dad and an American mom. He was born in the U.S. but raised primarily in Egypt where he was surrounded by Muslims, and yet his convert mother was a huge inspiration to him in his faith. “I know that I loved my mom so much,” Mustafa says.  “I felt that she had done the decision-making process for us. That if someone so smart, clever, and precise figured out Islam was the Truth, it must be.” 

“My mom became Muslim in the early 80s,” explains Mustafa. “She learned about Islam from her students while completing her Masters at the University of Illinois-Champagne. She was teaching English as a second language to Malaysian exchange students. She also ended up living with them and learning about Islam from them. People always assumed my mom converted for my dad,” muses Mustafa. “She didn’t even know him when she converted!”

As positive as their experiences were, overall, with the guidance of their convert parents, life was not always easy for the children who grew up with one born-Muslim parent and one convert. Many times, stereotypes about race, ethnicity, and cultural differences complicated their relationships with extended family members and outsiders. Both as children and as adults, many of them had to cope with people’s misconceptions and tactlessness.  

“I was always teased,” confides Aliyah.  “I’ve been called ‘half Muslim,’ ‘zebra,’ and ‘white girl’ in a derogatory way. Aunties always questioned if I was taught Islam properly. People would assume my dad converted for love (the pet peeve of my whole family). I would hear talk in Urdu in the masjid kitchen that I couldn’t cut an onion because I’m white. It was hard for us when we were getting married to find someone that clicked with us because we were so culturally different than everyone we knew.”

“Kids are rough,” adds Mustafa.  “Muslims can be ignorant, stereotypical, and not know what is offensive. Someone asked my sister, ‘Did your dad marry your mom because she wore a bikini?’ We were oddities at school in Egypt when people would see my mom pick us up from school. I was actually embarrassed to be seen with her for a while growing up, just because of all the attention it got me.”

I was “the white girl” in a Muslim school,” explains Khadijah, “and whilst that made the other girls very aware of who I was, there was always an element of separation there. I didn’t feel white. I didn’t feel Pakistani or Gujarati. I don’t feel like it affected me in either a negative or positive way. I got used to not completely belonging and forged my own ‘culture.’ I married an Afro-Caribbean brother, so my children have such a mix of cultures around them and I think it’s pretty beautiful. Whether my upbringing influenced this or not, I don’t know!”

While Shaheda did not feel any religious tension within her extended family, (“I understand from firsthand experience how people of different faiths can coexist in love and mutual respect,” she says), she does experience some difficulty from her brothers and sisters in Islam.  She reports “having to repeatedly validate my identity as an actual Muslim to those who don’t have the same experience. The assumption that there may be something missing or not quite Muslim enough is troublesome.” 

Wisdom to Share

These children of converts with their unique experiences and courageous dedication to their faith have excellent wisdom to share with the Ummah.  

Aliyah, whose work as a counselor focuses especially on Muslim families, has advice for Muslim parents whose marriage is mixed, either culturally or racially. “To youth,” she says, “identity matters SO MUCH, especially in this day and age when that’s all anyone ever talks about. If you’re a white convert parent of brown/black kids, identify your privilege that comes with that. If your kids are brown or black…learn about what that means in America. When I was with my non-Muslim relatives they would just make me feel so ‘other.’ They would focus on my exotic look and beliefs and just make me feel like an alien.” 

She continues, “Research things to consider when you are raising a child that is a different ethnicity than you. Ask your kids how they feel about it. Have an open conversation. Teach them about valuing both their cultural backgrounds.”

Khadijah’s advice to Muslim parents is,

“Learn WITH your children. Let them see that you’re still learning and struggling as well. Let them experience the journey with you. They’ll learn more that way than through lectures. You don’t have to act like you have everything figured out.” 

I believe the constant cycling in of converts into Muslim communities is a great blessing,” offers Shaheda. “And with that blessing comes a responsibility. We owe them our support, wisdom, and love, and I think we should take that responsibility very seriously. We should create bonds. These individuals who Allah has chosen as believers among disbelievers are special, and they keep us on our spiritual toes. There are multitudes of blessings when a community gains a new convert.”

When I asked them if they would have any concerns about their own children marrying converts, all of the interviewees answered a firm “no.”  They realize that a person’s dedication to Islam is not guaranteed by being born into it, or even raised with it. 

Converts — people who chose Islam as mature adults after a great deal of research, soul-searching, and personal transformation — are among our Ummah’s most passionate, educated, and sincere members.  

*Names have been changed

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#Culture

The Beginnings Of The Darul Islam Movement In America

I was raised in the Darul Islam movement; my father Shaykh Abdu-Karim Ahmad, was one of their Imams for a time in Philly. So was my cousin Shaykh Ali Ahmad. Both who are still alive today. There are many narrations yet to be told, that shed a little light and context, about Muslim America today.

Much of the history about Islam in United States of America and of the pioneering Muslims upon who’s shoulders we stand, has never been told. Some of them unfortunately may never be told and may die with the death of those who were there. When it comes to American Muslim history, the narratives of those who lived it is more poignant than that of those who only heard about it. As in the hadith of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “He who is told is not like he who has seen”.

Much of what is written about Black American Muslim Sunni pioneers is written about us but not by us. 

One story that has remained largely unchronicled is that of the Darul Islam movement. Darul Islam was an early indigenous Sunni Muslim community made up of Black American Muslims and converts to Islam. At its height, it comprised 25-30 Muslim communities and masaajid across the country. It was started by Rajab Mahmood and Yahya Abdul-Karim, who were formally attendees of the famous State Street Mosque in Brooklyn, New York in the Atlantic Ave area west of Flatbush. The State St, Mosque which was started by was Dawud Faisal, a Black man who came to the United States from the Caribbean to pursue a career in jazz music, became a beacon for early Muslim immigrants as there was already a spate of Arab businesses along Atlantic Ave near third street, not far from the Mosque. My father used to take us to Malko Brothers bakery on Atlantic Ave in the early sixties where we would buy pita bread and halal meat from one of the other stores. It was one of the few places you could buy pita bread on the East Coast and there was no such thing as a halal store in America then.  

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Partially because Shaykh Dawud was black, and perhaps because of his jazz background and affiliation, the Masjid also attracted Black American converts to Sunni Islam. Many early Sunni Muslims were associated with and came from jazz musicians.  The Legendary John Coltrane was reported to have been a Muslim, he was married to a sister named Amina and his daughter was named Na’eema. My father performed her marriage in New York in the 1980’s. It’s rumored that he never publicized his Islam because it would have damaged his career as it had done to so many others. Hajj Talib Dawud, who started a masjid in Philadelphia (not related to the Darul Islam movement), used to be a trumpet player for Dizzy Gillespie. 

Meanwhile, , there was a chasm between immigrant Muslims who were new to the country. Converts to Islam, who were overwhelmingly Black, were new to Islam.  In 1960, Shaykh Dawud hired a teacher who was Hafiz al-Quran named Hafiz Mah’boob — he was associated with the Tabligh Jamaa’ah movement— but he was Black or looked black. The young African American converts, Rajab Mah’mood, Yahya Abdulkarim, Suleiman Abdul-Hadi (my uncle and one of the founding members of The Last Poets), Muhammad Salahuddin, and others. were drawn to him, He was “down” with educating the brothers from America and he used to teach them Arabic and Islam. It was a different time then and the immigrant, mainly Arab Muslims, and the Black American converts to Islam were from two different worlds. There was an unspoken uneasiness. Eventually Hafiz Mah’boob suggested that the African American brothers go and start their own masjid.

Rajab Mah’mood and Yahya AbdulKarim eventually left the State Street Mosque and started their own Masjid in Brownsville, one of Brooklyn’s toughest neighborhoods, they named it Yasin Mosque, and that was the beginning of the Darul Islam Movement in the United States. That’s also just the beginning of the story.

I was born and raised a Sunni Muslim in Philadelphia, PA; my parents converted to Islam in the 1950’s.

I was raised in the Darul Islam movement; my father Shaykh Abdu-Karim Ahmad, was one of their Imams for a time in Philly. So was my cousin Shaykh Ali Ahmad. Both who are still alive today. There are many narrations yet to be told, that shed a little light and context, about Muslim America today.

History matters. 

Taken from the Upcoming Book. “The History of the Darul Islam Movement in America” 

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Civil Rights

Daughter Of Hagar: A Mother Reflects On The Cry That Has Shaken The World

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah (Sahih al Bukhari 4090)

“Mama!”

“I can’t breathe.”

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A gut-punch and a sudden rush of panic erupted in my body. I was watching yet another Black Man transition from this life. I heard the voices of my sons echo in my ears. I felt helpless because I could and not run to his aid. Where were my sons? Nightmares all unfolding on the heels of reports of Breonna Taylor, then Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, my spirit was broken.

This time instead of breathing for him, we collectively screamed. I heard his cry, and I knew this country would have to respond.Click To Tweet

As the video flooded my social media accounts, I made a conscious choice, not to watch. I couldn’t. I would watch it in my own time, at my own pace. Two days. I could smell the desperation. The anxiety, giving me dry heaves a familiar feeling since the day my sons were old enough to enter the world without my presence. Now, the same fear arises for my daughters. As a Black mother, my hopes were for them to not experience the loss of their brothers, fathers, or uncles at the hands of another. Today, I simply want them all to make it back home safely. I accept this country’s apathy for the death in my community was stalwart, especially at the hands of law enforcement.

George Floyd’s lynching provides a graphic and poignant portrait of the blatant contempt for the lives of Black men and women. His pleas linger in my heart alongside the anger and outrage. It was the knee. The actual knee to the neck of Mr. Floyd, by a white officer and his nonchalant demeanor, echoed the historical torment of African American men; allowing the world to witness a modern-day lynching. What is the value of life?

In 1791, Benjamin Banneker questioned Thomas Jefferson on the merits of slavery, not as a question of ethics, but of faith. The paradox, while Jefferson and many of his contemporaries believed Africans were inferior, they recognized them as creations of God. Banneker’s letter challenges Jefferson to justify the institution of slavery by simply asking this question:

       …which are that one universal Father hath given being to us all, and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also without partiality afforded us all the Same Sensations, and endued us all with the same faculties, and that however variable we may be in Society or religion, however, diversyfied in Situation or colour, we are all of the Same Family, and Stand in the Same relation to him.

(Banneker’s Letters of Jefferson, Africans in America, November 2016)

Banneker’s question is one we have yet to confront as a country or as a community of faith. We live in a paradox wrapped in an enigma. We say we don’t see race and color, yet divisions exist when it comes to race and color. If we are all divinely created by The One, should they separate us? They do, directly questioning Allah’s very creation. He created us male and female, dark and light- each a unique expression of His Mercy and Grace.

This is profoundly different in how geographic, cultural, and ethnic variations are expressed in American society. Race as a descriptive sociological construct in the history of America seeks to justify the superiority of those who describe themselves as White and the inferiority of Blacks. Adherence to this belief emboldened America’s continuation of slavery long after their European allies abandoned the practice.

The value of the lives of enslaved Africans, similar to property and monetary value based on skill, age, and skin complexion. There were no rules, ethics, or moral standards, those who enslaved Black persons, could do anything, at any time, and in any manner. It is here we find the pattern of abuse and mistreatment of Black people. Almost sixty years after Banneker’s letter to Jefferson, the Civil War, which resulted, brought the end of slavery, but not the end of the devaluation of Black lives.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 sought protections for men born in the United States, during what is known as the Reconstruction Period, immediately following the Civil War. During this period significant efforts for integration were made but were quickly met with a renewed Southern sentiment to reclaim what was lost during the war- property and economic standing.

America witnessed an escalation in the passing of laws of segregation and exclusion. America created two worlds, one for Whites, the other for Blacks; any violation or challenge to this distinctive line was met with violence and intimidation. To put it all into perspective, it took almost a hundred years from the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1886 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, we have witnessed the loss of life of Sandra Bland, Trevon Martin, Eric Gardner, and countless others.

America created two worlds, one for Whites, the other for Blacks; any violation or challenge to this distinctive line was met with violence and intimidation. To put it all into perspective, it took almost a hundred years from the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1886 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, we have witnessed the loss of life of Sandra Bland, Trevon Martin, Eric Garner, and countless others.Click To Tweet

The existence of laws in black and white does not negate what remains in the heart. While we believe this a post-Civil Rights America, recent events reveal a different story one Muslims cannot ignore. Currently, this country is led by an elected official, who panders to those in our midst who hold animosity and hatred in their hearts and minds. Each day race-baiting tactics and imagery are employed to fuel their actions and we can no longer sit by the wayside.

This is an issue of race, plain and simple and it speaks to the very fundamentals of our faith. If Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) hears our cries, when will those who stand with us at the masjid as well?

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