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Sex MashaAllah | Muslim Vignettes on Female Sexuality

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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

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.

 

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[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.

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        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!

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        alliyah

        July 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

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

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      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!

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        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.

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          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?

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            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.

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        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

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    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.

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        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.

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          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. Avatar

    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.

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      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

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        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

    • Avatar

      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 ?

    • Avatar

      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?

        • Avatar

          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 ?

          • Avatar

            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)!

    • Avatar

      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

Ya Qawmi: Strengthen Civic Roots In Society To Be A Force For Good

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari

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For believers the traditions and teachings of the Prophets (blessings on them), particularly Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), are paramount. Each Prophet of God belonged to a community which is termed as their Qawm in the Qur’an. Prophet Lut (Lot) was born in Iraq, but settled in Trans-Jordan and then became part of the people, Qawm of Lut, in his new-found home. All the Prophets addressed those around them as ‘Ya Qawmi’ (O, my people) while inviting them to the religion of submission, Islam. Those who accepted the Prophets’ message became part of their Ummah. So, individuals from any ethnicity or community could become part of the Ummah – such as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad.

Believers thus have dual obligations: a) towards their own Qawm (country), and b) towards their Ummah (religious companions). As God’s grateful servants, Muslims should strive to give their best to both their Qawm and Ummah with their ability, time and skillset. It is imperative for practising and active Muslims to carry out Islah (improvement of character, etc) of people in their Ummah and be a witness of Islam to non-Muslims in their Qawm and beyond. This in effect is their service to humanity and to please their Creator. With this basic understanding of the concept, every Muslim should prioritise his or her activities and try their utmost to serve human beings with honesty, integrity and competence. Finding excuses or adopting escapism can bring harm in this world and a penalty in the Hereafter.

Like many other parts of the world, Britain is going through a phase lacking in ethical and competent leadership. People are confused, frustrated and worried; some are angry. Nativist (White) nationalism in many western countries, with a dislike or even hatred of minority immigrant people (particularly Muslims and Jews), is on the rise. This is exacerbated through lowering religious literacy, widespread mistrust and an increase in hateful rhetoric being spread on social media. As people’s patience and tolerance levels continue to erode, this can bring unknown adverse consequences.

The positive side is that civil society groups with a sense of justice are still robust in most developed countries. While there seem to be many Muslims who love to remain in the comfort zone of their bubbles, a growing number of Muslims, particularly the youth, are also effectively contributing towards the common good of all.

As social divisions are widening, a battle for common sense and sanity continues. The choice of Muslims (particularly those that are socially active), as to whether they would proactively engage in grass-roots civic works or social justice issues along with others, has never been more acute. Genuine steps should be taken to understand the dynamics of mainstream society and improve their social engagement skills.

From history, we learn that during better times, Muslims proactively endeavoured to be a force for good wherever they went. Their urge for interaction with their neighbours and exemplary personal characters sowed the seeds of bridge building between people of all backgrounds. No material barrier could divert their urge for service to their Qawm and their Ummah. This must be replicated and amplified.

Although Muslims are some way away from these ideals, focusing on two key areas can and should strengthen their activities in the towns and cities they have chosen as their home. This is vital to promote a tolerant society and establish civic roots. Indifference and frustration are not a solution.

Muslim individuals and families

  1. Muslims must develop a reading and thinking habit in order to prioritise their tasks in life, including the focus of their activism. They should, according to their ability and available opportunities, endeavour to contribute to the Qawm and Ummah. This should start in their neighbourhoods and workplaces. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on one’s obligations to their neighbour; one that stands out – Gabriel kept advising me to be good to my neighbour so much that I thought he would ask that he (neighbour) should inherit me) – Sahih Al-Bukhari.
  2. They must invest in their new generation and build a future leadership based on ethics and professionalism to confidently interact and engage with the mainstream society, whilst holding firm to Islamic roots and core practices.
  3. Their Islah and dawah should be professionalised, effective and amplified; their outreach should be beyond their tribal/ethnic/sectarian boundaries.
  4. They should jettison any doubts, avoid escapism and focus where and how they can contribute. If they think they can best serve the Ummah’s cause abroad, they should do this by all means. But if they focus on contributing to Britain:
    • They must develop their mindset and learn how to work with the mainstream society to normalise the Muslim presence in an often hostile environment.
    • They should work with indigenous/European Muslims or those who have already gained valuable experience here.
    • They should be better equipped with knowledge and skills, especially in political and media literacy, to address the mainstream media where needed.

Muslim bodies and institutions

  • Muslim bodies and institutions such as mosques have unique responsibilities to bring communities together, provide a positive environment for young Muslims to flourish and help the community to link, liaise and interact with the wider society.
  • By trying to replicate the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah, they should try to make mosques real hubs of social and spiritual life and not just beautiful buildings. They should invest more in young people, particularly those with professional backgrounds. They should not forget what happened to many places where the Muslim presence was thought to be deep-rooted such as Spain.
  • It is appreciated that the first generation Muslims had to establish organisations with people of their own ethnic/geographical backgrounds. While there may still be a need for this for some sections of the community, in a post-7/7 Britain Muslim institutions must open up for others qualitatively and their workers should be able to work with all. History tells that living in your own comfort zone will lead to isolation.
  • Muslim bodies, in their current situation, must have a practical 5-10 year plan, This will bring new blood and change organisational dynamics. Younger, talented, dedicated and confident leadership with deep-rooted Islamic ideals is now desperately needed.
  • Muslim bodies must also have a 5-10 year plan to encourage young Muslims within their spheres to choose careers that can take the community to the next level. Our community needs nationally recognised leaders from practising Muslims in areas such as university academia, policy making, politics, print and electronic journalism, etc.

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#Islam

A Word On Muslim Attitudes Toward Abortion

Dr Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

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The Qur’an describes Muslims committed to its mores as “a moderate nation,” and that sense of balance qualifies them to stand as “witnesses over humanity” (Q 2:143). Contemporary Muslims revel in this assertion, especially when it seems that “Islam” proposes a via media solution to a highly polarizing subject as abortion. What currently constitutes “Islam” on a given topic, however, often reflects the personal prerogative apparently offered to the average Muslim by a list of diverse legal perspectives. In other words, the mere fact that multiple legal opinions exist on one or more topics is now taken as license to appropriate any one of them, without any deep ethical reflection on the implications of the opinion, however anomalous it may be.

“Islam is the golden mean between all ethical extremes” is what certain Muslims would assert. So if one extreme bars abortion under all circumstances and the other seeks to allow it throughout the duration of the pregnancy, one would assume that Islam must land somewhere in the middle, both forbidding and allowing abortion in certain circumstances. This moral assumption isn’t far from the truth. However, the mere existence of multiple opinions on a topic does not mean that each opinion has equal validity, nor does it mean that every opinion is valid for one to adopt. Similarly, “Islam” or “Islamic law” cannot be summed up into a simple formula like “majority rules” or “when in doubt about prohibition or allowance, the action is, therefore, merely disliked.”

Legal positivism plagues both religious and secular-minded people. Just as an act does not acquire its moral strength simply because it is legal, morally appropriate opinions are not always codified into law. If it is true that any unjust law is no law at all, where is the injustice and to whom is it being perpetrated against in the debate between pro-lifers and pro-choicers? Is it deemed unjust to prevent a pregnant woman from disposing of an “insignificant lifeless part of her body” that no one other than herself should be able to decide what to do with? Or is one “depriving a helpless growing person” of the opportunity and right to exist after its Creator initiated its journey into the world? Does a law that prevents a woman impregnated by a family member or rapist from an abortion oppress her? Or does such a law protect the life of a vulnerable fetus, who, like other weak members of society, is expected to be protected by the strong? Does it do both or neither? And if one is taking the “life” of this fetus, what proof is there that it is a living creature?

While these are all extremely important questions, this missive is neither intended necessarily to answer them nor to resolve today’s raging political debate. The main goal here is to offer ideas that should be on the minds of Muslims when deciding to join such debates or promoting the idea that their “religion” provides the best solution to social polarization, when by “religion” we mean the opinion of a small minority of scholars in some place and time in Muslim history.

Islamic law is very sophisticated; the legislative process is not facile, nor is it a place where any Muslim is entitled to pragmatically select the opinions that he/she finds attractive and accommodating. It demands knowledge of particular aims, the ability to properly realize those aims in the lives of people, and understanding the epistemic and metaphysical foundations that ensure that judgments conform to coherent rationale. In other words, the laws of Islam and the opinions of jurists cannot be divorced from their philosophical and evidentiary underpinnings. Otherwise, the thread holding the moral tapestry of Islam together falls apart completely at its seams.

Is Abortion Lawful in Islam?

Many past and present have written about the Islamic view of abortion. The ancient scholars prohibited it at all stages of the pregnancy and made practically no exception. Some would later allow for it only if the mother’s life was in danger. That notwithstanding, six popular legal opinions exist regarding abortion:

  • Unlawful (haram), in all stages of the pregnancy.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), during the first 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Disliked (makruh), before the passage of 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), if it is from illicit intercourse (zina).
  • Permitted (ja’iz) without conditions, before 120 days.
  • Permitted only for a legitimate excuse.

The late mufti of Fez, Morocco, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil (d. 2015) said,

The first opinion forbidding that during the [first] 40 [days] and beyond, regardless of whether or not it is due to an excuse, even if from illicit intercourse, is the view of the supermajority [of jurists].[1]

The Qur’an is a Book of Ethical Teaching

The reasons for the cavalier attitude among contemporary Muslims about abortion are multiple. The most significant reason may be that at times Islam is seen as a synonym for shariah. The truth, however, is that the shariah is only part of Islam. Islam covers law (fiqh), creed (aqidah), and ethics (akhlaq). Even though the Qur’an consists of laws, it is not a book of law. It is a book of ethical teachings. Merely 10%–12% of the Qur’an relates to legal injunctions. It is not characteristic of the Qur’an to enjoin upon Muslims to command what is “compulsory” or “recommended” and to forbid what is “unlawful” and “disliked.” What is common though is for it to command us to do what is “ma’ruf” and to avoid what is “munkar.”

“Ma’ruf” and “munkar” can be translated respectively as “what is socially commendable” and “what is socially condemnatory.” This is in spite of the fact that social acceptability and unacceptability are often subjective. This does not mean that the Qur’an is morally relativistic. It is quite the contrary. What this means, however, is that the Qur’an’s aim is not merely to teach Muslims what one can and cannot do. It means, rather, that the Qur’an has a greater concern with what Muslims “should” and “should not” do. For this very reason, the companions of the Prophet seldom differentiated between his encouragement and discouragement of acts by the juristic values of disliked, unlawful, recommended, and compulsory. Rather, if the Prophet encouraged something beneficial, they complied. And, if he discouraged from something potentially harmful, they refrained.

The Qur’an permits many actions. However, to permit an act is not equivalent to encouraging it. It permits polygyny (Q 4:3), the enslavement of non-Muslim war captives (Q 8:70), and marrying the sister of one’s ex-wife (Q 4:23). Similarly, some Muslim jurists validate marriage agreements wherein the man secretly intends to divorce the woman after a certain period of time known only to him.[2] This is the case, even though the average Muslim man is monogamous; practically no Muslim today believes it is moral to enslave a person; the vast majority of Muslims find the marriage of one’s sister-in-law upon the death of one’s wife to be taboo; and they chide men who marry with a temporary intention of marriage. If the mere existence of permission or legal opinion permitting a socially condemnable act is a legitimate reason to adopt it, why would Muslims be uneasy about these cases but inclined to take a different stance when it comes to abortion?

The proper Islamic position on any given issue of public or private concern should not only consider what the law or jurists have to say about the topic. Rather, one should also consider how theology and ethics connect with those laws or opinions. That is to say, one should ask, “What wisdom does God seek to realize from this injunction or opinion?” assuming that such a wisdom can be identified. Secondly, one need ask,

“Who and how many will be helped or harmed if this action is undertaken?”

The Qur’an is the primary source of Islam’s ethics. And, one often observes a major difference between its morality and the morality validated by certain jurists, often lacking a clear connection to Qur’anic and prophetic precepts. That notwithstanding, a juristic opinion can sometimes masquerade as one that is authentically Islamic, especially when it aims to appease or assuage a social or political concern. Consequently, one finds some contemporary scholars championing opinions simply­ because they exist, like that of mainstream Shafi’is who traditionally argued that the reason for jihad was to rid the world of unIslamic doctrines (kufr); or certain contemporaries who validated taking of the lives of innocent women, children, and other non-combatants in suicide bombings; those who endorsed the execution of Jews for converting to Christianity and vice versa;[3] or others who classified slaves as animals rather than human beings?[4] For, surely, there are Muslim jurists who validate each one of these opinions, despite their evidentiary weakness. Hence, simply because there is an opinion allowing for abortions does not necessarily mean that it is something Islam allows, even in cases of rape and incest.

When Does Life Begin?

Medieval Muslim scholars, naturally, lacked the scientific tools that we have today to determine whether or not the fetus growing in its mother’s womb was actually a viable creation and a living creature from conception. Other than when the fetus first showed signs of movement in its mother’s belly, scholars took their cues from the Qur’an and prophetic tradition on when the fetus possessed a soul or if it did so at all. For this reason, very few scholars have offered clear answers to the question of when human life begins, while they agreed that upon 120 days, the child is definitely a living person.

According to the Andalusian scholar of Seville, Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1148),

The child has three states: 1) one state prior to coming into [material] existence …, 2) a state after the womb takes hold of the sperm …, and 3) a state after its formation and before the soul is breathed into it …, and when the soul is breathed into it, it is the taking of a life. [5]

Al-Ghazzali (d. 1111) said,

Coitus interruptus (‘azl) is not like abortion and infanticide (wa’d) because it [abortion] is a crime against an actualized existence (mawjud hasil). And, it has stages, the first being the stage of the sperm entering into the womb, then mixing with the woman’s fluid, and then preparing for the acceptance of life. To disturb that is a crime. Then, if it becomes a clot (‘alaqah) or a lump (mudghah), the crime is more severe. Then, if the soul is breathed into it and the physical form is established, the crime increases in gravity. [6]

These are some of the most explicit statements from Medieval Muslim scholars; they deemed that life begins at inception. The Qur’an states, “Does man think that he will be left for naught (sudan)? Was he not a sperm-drop ejected from sexual fluid?” (75:36-37). In other words, the “sperm-drop” phase is the start of human existence, and existence is the basis for human dignity, as with other living creatures. The human being was a “sperm-drop.” If that is so, this strongly suggests that meddling with this fluid, even before the fetus begins to grow and develop limbs and organs, would be to violate the sanctity of a protected creature. The Qur’an further says, “Did We not create you from a despicable fluid? And then, We placed you in a firm resting place, until a defined scope” (Q 77:20-22). The use of the second person plural pronoun (you) in these verses strongly suggests that the start of human life begins at inception. This is not to mention the multiple verses forbidding one from killing one’s children due to poverty, fear of poverty, or out of shame or folly.

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) similarly offers sufficient indication that even though the fetus is not fully formed, it is still an actualized existence and living creature. The Prophet reportedly said, “The miscarried fetus will remain humbly lying with its face down at the gates of heaven saying, ‘I will only enter when my parents do.’”[7] Similarly, it is reported that when the second caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khattab ordered that an adulteress discovered to be pregnant be stoned to death, the companion, Mu’adh b. Jabal, said to him, “Even if you have a right to punish her, you do not have a right to punish what is in her belly.”[8] The Prophet and his followers after him never executed a pregnant woman guilty of a capital crime until she gave birth and someone had taken on the care of the child. In addition, they imposed a hefty fine on those who were directly responsible for a woman’s miscarriage.[9] All of this indicates that the fetus is to be respected from the time the male’s sperm reaches the ovum of the woman.

Imam Al-Razi’s Ethical Reflection on the Qur’anic Verse, 6:140

God says in the Qur’an, “Ruined are those who murder their children foolishly without knowledge and forbid what God has provided them with while inventing falsehoods against God. They have strayed and are not guided aright” (6:140).

About this verse, Imam Fakr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1210) comments,

Many issues relate to the verse: the first issue is that God mentioned, in the preceding verse, their murder of their children while depriving themselves of the sustenance that God provided them with. Then, God brings these two matters together in this verse while clarifying to them all that is a logical consequence of this judgment, such as ruin, folly, lack of knowledge, the deprivation of what God has provided them, false statements against God, straying, and the privation of guidance. So these are seven characteristics, each of which is an independent cause for censure. The first is ruin (khusran), and that is because a child is an immense blessing from God upon a person, so when one strives to terminate its existence, he/she suffers great ruin and especially deserves great censure in life and a severe punishment in the hereafter due to terminating its existence. Censure in life is warranted because people say one has murdered one’s child out of fear of it eating one’s food. And there is no censure in life greater than such. Punishment in the hereafter is warranted because the closeness resulting from childbirth is one of the greatest sources of love. Then, upon achieving it, one sets out to deliver the greatest of harms to it [the child], thereby committing one of the gravest sins. As a consequence, one of the greatest punishments is warranted. The second is folly (safahah), which is an expression of condemnable frivolousness. That is because the murder of the child is only committed in light of the fear of poverty. And, even though poverty is itself a harm, murder is a much graver harm. Additionally, this murder is actualized, while the poverty [feared] is merely potential (mawhum). So enforcing the maximum harm in anticipation of a potential minimal harm is, without doubt, folly. The third regards God’s saying, “without knowledge.” The intent is that this folly was only born of the absence of knowledge. And there is no doubt that ignorance is one of the most objectionable and despicable of things. The fourth regards depriving one’s self of what God has made lawful. It is also one of the worst kinds of stupidity, because one denies one’s self those benefits and good things, becoming entitled by reason of that deprivation of the severest torment and chastisement. The fifth is blaspheming God. And it is known that boldness against God and blaspheming Him is one of the cardinal sins. The sixth is straying from prudence (rushd) with relation to the interests of the faith (din) and the benefits found in the world. The seventh is that they are not guided aright. The benefit of it is that a person might stray from the truth but may return to proper guidance. So God clarifies that they have strayed without ever obtaining proper direction. So it is established that God has censured those described as having murdered children and denied what God has made lawful for them, with these seven characteristics necessitating the worse types of censure. And that is the ultimate hyperbole.[10]

The Ethical Contentions of a Moroccan Mufti

We have already quoted Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil of Morocco. Like the medieval scholars, he maintained a very conservative opinion on abortion, allowing it only if the mother’s life was at risk. The following is a list of his nine ethical contentions against abortion and those scholarly opinions allowing it. The bulk of what follows is a literal translation of his views. Regarding why abortion is immoral, he says:

  • Firstly, it is a transgression against a vulnerable creature who has committed neither sin nor crime, a denial of it from its right to existence and life that God has given it and Islam has guaranteed as well as the taking of a life in some situations.
  • Secondly, it is a clear challenge to God’s will and a demonstratively defiant act meant to stubbornly contend with God’s action, creative will, and judgment. And that manifests itself in the murder of what God has created, the voiding of its existence, and a commission of what He deems unlawful.
  • Thirdly, it a decisively demonstrative proof of hard-heartedness, the absence of mercy, and the loss of motherly and fatherly affection or rather the loss of humanity from the hearts of those who daringly undertake the act of abortion with dead hearts and wicked dark souls.
  • Fourthly, it is the epitome of self-centeredness, selfishness, narcissism, and sacrifice of what is most precious¾one’s own flesh and blood, sons and daughters¾to gratify the self and enjoy life and its attractions far away from the screams of infants, the troubles of children, and the fatigue resulting from them.
  • Fifthly, it is a practical expression of one’s bad opinion of God, the lack of trust in His promise to which He decisively bounded Himself to guarantee the sustenance of His creation and servants. It also shows ignorance of His saying, “And, there is not a single creature on earth except that God is responsible for its sustenance, just as He knows its resting place and place from which it departs. Every thing is in a manifest record (Q 11:6); as well as His saying, “And do not kill your children due to poverty. We will provide for you as well as for them” (Q 6:151); in addition to His saying, “And, do not kill your children out of fear of poverty. We will provide for them and for you” (Q 17:31). This is in addition to other verses and prophetic traditions that indicate that all provisions are in God’s control and that no soul will die until it exacts its sustenance in full as the Prophet said.
  • Sixthly, it is a bloody war against the Islamic goal, introduced by the Prophet and to which he called and strongly encouraged, of population growth and increase in posterity.
  • Seventhly, it undermines the aims of the Islamic moral code that considers the preservation of offspring to be one of the five essentials upon which the sanctified revealed moral code is built.
  • Eighthly, it goes against the nature to which God has disposed both animals and human beings to of love of children, childbearing, and the survival of progeny….
  • Ninthly, it is the grossest display of bad manners towards God and the epitome of ingratitude towards a blessing and the rejection of it. And that is because both pregnancy and children are among God’s favors upon His servants and among His gifts to the expectant mother and her husband.

These are some important matters of consideration. Every Muslim, woman, and man, will ultimately need to decide what burdens he/she is prepared to meet God with. While abortion is an emotionally charged matter, especially in Western politics, emotions play no role in the right or wrong of legislation. Although our laws currently may not consider a fetus aborted before its survival outside of the womb to be viable, the Muslim who understands that legal positivism does not trump objective or moral truths should be more conscientious and less cavalier in his/her attitude about the taking of life and removing the viability of life.


[1] Al-Ta’wil, Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Qasim. Shadharat al-Dhahab fi ma jadda fi Qadaya al-Nikah wa al-Talaq wa al-Nasab. Hollad: Sunni Pubs, 2010, p. 148.

[2] Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi Al-Zurqani quotes Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr as saying,

They unanimously agreed that anyone who marries without mention of a particular condition while having the intention to remain with her for a period that he has in mind is permitted (ja’iz), and it is not a temporary marriage. However, Malik said this is not an attractive thing to do (laysi hadha min al-jamil). Nor is it part the conduct of moral people (la min akhlaq al-nas). Al-‘Awza’i took a solitary view saying that it is a temporary marriage. And, there is no good in it (la khayra fihi). ‘Ayyad stated it.

Al-Zurqani, Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi b. Yusuf. Sharh al-Zurqani ‘ala Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, (no date), 3/201.

[3] Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said about the prophetic tradition, “Kill whoever changes his lifepath”, “Some Shafi’i jurists clung to it concerning the killing of anyone who changes from one non-Islamic faith to another non-Islamic faith (din kufr)…”

Al-‘Asqalani, Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar. Fath Al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari. Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd Al-Baqi Edition. Riyadh: Al-Maktabah Al-Salafiyyah, (no date), 12/272.

[4] Al-Ra’ini, Muhammad al-Hattab. Qurrah al-‘Ayn bi Sharh Waraqat al-Imam al-Haramayn. Beirut: Mu’assassah al-Kutub al-Thaqafiyyah, 2013, p. 78.

[5] Al-Wazzani, Abu ‘Isa Sidi al-Mahdi. Al-Nawazil Al-Jadidah Al-Kubra fi ma li Ahl Fas wa ghayrihim min al-Badw wa al-Qura al-Musammah bi Al-Mi’yar Al-Jadid Al-Jami’ Al-Mu’rib ‘an Fatawa al-Muta’akhkhirin min ‘Ulama al-Maghrib. Rabat: Wizarah al-Awqaf wa al-Shu’un al-Islamiyyah, 1997, 3/376.

[6] Al-Ghazali, Muhammad Abu Hamid. Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din. Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, p. 491.

[7] This is how Qadi Abu Bakr b. al-‘Arabi relates the report as related by Al-Wazzani in his Nawazil 3/376. In the Musnad of Abu Hanifah, however, the Prophet reportedly said, “You will see the miscarried fetus filled with rage.” When it is asked, “Enter Paradise”, it will respond, “Not until my parents come in [too].” Al-Hanafi, Mulla ‘Ali Al-Qari. Sharh Musnad Abi Hanifah. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1985, p. 252.

[8] Ibn ‘Asakir, Abu al-Qasim ‘Ali b. al-Hasan. Tarikh Madinah Dimashq wa Dhikr Fadliha wa Tasmiyah man hallaha min al-Amathil aw ijtaza bi Nawahiha min Waridiha wa Ahliha. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1997, p. 342.

[9] Among the fines due for causing the miscarriage of a fetus are: 1) prison or flogging; 2) the penance for murder (kaffarah), which is the freeing of a slave, fasting two consecutive months which is compulsory for Shafi’is and recommended for Malikis; and 3) the gifting of a slave to the woman who lost her child.

[10] Al-Razi, Fakr al-Dina. Tafsir al-Fakr al-Razi al-Mushtahir bi Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir wa Mafatih al-Ghayb. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1981, pp. 220-221

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Blessed Are The Volunteers | Imam Omar Suleiman

Our communities would not be able to survive Ramadan without these precious souls

Imam Omar Suleiman

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As the rows line up for prayer and the mosques are bursting at the seams, there is a small group of people that watch our backs, arrange our possessions, and prepare to nourish us after our prayers. They’re none other than the volunteers.

It’s not easy being one of them.

You hear the soothing recitation of the Quran in a prayer you’re not able to join because you’re on volunteer duty. And you also hear the painful nonstop complaints about how you’re not doing a good enough job. In those moments it’s easy to throw your arms up and say, “I’m not getting paid for this!” But there are so many better ways to be paid than money.

Allah’s rate is higher and more everlasting.

That doesn’t excuse the people from paying you basic necessary courtesy. Nor does it give you license to be unnecessarily harsh with those you’ve been blessed to serve. Know dear brother and sister that the reward of every prayer performed, every good word spoken, every stomach fed, every tear shed in humility, and every interaction held in tranquility is potentially on your scale of good deeds when you serve Allah through serving His people.

We may not always appreciate you, but Allah never loses sight of you.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the reward of the one who serves the fasting person is the reward of that persons fast without decreasing from the reward of the doer in any way. What then of the prayer you facilitate that nourishes the soul? Charity is vast, and the heart of a charitable spirit must be vaster.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم “كُلُّ سُلَامَى مِنْ النَّاسِ عَلَيْهِ صَدَقَةٌ، كُلَّ يَوْمٍ تَطْلُعُ فِيهِ الشَّمْسُ تَعْدِلُ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَتُعِينُ الرَّجُلَ فِي دَابَّتِهِ فَتَحْمِلُهُ عَلَيْهَا أَوْ تَرْفَعُ لَهُ عَلَيْهَا مَتَاعَهُ صَدَقَةٌ، وَالْكَلِمَةُ الطَّيِّبَةُ صَدَقَةٌ، وَبِكُلِّ خُطْوَةٍ تَمْشِيهَا إلَى الصَّلَاةِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَتُمِيطُ الْأَذَى عَنْ الطَّرِيقِ صَدَقَةٌ”.
[رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ]
، [وَمُسْلِمٌ].

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises: to judge justly between two people is a charity. To help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity. And the good word is a charity. And every step that you take towards the prayer is a charity, and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity.” (Bukhari) (Muslim)

All of this is at your disposal as you welcome people into the houses of Allah with a smile, which is also a charity, seeking no smile but the smile of the Divine on the day of judgment. You may be exhausted in these days of service, but you also are running away with the rewards of everyone’s worship. When someone fails to appreciate you, look forward to the appreciation of Allah as compensation. When someone advises you, smile at them again and consider their counsel.

Blessed is your station, and blessed is your service.

May we not abuse you or fail to appreciate you. May we be patient with you, and you with us. May the prayers we perform elevate us, and you. May our hearts be purified and brought together. May we all make the sacrifices needed to gain Allah’s pleasure, and relieve each other’s pressure. May we all be volunteers freed from our egos, and freely smiling at all in our paths.

May Allah accept you and us on that blessed night of Laylatul Qadr, and allow us to observe with worship, service, and sincerity. Ameen

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