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Questions On Sexuality

By Sh Gibril F Haddad

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Contraception and Islam

What is the view of Islam on contraception?

It is allowed in certain conditions.

When a married couple had 2 or 3 kids and do not want anymore for the following reasons:

1. Economic
2. Health (Not necessarily life and death)

If there is no threat to life or health then it is not allowed except for certain natural methods such a coitus interruptus.

can the mother or father choose to undergo an operation not to get pregnant again?? (It is permanent )

This is equivalent to castration, which is categorically forbidden in Islam.

What does Quran and Hadith says on this? any quotes will be welcomed.

The Quran does not mention contraception explicitly but states:
{ O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, and transgress not. Lo! Allah loveth not transgressors.} (5:87).
Al-Baghawi in Maʿalim al-Sunan, his Tafsir, for this Aya adduced the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ : "He is not of us who gelds, or castrates himself (laysa minnā man khasā aw ikhtasā)." Narrated also in Ibn Saʿd, al-Tabarani in al-Kabir, al-Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunan, Ibn al-Mubarak in al-Zuhd. Al-Suyuti declared it "fair" (hasan) in al-Jamiʿ al-Saghir and Ibn Hajar cited it in Fath al-Bari. See also al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, al-Ghumari, al-Mudawi ʿala al-Munawi, and Kanz al-ʿUmmal.

Furthermore the Qur'an emphasizes the high number of children as a worldly blessing while sustaining them is a Divine responsibility before being a human responsibility. Numerous hadiths also stress the desirability and benefits of having many children. In a word, procreation is a priority in Islam and limiting offspring for material reasons is unIslamic although it is not far-fetched to say that it falls in line with Western population policy - especially with regard to Muslims - as revealed by the objectives of the infamous Cairo Population Conference a few years ago.

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©


Oral sex

As-Salamu ʿalaykum:

It is unanimous that anal intercourse is haram. But the question is does this refer only to male genital parts.

The words used in fiqh books in the context of coitus or its prohibition such as ityaan ("copulation") and eelaaj ("penetration") generally denote penetration of the penis. However, the question may be answered by replacing the words "anal intercourse" with "normal intercourse at the time of menses." If the analogy is correct then the answer is: this prohibition does not only refer to male genital parts but is absolute. Yet "enjoyment of the rear (dubur) without penetration (eelaaj) is licit" [see further down], and Allah knows best.

The 2nd question refers to oral sex(cunnilingus/felatio). In a book written by Hedaya Hartford, (May Allah reward her), it says that oral sex(cunnilingus/felatio) has been declared haram by the ulama, because it does not agree with human nature.

This is one paragraph of her book _Initiating and Upholding an Islamic Marriage_ (Dar al-Fikr 2000, available at www.furat.com) - Allah reward her - which I found needed revising. She writes (p. 156):

"In response to numerous inquiries on the topic of oral sex as it is practiced and understood in the West, the consensus among the sheikhs and traditional scholars is that it contravenes the adab (proper Islamic behavior) of an Islamic marriage, and is revolting to a sound human nature (fitra). When the actual details of oral sex have been described to them, they plainly say it is haram (unlawful)."

There is no such consensus at all. The licitness of oral sex seems frank and explicit in the School of Imam Malik radyAllahu ʿanhu as you will see further down. In our own time, Qadi Muhammad Ahmad Kanʿan of Beirut in his book on marital etiquette _Usul al-Muʿashara al-Zawjiyya_ ("Principles of Marital Cohabitation" Dar al-Basha'ir al-Islamiyya, 8th ed. p. 99-100) gives the fatwa that oral sex between spouses is licit. As for the implicit fatwas to that effect they are countless. The basic ruling is licitness from head to toe except for anal intercourse, and also except genital intercourse at the time of menses, all provided harm is avoided, as spelled out in the Reliance of the Traveller m5.4.

Following are several examples.

Imam al-Shafiʿi radyAllahu ʿanhu said in al-Umm, book of Nikah, chapter on (the prohibition of) anal sex, that apart from the prohibition of anal sex, "enjoyment of the whole body regardless of vaginal penetration (iblaagh al-faraj) is permissible."

Imam al-Nawawi rahimahullah said in the Rawda, book of Nikah, chapter on the rights of the husband in sexual enjoyment (istimtaʿ): "He has the rights to all kinds of sexual enjoyment except to look at her pudendum because there is a difference of opinion concerning this [being haram, the sounder ruling being that it is makruh] and except for anal intercourse, which is strictly prohibited." Further down, discussing the absolute prohibition of masturbation, he says: "But it is permissible that he masturbate with the hand of his wife... just as he may enjoy her entire body."

(In the Minhaj, al-Nawawi states: "The husband may look at her entire body" without reservation. Al-Shirbini comments: and vice-versa including the genitals but it is makruh unless there is need. Iqnaʿ and Mughni. He also says: "The saying of the Imam that enjoyment of the rear (dubur) without penetration (eelaaj) is licit, is explicit in that [looking is permissible]." Iqnaʿ, Mughni.)

Hujjat al-Islam Imam al-Ghazzali himself rahimahullah said in the Ihya - on which Hartford sometimes relies at the exclusion of standard fiqh or hadith sources: "The husband should not penetrate his wife during menstruation... [but he] may enjoy the whole body of the menstruating wife, except that he may not penetrate her in other than the place of usual penetration (wala ya'tiha fi ghayr al-ma'ta), because the reason for prohibiting copulation with the women in menses is noxiousness, but noxiousness is always present in other than the place of usual penetration [=the anus]; so its prohibition is even stricter than that of the menstruating woman."

Shaykh Muhammad Saʿid al-Buti hafizahullah in his Fatawa titled Maʿ al-Nas (p. 84): "Q. What is the status of coitus between the buttocks? A. The prohibited in sexual intercourse between spouses is the penetration of the penis into the anal opening. As for enjoying what is short of this such as the buttocks, it is not prohibited, in fact, all other than that is allowed."

According to Imam al-Suyuti rahimahullah in al-Wishaah min Fawaa'id al-Nikaah, the best work of Arabic coitology (ʿilm al-baah) is Tuhfat al-ʿArus wa-Nuzhat al-Nufus, by the eighth-century (Maliki?) litterateur (adib) Abu ʿAbd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Bija'i. It was published in Cairo at the Sharafiyya press (ed. Muhammad Yusuf al-Baruni and Hammad al-Fayyumi al-ʿAjmawi) in 1301/1883 and I have this edition, about 200 pages in 25 chapters. On p. 160 he lists some of the literal and figurative names used by the Arabs for copulation, among them: al-tadlis. with a Sad, which means: non-vaginal coitus. However, readers of chapter 23 titled "Concerning the man's coitus in other than the vagina" will not find any mention of oral sex other than the vague general statement in its first sentence: "There is no disagreement that coitus between a man and a woman is permissible - except for anal sex - in all her folds and her entire body."

On p. 142 al-Bija'i mentions more explicit fatwas in the context of the discussion on looking:

We now turn to the permissibility of looking at the [wife's] pudendum (faraj)... from the words of Imam Abu al-Hasan [ʿAli ibn Muhammad] Ibn al-Qattan [al- Fasi the Maliki hadith Master (d. 628)] in his book al-Nazar fi Ahkam al-Nazar ("Investigating the Rulings Pertaining to Looking"). He said: "As for [the licitness of] looking at the [wife's] pudendum there is disagreement, but the Malikis allow it. Asbagh [ibn al-Faraj ibn Saʿid al-Misri (d. 225) the Maliki Faqih and foremost student of Ibn Wahb the student of Malik radyAllahu ʿanh] was asked about those who said it is makruh and he replied: 'They only deemed it makruh from the medical perspective (innama karihahu bil-tibb) [i.e. lest revulsion ensue or it affect the light of the face, eyes, or heart], not from that of knowledge [i.e. not as a fiqh ruling], in which case there is no harm in it and it is not makruh.' Then he narrated from Malik that he said: 'There is no harm in looking at the [wife's] pudendum during intercourse.' He added in his narration: 'And there is no harm in licking it with his tongue!' This is a hyperbole in permissiveness and is not meant literally (wa-hadhihi mubaalaghatun fil- ibaahati wa-laysa ʿala zaahirihi)"! Ibn al-Qattan continued: "The Madhhab of the Hanafis also allow looking. The Shafiʿis have two positions [cf. supra, Rawda]..."

Then he discusses the hadith: "During intercourse let none of you look at the pudendum of his wife or jaariya for it leads to blindness." Narrated from Ibn ʿAbbas by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan with two chains and from Abu Hurayra. This is a forgery according to Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Hibban, Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Dhahabi, al-Munawi, Ibn Hajar, al-Shawkani, al-Fattani, and others. Because one of its chains in the Sunan looks good - as stated by Ibn al-Salah - al-Suyuti hesitated to rule it a forgery in al-La'ali'.

The Maliki fatwa on the licitness of oral stimulation is confirmed by Imam al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir for Surat al-Nur (24), verse 31: { And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent...} . Al-Qurtubi, unlike Ibn al-Qattan, does not consider it a hyperbole. He said:

The Scholars (al-nas) have two positions concerning the licitness of the man looking at the woman's pudendum. One is that it is licit, because if it is licit for him to enjoy it then a fortiori to look at it. It was also said that it is impermissible because of the hadith of [our Mother] ʿA'isha (radyAllahu ʿanha) when she mentioned her state with the Messenger of Allah - salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa Alihi wa Sallam: "Neither did I see that part of him nor he of me." The more correct position is the first one while the latter is understood as good manners (adab). Ibn al-ʿArabi [al-Maliki] cited Asbagh - one of our Ulema - as saying: It is permissible for him to lick it with his tongue. Ibn Khuwayz Mindad said: The husband may look, etc.

To conclude, some comments about certain statements heard in the current discussion:

The consensus was that in terms of muamalat (social transactions) everything is deemed halal unless it has been explicitly forbidden. Many scholars agree that oral sex fills under this category and it is not forbidden.

What many scholars? First, this reasoning is imprecise because in the matter of sex everything is haram and becomes halal only through the contract of nikah [and, formerly, "possessions of the right hand"], together with the known conditions of exclusion already mentioned. It is true that it is not forbidden according to the apparent majority but the claim of "many scholars agreeing" is unsubstantiated as was the claim of consensus to the contrary. Name names and give references or hold your horses.

As for the SPERM of the male, the Shafie madhabs says it is PURE, but the liquid before that which is called the MAZI LIQUID is NAJASA. Now before ejaculation is completed, surely the MAZI LIQUID is there, so the partners may infact might be licking the MAZI liquid which is NAJASA...hence it could be understood if this is the case then O.S. is MAKRUH!....but certainly NOT HARAM because there is no evidence to say so.

This sounds correct, while the Hanafi Madhhab considers both mani and madhi najasa, hence their ruling is makruh tahrimi, which in application means haram trespassing which constitutes a sin. But Mufti Desai said Radd al-Muhtar (1:292) states: 'It is permissible for the husband to caress the entire body of his wife with any portion of his body including his private part; likewise, it is permissible for the wife to caress the entire body of the husband including his private part, with any portion of her body.' So, apparently, Hanafis exclude the head from the sense of the phrase "with any portion of his/her body" in the above stipulation and they differentiate in fiqh terms between the soiling of, e.g. the hand with such najasa and that of the tongue, the latter being a sin but not the former, the full contact of the hand and all the body with madhi and mani being permissible in the matter, but not that of the mouth. And Allah knows best.

Any type of vaginal sex, which takes place in societies in which sex is considered to be a game and entertainment, is not allowed. Islam only allows that type of vaginal sex that is necessary for human reproduction.... By cohabitation with women intend and aim to produce offspring and not to fulfill your desire.

It is praiseworthy to intend and aim only for procreation, but it is wrong that "Islam only allows that type of vaginal sex that is necessary for human reproduction"! The Law condones marital sexual intercourse for (mutual) pleasure, and contraception is licit. And higher and better yet than procreation, the aim of pleasing Allah and quieting human lusts in order to fully turn to Him was the intention of many of the Salaf behind intercourse.

With all due respect to the Ulama... No disrespect meant to our Ulama...

Methinks she doth protest too much. To disagree with adab shows awareness of one's limits to begin. Even better is to keep disagreement to oneself until one gathers more knowledge and experience. Since seeking knowledge is preferable to nafl Salat, our language should reflect that we are in the midst of worship and our focus should be thawab not judgment.

Recommended books in English on marital subjects: Woman in Shari-a by Abd al-Rahman Doi; Marriage in Islam by Muhammad Abd al-Rauf (former rector of Islam University of Malaysia); The Islamic View of Women and the Family by M. Abd al-Rauf (New York: Robert Speller and Sons, 1977. ISBN 0-8315-0156-1); Marriage and Sexuality in Islam and The Proper Conduct of Marriage in Islam, respectively Madelyn Farah's and Muhtar Holland's translations of al-Ghazzali's book of Nikah from his Ihya' -Ulum al-Din. I did not see "The Muslim Marriage Guide" by Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood nor "Closer than a Garment" by ??

See also: themodernreligion.com: Oral Sex - Is oral sex permitted?

The issue of oral sex is governed by two conditions:

(1) It should not cause any harm,
(2) It should not lead to any najis (impure) substance being swallowed.

Allah knows best. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

From Sheikh Yusuf Abdullah Al-Qaradāwi (from IslamOnline):

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. I was asked about oral sex in America and Europe when I began to travel to these countries in the early 70s. We are not used to be asked these questions in our Muslim countries. Those Western people are accustomed to stripping naked during sexual intercourse. These are communities of nakedness, and from the licentiousness of the woman that she wears nothing to screen her body in her daily life. So they are in need of more excitements during copulation. However, men in our Muslim societies see nothing in the Muslim woman that can excite them on the basis of her wearing either Hijab (veil) or Niqab (face cover). But concerning whether being in complete nakedness during practicing copulation is lawful or not, the Prophet of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said, "Guard your private parts except from your wife or your slaves." Muslim jurists are of the opinion that it is lawful for the husband to perform cunnilingus on his wife, or a wife to suck her husband's penis (fellatio) and there is no wrong in doing so. But if sucking leads to releasing semen, then it is Makrooh (blameworthy), but there is no decisive evidence (to forbid it). These parts are not dirty like anus, but it is normally disgusting to man. But there is no decisive evidence to make it unlawful, especially if the wife agrees with it or gets her ecstasy by practicing it. Allah, Exalted and Glorified be He, says:
"And who guard their modesty, save from their wives or the slaves, that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy, but Who so craveth beyond that, such are transgressors." (Al-Mu'minoon: 5-7)
Allah Almighty knows best.

The site www.understanding-islam.com has many answers on oral sex but I found it is mostly unreliable - to be kind - in its reading of the Qur'an and Sunna.

The marital site http://www.zawaj.com/articles.html is full of useful articles but none on this issue.

[including their section: Sex in Islam zawaj.com/straight_talk]

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©


Hadith about STDs

[STDs = Sexually Transmitted Diseases]

Is there a source for the following hadith (I'm not sure how adequate the translation is):

"If lewdness exists among people and then appears as a common and open practice, plagues and new diseases which did not exist before will spread among them." ?

Wa ʿalaykum as-Salam:

In his 1999 essay entitled "ʿWhen the Generous appears with the name Avenger ' (Reflections on the Turkish earthquake)" Abdal-Hakim Murad mentions the hadith,

'Never does sexual immorality appear among a people, to the extent that they make it public, without there appearing amongst them plagues and agonies unknown to their forefathers.'

He attributes it to Malik but the wording in the Muwatta' (from Ibn ʿAbbas with a munqati' chain) only states: "Sexual immorality never spreads among a people except death becomes widespread among them."

The longer wording is partly or wholly confirmed in the following narrations:

- from Ibn ʿUmar by Ibn Majah and al-Bayhaqi in Shuʿab al-Iman (cf. Kanz al-ʿUmmal #44014) as part of a longer hadith with a slightly weak chain (this and other gradings below as per Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari, book of Tibb, chapter of the reward of endurance in times of plague) - from Ibn ʿAbbas by al-Hakim in the Mustadrak andal-Tabarani with a slightly weak chain - from ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs by al-Tabarani with a weak chain - from Burayda by al-Hakim with a good chain - from ʿA'isha by Ahmad with a fair chain - [from Maymuna by Ahmad with a weak chain]

A good list of these and related narrations can be found in al-Shaʿrani's al-ʿUhud al-Muhammadiyya (qism al-manhiyyaat), and he relates them to the narrations on the prohibition of sodomy.

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad ©



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