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Let’s Break the Silence and Talk About Sex in Islam

This is not a topic to shrug off because, as Islam says, it is part of our lives. But people have taken it otherwise given that many scholars label sex discussion disgusting and inappropriate. If we think about it, it makes no sense because Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has discussed concerns related to sex openly. Discussing sex openly was very much needed at that time, and it is needed now more than ever. Especially, women shy away from these topics result in many problems, including divorces. However, it is our duty to learn.

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (96:1-5)

Thus, you must understand that Islam promotes learning. You have the liberty and the right to learn the things that you are not aware of. Especially, the topic I’m discussing today needs to be spoken out, loudly, and clearly.

It’s Forbidden in Asian Muslim Communities

Procreation is lovely but not sex. We all must be proud of procreation but shouldn’t utter a word about sexual intimacy as it is forbidden in Asian Muslim communities. This is as mad as March hare.

It has become impossible to secure sex education in Asian countries as it is considered impure and something that we’ve to keep as a secret. However, most of us assume that it’s we, women who are trapped between marriage and sex, but it’s everyone. It’s everyone who doesn’t know to keep sexual intimacy as it has to be.

Sex shouldn’t be discussed between anyone but husband/wife; having sexual intercourse after marriage sounds Islamic but not the previous. Islam allows you to learn about sex and everything that deals with it before getting married. It is essential to know those details because you shouldn’t regret after getting married.

Most women assume that sexual intercourse with their husbands is all about procreation. I’m sorry to say that it is just another digestible version of details that some scholars have fed you with. You need to continue your legacy, but sex has more than that to the concept. Islam treats sex as something soulful, so both husband and wife must enjoy it rather than considering it a duty to get pregnant.

In Asian Muslim communities, kids grow up knowing nothing about sex or even worse, they don’t have an understanding of adolescence. I encountered that my brother’s teacher has skipped teaching the reproductive system because she is “shy” to do so. Well, I don’t understand the reason behind shyness, and this is where we stand. We shy away from the essentials, and it’s pathetic.

“Praise be given to God, who has placed man’s greatest pleasure in the natural parts of woman, and has destined the natural parts of man to afford the greatest enjoyment to woman.”— The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight, Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Nafzawi

Islamic Sex-Ed and Everything That You Need to Know

If you are assuming that Islam wasn’t open about sex-ed, it’s time to revisit the things you learned. Or it is even better to find the right sources to educate you about what Islam is. Islam has dealt with sex-ed at the earliest stage. Quran and hadiths are more than enough to find about Islamic sex-ed.

Though sex outside marriage was condemned in Islam, halal sex, or other words, sex after marriage was profoundly discussed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He lectured people about sexuality and sex. According to his teaching, it is essential to consider things such as consent, playfulness, foreplay, and compassion in sex. Prophet has also stressed how important it is to make the female partner contented before the male partner reaches the satisfaction himself. This is included in the package of being an ideal Muslim. Prophet has regarded sex as sadaqah (holy merit).  

In another instance, Prophet has reprimanded a man who devoted his life to God while denying sexual pleasure to his wife. Good sex is a God-given gift, so denying it is unacceptable. When considering this instance, it is understandable that women’s sexual pleasure is emphasized and treated high. But nowadays, we are encountering the opposite. Women are made to suffer in silence as they have no clue regarding sex and sexuality. Sex-ed has become less critical in Asian Muslim communities.

For example, even if the husband has sexual intercourse with his wife without the wife’s consent, the wife will not take action against it because the husband’s pleasure is important, whether the wife likes it or not. But that’s not what Islam teaches. Instead, both husband and wife must have mutual acceptance to get connected soulfully.

Sex is a beautiful thing if you know the RIGHT Islamic version of it. Sadly, most of us have been forced to accept the digestible version of it!

Never Too Late to Begin Learning

First of all, it is vital to differentiate SEX and LUST. Sexuality isn’t about lust; instead, there’s more to it than people assume. Meaningful sex involves thoughts, desires, acts, and LOVE. It becomes a part of your identity.

You must also realize that Islam doesn’t disapprove of this desire because it is human nature to develop sexual feelings. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has also cherished sexual encounters with his wives.

“Do not begin intercourse until she has experienced desire like the desire you experience, lest you fulfill your desires before she does.” [Al Mughni, 8:36.]

I’m pretty sure most of us are still lacking the basic sex-ed that needs to be learned. Even if you are married, it is never too late to begin learning. You can rely on multiple sources, and one such source that took the world’s Muslim population by surprise is The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mind Blowing Sex by Umm Muladhat (pen name). The author discusses a lot of things related to Islamic sex that people shy away from. As per reviews, most women have benefitted largely through this book.

But you should never stick to one source; reading is enlightening but it is important to use your intelligence to differentiate what’s ethical and what’s not. Also, there are supplications that you must know before having sexual intercourse. However, Islamic rulings and advice change from scholar to scholar, so it’s tough to get a clear picture. Thus, you must be vigilant when learning in-depth details related to Islamic sex.

Lastly, I’ll wind up with Prophet’s wordings:

“Do not engage in sexual intercourse with your wife like hens; rather, firstly engage in foreplay with your wife and flirt with her and then make love to her.”

Shakira Shareef
Shakira is a freelance writer. She loves writing on lifestyle, freelancing, travel, self-help, business, and Islam. If not writing, she'd be cleaning or reading. Yes, zero human interaction –she's pretty boring!