Sex Education: An Islamic View
Sex Education is a sensitive but important part of any education. Unless sex education addresses values, morality and deferment of gratification its goals are incomplete and potentially dangerous. At present Muslim children are getting secular sex education at schools and wrong messages from the media. Qur'an has given much emphasis on acquiring knowledge. In the days of Prophet Mohammad (sm) Muslim men and women were never felt shyness to ask him questions including those relating to private affairs such as sexual life. But today we treat 'sex' as a dirty word. We feel uncomfortable in discussing sex education with our children. But we should remember that 'sex' is not al per se dirty word. It is an important matter of our life. Allah, who cares for all the aspects of our life, discusses it in the Qur'an; reproduction, creation, family life, menstruation and even ejaculation. On the other hand Prophet Muhammad (sm) who was sent to us as an example, discussed with his companions many subjects related to their sexual life including sexual positions. In Islam, sexuality is considered as a part of our identity as human beings. In this article we will try to discuss the Islamic concept of sexuality.
We will consider several issues: i. e.; what is sex? Why should we concern ourselves with sex education? Why is the question asked at this time? Is sex education an important issue in today’s world, especially in Muslim life and Muslim society? Furthermore, who needs sex education? How and when should it be made available? Who should face the problem and provide the service? What are the sources and means of information? More specific questions are what are the bases of the theoretical principles that apply?
What is Sex?
The word sex is a comparatively new term. It became common currency in late-nineteenth century Europe and
Islamic concept of sexuality and reproduction
There are many details about the practical side of life in the Glorious Qur’an, including sexuality. According to the Qur’anic teachings, sexual life cannot be conceived of without marital and family life and these are all to be considered in relation to other Islamic teachings which regulate and control Muslim behavior. The subject is discussed in the Qur'an and Hadith in a serious manner, in context with the marital life and family life. Islam does not consider women (or men) as objects of sexual pleasure but within a legal frame work of relationship, fulfilling the will of Allah. While the sex outside marriage is a punishable sin, sex with one's spouse is a healthy act, an act of worship, or `ibadah (عبادة). The Prophet (sm) told His Companions:
........و فى بضع أحدكم صدقة قالوا يا رسول الله أيأتى أحدنا شهوته و يكون له فيها أجر قال أرأيتم لو وضعها فى حرام أكان عليه فيها وزر فكذلك إذا وضعها فى الحلال كان له أجر.
("……..And there is a reward for what you deposit in the womb of your wife." They said, "Oh Messenger of God, the one of us satisfies his desire and gets a reward for that?" He answered, "What if he deposits it in a prohibited womb? Isn't he going to sin?" So if he deposits it in a permitted womb there is a reward for him.)
Man was fashioned from a poured out liquid. The Qur’an describes the creation and reproduction; those are related to our sexual life. The creation and reproduction are merely the particular case of an absolutely universal divine wish. Many verses indicate it in the Glorious Qur’an.
The verses of the Glorious Qur’an mentioning the creation and reproduction are as follows:
1. أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّاء مَّهِينٍفَجَعَلْنَاهُ فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ. إِلَى قَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍفَقَدَرْنَا فَنِعْمَ الْقَادِرُونَ. (Did we not create you from despised water? Then we placed it in a place of safety, for a known period. So we did measure; and we are the Best to measure.)
2. فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ. خُلِقَ مِن مَّاء دَافِقٍ. يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ (So let man see (consider) from what he is created! He is created from a water-gushing forth, that issues from between the backbone and the ribs.)
It indicates the conjunction of the sexual area of man and of woman. The sexual area of the man is indicated in the text of the Qur'an by the word sulb (Spinal column or backbone). The sexual areas of the woman are designated in the Qur'an by the word tara'ib (Ribs). We can also mention here that back bone is the source and symbol of man’s strength. In the spinal cord and in the brain is the directive energy of the central nervous system and this directs all action, organic and psychic.
3. The Glorious Qur’an Says: وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن طِينٍثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُطْفَةً فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ. ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ. (Verily, We created man from a product of wet earth, then placed him as a Nutfah, then we made the Nutfah into a the clot, then We made clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the best of creators.)
4. وَاللّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ. (And Allah has made for you Azwaj (mates or wives) of your own kind and has made for your wives, sons grandsons, and has bestowed on your good provision.)
Considering these verses of the Qur’an we can say that the understanding of sexuality should begin therefore not with the internal demands felt by the individual and by the community, but should start from the will of God as revealed in the Sacred Book. And in order to understand it better one must refer to the model realized by God’s Messenger (sm) and his immediate followers.
Sex Education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, and other aspects of human sexual behavior. Sex education is about knowing the anatomy and physiology of the human body, or about the act of sex and family life, or about prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. It also implies the knowing of social, moral and religious ethics, how to avoid peer pressure, sexual growth and development, time table for puberty, physical changes during puberty, development of foetus and birth, needs of family life, reproductive system, for girls- organ, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, for boys- the organ, the sex drive, fornication adultery and punishments for them, and marriage, divorce, cleanliness etc. An appropriate and healthy sex education is crucial to the fulfillment of a happy life.
To perform sexual act in the right way and at an appropriate age, we need sex education. It is a continuous process throughout life and a responsibility that should be shared by the family, religious institutions and schools. It is intimately related to emotional and social development and can be best understood by relating it to the total adjustment of the individual in the family and in the society. The primary purpose of sex education is to promote wholesome family and interpersonal relationships. Today we are facing a huge number of problems in most societies even Muslim in sexual life that has made “sex” a dirty word. But, if we keep silent on the importance of sex education, then sex will be known as something bad— we will be behaving irrationally like the rigid Catholics. They prohibit sex for pleasure and view it only as a means for procreation. On the other hand, Islam takes a balanced view, and encourages sex for both pleasure and procreation.
Islam defines the essence of life and rationalizes the creation of the universe simply and explicitly, Almighty Allah says:وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (I have created jinn and humankind only that they might worship me). Thus Muslim life is to be based on submission and adherence to the will of Allah. There are some instructions for sexual life too. Sex education if it is good, must help the pupil to adapt to new conditions, new ideas, different kinds of moralities and values.
Nowadays the young generation is getting involved in sex. There are many reasons, the most common being peer pressure. Their common response is "since everybody is doing it". Other reasons are: desire for sexual competence with adults and a way to get ahead, lack of self esteem which they want to acquire and improve by losing their virginity, lack of other alternatives to divert their sexual energies, lack of love and appreciation at home. Detachment from home can lead to attachment elsewhere. The sexual pressure on them is everywhere, at school from their peers, from the TV where many sexual scenes are broadcast in advertisement, soap operas, prime time shows etc. The hard core rock music nowadays fans the flames of sexual desires. Most of the parents do not know what kind of music their children are listening. If they care, and listen to hard rock songs, they will know that they are singing songs, some of which have pornographic words and sentences. Analyzing this situation we can say that sex education is very essential for the adolescents as well as for all kinds of people.
Sex education world wide
Many reasons have given a sense of urgency to the topic of sex education. The existence of AIDS is one of them. In many African nations, where AIDS is at epidemic levels, sex education is seen by most scientists as a vital strategy for preserving the health of citizens. Some international organizations such as Planned Parenthood see worldwide benefit in sex education programs.
Most of the parents in the western societies feel that teenagers should remain sexually abstinent. In the
In the United Kingdom, sex education is compulsory in secondary school, but parents have the right to withdraw their children from lessons. The curriculum focuses on the reproductive system, foetal development, and the physical and emotional changes of adolescence.
Subsidised by the Dutch government, the “Lang leve de liefde” (“Long Live Love”) package, developed in the late 1980s, aims to give teenagers the skills to take their own decisions regarding health and sexuality. Nearly all secondary schools provide sex education as part of biology classes and over half of primary schools discuss sexuality and contraception. The curriculum focuses on biological aspects of reproduction as well as on values, attitudes, communication and negotiation skills.
A common approach to sex education is to view it as necessary to reduce risk behaviours such as unprotected sex, and equip individuals to make informed decisions about their personal sexual activity. If a person explains sexual matters to a child without a formal educational program and without consent from the parents this may be considered inappropriate, and may in some cases be interpreted as suspicious child grooming.
Sex education for the youth
In every American school, public or private, sex education is being given from grade 2 to 12. The projected 1990 cost to the nation will be $2 Billion per year. Teachers are told to give the technical aspects of sex education without telling the students about moral values or how to make the right decisions. After describing the male and female anatomy, and reproduction, the main emphasis is on the prevention of venereal diseases and teenage pregnancy. With the rise of AIDS, the focus is on "Safe Sex".
The secular sex education devoid of morality promoted by educators is in many ways incompatible with the Islamic value system. The sex education in American schools has not helped decrease in the teenager the incidence of venereal diseases or teenage pregnancy. This is because secular sex education has not changed their sex habits. According to Marion Wright Elderman President of Children's Defence Fund in a recent report, "out of every 20 teens, 10 are sexually active but only 4 use contraception, 2 get pregnant and one gives birth. In 1982, John Hokin's study found one out of every five 15 year olds, and three 16 year olds to be sexually active. The incidence increased to 43% in 17 years old, 46% of 16 years old, and 29% of 15 years old were sexually active. Now it is estimated that about 80% girls entering college have had sexual intercourse at least once. Going to church does not help either. So the Islamic Sex Education is crucial to the fulfillment of a happy society, in Muslim societies.
Here we have to remember that before giving education about the anatomy and physiology, the belief in the Creator should be instilled in the minds of students. It is said "without God everything, is possible" meaning that the lack of belief or awareness of God gives an okay for wrong doing. So we need to introduce sex into the education of our youth according to the teachings of Holy Qur’an and Hadith. If the children can care for their Islamic character other issues will take care of themselves. Islamic sex education will encompass questions of morality as well as proper sexual health.
The Role of Muslim Parents
Parents are responsible for instilling in their children the religious beliefs, the social, cultural and moral training of Islam as well as for their physical well being. In non-Muslim societies or in societies where Islamic teachings are not correctly followed, the task of Muslim parents becomes even graver. The Qur’an relates the advice of Luqman (AS) to his son as follows: يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ. (O my son! Perform the prayer, enjoin what is just and forbid what is wrong; and bear with patient constancy whatever betides thee; for this is firmness in the conduct of affairs). They are also to train them for avoidance of evil practices such as taking alcohol, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity. In Muslim societies parents are responsible for the sex education and moral guidance of their children in collaboration with public schools and mosque schools. In the mosques Imams are responsible to lead the children and others according to the way of the Qur’an. Regarding their responsibility Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs mentioned the role of Imams in tackling dowry, terrorism, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS in his discussion with Imams at the
In this case father has a special role, mentioned by Prophet Muhammad:
من ولد له ولد فليحسن اسمه و ادبه فاذا بلغ فليزوجه فان بلغ و لم يزوجه فاصاب اثما فانما اثمه على ابيه.
("one who is given by God, a child, should give it a beautiful name, and should give him or her education, and training and when he or she attains puberty, she should see to it that he or she is married. If the father does not arrange their marriage after puberty, and the boy or girl is involved in sin, the responsibility of that sin will lie with the father".)
Sex education should come in stages, depending on one’s physical and cognitive development. The parents should give the child age-appropriate sex education. They should sit with their children individually, not all together to explain various age-appropriate topics related to sex. Topics of a sexual nature can be introduced while the child is reading the Qur'an. When the child reads verses about sexual intercourse, menstruation, or homosexuality, for example, this can be explained in a matter-of-fact manner. Sex can also be discussed in the context of cleanliness in Islam at a certain age. For example, by the age of six or seven, a child must know how to clean him or herself after using the toilet. After this at about eleven or twelve, the issue of ghusl can be raised and when it is necessary (i.e. after sexual intercourse, after menstruation, etc). For that parents should build a good relationship with their kids. As a parent, at least they should be in contact with their child's teacher.
The parents should know the Islamic perspective on sex. They should be capable of providing exact references from the Qur'an, Hadith and valid Islamic authorities on relevant topics (i.e. birth control, boy/girl relationships, etc.). If they feel extremely uncomfortable talking to their kids about it, they should enlist the help of a knowledgeable Imam or community member who is of the same gender as their child, to explain the details and provide the guidance. They should also, collect some books for their kids that discuss sex from an Islamic perspective. However, getting someone else to talk to them or giving them a book is not the end of the story. As parents, they have to be ready and open to at least hear their son or daughter's concerns or questions about sex, so they can direct them to the right person or information if they are uncomfortable answering themselves.
Within a family the elder sister has a duty towards the younger one and the elder brother has for the younger one. The father will teach the son and mother will teach her daughter. In the absence of a willing parent, the next best choice should be a Muslim male teacher (preferably a physician) for boys and a Muslim female teacher (a nurse or physician) for a girl at schools. We can be influenced by the sex education at school. The curriculum should be tailored according to the age of the students and classes be held separately. If 5 years old asks "how did I get into mom's tummy?", there is no need to describe the whole act of intercourse. Similarly it is not necessary to tell 14 years old how to put on condoms.
The following topics should include in the curriculum for giving the knowledge of sex education to the boys and girls:
a) Sexual growth and development, Time table for puberty, Physical changes during puberty, Need for family life;
b) Physiology of reproductive system, for girls-organ, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, for boys - the organ, the sex drive;
c) Conception, development of foetus and birth;
d) Sexually transmitted disease (e. g. AIDS) (emphasizing the Islamic aspect);
e) Mental, emotional and social aspect of puberty, Social, moral and religious ethics, how to avoid peer pressure etc.
Islam is explicit about many aspects of human sexuality. Also, based on the numerous Hadith showing the Prophet's willingness to discuss these matters openly, it should be obvious that education about matters related to sex is very much essential. Explaining anatomy and the changes one's body experiences during puberty are essential for enabling young people to grow up with a healthy self-image. Sex education can be taught in a way that informs young people about sexuality in scientific and moral terms. Nobody can deny the impact of environment upon adults and adolescents. Both are influenced by the values and traditions of the society they live in, and by the behavior and manners of the people living in that society.
Sex Education after Marriage:
Marriage is basic to family formation in Islam. It is ordained by God and has been hailed by the Prophet Muhammad (SM) as a part of his Sunnah. He said: النكاح من سنتي، فمن رغب عن سنتي فليس مني (بخاري و مسلم) (Marriage is my way (Sunnah) he who deviates from my way is not of me- (Bukhari & Muslim.)
For Muslims, based on an understanding of Qur'an and Hadith, sexual relations are confined to marriage between a wife and husband. Within this context, the role of a healthy sexual relationship is extremely important. Islam recognizes the strong sexual urge and desire for reproduction. Thus Islam encourages marriage as a legal way of satisfy in sexual desire and as a shield from immorality (sex without commitment). The marriage of a man and woman is not just a financial and legal living arrangement, not even just for reproduction, but a total commitment to each other and a contract witnessed by Allah. Love and joy of companionship is a part of the commitment. A married couple assumes a new social status and responsibility for themselves and the children and for the community. The goal of marriage is to create tenderness between two individuals and to satisfy the very basic human need for companionship. There can be no better expression of the relationship between two human beings living together in blessed marital bondage. Such a relationship is so highly valued that Allah made it among His signs. Allah says: وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً. (And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between you; in this are signs for those who think.")
In another place of the Qur’an Allah says: هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا. (It is He who created you from a single soul (Nafs) and there from did make his mate that he might dwell in tranquility with her.)
Allah also says: وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمْ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(Let those who find not the wherewithal for marriage, keep themselves chaste, till Allah gives them the means from His Grace.)
The prophet (SM) has put emphasis on marriage saying this: يا معشر الشباب من استطاع منكم الباءة فليتزوج، فإنه أغض للبصر و أحصن للفرج، فمن لم يستطع فعليه بالصوم، فإنه له وجاء. (Oh young men! Those of you who can support a wife and household should marry. For, marriage keeps you from looking with lust at women and preserves you from promiscuity. But those who can not should take to fasting which is a means of tempering sexual desires.)
When a person is mature enough, can live independently and is ready to meet the responsibilities of marriage, he or she can marry. If any one has achieved puberty, then he must abstain from sex until he thinks he is ready for marriage. Otherwise, he may fall into the sin of premarital sex. In
One of husband's jobs is to educate his wife in matters of sex especially in his likes and dislikes and should not compare her to another woman. A wife should try to be an active partner instead of being a passive recipient of sex and should be available to please him.
We should keep in mind that sex is an expression of love. One without the other is incomplete. In the absence of love, sex becomes a boring routine. So forced sex even in marriage is tantamount to rape. Prophet Mohammad (sm) had encouraged foreplay before intercourse, saying "Do not attack your women like a wild beast, but send a message before" Allah indicates this message in the Qur’an: وقدموا لأنفسكم (And send for your own selves beforehand). He also was known to have said, "Do not leave her before she is satisfied". Even Hadith stipulate that Isolation (عزل- `azl) could not be practiced without the wife's consent as it might interfere with her sexual satisfaction or desire to bear children. Thus Islamic sexuality is based on nature and does not attempt to achieve a quick result. The human body is a wonderful creation of God, but not a sex machine.
All sexual positions except anal intercourse are permitted between husband and wives. The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ (Your women are your tilth for you, so go to your tilth as ye wish). There may be some medical harm in oral sex if organs are not clean or have infection. In that case they should seek medical treatment first before engaging in sex. Muslims are advised to avoid sexual intercourse during menses so as not to cause discomfort to the woman. Allah says: وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُواْ النِّسَاء فِي الْمَحِيضِ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىَ يَطْهُرْنَ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللّهُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ.
(They (the Believers) question thee concerning menstruation. Say: This is harmful. Keep away from women during menstruation and do not approach them until they are clean. When they have purified themselves, go to them, as God ordered it to you. Verily, God loves the repentant and loves those who purified themselves.
It’s also stipulated that sexual relations are permitted only at night during the fast in the month of Ramadan. Allah says:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَآئِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُواْ مَا كَتَبَ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ الصِّيَامَ إِلَى الَّليْلِ وَلاَ تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللّهِ فَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ.
(Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments. Allah knew what you used to do secretly among yourselves, but He turned to you and forgave you. So now hold intercourse with them and seek what Allah has ordained for you and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears; but do not hold intercourse with your wives while you are in retreat in mosques. These are limits (set) by Allah, so approach them not. Thus does Allah make clear His Ayaat (signs) to mankind that may become Al-Muttaqun (Self-restraint)
In contrast to this, no exception to the rule is made for pilgrims in
الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ.
(The Hajj (Pilgrimage) is (in) the well known months, If any one undertakes that duty therein, then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj).
The Hadith which addresses this issue are numerous. The Prophet himself, while not divulging all aspects of his own sexual life, was known for his nature as a loving husband who was sensitive and physically demonstrative. In several Hadith, he speaks about the importance of foreplay and speaking in loving terms during sexual relations. Again, the concept of mutual satisfaction is elucidated in a Hadith which advises husbands to engage in acts that enable a woman to achieve orgasm first. Sexual dissatisfaction is considered a legitimate grounds for divorce on the part of either wife or husband. Allah says:  هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ (Husbands and wives are described as garments to each other.) A garment is very close to our body, so they should be close to each other, a garment protects and shields our modesty, so they should do the same to each other, garments are put on anytime we like, so they should be available to each other anytime, and a garment adds to our beauty, so they should praise and beautify each other. We should encourage our children to marry. It will ensure the satisfaction of the fitrah of mankind, welfare of the society, the right way.
Sex without Marriage
It is human to have feelings towards the other sex. Naturally, attraction between individuals is necessary to initiate a relationship that leads to marriage. But sexual relations can obviously take place between any couple, consenting or not. This is called sexual relations outside marriage.
The modern industrial culture has upset the past norm of family life and greatly changed the purposes of marriage. New opportunities of material gain have been opened to married and unmarried. Women are making themselves economically independent from their husbands and male providers. The women's emancipation movement accordingly has declared that there was no more reason for tolerating subjugation to the male and cultivated eccentric tendencies against the traditional functioning and sex-roles in the family. The women's new freedom has greatly increased sexual opportunity without marriage, supported by contraception and abortion. In
Sex outside marriage is not permitted in any religion. They are prohibited by God. Muslims are advised to behave in a way and avoid circumstances that could potentially result in extra or premarital sex. Islam believes in separation of sexes in social gatherings unless people are mahram to each other. Allah indicates: لَّا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِنَّ فِي آبَائِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَائِهِنَّ وَلَا إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَاء إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلَا أَبْنَاء أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ وَلَا نِسَائِهِنَّ وَلَا مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ وَاتَّقِينَ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدًا. (It is no sin to them before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their brother’s sons, or the sons of their sisters, or their own women, or their female slaves. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Witness over everything.) This is natural, even in secular educational institutions, girls like to sit, walk or play with girls rather than boys. One should talk socially in order to know each other as ordained by God in the Qur’an. However, one must be careful about what this talking leads to. Unnecessary social mixing may lead to other wrongs. The Creator of the human body knows what is good for us and we do not. We believe that Allah does not simply forbid or allow these whimsically, but does so with our best interest at heart, guiding us away from potentially destructive behavior and towards behavior that allows us to achieve our most fulfilling potentials as human beings.
Adultery is a crime not against the person but against the whole society. It is a violation of marital contract. Allah says in the Glorious Qur'an: قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ. (Say: Verily, my Lord has prohibited the shameful deeds, be it open or secret, sins and unrighteous oppression.) He also says: الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُوْلَئِكَ مُبَرَّؤُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ. (Women impure are for men impure, and men impure are for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity.)
Prophet Muhammad (sm) has termed on many occasions adultery as one of the three major sins. However the most interesting story is that of a young man, who came to him and asked his permission for fornication, since he could not control himself. The Prophet dealt with him with reasoning and asked him if he will approve of someone else doing illegal sex with his mother, sister, daughter or wife. Each time the man said 'no' then the Prophet replied that the woman with whom you plan to have sex could also be somebody's mother, sister, daughter or wife. The man understood and repented. The Prophet prayed for his forgiveness
Adultery (Zina) which includes both pre-marital and extramarital sex is an epidemic in western society. Nobody seems to listen to the Bible which says frequently "Thou shall not do adultery". The Qur'anic approach: وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاء سَبِيلاً. (Do not approach adultery or unlawful sex. Verily it is a Fahisha (shameful deed) and an evil way.). It means that not only is illegal sex prohibited, but anything which leads to illegal sex is also prohibited, such as dating, free mixing of sexes, provocative dress, nudity, obscenity and pornography. According to the Qur’anic rule a man or women is not allowed to expose any part of the body in the presence of others which is not decent to expose and which may generate the carnal lust in the opposite sex or which may be an inducement to adultery or fornication and other immoral acts. They can move wherever they like and perform all sorts of work, but within the parametres prescribed by Qur’an and Sunnah. According to the Islamic idea of discipline and decency the exposure of such parts of the body is not allowed as the Western ladies and models are generally in habit of exposing in ballrooms, theatres, cinema, dramas, advertisement, television programs, parties and sometimes in public places which is harmful and leads to sin. In modern civilization pornography is arousing sexual excitement so much so that even youngsters are becoming sex hungry and being prevented causing gang rape, disorder and even murder? Because of sex abuse breakdown of the family life, dissatisfaction and distrust among spouses are now warning in modern society. Islam has put a complete ban on all sorts of sex evils and cut at its roots imposing restrictions on the exposure of the parts of the body which generate the urge of sex and has ordained sever punishment in this world and hereafter for sex offenders.
Allah has prescribed the Hijab system. It is very much important to protect the unexpected situations and sinful actions of the society. Even the children should be protected from that idea as far as possible to preserve their fitrah. The prophet (sm) said: مروا أولادكم بالصلاة و هم أبناء سبع سنين، و اضربوهم عليها وهم أبناء عشر سنين، و فرقوا بينهم في المضاجع. (Instruct your children in prayer at age seven, punish them if they fail at age ten; and let them sleep separately from one another.) There is no escape from this assimilation into western culture except by strengthening the family bonds and by steadfast observation of Islamic teachings. We must lead here by strict adherence to Islamic ways of life. By instinct, males are more attracted to females' bodies than vice versa. Accordingly, Islam ordained that women should not show of their bodies parts that would particularly attract the attention of males. Allah says: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاء الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَن يُعْرَفْنَ فَلَا يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا. (Oh Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons. That is most convenient, that they should be known and not-molested and God is Oft-Forgiving, most merciful.) One should not dress or act in a way that is intended to attract the attention of the opposite sex. The dress code both for men and women is to protect them from temptation and undue desires by onlookers who may lose self control and fall into sin. Allah says: قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا لِبُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَائِهِنَّ أَوْ آبَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَائِهِنَّ أَوْ أَبْنَاء بُعُولَتِهِنَّ أَوْ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي إِخْوَانِهِنَّ أَوْ بَنِي أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ أَوْ نِسَائِهِنَّ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُوْلِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ أَوِ الطِّفْلِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يَظْهَرُوا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِ النِّسَاء وَلَا يَضْرِبْنَ بِأَرْجُلِهِنَّ لِيُعْلَمَ مَا يُخْفِينَ مِن زِينَتِهِنَّ وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ. (Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husband's sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sister's sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islâm), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.)
Besides, they should not show their adornment other than that conventionally shown by women in an Islamic society. When boys and girls work together for doing good, they become friends. When they meet in public such as in conferences, youth camps and in study rooms and the like, they become friends. When boys and girls start meeting in hiding or in secrecy without informing their guardians, and they start to touch each other's bodies, even without sleeping together, this is not an innocent friendship, and should be discouraged.
The Islamic law regarding sex are fixed and can not be changed under peer pressure or the change of values on society. Virginity at the time of marriage is considered a virtue in Islamic morality. But this virtue is absent in the Western society. No wonder less than 10% of American brides are virgin.
Another problem in western society is homosexuality. There are people in the West who wish to turn homosexuality into something acceptable by society. Not only is that, but also laws and regulations are being construed to legalize this sin and many of the issues surrounding it. Islam is clear on the matter. Homosexuality is a deviation from the primordial rule. This sin was not openly described before the People of Lut. The Qur’an says: وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ. أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ وَتَقْطَعُونَ السَّبِيلَ وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنكَرَ. “And (remember) Lut: when he said to his people: "You commit al-fahishah (sodomy-the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) it in the `Alamin (mankind and jinn). Verily, you practise sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer (travelers)! And practise al-Munkar (disbelief and polytheism and every kind of evil wicked deed) in your meetings.” Allah says in reference to the People of Lut (
The Prophet (Lut) was sent to warn them of the consequences of their sinful behavior. He says: قَالَ رَبِّ انصُرْنِي عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْمُفْسِدِينَ. (He said: "O my Lord! Help Thou me against people who are Mufsidûn (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts)!).
The result was severe exemplary punishment to purify the world from them. Allah mentioned their punishment: وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ.(And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!).
Allah says in the holy Qur’an: فَلَمَّا جَاء أَمْرُنَا جَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنضُودٍ. مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيد.ٍ (When Our Decree was issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay, spread, layer on layer,- Marked as from thy Lord: Nor are they ever far from those who do wrong!). It is a disease that needs a cure.
Allah also says:
وَلُوطًا آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَت تَّعْمَلُ الْخَبَائِثَ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَوْمَ سَوْءٍ فَاسِقِينَ.
(And to Lut, too, We gave Judgment and Knowledge, and We saved him from the town which practiced abominations: truly they were a people given to Evil, a rebellious people.)
Disadvantages of Illegal Sex
Sex without marriage is illegitimate, illegal and is obviously harmful to the individuals and their society. Abuse of sex is a common evil of modern society. Gang rape, free sex, prostitution, homosexuality are causing deadly diseases. AIDS, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis “B” rank among the top 10 to 20 diseases and have become the main cause of death in people aged 25 to 44 years in most developed country like the United States and also in developing countries. The Centre of Disease Control and Prevention in
Teenage pregnancy and abortion are also like on epidemic in today’s western world because of sex abuse. In
Morever, Many diseases such as Mental Illness, Kaposi Sarcoma, Hodgkin’s disease, Anal Cancer, AIDS, lymphomas, gonorrhea, syphilis and surgical problems and medical problems are related to homosexuality and to other illegal sexes. Besides this, breakdown of the family life, dissatisfaction and distrust among spouses, single parent homes, whether by desertion of the wife or the husband, lack of love and affection towards children are the common phenomena of modern society and these elements are increasing dramatically.
Sexuality and reproduction are common elements in many forms of human interaction and society worldwide. Without sexual activity, most species would die. Sexual activity is thus surrounded by troubling questions relating to birth, death, and basic social organization and human interaction. Because of these crucial issues, it is perhaps inescapable that most religions and societies have seen a need to address the question of a proper role for sexuality in human interaction. Different religions have different codes of sexual morality which regulate sexual activity or assign normative values to certain sexually-charged actions or thoughts. Most religions (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist) have adopted strong moral norms of sexual behavior, and consider actions outside of the boundaries set by those norms to be immoral or wrong. But it is enough for our purpose here to remember that the Qur'anic view of sexuality is total and totalizing the cosmic and the sociological, the psychological and the social rest on the union of the sexes. Sexuality is linked with creation and procreation. It is affirmation and complementarity. But at present the secular sex education is incomplete as it does not cover the morality associated with sex, sexual dysfunctions and deviations and the institution of marriage. Qur'an is the solution of sex abuse. It has put a complete ban on all sorts of sex evils and cut at its root by imposing restrictions. In the Qur'an sex has always been taken seriously. It is not a subject for fun or mere absolute pleasure. It is never discussed obscenely. It is always related to marital life and family life. It is viewed as a human relationship subject to strict regulations. Thus sex within a marital relationship is a worship that is rewarded. Outside a marital relationship sex is a punishable sin and crime. Legislation concerning sex is not subject to change by pressure groups or change in social attitudes. So like the rest of Islamic teachings, knowledge about sex is very much important for us.
 Donald Ian Macdonald. An Approach to the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy, Public Health Report, July/August 1987
 Joseph Bristow, Sexuality (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), First Published, P. 03
 Joseph Bristow, op.cit., P. 01-03
 Al-Qur’an, 36:36
 Al-Qur’an, 30:21
 Al-Qur’an, 78:08
 Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jakat, Babu byani anna isma al-Sadaqati yaqau `ala kullu nu`in min al-Ma`ruf, Hadith No. 2198
 Al-Qur’an, 30:16-26. The Qur’an expounds in many passages this conception of the duality of creation and becoming involving all creatures. 2:187, 4:1, 7:189, 13:38, 16:72, 14:44-5, 23:13, 26:36, 39:8, 51:49, 53:45, 71:12, 75:37, 68:20.
 Al-Qur’an, 77: 20-23
 Al-Qur’an 86: 5-7
 A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an-Text, Translation and Commentary (Maryland: Amana Corp, 1983), P.1719
 Al-Qur’an 23:12-14
 Nutfah-Mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge and lodged it; Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Translation of the meanings of The Noble Qur’an in the English Language (Madinah: King Fahd Complex for the Holy Qur’an), P. 455
 Al-Qur’an, 16: 72
 Al-Qur’an, 51:56
 Planned Prenthood- It is a health centre of America, that is offering high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, pregnancy testing and abortion service.
 Jon Slater,
 Guus Valk, The Dutch Model, UNESCO, Courier, July/Agust-2000
 Suman Mehta, Riet Groenen and Francisco Roque, Adolescents in Changing Times: Issues and Perspectives for Adolescent Reproductive Health in the ESCAP Region, Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development and to Make Recommendations for Further Action 24-27 March 1998,
 Al-Qur’an, 31:17
 Waliuddin Ibn Abd Allah al-Tabrizi, Al-Mishkat Al-Masabih, Kitab al-Nikah, al-Fasal al-Salis (
 Abdel Rahim Omran, Family Planning in the legacy of Islam (New York: Routledge, 1994), P.14
 Al-Qur’an, 30:21
 Al-Qur’an, 07:189
 Al-Qur’an 24:33
 Abu Abdullah Ismail al-Bukhari, Al-Sahih al-Bukhari, kitab al-nikah, Babu man lam yastati` al-baata fal yasum (Dilli: Kutubkhana Rashidiyyah), Vol.2, P.758
 Internet, http://fathersforlife.org/education/home_schooling.htm
 Internet, http://www.islam-usa.com/im20.html, Dr. Shahid Athar, (Clinical Associate Professor,
Indiana University School of Medicine) Sex Education For Muslim Youths And Their Parents
 Al-Quran, 02: 223
 Heba G. Kotb M. D., Sexuality in Islam (A unpublished Ph.D. thesis in clinical sexology under supervision of Prof. William Granzig M. D.), University of Maimonides, 2004, P. 154
 Eazl- Means isolation, It is to protect sperm of man from reaching into the womb of woman; Mu’jam lugah al-fuqaha (Arabic-English-France), Muhammad Rawas Qal’ah Zi (Birut: Dar al-Nafais, 1996), P.280
 Al-Qur’an, 02:223
 Al-Qur’an, 02:222
 Al-Qur’an 02: 187
 Al-Qur’an 02: 197
 Imam Ghazali Ihya ulum-id-din (Revival of Religious Learning), chapter on Marriage
 Al-Qur’an, 02:187
 Abdullah Naseh Ulwan, Tarbiatul Awlad fi Al- Islam( Bairut : dar al salam, 1981), Ist vol. 3rd edition, p.27
 Abundance of adulterer couple in
 Al-Qur’an, 33: 55
 Al-Qur’an 7: 33
 Al-Qur’an 24: 26
 Heba G. Kotb M. D., Sexuality in Islam (A unpublished Ph.D. thesis in clinical sexology under supervision of Prof. William Granzig M. D.), University of Maimonides, 2004, P. 156
 Al-Qur’an 17: 32
 The word "hijab" is used in the Holy Qur'an in its linguistic original sense, i.e., a barrier, something to separate two things from one another. The Prophet's wives were ordered by God to observe hijab, meaning not to face all mature males who are entitled to marry them. They had to speak to such males from behind a curtain or a door so nobody would see them. In our times, the word is usually used to indicate the dress of a woman in accordance with the Islamic requirements.
 Human nature that one is born with. We got this in Qur’an-فطرت الله التى فطر الناس عليها Al-Qur’an 30:30
 Waliuddin Ibn Abd Allah al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, Kitab al-Salat, al-Fasal al-Sani (
 Al-Qur’an 33:59
 Al-Qur’an 24:30-31
 Internet, http://www.islam-usa.com/im20.html, Dr. Shahid Athar, (Clinical Associate Professor,
Indiana University School of Medicine) Sex Education For Muslim Youths And Their Parents
 Al-Qur’an, 29:28-29
 Al-Qur’an, 26:165-6
 Al-Qur’an, 27:54-55
 Al-Qur’an, 07:81
 Al-Qur’an, 29: 30
 Al-Qur’an, 07: 84
 Al-Qur’an, 11:82-83
 Al-Qur’an, 21:74
 Herrison, Principles of Internal Medicine, Vol-1, 14th Edition USA, 1998, p.802.
 Al-Qur’an, 24: 2
 Al-Qur’an 23: 1-7
 Mathew Kuefler (editor), The Boswell Thesis : Essays on Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality,
 The Archives of General Psychiatry published in its January 2001 issue a study titled, “Same-Sex Sexual Behavior and Psychiatric Disorders: Findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS)” by Sandfort et al., which found that psychiatric disorders were more prevalent among homosexually active people compared with heterosexually active people. Homosexual men were 2.94 times as likely to have 12-month prevalence of mood disorder and 2.61 times more likely to have a 12-month prevalence of anxiety disorder than heterosexual men. Homosexual women were 4.05 times more likely to have a 12-month prevalence of substance use disorders than heterosexual women. More homosexual than heterosexual persons had 2 or more disorders during their lifetimes.
 One of the diseases on the AIDS-indicator list of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
 “An excess incidence of Hodgkin’s disease was found in HIV-infected homosexual men.”
 One article in the New England Journal of Medicine commented, "Our study lends strong support to the hypothesis that homosexual behavior in men increases the risk of anal cancer: 21 of the 57 men with anal cancer (37 percent) reported that they were homosexual or bisexual.
 The CDC reports in its June 2000 HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report that men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the majority of AIDS cases in the
AIDS CASES BY EXPOSURE CATEGORY
Men who have sex with men
Injecting Drug Use
Men who have sex with men and inject drugs
CDC semiannual HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report. Numbers are based on AIDS cases reported to CDC through June 2000.
 Sayed Manal Shah Alquadri, Islamic terrorism, (Kolkata: Quadria Academy Daira Sharif, 2004), p. 158
 Abdelwahab Bouhdiba, Sexuality in Islam (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), First published, P. 11-12