What Every Teenager
Needs to Know
in this society, sex, and sexuality are openly displayed for all
to see. In this climate of free sex and loose moral standards, it
becomes imperative for Muslim parents to be proactive in the sexual
education of their children. Now, although for many of us, the thought
of telling our children the whys, how's, and where's of the proper
sexual behaviour between a man and woman, might make us cringe,
when we think of the alternative, we'll see that we have no choice.
Sexual education is a phrase that is taboo for many Muslims. Part
of the reason for this misunderstanding, is that people who encourage
fornication and sexual deviations, are often the ones who teach
sexual education in this society.
can a Muslim parent then not worry when schools and mass media portray
fornication as sexual freedom, and homosexuality as an acceptable
'sexual orientation'? But does this mean that Muslim parents and
educators should choose that their children have no sexual education
at all? The answer is no! Children will always receive some kind
of sexual education, and even if you isolate them, they will still
get it from other children! The correct attitude should be to give
our children the right sexual education, one that is derived from
the Qur'an and the Sunnah. It is therefore the obligation of every
parent to be prepared to carry out this task, and to be able to
do so in the best manner. This article will, insha'Allah, present
some guidance that may make the chore less stressful for all parties
Different Stages Of Sexual Education
a child goes through different developmental stages, his sexual
education should too be planned in stages, and each lesson should
be appropriate to the age of the child. Although children's maturity
vary greatly at any given age, there are four main stages that most
children go through:
Years the Age of Discernment
this age, the child should know the etiquette of entering the parents'
room, and the rules concerning looking at others.
this age, the child should learn how to avoid sexual arousal, and
should be protected from it.
the child should know the etiquette of sexual intercourse, if he
or she is ready to get married in the near future.
& Above Youth
unmarried young men and women should learn sexual abstinence, and
the dangers of adultery and fornication (zina).
Age Of Discernment
most homes, young children move about quite freely, and often take
for granted that they can enter wherever they want. However, there
are limitations for older children, who at certain times should
ask their parents' permission before entering their bedroom.
you who believe! Let your slaves and the children among you who
have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before
they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning
prayer (salatul Fajr), and when you put off your clothes for the
noon rest, and after the late-night prayer (salatul Isha). These
three times are of privacy for you, outside these times, there is
no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other.
Thus Allah makes clear the Signs to you. And Allah is All-Knowing,
is then preferable that when the child is old enough to discern
between right and wrong, and easily understands and follows directions
(usually around age seven), that he should ask permission before
entering. This is especially emphasized at the times when the parents
are usually undressed, i.e., from the time after Isha prayer to
the Fajr prayer, and during an afternoon nap. There is no doubt
that this teaches the children to be decent, and aids to protect
them from unintentionally stumbling upon scenes that may prove shocking
to them. When the child reaches puberty, he should be taught to
ask permission before entering at all times, as Allah says,
when the children among you come to puberty, then let them also
ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age). Thus Allah
makes clear His Signs for you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise."
and reinforcing these lessons over time can gradually integrate
decency and modesty integrated into the child's character.
the Other Sex
Etiquette's of lowering The Gaze
of the hardest lessons for us raised in the West to unlearn, is
this notion of eye contact. Although most of us were taught from
childhood that it is impolite to stare, we were also taught to look
at someone when they were speaking to us, there was no such thing
as lowering the gaze. The evidence of this is seen everyday, as
men and women openly ogle and drool all over each other in the streets.
This is why it is so pressing for us to make sure that Muslim children
become aware of what is lawful for him or her to look at and what
is more pressing in the case of children who live here in a non-Muslim
society, where they are constantly exposed to indecent scenes of
both men and women, in the streets, on television, in magazines,
on billboards, etc.
the eye is the window to the soul, and a lustful look can lead to
feelings of desire, which can lead to thoughts of fornication.
is why looking at the opposite sex is regulated by the Islamic Shari'ah,
where the rules depend on whether they are mahram (plural maharim)
or not. This refers to women with whom a man has a specified degree
of relationship that precludes marriage.
Looking at Mahram Women
is allowed to look at women who are his mahram, but only at what
is usually exposed of their bodies for the necessity of working
inside the house, such as the head, the hands, the feet, and the
neck. For Allah says,
say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and
guard their private parts, that they should not display their beauty
and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof. That they should
draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty
except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers,
their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers'
sons, or their sisters' sons."
one should not look at what is usually covered such as the knees,
the breasts, the armpits, etc. This means that the woman should
be decently clothed while in the presence of her mahram relatives.
looking at Non-mahram women
is forbidden for a man to look at women who are strangers to him
(i.e., who are outside the mahram relationship). He should lower
his gaze as Allah orders him,
the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private
This is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they
boys (and even younger ones) that can distinguish between a beautiful
woman and a less beautiful one, and can appreciate women's physical
attributes, should be taught to lower their gaze. This protects
them from getting their sexual desires aroused. It is sad to hear
people saying that there is no harm in an innocent look, especially
in the case of teenagers, with the idea that this may somewhat extinguish
their sexual desire. On the contrary, a lustful look may lead to
a greater sin, as the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,
"It is written on the son of Adam his lot of zina (fornication/adultery),
that will inevitably afflict him. The zina of the eyes is looking,
the zina of the ears is hearing, the zina of the tongue is talking,
the zina of the hand is assaulting, and the zina of the foot is
walking; the heart desires and wishes, and the genitals affirm or
deny." (Bukhari and Muslim)
fact, lowering the gaze is a good deed for which a Muslim is rewarded.
The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "No Muslim
whose eyesight falls inadvertently on the beauties of a woman and
then he lowers his gaze, but Allah will credit for him a worship
he will appreciate its sweetness in his heart." (Ahmad, at-Tabarani)
While the first inadvertent look causes no sin on him, the young
man should be taught not to follow it by another, as the Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said to Ali Ibn Abi Talib, "O
Ali! Do not let the second look follow the first. The first look
is allowed to you but not the second." (Tirmithi, Ahmad and
looking at other men and women looking at other women
both men and women walk about practically in a state of undress,
therefore it is more important now more than ever, for Muslim children
to be taught to lower their gaze and this applies to both men and
women. A man is not allowed to look at another man's awrah, i.e.
the area between his navel and his knees (these two parts included),
as the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "A man should
not look at the awrah of another man nor a woman of a woman, nor
should a man go under one cloth with another man, nor a woman with
another woman." (Muslim) He also said to a man he saw uncovering
his thigh, "Cover your thigh, for the thigh is awrah."
is clear from this that a man should always cover himself from the
navel to the knees in the presence of others, and should not uncover
his awrah while swimming or playing sports games, or while taking
showers in the presence of others. It is highly recommended to teach
boys to cover themselves down to the knees at a young age (around
seven) so that they grow up with this habit.
rule applies equally to Muslim women looking at other women, whether
these are Muslims or disbelievers. Many of us however, feel no shame
at sitting and browsing through a Victoria's Secret Catalogue, or
through the pages of a swimsuit or fitness magazine, where the women
are practically naked, doing so either out of indifference or ignorance.
It is regrettable to see a Muslim woman allowing herself to look
at non-believing women who are barely clothed, believing that this
is allowed. Girls should be taught to lower their gaze when they
see such scenes, and should learn to cover their awrah at all times,
when they are in presence of other women, Muslim or otherwise. The
awrah of the woman with respect to other Muslim women is the same
as the awrah of the man, i. e., from the knees to the navel.
looking at teenage boys
in general, men are allowed to look during usual activities at teenage
boys whose beards have not yet grown in, they are forbidden to look
at them if there is a fear of temptation, especially in the case
of handsome boys. Looking then becomes unlawful, because this may
lead to sexual desire and sexual deviation.
Looking at Men
is allowed to look at men while they are walking on the street,
for the purpose of buying in the market, or other lawful activities,
provided that they are properly clothed, with their awrah completely
Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, allowed Aisha to look at the
Abyssinians playing with their spears in the courtyard of his masjid,
while she was hiding behind him.
are not allowed to look closely at a man, however, or to have a
lustful or provocative look, or to look deliberately at them when
they happen to be in the same setting (such as on a bus, or in a
reason for this rule being somewhat more relaxed for women is that
usually they are not the ones who initiate a relationship, due to
their nature, and that men are usually more daring.
at a Small Child's Awrah
is a consensus among the scholars that children who are four years
old or younger have no awrah, meaning that there is no harm in looking
at their naked bodies. The awrah of children over four years is
the genitals and the buttocks. When the child's consciousness of
sex has developed, or when evidence of sexual urge is noticed in
him/her, the awrah limit becomes the same as that of adults and
should be treated as such. However it is better to accustom the
child to being always properly clothed.
the rules of prohibition of looking become void in cases of necessity
such as in administering first aid or medical treatment or during
a trial testimony as the judge requests. Other exceptions are looking
at one's spouse, and a man looking at a woman for the prospect of
marrying her. These two exceptions will be discussed later.
who is raised in the context of these divine rules of lowering the
gaze will no doubt acquire a distinguished Islamic personality,
and a noble social character. Indeed, there is no better way to
teach the child these manners, than for us the parents to lead the
way and set the proper example for them to follow.
Is Considered Mahram?
woman, with whom a man has a relationship (of blood or foster) that
precludes marriage, is considered a mahram to him. Mahram women
include his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister,
aunt, grandaunt, niece, grandniece, his father's wife, his wife's
daughter, his mother-in-law, his foster mother (the one who breastfed
him), foster sisters, and any foster relatives that are similar
to the above mentioned blood relatives. For the Prophet, sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam, said, "What is forbidden by reason of kinship
is forbidden by reason of suckling." (Bukhari)
are considered maharim because Allah mentions them in the Holy Qur'an,
marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already
passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way.
Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters,
your sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters,
your foster mother who breasted you, your foster milk suckling sisters,
your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship,
born of your wives to whom you have gone in -but there is no sin
on you if you have not done so (to marry their daughters), the wives
of your sons who spring from your loins, and two sisters in wedlock
at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily Allah
is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Quran 4:22-23]
the man's female relatives mentioned in these two verses are considered
his maharim, because it is unlawful (haram) for him to marry them,
except the wife's sister mentioned last, who is not a mahram because
he can marry her if he divorces his wife, or if she dies. Reciprocally,
if a woman is a mahram to a man, such her brother, her father, her
uncle, etc. then he is a mahram to her. One of the hardest things
for my family to adjust to is the fact that I can't be alone or
get undressed in front of some of my male relatives. To them, it's
just Patrick or Mike or Kari, what's the harm? They do not understand
that some relatives are not considered maharim who fall under the
category of strangers, and are, therefore, legal for marriage under
the Islamic Shari'ah.
Two habits that are commonly practiced in some Muslim communities
and societies, which are unlawful, and Muslims should be warned
is always eager to tempt people and to make them fall into what
is unlawful, and for this reason Allah warns us saying,
you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Satan. And whosoever
follows the footsteps of Satan, then verily he commands what is
indecent and wrong."
of the Satan's means to tempt people into sin, is privacy with non-mahram
women, for this reason the Shar'iah has prohibited it. The Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "A man does not meet privately
with a woman without the Satan being the third (present)."
(Tirmithi) Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe
wa sallam, also said, "From now on a man must not drop in on
a non-mahram woman unless accompanied by one or two men." (Muslim)
Therefore, a man is not allowed to be alone with a stranger-woman
in a house or a room, or in a car, even if that woman is his sister-in-law
or his maid, or his patient [in the case of a physician] etc. Many
people are very lax concerning this rule, thinking they have confidence
in controlling themselves or confidence in the other party, but
this leads to fornication or to its preambles, and causes the increase
of illegitimate children.
the hands of non-mahram
traditions of certain societies have prevailed over Allah's Shari'ah
concerning this matter. Their wrong habits have overcome the rule
of religion so much so that when one presents the rule of the Shari'ah
to them, he is accused of being backward. Shaking the hand of one's
female cousins, or one's uncles' wives has become as easy as falling
off a log in our societies, but if people considered seriously the
dangers of this matter in the Shari'ah, they would not do it. The
Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "It is better for
one of you to be pierced by an iron needle in the head than to touch
the hand of a woman that is not allowed to him." (Tabarani)
sin is considered a fornication of the hand, as the Prophet, sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam, said, "The eyes fornicate, and the hands
fornicate, and the feet fornicate, and the intimate parts fornicate."
(Ahmad) Is there a person purer than Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe
wa sallam? And in spite of that he said, "I do not shake women's
hands." (Ahmad) He also said, "I do not touch women's
hands." (Tabarani) Aisha, radhiallahu anha, said, "No
by Allah, the Prophet's hand never touched a woman's hand, he used
to accept their pledge of allegiance by [hearing their] words only."
(Muslim) Men who threaten to divorce their pious wives if they refuse
to shake their brothers' hands should fear Allah. It should also
be known that wearing a glove or wrapping the hand with a cloth
while shaking hands is not allowed either.
is widely recognized that adolescence is the most dangerous and
tumultuous period in the life of an individual. If the child passes
this period safely, it is hoped that he will have a happy and successful
life later. For this reason, Islam prescribes on every parent whose
child approaches adolescence to guard him against anything that
might arouse his sexual desire, and this should begin when the child
is around ten.
of Children inside the Home
parents should supervise their children by making sure that they
behave in an Islamic way and are aware of the Islamic rules that
protect them from sexual arousal. These rules are summarized as
the boy is ten years or older, he should not enter a place where
women are gathered, especially if they are wearing their beautiful
attires and have adorned themselves with makeup and jewellery. The
Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said, "Beware of entering
[places] where women are!" (Bukhari and Muslim)
ten years and older should not share the same bed even if they are
of the same sex, as the Prophet advised, saying, "Enjoin your
children to perform salah when they are seven, and spank them for
it when they are ten, and let them sleep in separate beds."
(al-Hakim and Abu Dawud)
boys and girls should at this age be familiar with the etiquette
of looking at the opposite sex, and apply its rules.
child must be supervised as to what he watches on television. Better
yet, television should be avoided altogether. Nobody in his right
mind can deny the overwhelming presence of sex in all television
programs, including cartoons, news and documentaries. Bringing a
television set into one's house is like bringing a fox into the
chicken coop. There is no excuse for the Muslim parent to let his
child watch such debasing programs, which the disbelievers themselves
criticize.' The child who knows that the Shariah enjoins him to
lower his gaze will realize that it is almost impossible to watch
television and at the same time observe that divine order of lowering
one's gaze, and that watching television will undoubtedly arouse
his desire to commit sins.
child should be supervised concerning the materials he reads, such
as books and magazines. Moreover the books the child gets from,
or that are assigned to him by non-Islamic schools should be closely
monitored. Parents should not hesitate to enter the child's room
- after asking permission - in order to make sure that he does not
turn it into a hiding place for forbidden materials.
by the age of ten, the child should not be allowed to befriend anyone
from the opposite sex, whether a relative or a neighbour, not even
for studying or competing. It is a dangerous slip that might lead
the child to fornication.
of Children Outside of the Home
children leaving home are like soldiers going to the battlefield,
they should be armed to ward off the dangers awaiting them outside.
Although too numerous to cite, here are a few:
dangers of the cinema and theatre, which base their products almost
entirely on sex, for their belief is that 'sex sells'.
danger of women's clothing where the woman's dress is ever shrinking
dangers of the brothels, and prostitutes are obvious. Needless to
say that these are diseases that have become a fixture in almost
all societies, and hence the child should at any price be protected
dangers of indecent pictures intended to sharpen the sexual appetite,
and which are exposed everywhere in the streets.
dangers of befriending other children who might have a bad influence
on the child. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, warned against
befriending bad people, saying, "A man is of the same faith
as his bosom friend, so make sure whom you take as a bosom friend."
dangers of intermingling the two sexes. It may appear that the mixing
of young boys and girls in school presents no harm, but in fact
the child becomes so accustomed to being mixed with the opposite
sex that later the idea of segregating himself from the opposite
sex becomes strange to him.
Is the Best Strategy
the face of all these dangers, supervision outside the house becomes
impossible, and in fact may not even be a good strategy, considering
the more mature personality of the child at this age. A more positive
attitude is to help him regulate his own sexual desire, and correct
himself. Some of the ways in which this can be done include:
and enlightening the child about the dangers outside the home. The
child should realize that these diseases of the society are not
part of his Islamic heritage. Some of them are the result of foreign
ideologies and philosophies, ranging from the Freudian theories
which base everything on sex; to the Marxist and Communist theories
which deny the existence of the Creator and make man his own god;
to the Hippies and the sexual revolution, etc. The child should
be educated about his own Islamic heritage and should know that
Islam preaches decency and chastity, and that what the child sees
in the streets is the result of the deviation from the true religion,
should constantly caution the child about the dangerous consequences
of fornication. No sinful act has greater repercussion on the person's
life, and the society as a whole, than the act of fornication. Parents
should explicitly caution their child about these dangers as soon
as they sense that he or she is mature enough to understand them.
Some of these harmful consequences include:
- Repercussion on the child's health: Many children and young
men are unaware that sexual promiscuity leads to many sexually
transmitted diseases. One such disease is AIDS, a deadly disease
that has become the plague of sexually promiscuous societies.
One single sexual act may ruin the child's health forever. This
danger alone is an incentive strong enough to caution the child
against the sin of fornication and any path that leads to it.
- Repercussion on the society: Any society in which sexual rules
are relaxed suffers from many illnesses such as a high number
of unwed mothers, children born out of wedlock, a high number
of rapists, and finally the gradual destruction of the nuclear
- Repercussion on the economy: No doubt that the wave of fatherless
children resulting from the plague of fornication, constitutes
an economic burden on the society. On the other hand, a man who
commits such acts acquires a sense of irresponsibility, which
will no doubt reflect on his work, and on the society as a whole.
- Repercussion on the Hereafter: It is very important that the
child should fear Allah's Punishment if he commits this abominable
sin. Allah says,
those who invoke not with Allah any other god, nor kill such life
as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal
sexual intercourse; and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and
he will abide therein in disgrace."
the child to his religious roots. Parents should teach their children
Islamic culture and history. The child should also know the norms
within a Muslim community and the way social activities (gatherings,
sports, hobbies, etc.) are per formed according to the Islamic Shari'ah.
Parents should encourage -even insist- that the child chooses his
friends from the company of well-behaved Muslim children.
is the most turbulent and confusing period in a person's life both
physically and emotionally. Things begin to happen to your body
that you don't understand and you begin to experience feelings and
emotions that were before this, alien to you. All of this can cause
drastic mood swings, and behavioural changes in children that parents
must be aware of. It is also a time, when the lines of communication
between parent and child need to be wide open. As parents we need
to listen, be empathetic to their situation and explain what all
these changes mean in regards to their lives and their religion.
a child reaches puberty, he becomes fully accountable for his deeds
in the Sight of Allah.
parents of the adolescent boy should inform him that the first time
he ejaculates, he becomes accountable for his actions in front of
Allah, and he should perform the acts of worship in the same way
that adult Muslims do.
a girl is about nine years old, her parents should inform her that
the first time she sees blood (menstruation), she becomes accountable
for her acts and that the acts of worship prescribed for Muslim
women are also prescribed for her.
the child reaches puberty, there are certain rules that the parents
should explain to him or her, which include:
the child has a sexual dream, he does not have to take a bath (ghusl)
unless he sees or feels wetness on his clothes or bed sheets due
to sperm ejaculation. In the case of a girl, vaginal discharge,
the type of viscous discharge that commonly occurs after a woman
has had an orgasm, should be noticed before it is necessary to take
a bath. Such was the answer of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa
sallam, to Khawlah Bint Hakeem, who asked him if a woman should
make ghusl when she has a sexual dream. He said, "No ghusl
on her unless she has a discharge, similarly there is no ghusl on
the man unless he ejaculates." (Ahmad and Nasa'i)
the child wakes up and sees or feels wetness due to sexual discharge,
he/she should perform ghusl even if he/she did not remember having
the boy ejaculates due to sexual arousal, whether voluntary or involuntary,
he should perform ghusl. The same rule applies to the girl if she
had an orgasm or vaginal discharge.
men and young women who are about to get married should know that
during sexual intercourse, as soon as penetration occurs they both
should perform ghusl whether there was discharge or not. The Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "When he sits between her
arms and legs, and the two organs touch, and his organ disappears
(in hers), there should be ghusl, whether he ejaculated or not."
the girl does not see anymore blood at the end of her menses, she
should perform ghusl. The married woman should know that after childbirth
she should make ghusl as soon as the bleeding stops. The next step
is obviously to teach the child how to perform ghusl and the Sunan
acts of ghusl. He or she should know the acts that are unlawful
to him or her while in a state of sexual impurity. These include:
menstruation, or after birth bleeding, a woman is forbidden to pray,
fast, hold the Qur'an, enter a mosque unless passing through it,
make tawaf (i.e., circumambulate the Ka'bah), or have sexual intercourse.
For Allah says,
ask you about menstruation, say: it is a harmful thing,
therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them
until they are clean."
and women who are in a state of sexual impurity (janabah) are prohibited
from reading the Qur'an or touching it before making ghusl. For
the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "The menstruating
woman and the one in a state of sexual impurity must not read anything
from the Qur'an." (Tirmidhi). They are also forbidden to pray,
enter the mosque, or make tawaf.
child should learn to inspect his clothes and keep them clean from
sperm (or vaginal discharge), or in fact, any liquids discharge
from the sexual organs.
young people, especially young men are under constant pressure to
conform to the norms of the larger society, and to express his manhood
through loose sexual behaviour. To be a virgin in this day and age
is looked upon as a sexual deviancy, while promiscuity and sexual
perversions are looked at as normal. Muslim youth should always
be guarded against such thinking, and steps should be taken to guard
their chastity until marriage becomes a viable option. But what
should young men do, if they wish to get married but cannot afford
it? Allah says concerning them,
let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves
Allah enriches them of His Bounty." [Qur'an 24:33]
means are offered to Muslim youths to help them to preserve their
chastity. Some have been discussed earlier, such as lowering the
gaze, keeping away from anything that induces arousal, seeking the
company of righteous people and fearing the punishment of Allah.
Some other ways are:
one's idle time with physical and intellectual activities, so that
one does not engage in sexual fantasies that arouses the desire.
Physical activity is also a good way to expend extra energy, and
also to relieve pressure.
voluntary fasting, as fasting decreases the sexual drive, and brings
one closer to Allah. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,
"Those who cannot (marry) should fast, for it is a means of
cooling sexual passion." (Bukhari)
of all, unmarried people should strengthen the religious deterrent
within themselves. One good way is to remember the many verses in
the Qur'an warning against zina. Also, they can consider the story
of Yusuf, who is the perfect example of the chaste man,
she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him, she closed the
doors and said,
'Come on, O you.' He said, 'Allah forbid!"
of the consensus of the larger society, homosexuality is not a sexual
norm, or alternative. Islam considers homosexuality as a sexual
deviation leading to a perverted act which goes against the natural
order Allah intended for mankind. It is a corruption of the man's
sexuality and a crime against the opposite sex. Therefore, the Islamic
Shari'ah strictly prohibits the practice of this perverted act,
which is mentioned in many places in the Holy Qur'an.
story of Prophet Lot's people, who were addicted to this practice,
is the best example. Prophet Lot, alayhes salam, said to his people,
you do sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer! And practice all wickedness
in your meetings."
he said to them,
"Of all the creatures of the world, will you approach males,
and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives?
Nay, you are a trespassing people!"
their answer to Prophet Lot, alayhessalam, was,
us the Wrath of Allah if you are telling us the Truth."
so Allah gave them the punishment they deserved,
We rained on them a rain of torment. And how evil was the rain of
those who had been warned."
of the danger, and the atrocity of this crime, Allah has punished
the people who committed it by four kinds of punishments. No people
have been punished by all four combined before: He blinded their
eyes, He turned the town of Sodom upside down, He rained on them
stones of baked clay piled up, and He sent against them a sayhah
[a torment and an awful cry].
as a person who has a sexual urge should not satisfy it by committing
zina, a person who has this perverted thought should not act upon
it. In order to maintain the purity of the Muslim society, most
Muslim scholars have ruled that the punishment for this act should
be the same as for zina (i.e., one hundred whiplashes for the man
who has never married and death by stoning for the married man).
Some have even ruled that the punishment of both partners in sodomy
is execution by the sword, if they committed the act by their own
choice and agreement. For Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam, said, "Whomever you found committing the
crime of Lot's people [i.e., sodomy], then kill both partners."
(Ahmad) The unprecedented plagues and the many dangerous diseases
that have appeared in our time such as the fatal AIDS disease, and
which are the result of this immoral crime, show the wisdom of inflicting
such strong punishment for this sin.
one's chastity also includes staying away from masturbation. Sexual
arousal may drive a person to masturbation. Such a person should
know, however, that the majority of the scholars consider this practice
unlawful. This ruling is based on the Words of Allah Who says,
who guard their private parts except from their spouses or those
whom their right hands possess, for them, they are free from blame.
But those who crave something beyond that, are transgressors."
one who masturbates is considered be among 'those who crave something
beyond that' specified in the verse.
should therefore resist this temptation by avoiding anything that
leads to sexual arousal. The Prophet's advice to the Muslim youth
is to seek help through frequent fasting, for it strengthens the
fear of Allah, teaches self control, and cools one's desire.
Ready for Marriage
the misguided thinking of some 'people of the book', sexual urge
and desire is neither a sinful thing, nor does abstaining from expressing
it in a lawful manner, lead to a higher level of spiritual awareness.
Allah created sexual urge in mankind, as it is the means by which
the procreation and continuity of humanity is ensured. Allah says,
Allah has given you wives of your own kind, and has given you, from
your wives, sons and grandsons."
is indeed a strong driving force in the human being, which demands
fulfilment. Islam recognizes this urge and never denies it, but
regulates it through the institution of marriage. Just as Islam
strictly forbids sex outside marriage, and all means leading to
it, it also prohibits celibacy. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa
sallam, said, "Young men, those of you who can support a wife
should marry, for it keeps you from looking at women and preserves
your chastity. " (Bukhari)
man who is physically and financially capable to marry should be
encouraged to do so as early as possible. The parents of a young
woman who is ready for marriage should let her marry as soon as
an acceptable man proposes to her.
is not enough to tell our children about the dangers of fornication;
we should make it a point to explain to them the many benefits of
marriage. By denying them one set of behaviors, it then becomes
necessary to offer them legal and acceptable alternatives. Besides
being a lawful way of satisfying one's sexual urge, marriage is
considered a form of worship, and the sexual act itself is a good
deed for which the Muslim receives a reward. The Prophet, sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam, said, "And in the sexual act (with your spouses)
there is a charity (you will be rewarded for)." He was then
asked, "A man satisfies his urge and gets reward for it?"
He said, "Do you see if he satisfied it in an unlawful way,
would he not get a punishment?" They said, "Yes."
And then he said, "Similarly if he did it in a lawful way,
he would be rewarded for it!" (Muslim) Through marriage, men
and women can find tranquillity and peace with each other. Allah
among His Signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves,
that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put between
you affection and mercy."
ensures the growth and spread of the Muslim Ummah. It splits the
responsibilities of raising the child between the parents, and tightens
the bond between the generations.
young people become aware of the many benefits of marriage, they
will no doubt look forward to it. The tremendous task of choosing
a spouse for the young man or woman lies more on the shoulders of
their parents, who should know about the Islamic way of choosing
a spouse for their child, and also should inform the child about
the etiquette of betrothal.
next responsibility is to inform the would-be-groom and bride about
what is lawful and unlawful, liked and disliked for them to do on
their wedding night and beyond.
for Spouse Selection
choosing spouses for their children, many Muslim parents nowadays,
look for physical beauty and economical prowess, and disregard requiring
them to have good Islamic character. The proper choice of an appropriate
spouse for one's offspring ensures a good foundation for the family
they will establish. For this reason Islam pays great attention
to the way one chooses a spouse. In choosing a bride for their son,
the parents should take into consideration his preferences regarding
her physical beauty and character, but most importantly they should
seek a Muslim woman of high moral and religious standards. The Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "A woman is normally sought
as a wife for her wealth, her beauty, her nobility, or her Deen
(religiousness), so choose a religious woman and you will prosper."
the girl's father should not postpone nor refuse to marry his daughter
to a man who proposes to her, if he is of sound religion, character
and of equal status. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,
"When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied,
asks to marry your daughter, agree to his request. If you do not
do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth." (Tirmithi)
engaging in the search for a bride, the young man and his parents
should avoid certain things:
is unlawful for a Muslim to marry a woman who is a mahram to him.
Also, he should not propose to a woman who is actually married;
a woman who is in her iddah (the waiting period of the divorced
or widowed woman); a woman whom another Muslim man has already asked
in marriage -unless she has already refused the first or if he permits
him-; a disbeliever, with the exception of Jewish or Christian women;
or a prostitute (unless she has sincerely repented from it). It
is also unlawful for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.
are also steps a girl's father should take before agreeing to the
man's proposal. The father should at least:
make sure that the man who is asking to marry his daughter is of
sound religion, and is capable of supporting her.
seek his daughter's consent before accepting the offer of the proposing
man. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "A woman
who has been previously married has more right concerning her person
than her guardian, and a virgin's consent must be asked about herself,
her consent being her silence." (Bukhari and Muslim)
is permissible prior to proposal that the man sees the woman he
intends to marry. Jabir Ibn Abdullah, radhiallahu anhu said concerning
his wife, "(Before marrying her) I used to hide behind a tree
to see her." The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,
"When one of you intends to marry a woman if he is able to
look at what would induce him to marry her he should do so."
are, however, rules concerning seeing the woman, that they both
man's intention of marriage should be sincere. He should not seek
to meet the woman until he is satisfied about her other attributes
such as her Deen, morality, and character, in such a way that he
is inclined to marry her, and looking at her is for him the last
step toward this decision.
should first send a woman from his family whom he trusts, to see
the girl and describe her to him.
girl's father should not allow the man proposing to her to look
at her unless he is completely satisfied with him.
girl's father should not hide from the proposing man any defects
he knows about his daughter.
man is allowed to see only the face and the hands of the woman he
intends to marry. If he wants specific information about her physical
appearance, he may send one of his mahram women to inquire about
it, and describe it to him. There is no sin on him to look intently
at her to confirm his desire to marry her.
does not have to ask her permission to look at her, it is rather
better that he does it without her knowledge if he can. This way,
if for any reason, he changes his mind this will not hurt her feelings.
after the man and the woman accept each other for marriage and thus
are engaged, they should remember that they are still considered
strangers (non-mahram) to each other and that what is unlawful to
the non-mahram is unlawful to them. This especially pertains to:
looking at each other, being alone together, and going out together.
Their relation to each other changes only after the marriage contract
Night & Beyond
men and women alike look forward to no other day with more anticipation,
than their wedding day. And perhaps no night can cause more joy,
fear and anxiety than their wedding night. There is, however, ways
described by the Prophet of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam,
to help make the wedding night as pleasant as the wedding day. There
are desirable acts that the couple are encouraged to do on their
wedding night, as well as prohibited acts, which they should avoid.
is a desirable Sunnah that the groom puts his hands on the bride's
head and pray for her. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam,
taught us to say, "O Allah, I ask You her goodness, and the
goodness of the inborn dispositions which You have given her, and
I solicit Your protection from her evil, and the evil of the inborn
dispositions which You have given her." (Abu Dawud and Ibn
Majah) The groom can make this supplication aloud or silently.
is also desirable that they make two raka'at of voluntary salah
together then invoke whatever supplication asking from Allah what
they wish for themselves. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam,
said, "Verily, affection is from Allah and repugnance is from
Satan who wants you to hate what Allah has allowed to you. So when
your wife comes to you, ask her to make two raka'at with you and
then say, 'O Allah, bless my wife for me, and bless me for her.
O Allah, unite between us in good, and if You separate us, separate
us in good." (Abu Shaybah)
groom is encouraged to please his bride and treat her with kindness.
It is a sunnah that he presents to her something to drink or to
eat. Asmaa bint Yazeed, radhiallahu anha, said, "I adorned
Aisha, radhiallahu anha, for her wedding night, and the Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, came to her side and brought a big
cup of milk from which he drank and then presented it to her, but
she blushed and lowered her head." (Ahmad)
is permissible that they take off all their clothes and be completely
naked but it is better for them to be under a common sheet, for
the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Verily Allah
is modest and discreet and He likes modesty and discretion."
(Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawud)
couple is encouraged to engage in foreplay before having intercourse.
The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "One of you
should not fall upon his wife like the way an animal does, let there
be a messenger between them." He was asked, "And what
is the messenger?" He replied, "Kissing and talking."
(Ad-Daylami) This indicates that the man should seek to satisfy
his wife's desires as she satisfies his.
starting intercourse, it is a sunnah to make the following supplication,
"In the name of Allah. O Allah, keep Satan away from us, and
keep Shaytan away from (the offspring) that which You grant us."
are free to have intercourse in any position they wish, as Allah
wives are as a tilth unto you, so approach your tilth when or how
are free to have intercourse any time they wish, but moderation
is advised and sexual activity should not become an obsession as
it may take over other activities of life. Having intercourse on
the night before Friday is desirable as the Prophet said, "Whoever
makes ghusl on Friday to clean himself from janabah (i.e., after
having intercourse), then left for salah, it is as if he offered
a camel in sacrifice." (Bukhari)
intercourse, it is desirable that they take a bath (ghusl) before
going to sleep. If this presents a hardship on them they should
perform ablution (wudhu) and can postpone ghusl until before Fajr
salah. If they want to have intercourse a second time, it is desirable
that the man performs wudhu first. For the Prophet said, "If
one of you had intercourse with his wife and then wants to come
to her again, it is better for him to perform wudhu, for it gives
him vigor to come again." (Muslim)
Acts the Couple Must Avoid
is unlawful for them to speak about (or otherwise mention) anything
that happened between them in intimacy. The Prophet, sallallahu
alayhe wa sallam, said, "Among those who will be in the worst
position in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection is the man
who has intercourse with his wife, and she with him, and then he
spreads her secret." (Muslim)
is strictly unlawful for the couple to engage in sodomy, as the
Prophet said, "Cursed is the one who comes to his wife in her
anus." (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)
asked Ibn Abbas, radhiallahu anhu, about one engaging in sodomy
with his wife, and Ibn Abbas said, "This man is asking me about
kufr." The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam has even said,
"Whoever has intercourse [with his wife] during her menses,
or commits sodomy with her, or comes to a diviner, then he disbelieved
in what was revealed to Muhammad." (Tirmithi)
spite of the fact that some pious women who are on the innate nature,
and refuse to comply, their husbands threaten to divorce them if
they do not obey them.
men lie to their wives who are shy to ask the religious scholars
about this matter. Concerning this act, they may tell them that
it is allowed, and might even present them a 'proof' from the Qur'an
where Allah says,
wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth when and how you
the sunnah of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, clarifies
what is mentioned in the Qur'an, when he stated that the man is
allowed to approach his wife in any manner as long as it is in the
place of conception (i.e., the vagina). Among the causes of this
crime is to enter the pure marital life with filthy habits of forbidden
perverted acts inherited from the times of jahilyiah, or with a
memory full of pornographic scenes from movies that some had watched
and had not repented to Allah for them. It is well known that this
act is forbidden, even when both parties agree on it.
is forbidden for the husband to have intercourse with his wife during
her menstruation and childbirth bleeding, as Allah says, "They
ask you concerning menstruation. Say, that is a harmful thing, therefore
keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they
are clean." [2:222] Therefore the husband is not allowed to
have intercourse with his wife until she purifies herself by taking
ghusl after her menstruation stops, because Allah ta'ala says, "And
when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah
has ordained for you..." [2:222] The seriousness of this sin
is such that that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, compared
it to disbelief.
a person commits this sin out of ignorance of the rule of Shari'ah,
then there is no blame on him, but if he committed it intentionally
while he knew of the rule, then he should atone for it. The atonement
is either one Dinar or half a Dinar. Some scholars say the man is
free to choose between either sum of money. Other scholars say he
should pay one Dinar if he had intercourse during the first days
of menstruation when the bleeding was heavy, and one half Dinar
if it was in the last days of menstruation when the bleeding was
lighter, or before she took a bath [ghusl]. The value of one Dinar
is the value of 4.25 grams of gold, which he should give to charity.
woman should not voluntarily fast before asking permission from
her husband, as this deprives him from having intercourse with her.
This of course excludes the obligatory fasting such as Ramadhan,
or when she has to make up for the days she did not fast during
wife should not refuse to satisfy her husband's sexual need without
any legitimate excuse. Abu Hurairah, radhiallahu anhu, narrated
that the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said, "When the
man invites his wife to his bed, but she refuses, and so he spends
the night being angry at her, then the angels will curse her until
the next morning." (Bukhari) Therefore, the wife should hasten
to answer her husband's call, complying to the words of the Prophet,
sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, "When the man invites his wife
to his bed she should satisfy him even if she were on the camel's
saddle." (Sahihul-Jami') On the other hand, the husband must
take into consideration his wife's disposition if she falls sick
or is pregnant, or is in grief, so that their relation remains in
harmony and to avoid any discord.