Sex Etiquette in Islam

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

The sexual instinct is one of the most important instincts that man is naturally predisposed to satisfy. It is almost impossible to prevent the healthy person from satisfying this instinct. It is not astonishing then that the Shari’a has given a great deal of interest to this matter and has set sufficient rules to channel this instinct and adjust it for the best of humanity. This is evident in several fields. Here are some of them:

1. The Sharia (Islamic Law) prohibit extra and pre marital sexual intercourse. Allah said in Holly Qoran: “And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.” (Al-Israa’: 32)

2 -The Shari’a orders people to lower their gaze from looking at forbidden things, keep their private parts from illegal sexual acts exept only  by getting married. For those who are not able, they should fast and be patient until they are able to get married. This is because of the danger of this instinct and the importance of satisfying it through legal ways. Allah Says (Interpretation of meaning): (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 Allah 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). [24: 29-30].
It is also narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abdullah Ibn Massoud  that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes one’s sexual power”.
The ability to marry means being able to perform the sexual act itself and having the finances that are required for marriage. al-Termizi and Abu Dawood narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Ali  : “O Ali! Do not follow a glance (at a forbidden thing) by another glance as the first glance is yours but the second one is not”.

3 -Islam orders us to cover the Awrah (for men from navel to knee; for women the whole body) because uncovering the Awrah leads to the spread of depravity and corruption. It hangs the hearts to the forbidden. It leads one to be driven by his instincts and not by the moderation required by Islam. Allah Says (Interpretation of meaning): (And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts from illegal sexual acts). [70:29].
al-Termizi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Mo’auiya Ibn Haida  : “Conceal your private parts except from your wife and the women slave and captive) who your right hand possesses).

4 -The Shari’a makes it clear that the purpose of marriage is not only satisfying the sexual pleasure but also seeking the reward from Allah, seeking to have children, to build a good family, to settle down physically and emotionally. Allah Says (Interpretation of meaning): And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect. [30:21].
Muslim narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “And in man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there is Sadaqa (alms). They (the Companions) said: “O Messenger of Allah, is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us? He said: Tell me if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward”.
al-Nassai and Abu Dawood narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Marry the fertile and affectionate women as to be the most numerous among nations, which I will vie with (on the Last Day)”.

5 -The Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) urged men to be friendly towards their wives and to live with them honourably. al-Termizi and Ahmad narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ” The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is the one who has an excellent behaviour”.
He also said to Jaber  when he married a widow (divorced woman): “It is better to marry a virgin who plays with you and you play with her”. [Bukhari and Muslim].

6 -The Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told us about his love for his wives and stated that getting pleasure from them in accordance with the Divine injunctions is one of the greatest bounties of the present life.
He said: “Three things are rendered beloved to me in the present life: women, perfume and coolness of my eyes lies in performing the Salah”. [Ahmad and al- Nasai].
Another Hadith reads: “The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of this world is the pious woman”. [Muslim].
7 -Etiquette of sexual intercourse: Here are some Qur’anic texts and Prophetic Hadith on this matter.

A:Wearing perfume: In a sound Hadith from Aisha : “I used to perfume Allah’s Messenger (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then he had sexual intercourse with his wives”. [al-Bukhari & Muslim].

B:What to say while having sex.
Ibn Abbas  reported that Allah’s Messenger (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: ” If anyone amongst you intends to go to his wife he should say: In the name of Allah, O Allah protect us against Satan and keep away the Satan from the one that you have bestowed upon us, and if He has ordained child for them, Satan will never be able to do any harm to him/her”. [Muslim].

C:Permissible ways while having sex with wife.
Having sex with one’s wife through vagina is the one and only permitted way whether it be from back or front. ” Jabir  declared that the Jews used to say: When a man has intercourse with his wife through the vagina but being on her back, the child will have squint, so the verse came down: “Your wives are your tilth; go then unto your tilth as you may desire “.[ Muslim].

D:Prohibition of having sexual intercourse with your wife while she is in her monthly period. Abu Hurairah  reported that Allah’s Messenger (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating woman, or with a woman in her rectum, or goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad”.[al-Termizi and Abu Dawood].

E:Prohibition of having sex with a woman through her rectum. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: “He is cursed, the one who has intercourse with a woman/ sodomizes his wife in her rectum”.

F:It is forbidden to divulge the secret of the private relations between the two spouses. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri  said: ” The most wicked among the people in the eye of Allah on the Day of Judgment is the man who goes to his wife and she comes to him, and then he divulges her secret “. [Muslim].

G:al-Ghusl (taking a bath after sex) is a must. Abu Hurairah  reported that Alalh’s Messenger (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When any one sits between the four parts of her body and exerts himself (has intercourse), bathing becomes obligatory (for both)”. [Related by Ahmad and Muslim].

H:Covering oneself while having sex.
The Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If anyone of you has sexual intercourse with his wife, let him cover himself, and not be naked the way the donkeys do”.
Scholars of Hadith believe this Hadith is weak. So one is not asked to abide by it (Hadeeth).
This is some of what was revealed about sex.

(Edited from http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=81556 )

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