Muslim Couples Having Sex: Everything You Should Know About Halal and Haram
Halal is right, haram is wrong.
By nature, Islam is an extremely conservative religion. It has always been so. Over the years, strict adherence to the Quran and the Hadith has ensured that it remains so. Every facet of the religion, including Muslim couples having sex, portrays this conservatism. Islamic leaders have gone to great lengths to ensure that all Muslims uphold values like morality, chastity, and modesty. We have broken down sex into different components, as we examine what part of sex is halal in Islam, and what is haram.
Muslim Couples Having Sex: Halal or Haram?
Let's look at the following aspects of sex and sexuality, to understand what is halal in Islamic law, and what is not.
Definitely haram. Just like in other major religions, having sex prior to marriage in Islam is forbidden. No matter how devout you are or not, Muslims take sex before marriage very seriously in Islam. Lots of Muslims are in dating relationships without having sex because it is a huge deal that should be saved for marriage. This practice further upholds the Islamic values of chastity, modesty, and purity.
Islam encourages sex within the confines of a marriage. Islam also recognizes having concubines in marriage. Extramarital sex is a big no-no, but within marriage sex is positive and important. The religion places emphasis on the importance of foreplay. Sex in marriage, halal. Pre-marital sex, a big haram to that one.
Total halal. Islam supports men having more than one wife. And where he doesn't actually marry the woman, he can enjoy sexual relations with a woman other than his wife, and have it lead to more children. The clause here is he must take care of the woman and her children. Concubinage was a pre-Islamic custom that was practiced under Islam with Jews and non-Muslim people to marry concubine after teaching her and instructing her well and then giving them freedom.
Halal. Islam supports the use of contraceptives for family planning purposes. Islam also permits the morning-after pill, as long as the woman taking it doesn’t feel that she has conceived. You have the right to use whatever contraception you want, without your husband’s permission. But you cannot force your husband to wear a condom or pull out before ejaculating. Each gender should have control over their own contraceptives.
Muslim Couples Having Sex: Abortion?
It is haram – but there are grey areas. Islam allows abortion if the pregnancy poses a real threat to your health. It is also permissible to prevent the suffering of the fetus if it is fewer than 120 days old. In Iran, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei issued a fatwa which permits abortion in the first three months, saying: ‘…Islam is also a religion of compassion, and if there are serious problems, God sometimes doesn’t require his creatures to practice his law. So under some conditions–such as parents’ poverty or overpopulation-then abortion is allowed.’ – Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei was quoted in Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2000.
Halal. The sayings of the Hadith recommend foreplay and put no major restrictions on the type of techniques used during foreplay or during intercourse. Muslims must never act like animals, and sex without foreplay is acting like an animal, therefore foreplay is extremely important.
Muslim Couples Having Sex: Oral Sex?
Another grey area. Some scholars say that while it’s undesirable, it’s acceptable. Some Islamic leaders forbid oral sex because it is that same mouth that's used to pray to Allah. Others allow oral sex within the confines of marriage.
Big no-no. Definitely Haram. In Islam, anal sex is considered ‘the sin of Lot’s people’ and is forbidden between hetero or homosexual couples. Of course, as we mentioned, these are the official teachings of Islam. There might be Muslims who do have anal sex, just like there might be Jews who eat bacon and Catholics who are on the pill.
Muslim Couples Having Sex: Period sex?
Haram. No – not on the menu. Muslims should not have sex during a woman’s period or during her afterbirth, largely because Islam says it’s unclean and unpleasant for the woman.
Muslim Couples Having Sex: Homosexuality?
Haram. Like a lot of other major religions, homosexuality isn’t permissible under Islam. Men who have sex with other men should be punished, says the Koran, even though no punishment is specified. Women having sex with women falls under the same umbrella. There are gay Muslims, but just like in Christianity and many other religions, because people of the same sex cannot marry, it’s impossible to have marital sex in the eyes of the religion.
Muslims prohibit masturbation for men and women, but different areas of Islam take slightly different stances on how wrong it actually is.
Sexual hygiene is a prominent topic in Islam. After partaking in sexual activity where penetration or ejaculation occured, both men and women must complete a full-body ritual ablution called ghusl in order to re-establish ritual purity before prayer. Ghusl requires clean, odorless water that has not been used for a previous ritual and begins with the declaration of the intention of purity and worship. A Muslim performing complete ablution then washes every part of his or her body.
How sexually expressive are Muslims? There are many rules, but if you’re having heterosexual sex with your spouse, sex is an important and valued part of a marriage.