Intimacy in Islam

Islam is not only a religion but a complete way of life. The Qur`an states, “and this day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion” and “O you who believe, enter into Islam in its entirety.” The solution to each problem and query can be found in Islam. It is unfortunate that our practice of Islam is sometimes confined to the Masjid and the realms of ritual worship. Our religion, in its true essence, extends the basic boundaries of a religion between a person and His Lord to also include fulfilling the rights of other creations. As well as including aqa`id (beliefs) and ibadat (ritual acts of worship), the different strands of our religion also comprise of mu`amalat (mutual and financial dealings), mu`asharat (social dealings) and akhlaq (moral character). From amongst the rulings discussed by The Quran, the Prophet and Islamic literatures is conjugal intimacy between spouses.

There are many verses of The Qur`an which deal with the issue of conjugal intimacy between the spouses, including verses 2: 187, 2: 197, 2: 222, 2: 223, 4: 24, 4: 43, 23: 1-6 etc. In a Hadith recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (peace and salutations be upon him) described clearly how a person may engage in conjugal intercourse with his wife such that it obligates a ritual bath. It is unfortunate that we are generally ignorant of the Islamic teachings on conjugal intimacy either because we assume there are no Islamic teachings in relation to this or that we shy away from asking. The sahaba (male companions), such as Umar RA (in al-Tirmidhi) and sahabiyat (female companions), such as Umm Sulaym RA (in al-Bukhari), did not shy away from asking the Messenger questions of a sexual nature. For example, the companion, Umar (RA), once asked Prophet (peace be upon him) about the permissibility of penetrating one`s wife from behind (avoiding anal penetration). The Prophet PBUH did not rebuke or reprimand him for asking such a question, but waited for a Qur`an verse to be revealed to answer his question. Therefore, it is explicit, then, that there is nothing wrong in asking questions and reading Islamic literature on the subject for the purposes of education and practice, providing it is done with decency. It is in fact incumbent upon all those who are married and those seeking to marry to learn about these Islamic teaching and `enter Islam in entirety`. We have decided to give below a brief introduction towards conjugal relationships in Islam.

Intention and objective of conjugal intimacy

  • To seek children. The Glorious Qur`an [2: 187] states, “… have relations with them (your wives) and seek what God has ordained for you (from children).” The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “Marriage is from my way … And marry (and procreate), for indeed I will outnumber the other nations by you”. It is evident from the Quran and Prophetic texts that procreation and seeking of pious offspring are valid objectives of conjugal relations with one`s spouse. Children are a bounty and trust from Allah. The Qur`an instructs us to supplicate to God to grant us children who are righteous, dutiful and the coolness of our eyes.
  • To maintain chastity and to be able to satisfy carnal desire in a lawful manner. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Oh group of young men, anyone (of you) who can afford it should marry, for it lowers the eyes and guards the private parts. Anyone who is unable to marry should fast, for it restrains the appetite.”
  • To gain reward. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, “… having sexual intercourse with your wife is an act of charity.” His companions were surprise and thus asked, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?” The Prophet responded, “Tell me, if he were to devote it to something prohibited, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.” Therefore, conjugal relationship can become an act of worship if one intends by it to fulfil the right of the spouse and treat each other honourably. Similarly, He (Prophet Muhammad) would sleep in the early part of the night, and wake up in the latter part to offer prayers. If he then wished to fulfil his desire with his wife, he would fulfil his desire, and then rest (if needed) and have a bath.
  • It is the right of each other. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once advised his companion, Abdullah ibn Amar ibn al-As, to be moderate in his worship. And on learning that he had not slept with his wife, the Prophet said to him, “Your wife has a right over you” – clearly defining that the husband and wife are responsible to fulfil the lawful needs of each other.

Desirable acts

  • To maintain personal hygiene.
  • To apply fragrance and (possibly kohl).
  • To beautify one`s self.
  • To engage in passionate kissing and foreplay is encouraged and in fact a sunnah.
  • To occasionally shower and bathe together.
  • To recite the supplication. When approaching one`s spouse, if one says: “in the name of Allah. O Allah, protect us from the devil and protect what you grant us (i.e. the coming offspring) from the devil” then if it is destined that they have a child from that intercourse, the devil will never be able to harm the child [Hadith]
  • To take any side or adopt any position mutually preferred by both the spouses. The Qur`an verses, “your wives are tillage for you to cultivate” and “when he covers her with himself” indicate that, although anal sex, is impermissible, there is a general permission to adopt any position or side in engaging in sexual intimacy. It is important to note that it is impermissible to engage in coitus with a menstruating woman [al-Qur`an, 2: 222] or to engage in anal intercourse [al-Hadith]
  • It is recommended to have a separate bath for each sexual encounter.
  • It is desirable to take a bath (of impurity) as soon as possible following coitus. However, it is permissible to sleep before bathing too but it would be better to at least wash the private parts and make ablution. [Hadith]
  • An important point to remember for both the spouses is, “what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.” The worst of individuals on the day pf judgement will be those who expose and reveal to others from the conjugal relationship that transpired between the spouses. [Hadith]. The spouses are `garments for each other [Qur`an, 2: 187] and thus should cover the secrets of each other and maintain the trust upon which marital relationships are built.



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Posted in Uncategorised on 4th Feb 2016 by Our Imam | 963 Views