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Top 10 Questions About Sex In Islam

This is the final segment in the series “Love, Sex, and Marriage in Islam.” 

Sex in Islam, Always a Hot Topic

Since beginning this series (and before) I’ve received lots of questions about sex and Islam. I was surprised at how little Muslims know about this topic. Things that were common knowledge to me, were not so common to others.

I have learned the sad fact that many Muslims lack a basic understanding of Islam. This is what inspired me to create this website in the first place. Even sadder is that many do not understand what is halaal (permissible) and haraam (forbidden) when it comes to sex.

Without this knowledge, you might be committing illegal sexual acts without even knowing it.

This is what this short series was supposed to address. Hopefully, you’ve benefited from it and have learned a thing or two about love, sex, and marriage in Islam.

To help with this understanding, I also wrote a book called “Sex in Islam.” This book covers many of the topics discussed in this series but it is more focused on the topic of sex between husband and wife.

Some may disagree with me for creating this series during Ramadan. But since people aren’t going to stop having sex during Ramadan, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be discussed. Especially if the discussion is coming from an Islamic standpoint.

With this in mind, here are the top 10 questions about sex in Islam.

1. What is Zina?

Zina is illegal sexual intercourse, specifically sex with someone you’re not married to. This can be fornication (unmarried people having sex) or adultery (married people having sex with someone they’re not married to). Both require severe punishments in Islamic law.

2. What is the punishment for fornication and adultery?

The punishment for an unmarried person having sex is 100 lashes and banishment from the community for 1 year.

The punishment for a married or divorced person having sex with someone they’re not married to is death according to most scholars. There is a minority that say the punishment is the same as fornication.

3. Is homosexuality forbidden?

Yes, homosexuality is absolutely forbidden in Islam, no matter what Lady Gaga says. Allah says in His book:

Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds.

Surah A’raf, verse 81.

The punishment for committing homosexual acts under Islamic law is death.

4. Is masturbation permissible?

Most traditional scholars say no. However, many modern scholars are saying it is permissible, though disliked. There is no specific verse from the Quran or hadith that absolutely prohibits it, so I would have to agree with those that say it is permissible. Nonetheless, I encourage you to stay away from it.

sex-in-islam-3d-ebook-transparent-small

Download “Sex in Islam” from Amazon.com

5. Is anal sex permissible?

No, it is not. Prophet Muhammad forbade anal sex, even between a man and a woman.

“Whoever has sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, or a woman in her anus, or approaches a soothsayer and believes what he is told has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.”

Forbidden sexual acts are discussed at length in my book “Sex in Islam.” Click this link to download it from Amazon.com

6. Is oral sex permissible?

Similar to masturbation, most traditional scholars say “no.” However, modern scholars seem to lean towards it being “permissible, but not good.” There are no verses from the Quran or hadith prohibiting it. Therefore, I agree with those that say it is permissible, but disliked.

7. Can Muslims use contraception?

In short, yes. This is a deep topic and I can’t discuss it at length here. Condoms, diaphragms, and utilizing the “withdrawal method” are all permissible so long as both spouses agree. Medical contraception that involves surgery is not permissible for men, but can be for women if medically necessary.

8. Is abortion permissible?

In general, no. But there are exceptions, namely rape, incest, or medical reasons. This topic also requires a deep discussion and it cannot be done here. I discuss both contraception and abortion in depth in “Sex in Islam.”

Yet another good reason to download it from Amazon.com now.

9. I can’t stop watching pornography. What can I do?

This is becoming more and more of a problem with Muslims. I don’t know how to cure this addiction (and it should be looked at as an addiction) but I think I have methods that can help, Inshallah. I’m willing to help anyone who has a problem with this.

10. How come men can marry four wives but women can’t marry four husbands?

Because marrying four husbands is sick and Allah has not allowed it.

Sex In Islam: The Book

All of these questions (except the last one) are addressed in my book “Sex in Islam.” Of course, I wrote it in my usual laid-back, casual style. I included verses from the Quran and quoted hadiths to support everything. I wanted this to be as authentic as possible.

I’m keeping the price low for now because this topic is of such importance to the Muslim world, especially those of us living in the West. However, circumstances may force me to raise the price soon, so I encourage you to download “Sex in Islam” from Amazon.com now.

If you are married or want to get married or have questions about this important and natural human function, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor.

  • You might be doing haraam sexual acts without even knowing it. This book will inform you.
  • You might be depriving yourself of permissible sexual acts without knowing it. This book will advise you.
  • You can earn blessings while having sexual relations with your spouse if done the right way. Inshallah, this will lead to a blessed marriage and a happier family.

At this time, the book is only available as a Kindle download. This was the best way to offer the book and still keep it affordable.

If you don’t have an Amazon Kindle, don’t worry. You can download Kindle software to your iPad, iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android mobile device.

Download “Sex in Islam” from Amazon.com

sex-in-islam-3d-ebook-transparent-small

And if you don’t have one of these devices, you can install Kindle on your laptop or PC. And best of all, the Kindle software is free.

Click this link to read a sample of “Sex In Islam.”

62 Responses to Top 10 Questions About Sex In Islam

  1. Khadijah says:

    Salaams brother hope Ramadhan is going well and this topic is most apt to clarify for the Muslims what is halal and what is haraam so where can the wrong be, it is not sensationalist or promoting wrong doing or lust. So carry on with this superb dawah and may Allah reward you infinitely for helping the Ummah.

    Barak’Allahu fik.

    • Abu Ibrahim says:

      Wa Alaikum Salaam Sr. Khadijah,

      Alhamdulillah, this is shaping up to be one of the best Ramadhans I’ve ever had. I find this amazing given that it started off kinda rough.

      Inshallah, I plan on starting a new series after Ramadhan on the Signs of the Last Day. Let me know if you have any input or suggestions about topics I should cover.

  2. aminat says:

    Asalam brother,may Allah be pleased with u. Your dawah is so educative and informative. May Allah reward u abundantly.

  3. Tayyib says:

    Asalamu Alaikum Brother. This website and the things you have written it here on different topics are very nice and educative! Mashallah ! I wanted to ask you that do you have any paragragh like this about the topic : The six points of Tabligh (Da’wah) ? Jazakallahu khair.

  4. Al-Sabah says:

    Assalamu Alaikum Brother,
    Your topics here is so educative and I learn a lot from your topics, this is absolutely greet. Brother, I just want to know if it’s forbidden to marry a daughter or let just say forbidden for me to marry the daughter of my cousin…? I hope you will reply to my concern…

    Allah Bless us all muslims…! ♥♥♥

  5. algosaibi says:

    asalamu alaykum
    i heard that apparently you have to do it under the covers and i am not sure if this is true?
    please help me find out if this is true or not.
    jazzak allahu khayran :)

  6. Sam Khan says:

    Aslaam Allaikum
    I have a question,
    Is having sexual intercourse with your wife after marriage, although she is stressed and not having right mood(Fiqh),,
    Is it allowed to have sexual intercourse or not..

    • Abu Ibrahim says:

      Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      In general, yes that is permissible. But Allah knows the truth of everything. If your wife is really stressed out and tired, and the husband knows this, he should be considerate of her feelings and not force her to do something when it may not be the best time.

      Allah knows best but this may be a form of oppression. The best thing is for both men and women to respect each other’s feelings.

      The husband should respect his wife’s need for rest and recuperation. And the wife should respect her husband’s needs for sexual fulfillment. Both parties have to work together.

      • SALMAN MANSURI says:

        asalamu alaykum,

        I can’t stop watching pornography. What can I do? Plz Plz help in this severe problem , suggest some effective steps/ways to overcome this , i will be very thankful to you
        jazzak allahu khayran

        • Abu Ibrahim says:

          Wa Alaikum Salaam,

          You should try fasting every Monday and Thursday. Fast more often if you can and if you believe it would help.

          Also, if you’re not married, get marreid.

          Make dua to Allah for strength and whenever you slip into watching pornography, repent to Allah and do some sort of good deed like giving charity or praying two rakats.

          Cut back on watching movies and television and listening to music. All of these things present you with images of women that can arouse your desire.

          • Some Brother says:

            I would have to strongly disagree with getting married. You can’t drag another person into this problem, especially without their knowledge. You have to get rid of the problem first. It has been generally observed that people that are addicted to pornography still latch onto it after marriage, even if they have a brief period of abstinence.

          • Jamiu says:

            Salaam Alaykum,

            On the issue of watching ponography, i had the same problem a while back. To stop it, i took an oath on my own not to watch it again.
            Because i took an oath, anytime i watched ponography, i had to fast for 3 days. Because of this fasting for 3 days, anytime i come across a ponographic movie, i ask myself, “Am i ready to fast for the next 3 days just because i want to see a movie for like an hour?”
            And in sha Allah i can’t remember the last time i watched a ponographic movie

  7. NOMAN says:

    aslam-o-alikum dear i heard that MASTURBATION is prohibited in islam and its punishmentment will be given to those who did it. and its punishment was on the judgement day his hand become like a pregnant women and he should have to gave birth to a child’s. the number of child depend upon the number of doing MASTURBATION

  8. Imran says:

    The Book “Sex in Islam” should have been free so that lot of people can benefit from the said book.Allah Hafiz

  9. Khalid says:

    Can the wife sack for her husband ?

  10. Deb Ewing says:

    WOW re: #10–LOL! 10. How come men can marry four wives but women can’t marry four husbands? Before getting angry, just read my whole response, please.

    Abu Ibrahim’s edit: Edited for promoting un-Islamic concepts and values that would be detrimental to any society, Islamic or otherwise.

  11. tounkara yaya says:

    aslaaliakum.
    About masturbation, what i know according to iman hanbal may allah agrred with him, said that masturbation will be allowed and that it is not haram. That when muslim students go aboard for studies and need comes to them for sex instead going out to do zinah,if they do masturbation that will prevent them from commiting zinah. Allah knows better.

  12. A.G says:

    Asalaamualaikum
    Can man…
    Abu Ibrahim Edit: Dude, just say “oral sex.” You don’t have be graphic about it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am a Muslim Alhamdulilah but there is one thing I just cannot comprehend…

    Why is it sick/not okay for a woman to marry four husbands but not sick/okay for a man to marry four wives?

    Abu Ibrahim edit: This comment contains un-Islamic statements despite their claim to being Muslim. May Allah guide him/her.

    • Muttaqi says:

      I’m sorry, I do not have time to debate whether polygamy is allowed in Islam or not. There are many valid reasons why most men should not get involved in polygamy. However, it is something that Allah has allowed and you have told a lie on Allah by saying His book says something it does not say.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear Abu Ibrahim, can I please ask you why you refused to post my comment? I wanted your view on that.. :)

    • Muttaqi says:

      It would have been better if you had just simply given advice or warnings about getting involved in polygamy rather than say Allah has said something that He has not said. Therefore, I had to edit most of your comment.

  15. This is good information . From the USA, Chicago. IL

  16. Maysaa says:

    Subhanallah, Masturbation is Harram in Islam. There are hadiths of the people of Hell fire who used to abuse themselves. i think that is evidence enough.

    Also Oral sex is permitted in Islam. There is a Hadith of an old man who came to the Prophet SAW, he had a young wife and explained to the Prophet he was unable to perform due to his age. So he asked is it permissible if i use an object, the Prophet SAW said no its not permissible but you are able to please her using other parts of yourself. (e.g Hands, mouth etc etc).

    Its very clear masturbation is harram as you are satisfying yourself but oral with your spouce is Halal if both agree and are happy… especially if there is a need as mentioned in the hadith above.

    • Muttaqi says:

      If you can provide the hadith that directly prohibits it, I will post it and issue a correction.

      But I’ve done my research and the scholars who say it is haram do not quote a hadith as their evidence. They quote a verse from the Quran:

      And those who guard their private parts (are successful)
      Chapter 23, verse 5.

      This is their understanding of this verse and I think it’s quite valid and I’m in no position to argue with these scholars. However, I’m not aware of any authentic hadith that expressly prohibits masturbation as there are many that expressly prohibit anal sex.

      At the very least, it is a doubtful matter which should definitely be avoided.

      And Allah knows best.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I was only trying to look for clarification as to why it is allowed. I also did not claim that I read that in the Qur’an myself. The last FAQ is:

    10. How come men can marry four wives but women can’t marry four husbands?

    Because marrying four husbands is sick and Allah has not allowed it. – My comment was based on this, so I did not “told a lie on Allah by saying His book says something it does not say” like you said in your reply. Also, instead of enlightening me, you say you don’t have the time? My comment was solely based on my knowledge. You have made this website, to enlighten Muslims and non Muslims about Islam etc, but tell me that you do not have the time and that I ‘claim’ to be a Muslim when you do not know a thing about me. That was great advice from a Muslim to a fellow Muslim, thanks :)

    • Muttaqi says:

      You did claim to be a Muslim…didn’t you?

      You weren’t asking for clarification. You asked a question and then proceeded to answer your own question with your thoughts and opinions. That’s not asking for clarification; that’s making a point.

      If you want to know more about polygamy, run a search on this blog; I’ve already written about it. If you can take the time to ask the question in comments, and wait several days for my answer, I’m sure you can take the time to write “polygamy” in the search box up top.

      Polygamy questions always lead to flame wars (see…we’re about to enter one now). I’ve learned it’s best to avoid them and cut them off quickly.

      I probably can’t change your mind and you sure as heck can’t change mine. So we’ll just leave it at that.

  18. Muslimah says:

    Salam – perhaps you should edit the ‘marrying four husbands is sick’ to something a little more rational rather than casual? Otherwise it might invite flaming.

    • Muttaqi says:

      Yeah…I think you may have a point there.

      But sometimes a little controversy is good. We can’t please all the people all the time.

      However, perhaps I can do things a little better.

    • A Wife Who Will NEVER Give Her Consent. says:

      I think it’s something to think about–people seem to be objecting to “sick” more than the concept.

  19. In trouble! says:

    I am facing all the problems mentioned in the article. My husband really loves me and wants to stay in the marriage but I just can’t seem to love him at all. We actually are in a long distance relationship and we meet over the weekends for a day at my in-laws. i now have an option of letting him stay at my hostel, but there was a time when he was not interested in staying in the hostel because his parents house was jsut an hour’s drive from my hostel. Moreover, his parents also believed that we should stay with them over the weekends. I have been married for more than a year and things started falling apart just 3-4 months after marriage. Now both his parents and himslef have realized that we need our space over the weekends, but I can’t bear the sight of him because it brings back the memories of the times when he didnt want to stay away from his parents.
    He also never took a stand for me, though always used to assure me that he is with me. We are totally opposite poles. He is a cool- headed person and very laid-back.
    I want to divorce him, but my mother is hell-bent of keeping me in this marriage even if I am not happy, because she is scared about what the society will say. Not even a single day goes by where I dont cry. I hate it when he even touches me.
    I have also stopped praying for the past 3 months, though i know its a very huge sin.
    Please advice me what I should do.

  20. In trouble! says:

    i posted the above comment under the wrong article. I have re-posted it under ” 7 warning signs that your marriage is in trouble”. Please delete this post from here.
    Thanks

  21. Maasha Allaah. So far, this is one of the Islamic pages i have really enjoyed going through. I love the mode of your articles and questions and answers. May Allaah continue to Guide us all and may His Mercy be with us all till eternity, In Shaa Allaah. Jazzaakumullahu Khairan.

  22. idesireranks says:

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Sorry for criticizing your name Muttaqi-didn’t know that was your actual name. Although didn’t An-Nabi(S) change the name of a woman from Barrarah to Zainab?

    Now to the point of this book:

    Also, don’t you remember the hadith where An-Nabi (S) was about to prohibit sex with breastfeeding women but he found out that Romans did it and it causes no problems so he didn’t allow it?

    Also, isn’t it allowed to drink cow urine for health benefits even though it is najus?

    I never knew that the majority of classical scholars saw oral sex as haram. SubhanAllah, what is the matter with us asking these questions, if we do so we make life difficult for Muslims.

    I will now quote a translation from Ibn Kathir and I hope Allah aza wa jal will benefit us both with all the ilm he teaches us, may he do so and teach us what benefits us and we take refuge in him from Ilm that does not benefit us.

    “A Hadith states,

    «أَعْظَمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ جُرْمًا مَنْ سَأَلَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ لَمْ يُحَرَّمْ، فَحُرِّمَ مِنْ أَجْلِ مَسْأَلَتِه»

    (The worst criminal among the Muslims is he who asks if a matter is unlawful (or not), and it becomes unlawful because of his asking about it.) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

    «ذَرُونِي مَا تَرَكْتُكُمْ، فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ كَثْرَةُ سُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافُهُمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِم»

    (Leave me as I have left you, those before you were destroyed because of many questions and disputing with their Prophets.) An authentic Hadith also states,

    «أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى فَرَضَ فَرَائِضَ فَلَا تُضَيِّعُوهَا، وَحَدَّ حُدُودًا فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا، وَحَرَّمَ أَشْيَاءَ فَلَا تَنْتَهِكُوهَا، وَسَكَتَ عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ رَحْمَةً بِكُمْ غَيْرَ نِسْيَانٍ فَلَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا»

    (Allah, the Most Honored, has ordained some obligations, so do not ignore them; has set some limits, so do not trespass them; has prohibited some things, so do not commit them; and has left some things without rulings, out of mercy for you, not that He forgot them, so do not ask about them.) ”
    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=731&Itemid=60

  23. mohamee shaik says:

    question is first wedding night there is not done the zina i know walima is halal or haraam i want answer ugently

  24. soumaya says:

    Salam,Brother
    I find it very interesting that a man having for wives is very honourable even though women must sever through the pain,but the thought of a woman wanning four husbands is sick,just because women are not aloowed does not men we are blind ,and can not see attractive men aother than our husbands.Well maybe in Jannah we will get what we want(four husbands)ohhh wait I have no choice but to be with my old single husband (according to scholars)while my husbands still gets a the hoors,muslim men stop lying about our relgion.There is no space for male ego in Islam,take it some where else.

  25. Cassandra says:

    If a woman has sex with her ex husband who is not a Muslim, what is the punishment?

    • If the land where this happened is run by Islamic Shariah, the punishment is death (assuming the woman is Muslim).

      As for the next life, that is with Allah. She can repent for her sins and Allah may forgive her. But if she dies without repenting then the punishment in the next life is very severe.

  26. khaja lateefuddin says:

    i will try to purchase the book when possible but my question to u is
    what is the punishment for a man before his marriage is not involved in fornication but still has tried to enjoy by forcibly bring out semen?
    or is it allowed in islam
    i hope u got my question and in shaa allah i hope u reply me soon.
    thank u
    allah hafeez

    • What you’re asking about is masturbation.

      No, generally that is not allowed in Islam, though your wife can do that for you—-queue awkward pause—-.

      I’m not sure what the punishment for masturbation is. I’ve heard that on the Day of Judgement a man who did this will have a pregnant hand, but I haven’t seen this hadith myself.

      But rest assured, it is not permissible and is in fact haram (forbidden).

  27. elavarasi says:

    i m basically from a Hindu religion based family. but i loving a Muslim guy. for him i want to convert into Muslim and i want to be a good Muslim wife. i wil do whatever for him. so any one can help me that how to start behave like a Muslim girl from now itself. because i donno any thing abt Muslim.

    • Thank you for letting me know about your situation. If you love this man, and he’s Muslim, let him know how you feel and that you want to become Muslim. If he loves you too, then he should certainly be able to help you in some way.

      But I would caution you about becoming Muslim just for this man. Islam is a religion of serious faith. You shouldn’t become Muslim just to marry someone. Seriously study the religion and become Muslim because you believe it’s the right thing to do and you really do believe in its principles.

      As much as I would love for you to become Muslim, I don’t want you to become Muslim for the wrong reason.

      Islam is the true faith that preaches sincerity of worship to the only Creator of all that exists, He who was not created, The First and The Last. In Arabic, His proper name is Allah.

      If you’re ready to sincerely accept Islam, you only have to say “Ash-hadu an laa illaaha illallah wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah.”

      This means: “I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Once you say this, then you’re Muslim.

      After becoming Muslim, there are a lot of things to learn. I teach an online basic Islam course at Sisters Of Sunnah on Saturdays at 11:00am EST. If you can’t make that, then the classes are also available on their YouTube channel.

      If you have more questions about Islam, contact me via email.

  28. […] To protect the family – Examples are rules of marriage, prohibition of fornication and homosexuality, and the punishment for adultery and extra-marital sex. […]

  29. […] we should not see sex with our spouse as just the relief of carnal desire. Instead, it is a way of getting closer to Allah and being […]

  30. […] trying to discover why the big difference in HIV/AIDS cases, it eventually became a look into the sexual behaviors of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and […]

  31. […] The final post in this series addresses several common questions I receive about sex in Islam and relationships in general. Perhaps you’ve had some of these questions yourself. Look them over and let me know if you have any other questions about Sex in Islam. […]

  32. […] second issue was a woman who was upset that her husband wasn’t being intimate enough with her. Part of the reason he wasn’t being intimate, however, was because he had a porn […]

  33. UmmQuestion says:

    As salaam alaikoum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    My question:
    Is the withdrawal method halal for the husband if his opinion is that he cant afford to have a baby and that they are new married?
    If both spouses do not agree what is the answer for this according to Quran and sunnah?

    JazakALLAH kheiran

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

      Any form of birth control must be agreed upon by both parties as they both have the right to bear children.

      If your husband refuses to abide by this and continues to withdraw against your wishes, then he may be accumulating sin for taking away your rights.

      And Allah knows best.

  34. Nihal Ahmed says:

    Asslam Alaikum Brother,
    Just want to know inbetween halal sexual intercourse is all the cloths on body are also gone dirty n need to wash them..
    Pls answer.

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam,

      If your clothes get dirty with najas, or any sort of body fluids from sexual intercourse, then you must wash them before praying in them again. And Allah knows best.

  35. Muslim says:

    Hello, this may be a bit off topic but I was wondering if you follow the Sunni Islam or do you follow another?

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