On Marriage, Sex and Islam

ON MARRIAGE, SEX AND ISLAM

I was raised a catholic. As such, I knew well that the Church stated that sexual intercourse should take place between husband and wife only with the specific aim of procreation. Any reference to pleasure was considered sinful. Sexuality was taboo: I had heard it should be experienced in a stern way and possibly in the dark. As I said, pleasure was not even at stake here as the only purpose should be that of conceiving children. Sexuality, so important in a couple, was not even discussed in religious education, as if it were shameful. On the other hand, quite inconsistenly, I could see that many catholics were living an extremely free sexual life, somehow dissociating themselves from the Church rigid and obsolete view.

When Islam entered my life, I was amazed at knowing that sexuality – in the marriage context of course – was very important and, besides procreation, had the main purpose of establishing an environment of mutual affection and respect. Islam view of sexuality takes into consideration the needs of both husband and wife, and sex is seen as way of expressing purely selfless love. Husband and wife should overcome shyness and live their intimacy without veils, even with cheerfulness and lightness.

Qur’an 30:21 “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.”

Qur’an 25:74: “And those who say: ‘Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun’”

1400 years ago the first community of Muslims received doctrinal, but also ethical and behavior instructions; among these, we find advice on intimacy in marriage. Prophet Muhammad*, spiritual guide and ethical counselor, urged his companions, and therefore the entire community, to lead their intimate life in selflessness so that the thalamus might be a source of comfort and tenderness.

Very few know that the Prophet* invited men to be kind and considerate with their wives even from a sexual point of view. In particular, he said men should approach their wives with tenderness and sensitivity. In some books, we even find detailed

explanations on how husbands can please their life companions. This very refined and, in a way, up-to-date knowledge dates back to the 15 century.

Islam also provides believers with important rules regarding sexuality. For instance, it demands men to complete abstain from sexual intercourse during women’s menses, a difficult time in which hormone levels may determine pains and a certain degree of nervousness.

Moreover, Islam knows both men and women peculiarities. It urges, for example, women to be open to sexuality and to understand the role this has in a man’s life. For men, sex is a fundamental tool to express their love and consolidate their self esteem. When a wife sexually alienates herself from her husband, even if it’s for tiredness and exhaustion, he will feel emotionally rejected. In Western societies, the notion that men express feelings in a more physical way is quite recent, but this was already known in Islamic teachings.

Furthermore, Islamic education teaches to keep private parts clean and perfumed as a sign of respect, love and kindness to our companion.

In conclusion, we might say Islam teaches that a healthy sexuality, lead with respect and refined selflessness, can nourish a marriage and make individual and family life happier.

 

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