Sex in Islam
Fatwa on Oral Sex
By Mufti Ebrahim Desai, Darul Ifta, Madrasah In'aamiyyah, Camperdown, South Africa
Oral sex between a husband and wife is considered as Makruh Tahrimi by the jurists, since there is strong possibility that by ejaculation, Mazi (semen) comes out and enters the mouth of the partner. There is consensus amongst the Fuqahaa that Mazi is Najis (impure).
Man has been created as a bearer of high and noble attributes. In him he mirros the attributes of divinity (Sifaat-e-Ilaahiyya) such as life, knowledge, power, will, sight, hearing, speech, love, etc. In the authoritative Tafseer of the aforementioned Aayat, it is said that Insaan (man) has been adorned with the Noor of Aql (the light of intelligence). This celestial faculty of intelligence creates in Insaan the capacity for the manifestation of the lofty and divine attributes of Allah Taãla. By virtue of the Noor of Aql man becomes incandescent by being a mirror for these lofty attributes and manifestation (Tajalliyaat-e-Zilliyah and Sifaat-e-Zaatiyyah). As a direct consequence of this lofty pedestal which Insaan occupies in the Divine Scheme, the mantle of Khilaafah (vicegerency) has been conferred on him. Stating this fact, the Qurãn declares: 'Verily I shall be creating on earth a Khaleefah.'
In the Tafseer of the Aayat mentioned at the beginning, it is also said that in relation to all the species of life, man has been endowned with the most beautiful form. All other animals have been created in a lowly form with their heads downwards. Their faces constantly pointing downwards to the earth indicate their low rank in relation to man. In contrast, man has been created upright and he eats his food by means of raising it with his hands unlike the lowly beasts with faces downwards.
In the Tafseer of the Aayat, it is said that when man willingly destroys his natural ability to progress to the pedestals of elevation, he degenerates and falls from his lofty mansion. He then falls to levels lower than the level of dogs, pigs and even Shayaateen.
According to the authentic Tafaseer, prior to the creation of Aadam (Álayhis salaam), the Malaaikah (angels) entertained the opinion that Allah Taãla will not create any being superior to them. Allah Taãla negates this opinion of the Malaaikah by creating Aadam (Álayhis salaam) and making him a manifestation of divine attributes. To illustrate Insaan's superiority over all pecies of creation, Allah Taãla commanded the Malaaikah to make Sajdah (prostration) to him (Nabi Aadam (Álayhis salaam). The superiority of man is well emphasised by the statement of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam): 'Allah created Aadam in His (Allah's) form.' Insha Allah, this Hadith will be explained in greater detail in some future issue of 'the Majlis'. Here it is sufficient to mention the interpretation of the authorities intelligence, sight, hearing, etc. These lofty attributes are located in that part of the human body called head. It is for this reason that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) forbade striking or slapping the face of any human being or even an animal. In the Tafseer of the Qurãnic Aayat which permits husbands to beat wives in cases of necessity, it is said: 'The face shall not be slapped'. Explaining the reason for the prohibition of slapping the face, Imaam Nawawi (RA) says in his Sharhul Muslim, 'Because the face is the embodiment of man's beauty in addition to it being of sublime nature.'
In man there are six metaphysical or non-material or spiritual faculties known as the Lataa-if-e-sittah. Two of these lofty faculties, viz. Lateefah Khaafi and Lateefah Akhfa are located in the head. The Lateefah Akhfah is located in the centre of the brain while the location of Lateefah Khafi is between the eyebrows. The functions of these faculties are the highest states of reflection and contemplation, progressing from the high state of Fana to Fanul Fana. These are spiritual or Roohani stages which shall not be discussed in this article.
PATHWAY FOR QURÃN
In the Ahaadith, the following narration appears:
'Verily, your mouths are pathways of the Qurãn, therefore purify your mouths with Miswaak'.
The Makhaarij or places from whence Qurãnic huroof (letters) emanate are located in the mouth. The high Ibaadat of Tilaawat of the Qurãn shareef is effected via the mouth, hence the Hadith describes the mouth as the 'pathway of the Qurãn'. Since it is, literally speaking, the channel for the recitation of the Qurãn shareef, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) emphasised much the maintainance of its purity. The emphasis on the purity of the mouth could be gauged from the many times Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would use the Miswaak everyday to clean his mouth. The practice of Miswaak is strongly stressed by the Shariáh. In one Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, 'When the servant of Allah uses the Miswaak and then performs Salaat, an angel stands behind him, listening attentively to the recitation of the Qurãn. The angels draws closer and closer to the reciter and places his mouth on the mouth of the reciter. Thus every word emanating from the mouth of the Musalli enters the angel's mouth. Therefore, maintain your mouth pure and clean for the Qurãn.'
The actual purpose underlying the creation of man is Zikrullah or the remembrance of Allah Taãla. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) ordered Muslims to maintain their tongues fresh with the Zikr of Allah Taãla.
The facts mentioned above will indicate that Insaan is Ashraful Makhlukaat (the noblest of creation) and the noblest part of his body is his head which is the location for lofty faculties and attributes which earn for him the designation of 'the form of Allah'. In order that he maintains his lofty rank and progresses continuously towards loftier mansions and closer Divine Proximity, it is essential that man exercises restraint over his physical and animal qualities. If he fails in this respect, he will descend to a level below the lowly beasts. Allah Taãla has endowed man with intelligence, will-power and shame. He must employ these attributes to subdue his animal and carnal desires and refrain from indulgence in the excesses of lust. If he fails in this achievement he will annihilate himself spiritually and degenerate to sub-animal levels.
The sublimity of Islam is of such a lofty degree that it exhorts its adherence to adopt dignity, deportment and propriety in even sexual relationship. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) advised his Ummah to abstain from total nudity when indulging in sex and not to behave 'like asses'. Since Islam is a culture of transcendental values calculated to ensure maximum remembrance of Allah Taãla, a Muslim should not debase himself to a sub-animal level by resorting to the vile practice of oral sex.
The Mu'min's link with Allah Taãla is so strong or ought to be so strong that the Shariáh has prescribed a particular Duá to be recited even when a man approaches his wife for sexual relations. Even at the moment of reaching climax and ejaculation, the Muslim is required to read in his mind (without moving the lips) a special Duá so that he remains protected from any Shaitaani interference. We learn from the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) that Shaytaan attempts to interfere with man even while he indulges in lawful sex, hence the wording of the special Duá for this occasion is: 'O Allah! Protect us from Shaytaan and protect the offspring you grant us from Shaytaan'.
Allah Taãla has honoured man highly, hence the Qurãn says, 'Verily, we have honoured the sons of Aadam.' He is therefore not allowed to debase himself with the bestial acts which even the lowly beasts do not commit.
The mouth is an honoured part of the physical body. It is not a receptacle of impurity. The Shariáh emphasises the maintainance of its purity. Even in the developing foetus, Allah Taãla has arranged for the maintainance of the purity of the mouth. The umbilical cord connects the developing embryo to its mother. It is the passageway in which exchange of nutrient and waste materials with the circulatory system of the mother takes place. In man the umbilical cord arises at the navel below which is the location of the rebellious Nafs which reduces man to sub-animal levels if not restrained. Why does Allah Taãla not create the foetus with the umbilical cord attached to its mouth so that its nutrition reaches it in the normal way, viz. Via the mouth? Right until the very last moments prior to its emergence into the external world, the baby's nutrition is via the umblical cord. Immediately on reaching the outside world its nourishment reaches it from the mouth. Since the umbilical cord is also the passageway for impure waste matter, its connection is near to the location of the lowly nafs. The mouth has thus been guarded against impurities.
The facts presented in this article should be sufficient to convey to Muslims that their Imaan and the spirit of the teachings of Islam do not permit them to grovel in the dregs of debasement and perpetrate moral injustice by utilising the mouth for deriving sexual pleasure. This is not the function of the mouth. It is a misappropriation of an amaanat (trust). All parts of the body are Amaanat which have to be utilised in accordance with the instructions of Allah Taãla. Such contamination and moral pollution as entailed by oral sex are most unbecoming the dignity and rank of man, especially if the Insaan appears to be a follower of the illustrious Shariáh of Muhammad (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Allah Taãla states in the Noble Qurãn, 'Verily, Allah loves those who purify themselves.'
Extracted from 'The Majlis' Vol. 6 No. 8
And Allah Taãla Knows Best.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Moulana Ahmad Kathrada