Channel: Jamal Badawi
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
In the Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God, I greet you, our viewers with my usual greeting. This is a universal greeting of peace, a greeting that has been used by all the prophets from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu alaikum, which means peace be unto you. I'm your host Hama Rashid. Today we have our 24th program in our series dealing with the social system
of Islam. We'll be
continuing our discussion of family life in Islam, and we're touching on a new topic today. And that is Islam's view of sex. I have joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal data, we have St. Mary's University. Brother Jamal Assalamualaikum.
I wonder if I could ask you just to explain the connection between this program with the previous segments that we've had in this series dealing with Batman.
Okay, well, the title of a whole series is the social service understand. And the premise we had in the very beginning after covering some of the broader issues like human brotherhood, is that the family is the cornerstone of society, of the social system in Islam. And we said further that the cornerstone of the family is the woman because of her crucial role in establishing the and keeping the integrity of the family. And that's why I think was the last 13 programs were totally devoted to the question of position of woman in Islam, and a competitive type of study.
But we haven't really touched on the actual family life and Islam, the questions of engagement, marriage, and marital life, and so on. So as we get closer to that particular, interesting and perhaps very practical area, in the family structure in Islam, I think talking about Islam's attitude towards sex would be a more depressing topic and trying to explain Islam's view of sex within the general framework of Islam.
And I couldn't get you to perhaps explain for us what this general framework is, so that we may be able to perhaps get a better understanding of just what Islamic position is. Well, to start with, there are a number of Givens of assumption that we start from, first of all, is that sex, after all, is something that relate to human behavior.
And behavior in Islam is something which is not divorced from belief, understanding, and the basic frame of mind the person, have
a person, for example, who believes in God, who understands why he or she was created on Earth, what mission they have to fulfill a person who understand that his life will end on Earth, that he will die and then he will be resurrected in the day of judgment and be accountable for his or her life, definitely will behave in such a way that would be totally different from someone who does not believe in God does not believe that there's any resurrection or life after death does not believe in accountability, punishment,
or reward. By the same token, there are some people who might be wavering between both of these types of positions. And in each case, one's behavior is definitely tied with his ultimate belief in his in his destiny. A second thing is that when you talk about sex or behavior in general and you're talking about improvement or reform in society,
logically, the first step towards that reform is to correct the beliefs is to correct the understanding or frame of mind from which such kind of behavior emanates. That would be the first step to explain to an individual, to make him understand
about God, about the universe, about
life and about human nature.
And when we touch on human nature
Basic frame of reference that the Muslim would immediately consider is that a human being is composed of
spiritual elements, an intellectual element and a physical, earthly element.
A human being has aspiration to satisfy all of these needs pertaining to all of these three basic components. And, for example, Islam provides the satisfaction of the spiritual needs, through the remembrance and belief in God through love of God through various acts of worship, satisfaction of the intellectual needs by encouraging the human to understand the universe to ponder about creation, try to understand the law of God in nature and in human life.
And in the meantime, Islam also provides for the satisfaction of even physical needs. Of course, one of those crucial needs in the human are food and sex. So it's regarded as a natural part of the totality of human existence, here on earth. And as such, for the Muslim, the satisfaction of material needs, whether they are relating to food or sex, are regarded as part of his life on Earth, nothing that is contradictory to spirituality or, or faith. But the main point, of course, is that Islam insists, on the other hand, that the satisfaction of this needs, human instincts should be within the basic guidelines, guided by the teaching of God, in order to ascertain that this needs
will be satisfied in a pure, wholesome manner, without falling into any extreme.
We could ask you to give us a few examples from the Quran and from the prophetic traditions, which would
help us to appreciate what constitutes the foundation of this, this framework that you guys have what has been stated?
Well, first of all, the Quran indicates in numerous places and dozens of verses, they only give one example for example, in chapter 18, verse 107, that whenever the Quran speaks about faith and belief that speaks about faith and good deeds, so it's always tied together that proves the first point mentioned that there is no distinction between behavior and the belief and understanding out of which this behavior may emanate.
And the question of the human nature and the three basic components, the Quran, in numerous places indicates that God breathed into the creation and to the human kind of his spirit. So each one of us has the Spirit of God within him. You find that, for example, in chapter 15, verse 29, you find it in the 30 seconds or 30, its chapters in the Quran.
In terms of the intellectual component of the human, we find reference to that in terms of intellect to the second chapter in the Quran, verse 31, in 1678, where again, it's indicates that God created not only our senses, but also our intellect, our ability, as humans to understand and to reason.
That's another component. But equally, the Quran also speaks about the human being as a material existence. For example, in chapter six, verse two, Chapter 38, verse 71, they're all also deal with the fact that the human is created from clay, assemble, of the same elements and clay and also assemble of earthly and carnal desires or need, whether it's for food or sex.
On the issue that was mentioned earlier that Islam is not against the illegitimate and wholesome satisfaction of human needs. We find that there is an interesting and perhaps a key verse in the Quran in the third chapter, called Amran in verse 14, and it reads in the translation,
diverse that says in an inextricable shower, it says fair in the eyes of men, is the love of things they covet. Women, of course, the equivalent for women will be men and children heaped up hordes of gold and silver versus branded for blood and excellence, and wealth of castle and well tilted land. See, first of all, the first part of the verse speaks about things that humans are created to love, you know, sex, food property once and so on. And but it goes on without condemning that simply says, such as the possessions of this world's life but in
Mr. God is the best of goals to turn to. Then it goes on the following verse, say, shall I give you glad tidings of things far better than those. For the writer, righteous are gardens in newness to the Lord, with rivers flowing beneath, there in is their eternal home with companions, pure and holy, and the good pleasure of God, for in God's sight, our own His servants.
In other words, the way the Quran acknowledges
the human need or desire for all of these things, it does not condemn any of them, whether that's the need for sex, or for that simply says that one should not be over occupied with these things, because they are vanishing things. So while encouraging the individual to inculcate his or her personal relationship with God, it does not condemn human needs, nor does it regard it as something that is not clean or pure in itself. There are numerous verses in the Quran similar to that. And in chapter six, for example, when it talks about eating and drinking, but without excesses, without exuberance, in chapter 28, in the Quran, particularly, verse 77, it says, Do not forget your shares
in this life. So one one should keep the hereafter in His sight, he should not also deprive himself or herself from the legitimate, wholesome and clean satisfaction of this, it's obvious from this
that there is nothing wrong islamically in the human instincts and themselves, nothing is dirty or unclean in itself.
But the errors and uncleanliness could be in the immoral pursuit
of the satisfaction of those things or using means which are not lawful, and not moral from the systemic standpoint,
I think might be helpful to some of our viewers, if we could ask you just to give some indication of what Islam views as being
excesses or lying, perhaps beyond the acceptable limits in matters of sex?
Well, if we look at that, not only from the point of view of Islamic teaching, but even when you look into history,
you will find that there have been two basic extremes with different combinations in between.
What they have been the trend, for example, or extreme of regarding sex as something which is not clean in itself, something which is contrary to goodness, faith in God or spirituality.
And, in fact, something that should be suppressed and resistant in order for the person to be purified.
We find the application of this view in terms of monasticism in celibacy, or at least to say the least, getting married, but to consider marriage and sex as inevitable evil, rather than a blessing of God as this as Islam explains, something you should do if you must, that's right, if you have to, but if you can't avoid it, it's better. This has been one extreme in a variety of degrees.
The other extreme, however, seems to have been done that has been more predominant in human history.
And again, in different degrees, useless, and the pursuit of pleasure sexual or otherwise, regardless of the morality of it, in such a way that sometimes may cause harm in the long end or short term to the society, and even to the individual himself was involved because of the preoccupation with that.
And in fact, both of these trends are manifested quite clearly in history.
In fact, we find that there is a whole literature written even by since about the monological beliefs, even since themselves, people who are celibate had visions or dreams of female demons or male demons depending on the sex of the sent.
Having a sexual relationship with them in their sleep. And regarding that as something really that's the monocle.
This approach towards sex. It results only in hangups in this sort of psychological attitude,
and struggles within internal struggle, inner struggle within oneself, about the need and the pressures to satisfy those needs and a feeling that they are bad enough.
But the other extreme also has been the looseness we find in human history, instances of widespread adultery, fornication, preoccupation with sex, and even sex trade, you know, using sex itself as a source of
multibillion dollar type of business, in some form or the other. Well, both of these extremes seem to overlook and ignore certain aspects about human nature.
The nature which does have the desire, and the need to satisfy those instinct, but again, in some moderation, and within the moral framework, of course, that religion provides. On the other hand, they neglect also that the success of the individual, the integrity of family and society, can never be achieved if the individual possesses unrestricted freedom
to do what he or she desires to do, especially in matters of sex, white six could be perhaps sublimated or subject to sublimation, and different kinds of expressions, it is still a very potent and very strong edge.
Indeed, some people have been saying recently, even non Muslims, that the danger of sexual energy is just as devastating as the dangers of nuclear energy. And both of them unless controlled and directed and used harness not suppressed, harnessed in ways which are beneficial to mankind, it could be quite devastating using the same military terminology. A person who goes to any large city or small city for that matter is constantly under sexual shelling,
you know, bombardment, in all these surroundings that keeps constant stimulation and even encouragement, of the satisfaction of that need, regardless of the morality of it, or regardless as to whether this is the appropriate Avenue or channel for such type of satisfaction leading in many cases, to very serious consequences for society. Could you perhaps give us some examples of such consequences?
Well, of course, even from the point of view of non Muslims, associate reformers who look into the situation as it exists in our generation, I think there are lots of indications that there are excesses in the matter of sex, there's no question about that.
Resulting in harm to the health of the individual, to the character of the individual and his ability to be patient and to persevere, particularly people who might be involved in struggle or battlefield, a person who is so involved in sex would not be a good defender of his face or his country. In fact, many scholars relate
the over occupation with sex as one of the main reasons for military defeats, and there are lots of examples in history.
Another harm, which is even more devastating, is that it destroys the characters, the moral character of the individual, because when sex is satisfied, regardless of the mode or the way or channel
of the society, it would lead to an attitude of selfishness. opportunism, just get what you can, whatever you can, whatever
the lack of feeling of responsibility by satisfying sex only as a need without the responsibility of family and responsibilities for possible results of the
sexual satisfaction, the attitude of of lying and deception. Again, when one seeks extra marital type of
relationship leading again to some internal conflict, inner conflict within the individual himself or herself, because of what is done, in some cases might lead to
drug addiction, and in some cases, rape and murder.
And not only does it affect the individual, a society itself suffers the family. If sex is left loose,
the stability and integrity of the family would suffer a great deal. families with breakdown, leading to lots of
problems that affect not only the family but society at large. And then society again, we have seen that crimes and excesses and the presence in society, in the case of loose moral standards about sex, of a group of people who only live
On that become professional people who
elicit sex as a profession in some direct or indirect ways, which is, after all a degrading things for a human being to be involved into.
This is only like a like an outline, in fact seen as you know, books are written about the serious consequences of loose sexual morality in any given society, past, present or even future or the past with the past, there was some indication of how Islam attempts to solve the problems of sex while at the same time avoiding the dangerous that that you mentioned earlier in the program.
Islam attacks the problem on many different levels, which may include the individual family and society at large.
As far as the individual the crucial thing is to appbrain the individual
in such a way that he would have in his own heart, think of it in his heart, the fear of God or to be more accurate to be a gut conscious person. That's because taqwa and
this kind of God consciousness in the individual make him or her able to stand up and persevere in the face of any possible competition,
especially in the face of such a strong and very powerful urge, like the sex sexual need.
Another thing is to upbringing the individual also with proper intellect with the proper understanding, you get the face of the heart and get also understanding in his own mind,
by understanding the teachings of Islam in that respect, by taking Islam as God's revelation, and use it as the criterion to judge between what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. And as such, a person would not get confused, because we find many people who are trying to convert things and presented to us in a different light, sometimes vice is presented as a good thing as something that's justifiable. And many times virtual is being again presented as something which is not good and rigid or backward and all this kind of description. So the intellectual understanding also would be essential for the person not to be confused.
And then the other thing also that Islam provides in if you want more specific areas, is that it prohibits, in no uncertain terms, the satisfaction of the sexual urge, in any form outside of the marital relationship only through marriage, can this be regarded as a wholesome and acceptable and even sanctioned encouraged type of
which means that not only does Islam prohibits adultery and fornication, it also prohibits anything that
would lead would likely lead to this kind of consequences. Islam stands very clearly against homosexuality, and any other perversion, and regard that as something that justifies not only the anger and displeasure of God, but also possibly even in the penal law in this life here.
In other words, all the things that many people speak about today as natural are severely condemned in Islamic teaching. Whether you talk about premarital sex relations, extramarital sex relations, post marital, all these are regarded as aberrations that are absolutely unacceptable from the Islamic standpoint.
But in return for this strictness, in terms of the morality of the way or as an avenue for satisfaction of sexual urge, we find that Islam also established a very healthy attitude towards sex. Let me give you some examples. Beside the verses cited earlier, to go to for the saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
One time a group of people net and they started talking about how to develop their own spirituality.
So some of them said, Alright, you know, how could we really be like the Prophet Prophet Mohammed, after all, God promised to forgive all his sins, he's going to paradise, but we should work harder. So one of them said, All right, I pray all night, and never sleep. The second person said, I test all days, never, you know, miss any day of fast constant.
And the third person said, All right, and I also sacrifice all my sexual needs. I'm not getting married at all.
Apparently Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him you have the discussion. And then he came to him said, Are you the people who said so? And so? They said, Yes, he said, Listen, I am the most pious of you, I am the most faithful of God of you. And I always remember that however,
I pray sometime and then I sleep, get some, some rest, I fast some time, but also I break my fast and I do also get married. And whoever deviates from my way he is not of me to show them that this is not something that he would encourage So, there is no hang up about this matter.
In another, this was narrated, by the way in,
in another saying and edited in October, Ronnie. He said that if a person is able enough, and has sufficient finances to get married, and he refuses or delay his marriage, again, he is not of me. It doesn't follow my path.
And another same narrated by hockey. He says, Whoever gets married, he has achieved half of his face or completed half of his face or Jean, let him be a lot conscious and the remaining half.
In another Hadith narrated and optimising he said, there are three types of people who deserve the help of God, the one who struggled in the path of God, a person who seeks his freedom. And thirdly, a person who wants to get married in order to maintain and protect his chastity.
Indeed, in some cases, even he raised the satisfaction of sexual instinct in the wholesome way to the method to a matter which deserves the reward from God. In fact, one time, he said that, if one of you goes to his wife to have intimate relationship, he will have that word from that word from God. They said, how come we enjoy it and get the word? They said, Well, if the person does not get that enjoyment through the wholesome marriage, and how not permissible and lawful within he do it in the wrong and wicked way, they said yes, then it's alright. He gets punishment, if you do it wrong, if he does a chunk and then he gets a word also, if he does it try, in addition to this, we find
that even the way or the method of approaching the satisfaction, there are lots of prophetic traditions, I can only give
a general reference to that in a program like this, that it should not be just a matter of selfishness or physical act, but something that is surrounded with tenderness, understanding, and mutual concern for the feeling and desire of the other party. There are several hobbies are saying of the Prophet peace be upon him and just to give one,
in narrated and dynamic and mustard for those, which says, one of you should not just go to his wife like an animal go to another, but there must be some messenger between them, they asked what kind of messenger or prophet of God, he said, the case the tender case, and the the pleasurable type of talk and entertainment before the
going beyond that, in addition to this, Islam also required the maintenance of the secrecy and the privacy of marriage or relationship there are several Hadith in Muslim, a Buddha route and prohibiting very strongly people from revealing any private thing that goes on between husband and wife. And finally, for young people, even
as mandated by afterlife.
He said that, if you people you use any one of you is able to sponsor a family or support your family and get married, let him get married. For those who are not able, they should practice fasting, it is a protection for them that was narrated both in Bukhari and Muslim which means that fasting, teach the person to have self
control. So there are lots of more explicit, you know, explanations also. But I hope I get the broad framework within which the satisfaction of sexual urge is regarded as wholesome and northern, in the sight of of Islam. Well, let's leave it at that for today. We've run out of time, we want to thank you for being our guest. Once you're back next week, we'll continue our discussion. Thank you for watching. AsSalam alaikum peace be on to you