In Islam, all righteous sexual acts bring divine rewards and blessings.

Only permitted sexual acts performed within a marriage context are righteous in Islam.

Islam views sex in marriage as sexual reproduction and spiritually joyful activity that strengthens the bond of companionship between the husband and his wife.

All sexual acts performed outside of marriage are forbidden (haram) in Islam.

In Islam the institution of family is the foundation of society.


All sexual activities outside of marriage are grave sins in Islam.

Avoiding sexual relations as part of a lifestyle to seek the grace of God is prohibited in Islam, as it is not the natural state of human beings.

The Qur’an describes monastic life as “a human invention.” [52:27]

Same sex relations are haram in Islam.

The Qur’an mentions the punishment of a town where such relations were rampant. It was destroyed as “a sign for people who care to understand.” [29:37, 27:54]


Guidelines for sexual activity

There are clear guidelines in Islam relating to sexual activity between the husband and his wife.

Both spouses must be guard the privacy of their intimate relations and must not disclose the details of there relations to others.

Either spouse should not refuse the other’s requests for sex except for special reasons such as menstruation, sickness or fasting.

Neither spouse should engage in sexual acts that would be harmful to the other.

Islam prohibits sexual intercourse during fasting and when in Ihram to perform Umrah and Hajj.

Islam also prohibits sexual intercourse during menstrual periods.

The Qur’an describes such periods as “a discomfort; therefore keep away (from sexual intercourse) during their menstrual periods …

When they have cleansed themselves then you may approach them in the manner Allah has enjoined for you. [2:222]

Islam prohibits anal sex as an unnatural practice.

The Prophet [pbuh] was reported to have said, “One who does anal sex has disbelieved in Islam.” [Tirmizi]

The Qur’an permits all positions of vaginal intercourse. [2:223]

There is no legal Islamic prohibition against the use of drugs to improve sexual performance provided they do not contain intoxicants or substances harmful to health.

Both spouses have a responsibility to groom themselves well to remain attractive to each other throughout their married life.

Though the sexual reproduction phase ends with menopause, it must not lead to a declining interest in sexual activity as Islam emphasizes sexual enjoyment to strengthen the companionship in marriage.

In Islam, one must commence sexual intercourse in a clean physical state.

It is sunnah to take ablution or wudu if the married couple wish to repeat their sexual intercourse.

Islam emphasizes foreplay in sexual activity.

The Prophet [pbuh] advised spouses to begin sexual activity with ”words and kisses,” and advised husbands to be sensitive to the feelings of their wives, by saying “Let none of you fall upon his wife like a donkey falls upon a she donkey.” [Daylami]

Each should also make the effort to satisfy the sexual needs of his/her spouse and not be concerned only with one’s own pleasure.

In Islam, sexual inability is a legitimate ground for divorce.

Islam emphasizes mutual satisfaction in sexual relations to prevent one or both of them falling into zina or adultery out of despair and frustration.

Islam provides clear warnings to protect both married and unmarried persons from falling into prohibited sexual acts.

A man must not be with a marriageable woman (non-mahram) in a secluded place, as this will provide Satan the opportunity to come between them and misguide them into adulterous acts.

Muslims must direct their sight away from things that will arouse desires and lead them into prohibited sexual acts. [24:30]

The Prophet [pbuh] was reported to have warned, “The eyes also commit adultery and their adultery is the lustful look.” [Bukhari]

Whoever can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and in guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.” [Bukhari & Muslim]


Islam strongly encourage early marriage, as it will remove the need to satisfy sexual urges outside of marriage.

Islam urges those divorced or widowed to remarry to guard themselves from falling into sinful sexual activity.

Muslim men and women are required to cover their awrat or body parts that could arouse sexual desires if seen.

Brothers and sisters in Islam, let us heed the above advices and constantly supplicate, “O Allah, help us to control our sensual desires until we get married, and after marriage, let our desires be only towards our spouses.

By Dr Y Mansoor Marican, Ph. D