Islamic Sexual Beliefs

Sexuality is strictly confined to the bond of marriage in Islam. Even though there are strict Islamic beliefs regarding sexuality; permissible sexual relationships are considered as great wells of love and closeness. Sex is viewed as a recreational purpose, for strengthening the bonds between couple. Here is an insight to the sexual beliefs of world's second largest religion.


Islamic beliefs always emphasize that there is a divine reward for sexual relationships within marriage. Islamic laws explicitly state that both the partners are entitled to sexual gratification in a marriage. There is a prominent role for foreplay in Islamic sexual beliefs. However sexual actions that are beneath human dignity are unacceptable to all the Islamic scholars.

Islamic laws have diverse views on sexual relationships during Ramadan. Some scholars believe that sexual relationships are permissible during the holy month. However, there should not be any sexual interaction while men keep to the mosques. Select scholars held the view that sexual gratification in marriage is strong enough that a married woman should seek her husband's approval before choosing days to fast.

Islamic laws order that there should not be any sexual contact while women having menstruation. However, man can share their bed with the menstruating wife. The couple are not allowed to have sexual relations in those days, because it is not good for both of them.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Adultery and pre-marital sex are prohibited by the Islamic laws. The Islamic laws prescribe a death penalty to adultery. Pre-marital sex is considered as lesser offence and is punished by a maximum of 100 lashes to both the male and the female.

Homosexuality and self sexual gratification are forbidden in Islam. Homosexuality carries official death sentence in many countries without regard to gender. There are other punishments for homosexuality such as public execution, fines, jail time, and whipping. Self sexual gratification is a forbidden and punishable sin according to Islamic laws, except in extreme circumstances.


Islamic laws have a distinct view about birth control/contraception. Even though considered as a minor infanticide by many Islamic scholars, contraception is not explicitly forbidden in Islam. However Islamic laws insist that contraception should be avoided unless in emergency situations.


There is difference between traditional and modern Islamic scholarship with regard to abortion. Traditional Islamic scholarship believes that abortion is permissible between 40-120 days of conception. Contemporary Islamic scholarship on the other hand more strongly restrict or forbid abortion.

Sexuality in Islam is largely described by Islamic tradition as being confined to marital relationships. Islamic sexual beliefs encourage strict chastity and modesty encompassing a swath of life more broad than strictly sex.

Story first published: Friday, May 18, 2007, 16:47 [IST]

Get Notifications from Indiansutras