Healthy Sexual Relationship, Islam’s view- part 1
Matrimonial life is established on love, kindness and emotion in order to provide comfort for the couples. We read in the Holy Quran “And of his signs is that he creates for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and he ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for people who reflect.”(30, 21)
Undoubtedly having healthy and ideal sexual relationship is one of the factors in satisfaction with life. This relation can prevent tension and decrease it or even help cure it, in addition to it, this kind of relation can increase mutual agreement in martial life. In many cases the existence of rifts and the feeling of gap between the couples can be related to their sexual relationship and it is strongly probable to be the source to be examined. There is a correlation between healthy sexual relationship and morality, however by studying the reasons for which people have brought a case to a court or a psychologist; we see that undesirable sexual relationship may lead to sexual immorality. In religious viewpoint, healthy sexual relationship is very important and the importance of it cannot be ignored.
The importance of healthy sexual relationship
A healthy sexual relationship between a husband and a wife is the relation which is legitimate according to Islamic law. A consensual relation without any egoistic manner and one-way relationship.
There are verses in the Holy Quran about sexual relationship where it comes to human innate orientation:
“You are permitted, on the night of the fast, to go into your wives: they are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. Allah knows that you used to betray yourselves, so he pardoned you and excused you so now consort with them and seek what Allah ordained for you , …”(2, 187)
This verse points that although it was advisable not to have sex during Ramadan, It was not set out as a law, because most people couldn’t cope with this rule, and as Islam is a simple and easy religion, Allah published the permission of having sex at the night of fast.
Further, God talks about the divorced women who their Iddah (period of waiting) has completed:
“When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the last day. That is (the course making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows, and ye know not. (2, 232)
In the past, people based on their blind prejudice didn’t let women get married again. God condemns their blind prejudice and warns that nobody is permitted to prevent them from remarrying. Remarrying and having a healthy sexual relationship is their right. Not only is it their right but also sexual relationship keeps them healthy and chaste and if not, immorality pervades the society. At the end of this verse, God says that people do not know and make a mistake about remarriage, people think that the remarriage of such women is not important but the all-knowing God who is aware of secrets and mysteries knows about negative sides of their unmarried lives. On the other hand, among all great lusts in the world, God first names women as the greatest desire:
“Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). (3, 14)
Men’s lust for sexual contact with women makes them the symbol of desire and women are known as symbol of coquetry. Men are so weak in controlling their sexual desires that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “There is no trial for men worse than women . Numerous kings lost their face because of beautiful women and numerous kings donated some of their territory to their enemies in order to achieve a beautiful lady. There are many crimes which were caused by women on account of men’s sexual desires.”
Having a healthy sexual relationship is the major and natural desire and should not be prohibited unless it is in contrast with another important intention. Major pilgrimage (Hajj) and minor pilgrimage (Umra) to mecca became a religious law in the last years of the Grand Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life. These kinds of Hajj are specified for people who are away from mecca. Sometimes it took some months between the major and minor pilgrimage, if sexual relationship between a husband and a wife was prohibited during this time, many people couldn’t stand this rule, so in the year when the major pilgrimage became a law by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he ordered his companions to get free of Ihram (taking off one’s pilgrim garb) while they had a few days to the Hajj; there were no limitation for having sex with their own wives. One of the companions of the Prophet got angry and complained to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) using improper words that if “We get out of Ihram and have sex then we will start the Hajj while our head is wet because of Ablution. How could this rule be set by God?” When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) heard his saying stood up and said: “I’m the most pious and truthful among you. This rule is from Allah. We ought not to claim to be more knowledgeable in religion than God.” Undoubtedly the Merciful Allah who created humans knows what is best for people. So Allah put this desire in humans and set suitable rules for it. The humans’ need for satisfying their sexual desire on one hand and the importance of meeting this need in Islamic view on the other hand makes the matter so important.
“Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet him (in the hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe. .”(2, 223)
In this verse Allah mentions women as tillage and asked men to take supplies for their tillage and continues:
“And send ahead for your souls.” this shows there is a connection between healthy sexual relationship and sending ahead for afterlife.
One of the noteworthy points in Islam is the recommendation about repetition of sexual relationship; although people generally categorize sexuality, gathering wealth, overeating and oversleeping in the same class and recommend not to obsess in them, having plenty of matrimonial sexual relationship is recommended by Islam and overeating, oversleeping and accumulating wealth is reproached. Probably, the reason for having plenty of matrimonial sexual relations is the fact that sexual satisfaction brings about comfort however over indulgence in eating, sleeping and accumulating wealth results in revolt. It may be to many people’s amazement that the sexual relation between a couple more than usual has been recommended by religious leaders, but of course not too much so that it dominates all their life.
Imam Reza (PBUH) said: “Three things were among the Prophets’ traditions including, wearing perfume, cutting nails and repetition of matrimonial sexual relationships.”
On one Friday Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said to one of his companions: “Are you fasting today?” the companion replied: “No, the Messenger of Allah.” The prophet (PBUH) asked: “Have you given anything as Sadaghah (alms) today?” the companion replied: “No” the Prophet (PBUH) told him: “Go to your wife and have sex with her because the benefit of it is as the same as giving Sadaghah (alms) for you.”
And also one day Prophet Muhammad entered Um Sallamah’s house and smelled good scent there, so he said to her:”It seems Zainab, the perfume seller, was here.” she answered : “Yes the Messenger of Allah. She is still here. “Zainab went to see Prophet Muhammad and respected him. Then she added: ”O the Messenger of Allah, my husband doesn’t pay attention to me and rejects me.” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Wear heavy make-up and make yourself more beautiful for him”. She said: “There isn’t any fragrant perfume unless I wear it, but my husband still rejects me.” The prophet (PBUH) said: “I wish he knew whenever he comes to you how many good deeds he would score.” Zainab asked: “What good deed would he receive? “The prophet (PBUH) said: “When he comes to you he is surrounded by two angels and he is like someone who fights with swords for Allah. So when he has sex with his wife his sins will be forgiven and while he takes ablution, there is no sin on his deeds record.”
Healthy matrimonial sexual relationship is recommended by Islam and except for some certain places and times is forbidden. The longest duration in which the matrimonial sexual relationship is prohibited is the ritual of secluding oneself for worshipping God (Itikaf). The duration of Itikaf is three days and this ritual is not necessary to be performed, rather it is voluntary. Even the procedure of Hajj which may become compulsory for some Muslims under the fulfillment of certain conditions lasts around three days, therefore according to Islamic teachings and the Holy Quran the sexual desire must not be suppressed and some people who pretend to preach about banning it should not be provoked to do so. The nature of it must be recognized and accepted in order to satisfy it in the correct way. Due to the tendency of humans to have a healthy sexual desire, the qualified way must be defined and having unhealthy sexual relationship should be prevented.
The results of healthy sexual relationships
Regarding the importance of healthy sexual relationship for both men and women and the benefits of it, we point to the most important results and benefits of it in this section:
- Achieving the best position among the others and excelling them
Being as a role model and getting a better position is everyone’s dream. Sexual desire is one of human desires, the thing that may be different among people is sometimes the fact that they make mistakes in finding their ambitions and their models. The Ahl Al-Bait’s sayings are really helpful here. The reason of finding models for oneself roots in the fact that no one wants to become mean and vile and naturally hates meanness, but sometimes you may make a mistake in recognizing the meanness and in difficult situations get help from narrations and you can recognize meanness from superiority and honor.
Exemplary characteristics are defined in Imams’ narrations. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The best woman among your wives is she who whenever is with her husband beautifies herself and whenever she goes to bed submits herself to her husband.” Being shy in the bed is so unacceptable that Imam Sadegh said: “The best woman among your wives is the one who forgets her shyness when she is with her husband.” On the other hand Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “The woman who rejects his husband is the worst wife.”
Basically the request of sexual relation is asked by men. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, one of the great sexual research organizations, demonstrated in a research that the desire to have sex with different women is in men’s nature. In most male creatures the sexual desire is more than the females. As compared with women’s sexual arousal, men has a higher, easier and faster arousal. Men arouse sexually faster than women and mostly it is by sight. That’s why mostly they arouse by seeing sexual and attractive scenes and beautiful ladies. Sexual arousal in women takes place more slowly. They usually get more aroused through the auditory and tactile systems. Thus, kind words and touching them arouse them more. That’s why their desire is deeper.
Imam Sadegh (PBUH) says: “Truly Allah makes women ten times calmer than men and sexual arousal of a woman is like sexual arousal of ten men.”
Sometimes women, with different reasons including modesty, cannot fulfill men’s sexual desires and in their opinions this refusal makes them superior. Our Imams’ sayings show that such mentality is wrong and degrading and recommend to women to learn about the exemplary models. In a narration from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
“The best woman among you are those of Quraish who are shameless for her husband.” The companions asked the meaning of shameless. The prophet answered: “The woman who submits herself to her husband “
Therefore the reason to give superiority to others is to satisfy the sexual partner in a healthy matrimonial sexual relationship.
Sexual desire naturally exists in every one specially is aroused faster in men. Islamic narrations also deal with this topic that normally sexual desire in men is aroused specially by seeing attractive ladies. There is no blame for them because the ignorance of this need doesn’t work but it needs the right answer and this desire should be satisfied. Even Imams weren’t an exception and they looked for true and logical way to satisfy their sexual desires.
Reaching calmness and utmost enjoyment is one of most the important factors in one’s mutual life. Couples are supposed to make each other calm. When a man gets satisfied from her wife it leads to get along to each other better.
In Islam the sexual relationship is recommended unless when it harms the couple’s relation or hampers their elevation; thus the Almighty Allah to oppose any idea to limit the sexual relationship says: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet him (in the hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.” (2, 223).
to be continued….