Jurisprudence > Jurisprudence of sex


Jurisprudence of sex

Q: Is it permissible for a frigid wife or husband to watch pornographic scenes?

A: I don’t think it has been scientifically proven that watching pornographic films is a reliable treatment for frigidity; on the contrary, it often has negative results. Also, morally speaking, this weakens moral immunity, and attaches people, even couples, to a mood of dissolution which makes man feel alienated from his wife when she fails to imitate the woman who plays the sexual role in the film, and makes the wife alienated from her husband if he fails to imitate the male figure.

Similarly, the same thing happens upon fornication. When a man fornicates with an experienced whore, he feels disappointed when his wife fails to offer moves similar to the ones offered by the whore, who has provided him with all elements of excitement. Perhaps this is one among the reasons that have led some jurists to forbid temporary marriage (mutaa) to common prostitutes. So, we believe that the x-rated movies and pornography have a negative impact on the spiritual, moral and family sides of a person; thus, I forbid it for spouses.

But, if a husband or a wife, or both suffer frigidity in the absence of any means of treatment, whether natural- through mutual excitation -or through medication, and if the only treatment is watching pornographic scenes, then this will be permissible, only because this is the only means, keeping in mind that this should be done apart from any excess, just like taking the proper dosage of the medicine prescribed, provided that this passive situation may threaten their matrimonial life.

Q: Some justify the permissibility of watching pornographic films by saying that such movies make sexual intercourse between a man and his wife more enjoyable, harmonious and lustful; accordingly, a man becomes more attached to his wife, which deepens and strengthens the family relationship, which is the basis of coherent society. What is your comment?

A: When we study some religious texts quoted from the Prophet (p.), we find out instructions that urge man to prepare his wife for sexual intercourse by arousing her excitement; he is also urged not to make love with his wife in a frigid way; on the contrary, some Traditions emphasize that a husband shouldn’t fulfill intercourse before his wife’s sexual desire is satisfied, so that she is not left under the wild lust with nobody to satiate her desires.

And I don’t think that the advantages of watching pornographic scenes are more than ten percent, whereas, negative consequences may exceed eighty percent, accordingly,  these few advantages don’t make it permissible, for the disadvantages are greater by a very large margin.

Q: Is keeping aloof from woman during the menstrual period limited to the front part or vulva? What are the legal limitations of having sex with a woman during the menstrual period?

A: It is normal that the impermissibility of having sex with women during the menstrual period is limited to the specified part, which is the vulva, but man can enjoy manipulating the other external parts. There is a juristic controversy about the anal intercourse. Some jurists forbid anal-sex in principle, but those who allow it differ juristically. Some believe that anal sex is permissible during the menstrual period, depending on the Holy Aya, {Keep aloof from the woman during the menstrual discharge}. [ 02:22 ] which implies the forepart. Others interpret “Keep aloof from the women…” as keeping loot from the whole intercourse; accordingly, they forbid it in both parts during menstrual discharge. We believe that usual sexual intercourse is impermissible during the menstrual period.

In general, we do forbid anal-sex as an obligatory precaution

Q: Are there any legal taboos upon sexual intercourse?

A: A husband and a wife are free to use any way upon sexual intercourse, provided that there is no particular forbiddance. And the only particular forbiddance is related to the juristic controversy about the anal sex. In other situations, they have total freedom to use any way they desire, but the woman doesn’t have to respond to her husband in some cases that cause pain or harm, or make her sick or embarrassed as when a husband asks his wife to practice oral sex. In such a case, the wife doesn’t have to comply with her husband’s demand if it doesn’t conform to her personal yearning.

Q: Is it permissible for a wife to excuse herself from participation in sexual intercourse when she is exhausted, or when she undergoes a discouraging psychological state?

A: If sexual intercourse causes her too much uneasiness, she has the right to abstain from it in accordance with Allah’s (the most exalted) say, {He has not laid upon you any hardship in religion}. (78:22)

But if only she doesn’t feel like it, then she doesn’t have the right to abstain.

Q: What can we say about a man who satiates his lust with his wife without satiating hers?

A: Such a sexual behavior is immoral and inhumane even though it is not considered a sin on the part of the husband, but it is legally repulsive. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said in one of his traditions, “The Messenger of God (p.) said: “When you have sexual intercourse with your wives, don’t be like a bird, instead, stay long.”

In another narration, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “The Messenger of God(p.) once said: If a man’s wife feels unsatisfied after sexual intercourse, she may resign her will to any man no matter how ugly  or repulsive he may be. So, upon having sex with your wives, excite them through dalliance, for it is more pleasurable”.

Also, Imam Ali(a.s) was quoted, “If one of you wants to have sexual intercourse with his wife, he must not be in hurry, for women have their own needs”.

Thus, in these religious instructions about sex, we can find out that Islam considers woman’s lust and the need to satiate it among the vital moral issues in her relation with man, so men must not be selfish through fulfilling their desires and leaving their wives sexually unsatisfied.

Q: Some believe that inducing sperm through, embracing, dalliance or other similar acts is just like masturbation?

A: The impermissible masturbation is inducing sperm using one’s hand or any other means; that is self-masturbation. But inducing sperm using the hand of one’s wife or through some of the other acts that the wife takes part in   upon dalliance is permissible.

Q: Is it permissible for a bigamist (Man having two wives or more) to have sex with his wives simultaneously- upon their agreement, if they feel it is more pleasurable and lustful?

A: This is not impermissible by itself, but some jurists express their reservations concerning the impermissibility of woman to look at another woman’s private parts. Accordingly, their activity in question is illegal if it causes one woman to look at another woman’s loin. However, I believe that looking at another woman’s private parts is limited to emergency cases pertaining to gynecology, not including the matter in question. So, in the mentioned situation, caution is of great importance to avoid looking at private parts. Furthermore, I express reservations towards the legitimacy of the action itself because it does not conform with the juristic foundations that reject it. Thus, the believer has to abstain from such activities in pursuit of precaution and disdain.

Q: Should a young woman who suffers sterility, caused by a disease or surgery have Iddat (period during which a widow or a divorcee may not remarry)?

A: Iddat is a must, being a means to determine that the woman is not pregnant. As such, it is a general preventive measure, that include the cases when people question the wisdom behind such a measure. When legal rules are issued, they don’t pursue each single case apart, but they consider the general state of affairs. Thus, Iddat is meant to include all cases where pregnancy is possible even though the external symptoms assert its impossibility. But in cases of no actual entry and menopause, Iddat is not a must.

Transsexuals (sex reassignment surgery (SRS))

Q: It has been reported that Your Eminence allows gender change; may we know more about the details of your opinion? What are the juristic justifications and foundations on which you based your judgment?

A: There are many cases pertaining to this subject: One case, which has lately been common in western community, comprises a surgery in which the testes, penis and scrotum are totally removed. In addition, a cavity is made to look like a girl’s vulva. Then administration of the hormone estrogen is prescribed, for the purpose of effecting somatic changes in order for the patient to look more closely in his physical appearance like the other sex. In such a case, man’s anatomical formation is preserved, with the appearance of some feminine features like soft voice, prominence of breasts and hairless beard. Such a surgery makes no difference, for it doesn’t enable the transsexual to have any sexual intercourse, as a woman, with other men, so it will be a male-male sexual relation; moreover, this surgery doesn’t make him a female from the Shari’a point of view. It is just a fraudulent operation to justify the homosexuality, which is still rejected, and despised by the great majority of communities.

Disallowing such a surgery is quite logical, because this operation inflicts the body with damage-removing genital- in the absence of any benefit that outbalances the mentioned damage.

Some other common and known cases of changing one’s sex like changing an epicene to a female. Such cases assume the possibility of changing a female to a male with all characteristics, such as having a penis, having the ability to have sex just like any other man, and acquiring masculine appearance, or the possibility of changing a male to a female by transplanting female gentile, where a transsexual will be just like any woman anatomically and medically, and where a transsexual has a normal vagina, through which sexual intercourse is performed and where the same feelings of the ordinary woman are aroused upon having sex with a man concerning the nature of lust and its secretion. Consequently, there will be no difference between the transsexual and any female except in casual attributes as when a woman has no uterus or she can’t carry a baby since ordinary women may undergo such condition. Accordingly, the transsexual will turn to be an ordinary woman regarding the external features and the sexual characteristics.

In the last cases mentioned, we don’t have any proof or legal text that deem them impermissible. Unless we have legal evidence that disallows changing sex primarily, in principle, changing sex and the surgeries in question are permissible.

If such surgeries were accomplished, the consequent outcome would be considered an ordinary woman having the same rights and duties. She should marry, give birth and inherit, for she would become a real woman.

As for the cause behind permitting this surgery, in the basis of legislation, if we don’t have any evidence that necessitates prohibition and in the state of hesitation and suspicion whether something is permissible or not, it is deemed permissible in principle. It is worth mentioning that I am not the only one who adopts such a ruling, for both Imam Khoui in his book “Mounyat El Sail” (the wish of the one who asks) approved sex-change.

If some have deduced the impermissibility of sex-change through the Holy Aya {And most certainly I will bid them so that they shall alter Allah creation} (4:119) which tells about Satan and its tricks, considering it as an alteration of Allah’s creation, we say: What is meant by Allah’s creation here is not man, because “Allah’s creation” is a general term including everything created by God, the most exalted. And if we adhere to the impermissibility of altering Allah’s creation, as understood and construed by those religious scholars, then we will have to protect trees, plants, lands, mountains and rivers from change even though no one will comply to it, which is disapproved by rational people, knowing that, most jurists adhere to the permissibility of changing one’s sex, in addition to man’s beautification changes.

Q: So what is meant by Allah’s creation?

The answer is included in the verse, “The nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion.” (30:30). So Allah’s creation means human nature, namely believing in one God, and here is someone who wants to change human nature by moving it from monotheism to polytheism, this suits Satan’s role in alienating man from Allah and from believing in one God. Thus, “I will bid them so that they shall alter Allah’s creation,” means that they will alter human nature, which has been mentioned in the former verse. Also. In some Traditions, it is mentioned that Allah’s creation refers to nature, and it is quite clear that the satanic major role has nothing to do with the physical and medical nature of things.

As for self-damage, it is not allowed if there is no benefit that outbalances the damage. And it is normal that the man who tries to change himself to a woman must be undergoing critical conditions, which make reassignment surgery benefits, outbalance the expected damage caused by the surgery.

Q: Doesn’t this mean that any person can have any of his organs cut or excised for a mere desire, complex, obsession or mood, so long as this doesn’t lead to death or fatal damage?

A: Not at all; man is not allowed to cut or exterminate any of his organs without any conventionally considerable reason as when one’s nose is deformed by accident; in this case a plastic surgery is allowed. Another example is when someone’s fingers or toes are abnormal, which hinders his movement and work. Also plastic surgery is permissible in this case.

So, there must be a considerable benefit that justifies cutting, mending or excising any body organ. Similarly, excising the male genital is not excluded from this supposition. So, as mentioned, if the sex reassignment surgery were performed successfully, no one would be allowed to have the operation unless he were in urgent need and psychological frustration that would affect his health and well-being. This will justify the operation; Allah utterly knows.

Q: One of your reported opinions deems it permissible for a woman to look at another woman’s private parts, which conflicts with most jurists. What is the fundamental reference and juristic base of this opinion?

A: First, the narrations that deem it impermissible for a woman to look at another woman’s are not trustworthy. But there is an authentic narration mentioned by Ali Ben Ibrahim in his interpretation of Allah’s say “And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts” (24:31) addressing women not to look at their sister’s private parts and to guard theirs.

Moreover, in Al Kafi, there is another narration that asserts the mentioned interpretation and says: everything mentioned in Quran about guarding women’s private parts is related to fornication, except this verse, which means looking.

On the other hand, there are a lot of narrations that deem it permissible for a woman to look at another woman’s loin without urgent need. For instance, some narrations tell that in case of conflict between a woman and her husband on whether the woman is a virgin or not, another woman can put an end to this conflict by looking at the woman’s private parts. Such a case is not urgent, because necessity pertains to situations when a person’s life is endangered and where there is no difference in ruling between man and woman. Also in case of suspicion whether there is any obstruction in a woman’s vagina that prevents sexual intercourse, there is a Tradition telling, “such matters are known by women, so seek the trustworthy woman to examine it”. So, this alleged ambiguity is not in its right place because any woman can put an end to this conflict without any problem or embarrassment.

Besides, the fundamental reference is in the evidence given in the narration that says, “Woman’s testimony is accepted in all matters that man can’t look at”. This means that the testimony is accepted in all situations when man can’t look at the private parts of a woman herself, where as woman can. Here the loin is included in the term “all” and this means that all parts that man can’t look at, a woman can-The term “all” includes hair, breast, arms and loin. I adhere to this generalization where testimony comprises all parts that man can’t look at, among which is the loin, or else what is the difference in ruling between man and woman.

Thus, in matters of woman’s delivery women are exclusively engaged, and men don’t have the right to take part unless it is quite urgent. Were necessity governing this matter, it would be meaningless for the narration to include such specification, since necessity governs and equally allows both man and woman to take part in action, so the above narration is evidence that a woman can look at another woman’s loin without urgent need.

To sum up, in the concerned narrations, it is clear that the difference between man and woman concerning looking at a woman’s loin is that man is not allowed to look. If the same rule of impermissibility applies to both man and woman, then any of them would be allowed to look under necessary conditions because they are equal before the rule of prohibition. But looking must be restricted to need and must not include the needless ordinary look; God utterly knows.

Q: Your belief that woman has no spermatic fluid and consequently her masturbation induces no sperm has brought about great confusion among the public. Could you please explain the details of this ruling together with the consequent ambiguities? And what are the principles and traditions on which your Eminence based your opinion?

A: What should be made clear is that if woman had a spermatic fluid similar to man’s, which runs upon orgasm, then the woman must wash as man does in a similar situation, also, woman’s masturbation would be prohibited on the basis of the legal foundation. Where as, if woman has no spermatic fluid, then wash is not a must as unanimously approved by jurists and then woman’s masturbation will be permissible because prohibition is restricted to sperm running, so in the absence of spermatic fluid, masturbation is not an issue that is prohibited or allowed. This is exactly similar to the case when a man plays with his penis without consequent sperm-also unanimously approved by jurists-and wash is not a must, because prohibition is not based on lust inducement but on the misplacement of spermatic fluid (as reported in some narrations).

But even if this assumption (woman has no sperm) proved true, we advise women not to get into this bad habit (masturbation), because its practice leads to negative consequences upon marriage and causes psychological, neural and medical complications that threaten her normal life, social status and future marriage. In this respect, some jurists in their comment on my allowance of woman’s masturbation regardless of sperm run, refer to two narrations, the first of which is narrated by Oubeida Ben Zarara, who said: Once, an old neighbor of us had a pretty and expensive bondwoman. That old man couldn’t have full sexual intercourse with his bondwoman, who would ask him to put his hand on her labia because that gave her greater pleasure, but he detested that. So, the old man demanded that Zarara ask Imam Jaafar Sadiq (a.s.) about the matter.

So, Zarara asked the Imam, who said, “There is no harm in using any of his body parts to give her pleasure, but he is not allowed to use anything other than his body”.

The second narration is given by the same narrator, Zarara, and it says: I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s) about men who have many bondwomen, but they can’t have full sexual intercourse with them, so they give them pleasure by other means”. Then the Imam replied, “There is no harm in using any of his body organs.”

But the two mentioned narrations are clearly prohibiting the use of any outside means to satisfy the wife’s sexual desire, though they permit the use of the male’s other organs including the hand to satisfy the wife, but there is no mention of whether she can use her own hand or not.

Q: Since this fatwa doesn’t represent a practical necessity, but it leads to corruption and moral dissolution when adopted by women who might be entrapped by moral disadvantages, some ask why aren’t precautional fatwas issued in this respect? And why is this fatwa aroused in general?

A: Those who say so haven’t experienced the critical problems undergone by women when they are encountered by urgent situations, which drive them to inquire about the legal ruling that might put an end to these problems.

We have experienced the depth of these problems through studying the various situations and through receiving questions that seek rulings in cases as when a woman’s husband is imprisoned and she is not sure whether he is dead or alive, or when a husband spends a long time in prison in the absence of any legal circumstances that lead to divorce, or when a husband is in a state of absence, where the wife should legally wait for four years to be then divorced by the judge if the husband’s guardian doesn’t sustain her, or when a husband remains abroad for a long time where reunion is impossible due to financial reasons.

All these cases turn to be serious sexual problems, which drive the jurist to seriously think of finding solutions. It’s natural that women’s masturbation sometimes leads to negative consequences, but prohibition or negligence on the part of the jurist also have more negative impacts on the life of woman, especially the married one who has no legal opportunity to solve sexual problems. In short, the mentioned details pressed me to study the subject in a legally responsible way.

Q: Can’t we consider the above-mentioned damage a main cause to prohibiting this habit?

A: I don’t think this habit leads to the damage that necessitates prohibition; Moreover, there is a consensus among jurists that prohibition, is limited to spermatic fluid running. So, if a man plays with his penis not intending to induce sperm and if he could hold himself back before orgasm leads to ejaculation, then he is not a sinner; consequently, he must not wash, and he must not break his fast if he is fasting. This is agreed upon by all jurists because masturbation (as understood by all jurists) means the coming out of sperm.

Q: So, why hasn’t Islam permitted lesbianism, which is far from sperm production?

A: Because Islam has prohibited all forms of unnatural sexual relations between man and woman because such relations are not based on a legal contract. So, sexual relations among people of the same sex are rejected in Islam, which wants men and women to naturally practice their sexual relation through their physical potential characteristic because the natural state of Allah’s creation is not represented through homosexuality or lesbianism. Also, Allah didn’t create man’s body, , to practice such unnatural relations; perhaps because of the consequent damage of leaving natural relationships.

Q: Must a woman wash if she had wet dream?

A: I have already said that woman has no spermatic fluid, but if this supposition were true, then woman’s wet dream would be the same as man’s; that is, if she dreams of having sex with a man without a consequent fluid, after examining her clothes, she doesn’t have to wash, but if there is -in accordance, with the supposition - she has to wash. However, it is well known that woman doesn’t have that liquid which comes out from man upon sexual intercourse. Thus, we believe that wash is not a must for women who have sexual dreams.

Q: Is it lawful for a woman to look at another woman suspiciously?

A: If the mentioned suspicion means woman’s attempt to endear herself to another woman for illegal acts, or lesbianism, then the look is prohibited.

Q: One of the secular writers has put forth the idea that Islam views sexual intercourse as inferior, taking as evidence that Islam imposes wash after intercourse to purify the soul from the impurities of sex. What is your Eminence’s opinion?

A: I believe that this way of interpreting wash is incorrect because wash is not based on the Islamic inferior view of sex, knowing that Islam encourages sex and deems it a human right for both man and woman. Moreover, Islam even requires man to satisfy his wife’s sexual desire, and not fulfill the intercourse before his wife is satiated. Also, some Traditions mention that man may be rewarded for sexual relations, which protect him from committing sins. As for wash, it doesn’t imply a spiritual filth, but it implies that when man ejaculates after having sex, the whole body takes part in the process, so wash represents a type of spiritual and physical purity suggesting clearness and refinement, which liberate man from indulging in physical pleasures.

On the other hand, Islam considers sperm as impure as urine is, and since the whole body naturally takes part in the process of ejaculation, then the whole body is concerned; thus, the wash is more related to the physical side than the spiritual one. Jurists who believe that ejaculation upsets the soul base their judgment on the above reasoning, not on an authentic legal ruling.

Furthermore, there is a big difference between ejaculation that represents the filth of the soul, and that which suggests physical filth Accordingly, wash is not a must by itself, but it is a must for a Moslem to be prepared for prayers and for any state that requires purity.

Mainly, there are two types of impurities. The first includes the direct material impurities, such as urine, blood, etc… and the second comprises a joint participation between the body and the soul, but not on the basis of inferiority. Besides, we know that ablution is a must for prayers after sleep, so can we say that Islam views sleep as inferior? This is meaningless. Islam wants the Moslem to renew his physical state by washing and to renew his spiritual state through opening to purity and consequently approaching Allah, the most Exalted. So, the obligatory wash after ejaculation is the same as the obligatory ablution for prayers after sleep. No one can say that Islam views sleep as inferior, and wash and ablution lead to the physical purity as a means to spiritual refinement, providing that wash and ablution are done in pursue of God’s satisfaction.


Q: Orientals in general, and Moslems, in particular, are accused of giving women’s hymen a greater importance than that it deserves. What is your Eminence’s comment?

A: This is right. Actually, there are some Traditions that recommend marrying virgin women, but this doesn’t mean that virginity is a sacred thing, but this is based on the fact that the virgin, who hasn’t married before, opens to her husband more faithfully and adherently since her husband is the first man in her life, and when one joins the first person in his/her life it is natural that his/her feelings are different from those of a person who has a previous experience with another person. I agree that social traditions have expanded the issue of women’s hymen to the extent that it has become a value, believing that marrying a virgin, which implies “hymen rupture” often associated with violence, represents virility and manhood. This is not a religious state but one of social traditions and customs.

Religiously speaking, virginity is one symbol of chastity opposing non-virginity resulting from fornication; however, if non-virginity is natural, then it is not considered a negative value, similarly, virginity is not considered a sacred positive value except in the mentioned explanation about matrimonial understanding.

Female circumcision:

Q: Female circumcision has recently made a great fuss among the public-What is the Islamic ruling concerning this issue? Is it true that Islam supports restraining the tense of woman’s lust?

A: Circumcision was an Arab custom, which extended till the appearance of Islam. So, When we study the reported Traditions, we can’t find any instance urging or encouraging circumcision so that it becomes recommendable for girls, but the Traditions including circumcision don’t imply prohibition. And there are some Traditions that tell that the Prophet(p.) advised the women who performed circumcision not to misapply it; thus, it is legally permissible unless it leads to negative consequences or harm where restrain of a girl’s lust might have negative results to her future marriage. Then it will be prohibited

In other words, a girl’s circumcision is lawful if it doesn’t negatively affect her body or future marriage. If circumcision causes her great damage like frigidity, which naturally affects her life, then circumcision will be impermissible.

I think that the only positive point resulting from this process lies in the ancestors belief that the less lustful a woman is, the closer to chastity she will be, so they sought this method to reduce the sins committed by the girls which might dishonor a family or a tribe. But, this view is rejected for it is not right to perform such an act, which may lead to dangerous consequences only to encounter an anticipated problem.

Besides, lust is not a negative value but a natural human phenomenon created by God to preserve the natural process on which sexual reproduction and family ties are based: consequently, man is attracted to woman, and woman is attracted to man. However, lust may represent a negative value when it intensifies and consequently leads to negative effects, such as moral deviation. Thus, we can’t consider lust a negative thing, which needs to be cut down except in unnatural cases when lust results in deviation.

Moreover, Imam(a.s.) Al- Sadiq(a.s.) is reported to have said in one of his Traditions, “circumcising a boy is a part of the Sunna of the Prophet(p.), but circumcising a bondwoman is not.”

In another Tradition, Imam Al-Sadiq(a.s.) said: “Circumcising women is a noble deed but neither a part of the Sunna of the Prophet nor a must. And what is better than a noble deed?”

It is clear that circumcision represented a way for the women to gain their husbands’ respect in accordance with the social tradition of that time. This is suggested in the Prophet’s advice to UmHabib, who used to circumcise bondwomen. When the Prophet (p.) met her, he asked her ”Do you still practice the same job?” She replied, “Yes, until it becomes prohibited so that you prevent me from doing it” Then the Prophet(p.) answered, “It is lawful. Come nearer and let me teach you.” When she approached him, he said, “Um Habib, when you circumcise, don’t wear out and don’t mutilate, for this is better for the radiance of woman’s face and is more preferred by the husband”. So, this was meant by Imam Sadiq’s word about a noble deed, where the process was related to social traditions pertaining to embellishment and to liking women. But when traditions change, ruling then differs with the difference in title where a noble deed may turn to be its opposite, just like any case that changes with the change of the objective reality where rulings vary positively or negatively; God utterly knows.

Q: Some view Mutaa(temporary marriage) as legalizing fornication in all its details including motives, practices and consequences, or they believe that Mutaa is a second degree marriage where woman is despised and deprived of inheritance and custody. What is your comment?

A: When we study Mutaa in this context, we have to raise a question: Is a woman’s or a man’s sexual practice a shameful act that degrades him or her? Or it is a natural need that represents natural instinctive satisfaction like eating and drinking?

It is normal that we can’t deem sex a negative value or a filthy or shameful act that humiliates woman’s character, otherwise, sex of permanent marriage will also be considered shameful.

So, sex in itself is not a disgraceful behavior, and Islam is trying to solve sexual problems in the same way it solves problems of eating and drinking and all matters concerning the physical instinctive elements. Here, another question is raised. Did Islam legalize the “temporary marriage”(even in particular cases) or not?

Moslems agree that Islam legalized it, so the principle legislation by Islam-even in specific time- implies that the sexual practice of Mutta demeans neither woman nor man, because the sexual intercourse in the temporary marriage is just the same as that of the permanent marriage concerning highness and degradation and concerning the nature of sexual practices in both types of marriage; accordingly, woman is not degraded, or why would God approve woman’s inferiority and degradation knowing that He says, “And surely we have honored the children of Adam…”?

Still, there is juristic conflict concerning the following question: Did Islam extend the duration of temporary marriage legitimacy in the same way it extended that of a permanent marriage or, it confined it to a specific time? And the answere to this basic question is: why Mutaa?

Mutaa represents a human need for sex in cases when permanent marriage is not possible, however, Mutaa is not a comprehensive solution for sex. The legitimacy of this issue was initiated by the need of those Moslems in war time.

The prophet(p.) was asked whether castration was the appropriate solution to the men’s wild lust, so the prophet(p.) permitted Mutaa. This incident represents a model for all cases when man can’t marry permanently in situations like traveling and seeking education, or under critical economic and security conditions or in any case whose problems vary in time and place. This means Mutaa was adopted in the absence of any reliable solution facilitating permanent marriage. So, if Mutaa becomes common and natural and if it complies to traditions and customs of a society, then both man and woman will be sexually satisfied without any obstacles that may drive them to fornicate.

 Accordingly, we can say that sexual intercourse is not filthy by itself neither for man nor for woman, but Allah, the most Exalted, prohibited fornication because it doesn’t totally comply with the rules concerning children or family relationship, but it represents a situation where woman sells herself; where, Mutaa represents actual marriage where man and woman share sexual practices as married couple, but temporarily, and where woman feels that she is having sex with her husband in the absence of any complex or impurity because the marriage contract gives them the impression that their relation complies with the legal system and is far from impurity.

 Thus, the contract of Mutaa provides protection to the newborn even if his birth occurs by mere coincidence. Consequently, the newborn is a legitimate child when the documents that confirm the contract and assert the relation between the mentioned couple and the newborn are available. As for the questions concerning the idea that Mutaa deprives woman of alimony and inheritance, we say that the nature of this kind of marriage necessitates these conditions, and the woman who agrees on temporary marriage accepts the conditions voluntarily and convincingly, in the same way a woman permanently marries a man under the condition that her husband will not bequeath her.

 The temporary marriage is allowed in cases when man can’t provide a house or spend money due to economic crisis or other causes. It is a contingent marriage, not a permanent one. So the matter is not as bad as it is expressed in the question.

This issue should be handled in relation with whether the prophet Muhammad(p.) invalidated Mutaa after validating it or not. This is the secret of the conflict between Sunnah and Shiites. The Shiites believe that Mutaa is lawful, for the prophet(p.) didn’t invalidate it, where as the Sunna believe that Mutaa is prohibitaed because it was invalidated by the Prophet (p.).

Mutaa and the legalized fornication:

Q: Since fornication -especially in western countries is always based on mutual agreement or arranged in return for material substitute, so what is the difference between fornication and Mutaa and why is the relation prohibited n the former and allowed in the latter?

A: The difference between consensual fornication and marriage, permanent or temporary, is the contract that indicates the willingness of marriage between the couples, whether verbally or in a written form. This is available in marriage, but it is not in fornication. Through marriage, permanent or temporary, Islam allows family or sexual relations; thus, marriage adds to the legitimacy of the mentioned relationships; however agreement between a man and a woman is not enough to attain legality, for all dealings, whether allowed or prohibited are based on mutual agreement. For example, usury is based on mutual agreement but it is an illegal deal, where as contract adds to the agreement the mental willingness of the spouses to deeply attach to one another and to form a relationship.

Moreover, upon fornication, and in the west in particular, matual agreement is available but not on the basis of the will to marry or to make a family; that is, the couple starts as friends then as lovers where they practice fornication, and then they marry... It is worth mentioning that fornication is not approved in the different parts of the world, and it’s considered an illegitimate relationship rejected by the law since it is not authenticated by a contract. So, the west didn’t legalize fornication but it legislated laws protecting the rights of female fornicators and the rights of the “illegitimate child” in relation with his parents, without allowing such relation. Thus, the resulting newborn is called the illegitimate child of so and so, knowing that the public knows these parents. Also, the west regards unlawful sexual intercourse-outside marriage-committed by spouses as infidelity, and the husband or the wife has the right to file a lawsuit against her or him.