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Etiquette of Intimate Relations

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Marriage Advice

source: Islam-QA.com

reads: 9432

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Islam teaches us all things and has brought all good teaching to mankind concerning their livelihood, religion, living and dying, because it is the religion of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

Sexual relations are among the important matters of life which Islam came to explain and to prescribe proper conduct and rulings which elevate it from the level of mere bestial pleasure and physical desire. Islam connects it to a righteous intention, supplications (adhkaar) and proper conduct which lift it up to the level of worship for which the Muslim will be rewarded. The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explains this. Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) says in his book Zaad al-Ma'aad:

"Concerning sexual relations, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought the most perfect guidance, whereby health may be preserved and people may find pleasure and enjoyment, and it may fulfil the purpose for which it was created, because sex was created for three basic purposes:

The preservation and propagation of the human race, until they reach the number of souls that Allaah has decreed should be created in this world.

Expulsion of the water (semen) which may cause harm to the body if it is retained.

Fulfilling physical desires and enjoying physical pleasure. This alone is the feature that will be present in Paradise, because there will be no producing of offspring there, and no retention which needs to be relieved by ejaculation.

The best doctors suggest that sex is one of the means of maintaining good health."

(al-Tibb al-Nabawi, p. 249)

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Among its benefits is that it helps to lower the gaze, brings self-control, enables one to keep away from haraam things, and achieves all of these things for the woman too. It brings benefit to a man with regard to this world and the Hereafter, and benefits the woman too. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to enjoy regular intimate relations with his wives, and he said, "In your world, women and perfume have been made dear to me." (Narrated by Ahmad, 3/128; al-Nasaa'i, 7/61; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim)

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it helps him to lower his gaze and protect his chastity. And whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a protection for him." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 9/92; Muslim, 1400)

(al-Tibb al-Nabawi, 251)

Among the important matters which should be paid attention to when engaging in intimate relations:

Having the sincere intention of doing this thing only for the sake of Allaah. One should intend to do this to protect oneself and one's wife from doing haraam things, to increase the numbers of the Muslim ummah so as to raise its status, for there is honour and pride in large numbers. It should be known that one will be rewarded for this action, even if he finds immediate pleasure and enjoyment in it. It was reported from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "In the sexual intercourse of any one of you there is reward." (meaning, when he has intercourse with his wife) They said, "O Mesenger of Allaah, when any one of us fulfils his desire, will he have a reward for that?" He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Do you not see that if he were to do it in a haraam manner, he would be punished for that? So if he does it in a halaal manner, he will be rewarded." (Narrated by Muslim, 720)

This is the great bounty of Allaah towards this Ummah; praise be to Allaah Who has made us among them.

Intercourse should be preceded by kind words, playfulness and kisses. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to play with his wives and kiss them.

When a man has intercourse with his wife, he should say: "Bismillaah, Allaahumma jannibnaa al-shaytaan wa jannib al-shaytaan maa razqtanaa (In the name of Allaah, O Allaah Keep us away from the Shaytaan and keep the Shaytaan away from what You bestow on us (our children))." The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If Allaah decrees that they should have a child, the Shaytaan will never harm him." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 9/187)

It is permissible for the husband to have intercourse with his wife in her vagina in whatever manner he wishes, from behind or from the front, on the condition that it is in her vagina, which is the place from which a child is born. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus), when or how you will." [al-Baqarah 2:223]. Jaabir ibn 'Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Jews used to say that if a man had intercourse with his wife in her vagina from behind, the child would have a squint. Then this aayah was revealed: "Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus), when or how you will." [al-Baqarah 2:223] The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "From the front or from the back, so long as it is in the vagina." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 8/154; Muslim, 4/156)

It is not permissible for the husband under any circumstances whatsoever to have intercourse with his wife in her back passage. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus), when or how you will." [al-Baqarah 2:223]. It is known that the place of tilth is the vagina, which is the place from which one hopes for a child. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "He is cursed who has intercourse with women in their back passages." (Narrated by Ibn 'Udayy, 1/211; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Adaab al-Zafaaf, p. 105). This is because it [anal intercourse] goes against the fitrah [natural inclinations of man] and is an action which is revolting to those of a sound human nature; it also causes the woman to miss out on her share of pleasure; and the back passage is a place of filth and dirt – and there are other reasons which confirm the fact that this deed is haraam.

If a man has intercourse with his wife and wants to come back to her a second time, he should do wudoo', because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If any one of you has intercourse with his wife then wants to repeat it, let him do wudoo' between the two (actions), for it is more energizing for the second time." (Narrated by Muslim, 1/171). This is mustahabb (recommended), not waajib (obligatory); if he is able to do ghusl between the two actions, this is better, because of the hadeeth of Abu Raafi' who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went around his wives one day and did ghusl in this one's house and in this one's house. He (Abu Raafi') said: "I said to him, O Messenger of Allaah, why do you not do one ghusl?" He said, "This is cleaner and better and purer." (Narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa'i, 1/79)

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