What is the worldview of Islam on sexuality in all creation? (Part one of two)

The Family As The Nucleus Of The Islamic Civilization: It is essential to gain a perspective of the stature of the family in Islam and how does a healthy family evolve in society.

Islam is quite clear on the issue of sexuality in all of creation. Here are some questions that need reflection:

i. Does Islam extols celibacy as Christianity did?

ii. Does Islam see created beings as singles, each fulfilling itself in itself?

iii. Does Islam see the male principle of life or the female principle of life? as dominant in existence

iv. Does Islam see the male and the female coming together to fulfill themselves and incomplete without each other?

The Quran indicates that the first three parts of this question must be answered with a resounding “no”. 

The Islamic worldview is that of couples, not singles.  Allah’s view

of the universe, as part of Allah’s process of creation, is described in these

words in the Quran:

And of everything we have created pairs (zaujain) that ye may reflect. (51:49)

That it is He who granted Death and Life; that He did create in pairs

(zaujain)—male and female. (53:45)

And have We not created you in pairs? (78:8)

And the earth, We have spread it out, and set thereon

mountains standing firm, and produced therein every

kind of beautiful growth (in pairs) (zaujain baheej). (50:7)

–you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour

down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts

forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs). (22:5)

Glory to Him Who created in sexual pairs (al-Azwaj) all

things that the earth produces, as well as their own

(human) kind and (other) things of which they have no

knowledge. (36:36)

The Arabic word used for pairs in these verses, zaujain, means

sexual couples, and these couples are mentioned in the verses

quoted as signs of Allah.  The first verse urges us to reflect on this

phenomenon of creation in pairs so that we might get some notion

of the harmony and peace which is Islam.

The rebirth of the seemingly dead earth (sura 22) after Allah sends rain is

also one of the indications of the happenings, which will occur on Judgment Day

(Yom al-Qiyamah).  Thus, the mention of the creation in pairs is linked, in the

Quran, to the mention of the basic beliefs of Islam—that Allah alone is the

Creator and the Nourisher and that we come from Allah and will return to Allah.

The final verse, from sura 36, helps us to realize that along

with vegetable and human life, there may be other forms or beings alive, of whom

we do not know, who have also been created in pairs

In his commentary on some of these verses, Imam Razi points out that one begins

to understand reality by looking at  the “marriage” of opposites.  In fact,

underlying the principle of harmony is the coming together of different

principles of being.  The day is completed by the night, labor by rest, the

world by the hereafter, the male by the female, the man by the woman (or woman

by man).

It is this mutuality and completeness, which is essential to Islamic existence. 

In this way of life there is no war of sexes, no dominance of one gender by the other. In this context, singleness or celibacy is deplorable and leads to serious problems while (as a general rule) marriage under Islamic principle is fruitful and makes existence complete.

Children must have the care and love of both a father and a mother to be complete human beings; otherwise their psyche is fragmented and their vision of the world is distorted.

Hence, marriage must be based on such solid foundations that divorce or separation does not take place or are very rare.

A society where marriage takes place not between a man and a woman but between the wealth and power of two families is an unislamic society.

Similarly unislamic is a society where marriages are temporary phenomena, based not on the holy sexuality of complete acceptance but on the triviality of physical thrills and the desire to exploit, enjoy, and destroy, and then pass on to someone else.

 CONTINUED IN PART TWO……….

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About Kaukab Siddique PhD

Professor of English, World Literature and Journalism at Lincoln University. Research specialization in Women and Islam

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