What is the worldview of Islam on sexuality in all creation? (Part two 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: to read part one click here……..

How are pairs defined in the Quran? Allah Subhanawataala says:

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

(zaujain)—male and female. (53:45)

The Quran 53:45, quoted above, makes very clear the fact that Zaujain are a male and a female.  Thus the azwajum mutahharatun mentioned in the

Quran (see 2:25) as the spouses of the believers in Paradise are not females as incorrectly understood by male-oriented scholars.

Those azwaj are pure companions, a wife for a man, and a husband for a woman.

Thus the first part of our discussion shows that the Quran sees sexual

relations in terms of pairs (azwaj).  These pairs are a male and a female who need each other and are incomplete without each other.

Our quotes from the Quran make clear that those writers who translate azwaj as wives are mistaken.

THE BASIS OF MARRIAGE.  The next step is to see the basis of marriage in Islam.  This basis is faith or iman.  Marriage is a permanent relationship between a man and a woman who want to follow the Guidance from Allah.  If marriage is to be an Islamic marriage, the couple must give each other the same respect, which Muslims are taught to give each other.

Muslims, man and woman, are not physically or spiritually or mentally inferior to each other, though in specific cases an individual man or a woman may have certain strengths or weaknesses.  As Muslims they are equal partners in the Islamic struggle as evident from the Quran:

  For Muslim men and women—for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for truthful men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who engage much in the remembrance of Allah—for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Quran 33:35)

Here Allah has categorized all aspects of a Muslim’s life, from its most hidden spiritual aspects to its most obvious outward ones and pointed out the togetherness and equality of Muslim men and women in all of them.  Women are not deficient or left out of any aspect of Islam.

These men and women, when joined in marriage, do not, as a natural result of their togetherness in all Islamic activities, enter a contract between a superior male and an inferior female.

The basis of the existence of these people is the guidance they seek from Allah and their efforts to live as Muslims. This belief or iman is to be placed above considerations of race, social class, and nationality.  In fact, in Islam belief and marriage together change the social structure, as we shall discuss at a later point.

We should remember that Islam came into a society, which was much more oppressive than any one which exists today.  Women were treated as chattel and were sometimes inherited.  Girls were often victims of legalized infanticide.  Slavery was rampant and many of the slaves were women.  Islam did not compromise with that oppression and broke the chains of slavery within the souls of men.

Today’s society has its own slaves and its oppressed people. 

Today women are oppressed in devious ways and are exploited by society to enrich the exploiters.  Let us see how Islam can free them.

The central belief of Islam, that we were created by Allah (the One God) and are answerable to Him and should seek guidance from Him, makes Islamic marriage strong and goal oriented.  The belief is important, whether it is a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. Allah Subhanawataala says in the Quran:

Wed not women who associate (others with God) till they believe!  For, surely, a believing slave girl is better than one who associates (others with God) though she pleases you; and give not your daughters in marriage to associators till they believe, for, surely a believing slave is better than an associator (mushrik) though he pleases you.  These invite you unto the fire and Allah invites unto the Garden, and unto forgiveness by; His Grace, and expounds thus His revelation to mankind that perhaps ye may remember.  (Surah Baqarah:2:221)

Imagine the revolutionary changes which would take place in a society where men would cross race and class lines to marry their “inferiors” (slaves), or one in which women of “noble” families would marry “slaves” or other oppressed people on the basis of shared belief.

This belief, as the basis of marriage, is connected with good conduct and a strict sexual morality. Allah Subhanawataala says in the Quran:

The adulterer shall not marry but an adulteress or a female who associates (Others with God), and the adulteress none shall marry but an adulterer or a male associator  (mushrik).  All that is forbidden unto believers.  (24:3)

Thus Islamic marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman who have a sense of spiritual direction in life. They live not to please themselves but to please their Creator.  Such are the men and women who are taught to pray by Allah:

SUPPLICATION: Our Lord!  Grant us “coolness of our eyes” (joy) in our s spouses and in our offspring


Allah knows best!

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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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