- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is sex education and who should give it?
- 3 Sex Education in American Schools
- 4 The more they know it - The more they do it
- 5 Hazards of early sex
- 6 Teenage Pregnancy
- 7 Why do children get involved in sex?
- 8 What is the role of parents?
- 9 Islamic concept of sexuality
- 10 Saying of Prophet Muhammad
- 11 Concept of adultery in Islam
- 12 Concept of marriage in Islam
- 13 Saying of Prophet Muhammad
- 14 Role of Muslim parents and Muslim organizations
- 15 Marriage of Muslim girls in the USA
- 16 Curriculum for Islamic Sex Education
- 17 Sex education after marriage
If you tell kids about sex, they'll do it. If you tell them about VD, they'll go out and get it. Incredible as may seem, most oppositions to sex education in this country are based on the assumption that knowledge is harmful. But research in this area reveals that ignorance and unresolved curiosity, not knowledge, are harmful. Our failure to tell children what they want and need to know is one reason we have the highest rates of out-of-wedlock teens pregnancy and abortion of any highly developed country in the world."
"What Kids Need to Know," Psychology Today, October 1986. Dr. Sol Gordon,
Professor Emeritus, Syracuse University, and an expert on sex education.
"Say: Are they equal those who know, and those who do not know?" (Quran 39:9).
"Blessed are the women of the Helpers. Their modesty did not stand in the way of their seeking knowledge about their religion" (Saying of the Prophet - Bukhari and Muslim).
Although the Quran has placed so much emphasis on acquiring knowledge, and in the days of Prophet Muhammad Muslim men and women were never too shy to ask him questions including those related to private affairs such as sexual life, for Muslim parents of today, sex is a dirty word. They feel uncomfortable in discussing sex education with their children, but do not mind the same being taught at their children's school by secular or non-Muslim teachers (of even the opposite sex), by their peers of either sex, and by the media and television. An average child is exposed to 9000 sexual scenes per year.
These parents should know that sex is not always a dirty word. It is an important aspect of our life. God Who cares for all the aspects of our life, and not just the way of worshiping Him, discusses reproduction, creation, family life, menstruation and even ejaculation in the Quran. Prophet Muhammad , who was sent to us as an example, discussed many aspects of sexual life including sexual positions with his Companions.
The main reason Muslim parents do not or cannot discuss sex education with their children is because of the their cultural upbringing, not their religious training. They are often brought up in a state of ignorance in regard to sex issues. As a result, they may not be comfortable with their own sexuality or its expression. They leave Islamic education to Islamic Sunday schools and sex education to American public schools and the media.
What is sex education and who should give it?
Is sex education about knowing the anatomy and physiology of the human body or about the act of sex or about reproduction and family life or about prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy? Is giving sex ed equivalent to permission in engaging in sex? One sex educator at my son's school told the parents, "I am not planning to tell your children whether or not they should engage in sex or how to do it but in case they decide to do it, they should know how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STD), venereal diseases (VD), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and pregnancy."
The problem with this is that at the present time sex ed as taught in the public schools is incomplete. It does not cover morality associated with sex, sexual dysfunctions and deviations and the institution of marriage.
One of the basic questions is, "Do children need sex education?" Do you teach a baby duck how to swim or just put it in the water and let it swim? After all, for thousands of years men and women have been having sex without any formal education. In many traditional civilizations, sex education starts after marriage and with trial and error. Some couples learn it faster than others and do it better than others due to difference in sexual perception and expression of one partner. In my opinion having a dozen children is not necessarily proof of their love. An appropriate and healthy sex education is crucial to the fulfillment of a happy marriage.
With regard to the question who should teach sex education, I believe everyone has to play his or her role. Parents have to assume a more responsible role. A father has a duty to be able to answer his son's questions and a mother has the same duty to her daughter. We can hardly influence the sex ed taught in public schools or by the media, but we can supplement that with an ethical and moral dimension adding family love and responsibility. Apart from these players, some role can be played by Sunday school teachers, the family physician, the pediatrician and the clergy. Within a family, the older sister has a duty towards the younger one and the elder brother has a duty towards younger ones.
Sex Education in American Schools
Sex education is given in every American school, public or private, from grades 2 to 12. The projected 1990 cost to the nation was $2 billion per year. Teachers are told to give technical aspects of sex ed without telling the students about moral values or how to make the right decisions. After describing the male and female anatomy and reproduction, the main emphasis is on the prevention of venereal diseases and teenage pregnancy. With the rise of AIDS, the focus is on 'Safe Sex' which means having condoms available each time you decide to have sex with someone you don't know. With the help of our tax dollars, about 76 schools in the country have started dispensing free condoms and contraceptives to those who go to school health clinics. Very soon there will be vending machines in school hallways where 'children' can get a condom each time they feel like having sex.
The role of parents is minimized by American sex educators and sometimes ridiculed. In one of the sex ed movies I was made to watch a film called, "Am I Normal?" as a parent at my son's school. Whenever the young boy asks his father a question about sex, the father, shown as a bum and a slob, shuns him and changes the topic. Finally the boy learns it from a stranger and then is shown going into a movie theater with his girlfriend.
Sex education as promoted by some Western educators is devoid of morality is in many ways unacceptable to our value system. The examples of the teachings of one such educator are:
A. Nudity in homes (in shower or bedroom) is a good and healthy way to introduce sexuality to smaller (under 5) children, giving them an opportunity to ask questions. At the same time, in the same book, he also states that 75% of all child molestation and incest (500,000 per year) occur by a close relative (parent, step-parent or another family member).
B. A child's playing with genitals of another child is a permissible 'naive exploration' and not a reason for scolding or punishment. He is also aware that boys as young as 12 have raped girls as young as 8. We don't know when this 'naive exploration' becomes a sex act.
C. Children caught reading dirty magazines should not be made to feel guilty, but parents should use it as a chance to get some useful points across to him or her about sexual attitudes, values and sex exploitation, Like charity, pornography should start at home!
D. If your daughter or son is already sexually active, instead of telling them to stop, the parent's moral duty is to protect their health and career by providing them information and means for contraception and avoiding VD. Maybe this its true for rebellious teens and their submissive parents!
Educators like the one referred to above do not believe that giving sexual information means giving the OK for sex. I just wonder as to why some folks after being told the shape, color, smell and taste of a new fruit, and pleasures derived from eating it, would not like to try it? These educators say that even if your child does not ask any questions about sex, parents should initiate the discussion using i.e. a neighbors pregnancy, a pet's behavior, advertisement, popular music or a TV show. I wonder why these educators are obsessed with loading children with sexual information whether they want it or not.
The more they know it - The more they do it
Sex education in American schools has not helped decrease the teenager incidence of VD or teenage pregnancy. This is because it has not changed their sex habits. According to Marion Wright Elderman, President of the Children' Defense Fund, in a recent report, out of every twenty teens, ten are sexually active but only four use conceptions, two get pregnant and one gives birth. In 1982, a John Hopkins study found one out of every five 15 year old, and one in three 16 year old are sexually active. The incidence increased to 43% in 17 year old. The Louis Harris poll in 1986 found that 57% of the nations 17 year old, 46% of 16 year old, 29% 15 year old were sexually active. Now it is estimated that about 80% of girls entering college had sexual intercourse at least once. Going to church does not help either. 1438 teenagers, mostly white, attending conservative evangelical church were sent questions about their sex life. 26% of 16 year old, 35% of 17 year old, and 43% of 18 year old said they had sexual intercourse at least once. 33% that responded also said sex outside of marriage was morally acceptable.
Hazards of early sex
The health hazards of early sex includes sexual trauma, increase in incidence of cervical cancer, sexually transmitted disease and teenage pregnancy. We will take up each individually. A variety of injuries are possible and do happen when sex organs are not ready for sex in terms of full maturation. Some of these injuries have a long lasting effect. Cervical cancer has been thought to be related to sex at an early age and with multiple partners. Dr. Nelson and his associates in their article on epidemiology of cervical cancer call it a sexually transmitted disease.
About one million or more teenage girls become pregnant every year, at a rate of 3000 per day, 80% of whom are unmarried. Out of this I million, about 500,000, decide to keep their baby, and 450,000 are aborted (or ? murdered). 100,000 decide to deliver and give the baby up for adoption. In 1950 the incidence of birth from unmarried teenagers was only 13.9%, but in 1985 it increased to 59%. It is a myth that teenage pregnancy is a problem of the black and poor. To the contrary 2/3 teens getting pregnant now are white, suburban and above the poverty income level. The pregnancy rate (without marriage) in 54,000 enlisted Navy women is 40% as compared to 17% in the general population.
What is the life of those who have teenage pregnancy? Only 50% complete high school and more than 50% of them are on welfare. They themselves become child abusers and their children, when grown up, have 82% incidence of teenage pregnancy. 8.6 billion dollars are spent every year for the financial and health care support of teenage mothers., The sexual revolution of the 60's has affected another dimension of health care. In 1985 alone, 10 million cases of chlamydia, 2 million cases of gonorrhea, I million venereal warts, 0.5 million genital herpes and 90,000 syphilis were diagnosed. The plague of AIDS is adding a new twist to our fears. 200,000 cases have been diagnosed in the US alone, out of which 50% have already died. The disease is growing at a rate of one case every 14 minutes and so far there is no effective treatment. Father Bruce Ritter in New York, who operates shelters for runaway children, says the biggest threat to the nation's 1 million runaways is the threat of AIDS now.
Why do children get involved in sex?
There are many reasons why children get involved in sex. The most common is peer pressure. Their common response is "since everybody is doing it." One of the reasons is their desire for sexual competence with adults and a way to get ahead. Another common reason is their lack of self-esteem which they want to improve by becoming a father or mother. Sometimes it is due to a lack of other alternatives to divert their sexual energies. It could also be due to a lack of love and appreciation at home. Detachment from home can lead to attachment elsewhere. Sexual pressure on them is everywhere, at school from their peers, from the TV where about 20,000 sexual scenes are broadcasted in advertisement, soap operas, prime time shows and MTV. The hard core rock music nowadays fans the flames of sexual desires. Most parents do not know what kind of music their children are hearing. If they care and listen to rock songs like Eat Me Alive (Judas Priest), Purple Rain (Prince), Losing It (Madonna), The Last American Virgin, Papa Don't Preach, Private Dancer (Tina Turner), Material Girl (Madonna) and Cyndi Lauper's songs, they will know what they are talking about. The songs have pornographic words and sentences which made Kandy Stroud, a former rock fan, begged parents to stop their children from listening to what she calls 'Pornographic Rock'. This shows music does affect our sexual mood. It does so by activating melatonin, the hormone from the pineal gland in the brain which is turned on by darkness and turned off by flashing lights. It is the same gland which has been thought to trigger puberty and affects the reproductive cycle and sex mood.
What is the role of parents?
American educators are putting the blame for their failures (i.e. teenage pregnancy) on the parents. In fact in Wisconsin and many other states the grandparents of a baby born to a teenager are responsible for the financial support of the child. Remember parents are not needed if their teenage daughter needs contraceptives or abortion. Faced with such hypocrisy, the parents job is to instill in their teenagers mind what is not taught in sex ed classes, i.e. reason not to engage in sex, reason not to get pregnant, etc. At the same time, they should divert their energies to some productive activities like community work, sports, character growth, or Sunday schools. Another role of parents is to help their children make the right decisions.
In Islam anything which leads to wrong is also considered wrong. Therefore parents should control the music children are listening to or the TV program they are watching, the magazines they are reading, and the clothes (which may provoke desire in the opposite sex) they are wearing. While group social activity should be permitted with supervision, dating should not be allowed. When American teenagers start dating, sex is on their mind.
In fact during a recent survey, 25% of college freshman boys responded by saying that if they have paid for the food and the girl does not go all the way, they have a right to force her to have sex. Many of the rapes occur at the end of the date and are not reported. Anything which breaks down sexual inhibition and loss of self-control i.e. alcohol, drugs, parking, petting or just being together for two members of the opposite sex in a secluded place should not be allowed for Muslim teenagers. Kissing and petting is preparing the body for sex. The body can be brought to a point of no return.
In summary Muslim parents should teach their children that they are different from non-Muslims in their value system and way of life. Having a feeling and love in your heart for someone of the opposite sex is different and beyond control, while expression of the same through sex is entirely different and should be under control. Muslim children should be told that they don't drink alcohol, eat pork, take drugs, and they don't have to engage in pre-marital sex either.
Islamic concept of sexuality
Islam recognizes the power of sexual need, but the subject is discussed in the Quran and the saying of Prophet Muhammad in a serious manner, in regard to marital and family life. Parents should familiarize themselves with this body of knowledge.
Saying of Prophet Muhammad
* "When one of you have sex with your wife, it is a rewarded act of charity." The Companions were surprised and said, "But we do it purely out of our desire. How can it be counted as charity?" The Prophet replied, "If you had done it with a forbidden woman, it would have been counted as a sin, but if you do it in legitimacy, it is counted as charity."
* "Let not one of you fall upon his wife like a beast falls. It is more appropriate to send a message before the act."
* "Do not divulge the secrets of your sex life with your wife to another person nor describe her physical feature to anyone."
Concept of adultery in Islam
God says in the Quran, "Do not go near to adultery. Surely it is a shameful deed and evil, opening roads (to other evils)" (Quran 17:32). "Say, 'Verily, my Lord has prohibited the shameful deeds, be it open or secret, sins and trespasses against the truth and reason"' (Quran 7:33). "Women impure are for men impure, and men impure are for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity" (Quran 24:26). Prophet Muhammad, has said in many place that adultery is one of the three major sins. However the most interesting story is that of a young man who went to the Prophet and asked for permission to fornicate because he could not control himself. The Prophet dealt with him with reasoning and asked him if he would approve of someone else having illegal sex with his mother, sister, daughter or wife. Each time the man said 'no'. Then the Prophet replied that the woman with whom you plan to have sex is also somebody's mother, sister, daughter or wife. The man understood and repented. The Prophet prayed for his forgiveness.
Adultery is a crime not against one person but against the whole of society. It is a violation of marital contract. 50% of all first time marriages in this country result in divorce in two years and the main reason for divorce is the adultery of one of the partners. Adultery, which includes both pre-marital and extra marital sex, is an epidemic in this society. Nobody seems to listen to the Bible which says frequently, "Thou shall not commit adultery." The Quranic approach is, "Do not approach adultery."
What does it mean that not only is illegal sex prohibited, but anything which leads to illegal sex is also illegal? These things include dating, free mixing of the sexes, provocative dress, nudity, obscenity and pornography. The dress code both for men and women is to protect them from temptation and desires by on lookers who may lose self-control and fall into sin. "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity, and God is well acquainted with all they do. And say to the believing woman that they should lower their gaze, and guard their modesty" (Quran 24:30-31).
Concept of marriage in Islam
Islam recognizes the strong sexual urge and desire for reproduction. Thus Islam encourages marriage as a legal sexual means and as a shield from immorality (sex without commitment). In Islam the marriage of a man and woman is not just a financial and legal living arrangement, not even just for reproduction, but providing a total commitment to each other, a contract witnessed by God. Love and joy of companionship is a part of the commitment. A married couple assumes a new social status and responsibility for himself, his wife and his children and for the community. The Quran says, "Among His signs is that He created consorts for you from among yourself, so that you may find tranquility with them, and (He) set love and compassion between you. Verily in this are signs for people who reflect" (Quran 30:21).
Saying of Prophet Muhammad
"Marriage is my tradition. He who rejects my tradition is not of me" (Bukhari, Muslim).
"Marriage is half of religion. The other half is being Godfearing" (Tabarani, Hakim).
In Islam there is no fixed rule as to the age of marriage. It is becoming fashionable for young Muslim men not to marry until they have completed their education, have a job, or reached age 26-30 or more. Similarly young Muslim girls say they want to marry after age 24. Why? When asked, they say, "I am not ready for it." Not ready for what? Don't they have normal sexual desire? If the answer is yes, then they have only one of the two choices a) marry or b) postpone sex (abstinence until they marry). The Quran says, "Let those who find not the where withal for marriage, to keep them selves chaste till God find them the means from His Grace" (Quran 24:33).
The Prophet said, "Those of you who own the means should marry, otherwise should keep fasting for it curbs desires" (Ibn Massoud). The Western reason for delaying marriage is different than ours. When I suggested this to one of my sexually active young female patients, she bluntly said, "I don't want to sleep with the same guy every night."
Role of Muslim parents and Muslim organizations
I am not proposing that all Muslim youth be married at age 16. But I must say that youth should accept the biological instinct and make decisions which will help to develop a more satisfied life devoted to having a career rather than spending time in chasing (or dreaming about) the opposite sex. Parents should help their sons and daughters in selection of their mate using Islamic practice as a criteria and not race, color or wealth. They should encourage them to know each other in a supervised setting. The community organization has several roles to play.
To provide a platform for boys and girls to see and know each other without any intimacy.
Offer premarital educational courses to boys and girls over 18 separately to prepare them for the role of father and husband and of mother and wife. The father has a special role, mentioned by Prophet Muhammad , "One who is given by God, a child, he should give it a beautiful name, should give him or her education, and training and when he or she attains puberty, he should see to it that he or she is married. If the father does not arrange their marriage after puberty, and the boy or girl is involved in sin, the responsibility of that sin will lie with the father"
Marriage of Muslim girls in the USA
Marriage of Muslim girls in this country is becoming a problem. I was not surprised to read the letter of a Muslim father in a national magazine. He complained that in spite of his doing his best in teaching Islam to his children, his college-going daughter announced that she is going to marry a non-Muslim boy whom she met in college.
As a social scientist I am more interested in the analysis of the events. To be more specific, why would a Muslim girl prefer a non-Muslim boy over a Muslim? The following reasons come to mind:
She is opposed to and scared of arranged marriages. She should be told that not all arranged marriages are bad ones and that 50% of all love marriages end up in a divorce in this country. Arranged marriages can be successful if approved by both the boy and girl. That is, they need to be a party to the arrangement. I am myself opposed to the blind arranged marriage.
Muslim boys are not available to her to make a choice. While parents have no objection or cannot do anything about non-Muslim boys with whom she talks or socializes at school or college for forty hours a week, she is not allowed to talk to a Muslim boy in the mosque or in a social gathering. If she does, they frown at her or even accuse her of having a loss character. As a Muslim boy put it, "If I grow up knowing only non-Muslim girls, why do my parents expect me to marry a Muslim one?"
Some Muslim boys do not care for Muslim girls. On the pretext of missionary work after marriage, they get involved with non-Muslim girls because of their easy availability. Muslim parents who also live with an inferiority complex do not mind their son marrying an American girl of European background but they would object if he marries a Muslim girl of a different school of Islamic thought (Shiah/Sunni) or different tribe like Punjabi, Sunni, Pathan, Arab vs. non-Arab, Afro-American vs. immigrant, or different class, Syed vs. non-Syed. Both the parents and the body should be reminded that the criteria for choosing a spouse that was given by the Prophet Muhammad was not wealth nor color but Islamic piety.
She may have been told that early marriage, that is, age 18 or less, is taboo and that she should wait until the age of 23 or 25. According to statistics, 80% of American girls, while waiting to get settled in life and married, engage freely in sex with multiple boyfriends. However, this option is not available to Muslim girls. Every year nearly one million teenage girls in this country who think that they are not ready for marriage, get pregnant. By the age of 24 when a Muslim girl decides that she is ready for marriage, it may be too large for her. If she reviews the matrimonial ad section in Islamic magazines, she will quickly notice that the boys of the age group of 25 to 30 are looking for girls from 18 to 20 year age group. They may wrongfully assume that an older girl may not be a virgin.
She may also carry a wrong notion not proven scientifically that marrying healthy cousins may cause congenital deformities in her offspring.
Thus, unless these issues are addressed, many Muslim girls in the US may end up marrying a non-Muslim or remain unmarried.
Curriculum for Islamic Sex Education
Islamic sex education should be taught at home starting at an early age. Before giving education about anatomy and physiology, the belief in the Creator should be well established. As Dostoevsky put it, "Without God, everything is possible," meaning that the lack of belief or awareness of God gives an OK for wrongdoing.
A father should teach his son and a mother should teach her daughter. In the absence of a willing parent, the next best choice should be a Muslim male teacher (preferably a physician) for boys and a Muslim female teacher (preferably a physician) for a girl at the Islamic Sunday school.
The curriculum should be tailored according to age of the child and classes be held separately. Only pertinent answers to a question should be given. By this I mean that if a five year old asks how he or she got into mommie's stomach, there is no need to describe the whole act of intercourse. Similarly it is not necessary to tell a fourteen year old how to put on condoms. This might be taught in premarital class just before his or her marriage. A curriculum for sex ed should Include:
a. Sexual growth and development
* Time table for puberty
* Physical changes during puberty
* Need for family life
b. Physiology of reproductive system
* For girls- the organ, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome
* For boys- the organ, the sex drive
c. Conception, development of fetus and birth
d. Sexually transmitted disease (VD/AIDS) (emphasize the Islamic aspect)
e. Mental, emotional and social aspects of puberty
f. Social, moral and religious ethics
g. How to avoid peer pressure
Sex education after marriage
This essay is not intended to be a sex manual for married couples, although I may write such someday. I just wanted to remind the reader of a short verse in the Quran and then elaborate. The verse is, "They are your garments, and you are their garments" (Quran 2:187).
Husbands and wives are described as garments for each other. A garment is very close to our body, so they should be close to each other. A garment protects and shields our modesty, so they should do the same to each other. Garments are put on anytime we like, so should they be available to each other anytime. A garment adds to our beauty, so they should praise and beautify each other.
For husbands I should say that sex is an expression of love and one without the other is incomplete. One of your jobs is to educate your wife in matters of sex especially in your likes and dislikes and do not compare her to other women.
For wives I want to say that a man's sexual needs are different than a women's. Instead of being a passive recipient of sex, try to be an active partner. He is exposed to many temptations outside the home. Be available to please him and do not give him a reason to make a choice between you and hellfire.
This from the first chapter of the book: Sex Education: An Islamic Perspective (Edited by Shahid Athar , M.D.)
please send me more I am in the fiel of poplation and Iam supporsed to present the Views of Islam on Adolescence sexual and reproduction health. Jazakumllahu Khairan
Here is my one question that is the oral sex is permitted in Islam?
Please reply as soon as possible.
"Blessed are the women of the Helpers. Their modesty did not stand in the way of their seeking knowledge about their religion" (Saying of the Prophet - Bukhari and Muslim).
And notice the words "Knowledge about their RELIGION".
Here those women are being blessed who are not shy to seeking knowledge about their religion... in other words Islam... and no sex education is mentioned here.
So, please don't try to misguide us.
See our site for Sex topics with a moral slant.
Every child has a different psychology. Some can better control themselves and some are more prone to give in to temptation. It is the parents responsibility to ensure that they help their children when they are most vulnerable.
Early engagements or marriages are defnite options. While married, we should also educate our young couples about focusing on acquiring higher education and not having kids until they have finished their education and can support their family.
I disagree with the opinion because this is an agenda that exposes children to sex and eventually enter their heads. Beecause they are explores.
Secondly, the teacher in these cartegory are uncultured. Allah in his word thought those aspect of our life in a cultured manner, dotto the prophet.(SAW)eg Q5 : 6 Allah use the word "Lamastum" to indicate intercourse which I belief is cultured manner.
With these and others I belief it is wrong to introduce to them at the early age untill puberty. still at that time all protocols must be observerved.
iam totally against it b'cos u did'nt support it with relevant verse from the holy qur'an or any book of sunna,and dont forget that our enemies are
always at our door step in case there is any chance.so we better watch what we are doing or saying.
I'm impressed that you have posted this topic about sex, which is one of the most important issues in our lives to be discussed. I thnak you for opening this discussion where we can express our feeling and ask questions about it. There's one question that confuses me and is unclear to me, where you do not really explain nor give reference to in exact words or quote exactly from Qur'an. You mention in the text where I quote, "God Who cares for all the aspects of our life, and not just the way of worshipping Him, discusses reproduction, creation, family life, menstruation and even ejaculation in the Quran." (Sex Education: An Islamic Perspective) Can you specifically tell me where does it describe in Qur'an. What Surah and Ayah is it mentioned? I'd appreciate any answers. Thank you
on my own personal i need Hajiah
By this I mean your son/daughter comes home from school and tells you about sex ed that she learned today, "my teacher said that we can get free condoms from the school washroom" and anywhere when we going to have sex to protect ourselves". If you as a parent explain to the child the morals that it is better to not to have sex at your age think of all the diseases that people get from having sex. That child is going to laugh in your face. Unless the schools are made to teach sex Ed properly, and the government bans all those sex ads and commercials both on TV and radio these thousands of teenage pregnancies and wide spread of all disease.
As Muslims we try to teach our children but look how much time a child spends with the parent compared to school, to listing to the radio, to watching TV and to the influence of their peers. It is a mighty job which needs a lot of help and assistance to be successful
1. not true. but there are restrictions on their interactions.
2. not true. the husband does not have to be chosen by the parents. after all, Prophet Muhammad's wife chose him. :)
3. it is legal, and perfectly all right.
4. it is not wrong.
5. not necessarily a disaster, but yes, it could be disastrous. muslims are encouraged to at least see the person they are marrying before the marriage.
6. engagement is an intention to marry the girl, declared to everyone, so that it is clear that the girl is taken. this means that it is dishonourable for another man to woo her. it is encouraged, however, that the engagement period is not a lengthy one.
7. it depends. again, it's better for the girl to know the man she is marrying. if the arranged person actually meets her BEFORE the marriage, he could be better, or not. if they marry without her knowing him at all, that is gravely discouraged.
8. Her and her husband's expectation. a woman's husband is her choice alone. She can be married by her parents, but only by her consent. therefore, her expectation is of greater importance than her parents' expectation. after marriage, her loyalty is to her husband first. therefore, her husband's expectation is also of greater importance than her parents' expectation.
al salam alikum wa rahmatou allah
I really appreciated this article, but I also have certain questions that remain. I am a revert and a lot of the information in the latter part of the article seemed to be aimed towards people who have been muslim all of their lives. The questions that I have, being that I am a revert American woman, how do we put this into perspective when choosing a mate? There are a lot of obstacles that we face in this area. Some of us have reached an age that many men it seem consider undesirable to marry. So what are our options?
Jazakallah Khair for this information,
We are being phony and unresponsible by pretending that sexual desires among ourdeveloping youth is not present. WE are wrong, by pontificating over them like we are above needing human intimacy...we are wrong to dictate morality to them when it is difficult to do it our selves...
But, sadly...I don't know what the solution is...How do we be proud loving Muslims, and Moral decent Muslims...that honestly retain their morals? Actually, Allah is correct by urging us to be moral, and responsible.
But this society is not yet structured for such ideal...it will come though. but in the meantime we must seriously talk about this very important issue...from this point onward this issue and concern will get stronger...until we find a solution....As-Salaam Alaikum
i appriciate you. you wrote such a nice artical about sex ed. this year my son has this programme. i was thinking , i will whether put him in this programme or not. i was confused. May Allah bless you. your islamic sister
We have some videos on a similar topic on our site http://www.lightuponlight.com/
Let me try to answer as honestly as I can
2. No. If she's suitably impressed by some Muslim dude, she's more than welcome to tell her parents about her desire to marry him. In fact, a couple of women in my community who come from really pious families proposed (with the aid of their parents) to their husbands.
3. If you mean that once she's married she finds the boy of her dreams, then I don't think so. If she was forced into marriage I think that she has the right to seek a divorce. but in any case she can divorce her husband if she finds him offensive or disagreeable e.g. tyrannical, oppressive, unaffectionate, doesn't fulfill her sexual needs etc.
4. No. Cos in any case, we're living in a world where kids,especially guys aren't interested in just a peck on the lips.
5. Of course, that's why she has the right to meet him and to find out if there's some kind of chemistry between them and if they have stuff in common with each other.
6. I don't know. Probably the same as "engagement" from a non-muslim perspective. But it's a period usually in which the couple further get to know each other. It's important that the couple become friends during the engagement so that there is affection and familiarity between the two.
7. Neither. What's semi-pious? A Muslim should just try to be as sincere in his/her intentions and religious observances as possible. None of us are perfect and can easily sin. But it's better that one always marry another who is of the same spiritual class.
8. Definitely her own. She's marrying the dude, NOT her parents. But it's good for parents to know that their daughter is in safe and loving hands. As,long as your parents don't pressure you to marry for a guy's bank account, race, ethnicity or looks you should seek their wisdom but if you're marrying this guy because of his great character etc, chat to your parents and seek God's guidance.
Hope you're UN-confused.
There is nothing ironic about the growth of Aids her in Africa. People in Africa have as much or less sex as Europeans or Americans.Also not all people are religious in Africa and Asia. Some African cultures here in Africa condone sex outside marriage.
The difference between the African world (for example) and Europe is that there is a lack of resources and educational tools to teach people about Aids and the benefits of abstaining from pre-marital sex. Also many uninformed poeple still have certain myths concerning Aids and sex: Example 1: You can cure yourself of HIV or Aids if you sleep with a virgin, etc.
You and I kow that's nuts but many ill-informed African living in impoverished rural areas with no access to education don't.
1. There is nothing against liking a girl or a guy
but there are limits to that relationship.
2. no, it is not true. Muslim girls can choose
their husbands, it is done through elders because
they are wise and experienced.
3.no, that marriage is not illegal actually that's
a true Islamic marriage.
You are mixing up culture with religion, it is unfortunate some people give more importance to
the culture than religion.
There is a lot literature available regarding this matter. Go to some Islamic bookstore and
you will find answers to your questions.
I'll be happy to answer your very good questions...
2) NO, a Muslimah (Muslim woman) can choose/decide who she would like to marry. Parents can offer suggestions to her, but in the end, she has the final say....on the flip side, so does a Muslim man have the final say, neither can be forced/coerced into marriage. If they are, the marriage is considered invalid.
3) No...there is nothing wrong for a Muslim girl liking a Muslim boy as long as, like you have said, informs her parents of this. In such a circumstance, it would be better if intermediaries were used to bring the two together, such as relatives of the Muslim man and woman...but when they formally meet each other and the families are also present, they may speak with each other and ask each other questions and have the right to know specific things about a person. A conversation can continue as long as they follow rules of Islamic modesty (in action, and intent).
4)It is recommended that if a Muslim man and woman are willing to be together, then there should be nothing stopping them from joining in wedlock, or else what is stopping them from deciding to get married if they are into each other? Regardless of if they indulge in sexual relations or "fooling around" like you said, they shoul refrain from being alone with each and being with each other until they decide to get married, or else, as human nature presents itself, they will constantly have urges to commit sinful acts which could easily be acceptable if they married each other, don't you think? Marriage is a beautiful thing...adultery is wrong in Christianity and Judaism as well...it's not that strange if Islam says no, what do you think?
I can understand sex ed for adults, but for CHILDREN? Any attempt to justify this is to say that somebody in this century has seen something that the Prophet or the Sahabas, even those 1st Generation that follow the Sahabas have not seen in this beautiful religion of ours. I'm sorry to say that this is unacceptable to Islam and according to one of the Prophet's tradition reported by Aisha(Mother of the Believers) it should be REJECTED.
Although the article if very well written, I have a few important questions. I will be happy if anyone answer my questions. Pardon my ignorance of Islamic marriage/girlfried/boyfriend matters and the following neophytic questions....The questions are ---
1. IS IT TRUE that Muslims can't have boyfriends or girlfriends?
2. Is it true that Muslim women should be engaged by their parents, meaning the husband gotta be chosen by her parents?
3. Should the marriage be considered illegal or unIslamic if a Muslim girl likes a Muslim boy and THEN tell her parents that she wants marry the boy of his dream?
4. Is it wrong/unacceptable/unIslamic for a Muslim boy to have a Muslim girlfriend even if they don't have sex at all or fool around (partying every weekends and going out etc too much)?
5. wouldn't it be a diaster if a Muslim girl is being engaged without her even meeting the guy?
6. What is "engagement" from a Muslim perspective?
7. What is better for a Muslim girl....having a semi-pious/trusworthy Muslim guy (the prospective husband)....or completely unknown stranger blindly arranged by her parents?
8. Should Muslim women fullfill their parent's expectation regarding the husband or should she fullfill her and her husband's expectation?
I look forward to hearing from you. No offense if detected in the questions by anyone.
Br. Ahmed Assad,s book on Guarding Chastity printed with WAMY's help is a better guide than your article.
We have 2 children in PD whom we have OPTED OUT on any topics related to sex.
The Quran and Hadith is our guide.
Many Muslim parents are ignorant and non-practising. How can you expect children to learn from such households.
We have lost a large proportion of our youth.
These are SINFUL situations where both parents and teens are going to be held accountable.
Believing Muslims will send the kids to Islamic schools-as your deen will count more than your worldy conquest.
Look into the flaws of our community. Where are the teens at Friday prayers, what are parents doing in their own houses.
I see drug use, fornication, and teens never seeing a mosque in our own society.
The answer is increase youe deen.
STOP critising the west. Their flaws are great and a curse from Allah.
We need to fix ourselves first.
I would like to encourage the author to take a tone that is better-informed and more respectful toward the culture and society we are a part of - rather than one that is exaggerated, alarmist, or accusatory.
Young people need clear and accurate information about their bodies, sex (physical, emotional, and moral aspects), childbearing, as well as pregnancy and STI prevention. This is a sunna.
Especially because HIV/AIDS is spreading most quickly now among our youth, they need frank and respectful education on these subjects. Demonizing "Madonna" or "teen mothers" won't save their lives.
But thank you again for bringing up this important issue.
However, we still need to implement these ideas in our kids' minds at an early age so they know the right from wrong when they grow up. This way they might not feel the importance of physical interaction with the opposite sex before marriage
My concern is that what age is more appropriate for ur child to have this Knowledge?
I have a 10yr old girl and a 9 yr old boy, they do have an idea about Sex but they are not fully aware of the whole thing.
I have a restricted atmosphere of watching tv programmes and western music is totally out.Music is basically discouraged and they respect the Q why?
Also, not "every American school" gives sex education! Please be wary of making such sweeping generalizations. (Some schools in the South don't even teach about evolution - I doubt that sex is considered a more palatable issue.)
Also, one is NOT at a higher risk for cervical cancer simply by having multiple sexual partners. One MAY be at a higher risk for the disease if one contracts SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS. The SAFETY LEVEL of one's sexual activities is the issue here (ie the use of condoms, etc.) - not the NUMBER of one's sexual partners.
Also, one's sex organs are pretty much developed by the end of puberty; have we forgotten the days of our great-grandparents, when women got married soon after their first menstrual period?
Please, please practice more responsible journalism.
Contrary to this, if the view of the community to the relationship between man and woman is focused on the purpose for which this instinct was created, namely preserving the human race, then keeping the realities and sexual thoughts away from men and woman in public life is a necessity. This is the Islamic viewpoint, where marriage is encouraged and man and women are focused and considered as being companions and not sexual partners.
The purpose of its existence is to produce offspring for the survival of the species. Therefore, mankind's view of this instinct must be oriented towards the purpose for which it is found in him, and that undoubtedly, is for the survival of the species without distinction between men or women.
Allowing this instinct to run loose is detrimental to mankind and his social life. Islam came to govern man's behaviour. Therefore I encourage anyone Muslim or non-Muslim to study the social system of Islam, I am sure we'll appreciate its depths.
Islam made procreation instinct the subject matter and not sex as many may think. Sex is nothing more than a natural and integral part of this instinct. It is a pleasurable attraction and Allah has put it there for a purpose so that man can attract the opposite sex and vice versa.
Islam defines the procreation instinct very clearly for us. The objective of this instinct is to ensure the continuity of the human race anything else is considered natural and integral occurrences of the process to ensure this objective is met. Sex happens to be one of these integral parts. Without sex, love etc. a person would not have this attraction towards the opposite sex and therefore not procreate if they deemed it not pleasurable. Let's admit people wouldn't come together in their meeting if it wasn't interesting and pleasurable.
I am very pleased with this article! I have already educated my children in the Islamic methods mentioned and I feel it is the best and safest way to do so. Alhamdulillah!
May Allah reward you abundantly.
The writers are requested to give us more articles on the same topic which can be used to educate the whole community. The quotes from Quran and hadiths are specially useful. Thank you
Islamic values are about family and enjoyment also.
A great article and I thought I should send it to my son 19 year old studying in England,I hope that it won't upset him...Thanks
Some useful books:
1. Sex Education: An Islamic Perspective, Edited by Dr. Shahid Athar , Kazi
2. Parents manual: A Guide for Muslim Parents living in North America, by Womens Committee, MSA of US & Canada, American Trust publishers
3. Raising Children According to the Quran and Sunnah by Faramarz bin Muhammar Rahbar, Abul Qasim publishing
4. Matrimonial Education in Islam by Ahmad H Sakr y Foundation for Islamic Knowledge, USA
5. The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqayya Waris Maqsood, Amana
6. Marriages: what they are and what they should be Dr. Mohammed Ismail, by ISNA Matrimonial Referral services
7. A Handbook on Marriage, by ISNA (costs around $3 )
8. Meeting the challenge of Parenting in the West by Dr. Ekram Beshir and Mohammed R Beshir
9. Abortion, Birth Control & Surrogate Parenting: An Islamic Perspective, Abul Fadl M Ibrahim, ATP
A. Teenegers: read 1, 2 ,3 (parents & teenagers should read 1,2,3 )
B. Those planning to get married: read #2,4,5, 6,7; opt: 8,9
C. After marriage(before planning to have children, and if still hanging on): 4,5,6,7,9
D. Planning to have children: read all books in C if you haven't already done so; 2,3, 8
E. After having children: Oops! No time to read! Throw the TV out...
F. Parents of young children: read 2,3,5,8
G. Recycle the books to next generation, and remember the grudge you had against your parents!
In the category B,C,D&E the spouses and parents should read the books and follow the advices there in. Just reading a book doesn't change one's behavior overnight, a constant reading, self-reminding and internalizing of the teachings should be continued till the aspects become part of your nature(can take 3-12 months).
for give me Allah if I said anything wrong in this conversation
Thanks for the author of this article.
with best wishes
our kids..and see what they have in there mind. maybe
we find out how to help our kids for there better life.
however, i really liked your article.
Brother Shahid thank you for bring this topic out in the open. Muslims try to shield their children from the topic of sex due to their own upbringing. However, it is critical that we educate our children about sex especially the morality aspect of it. In addition, the topic of the children's marriage is something the parents should start to think of when the children are young. The arranged marriage system that worked for the previous generations is no longer going to work, especially with the children raised in the American society. As children approach college age, parents and children should have a dialouge about each of their thoughs and ideas on marriage. Its sad and tragic to see so many young people of marriageable age remain unmarried or even worse to marry a non-muslim. Dr. Athar, thank you so much for bring these excellent points to light. These are some very important things we as American Muslims should be thinking about. These are essential for us to pass on the teachings of Islam to our children.
I have enjoyed reading this article and I plan to discuss this with the muslims in my circle.
something which I think is very important and should be implemented within the Muslim families, especially with the corrupt society around us.
There are many things that the Prophet, the Muslims during his time, and the Muslims during the time of the first four Khalifah, did that are not in line with what many Muslim parents are doing today with their children, simply out of not knowing how or when to approach their children about sexuality and its explanation in the Qur'an and Hadith.
Islam came for all of humankind, and therefore this is a clear call to the people of the West, to come to learn what Islam truly teaches, and how we share many similar family, social, and moral values with Christian, Jewish, and other religious values. How can we as Muslims show non-Muslims that we are not strict, violent, and backward as many people seem to believe? It is by educating them about what Islam teaches us Muslims about such topics as sexuality.
During a time where homosexuality and adultry are commonly accepted practices within Canada and the USA at least, we Muslims must come out and say what and why our faith, way of life, says that some things are allowed, and why some thigns are not. I say this only because individuals are saying that they can interpret Islam to suit their own lifestyles. We cannot have a growing population of people masquerading as Muslims and that they say Islam allows sex before marriage and lewdness!! For this reason adn this reason only, Muslims MUST promote articles such as this and continue to strive to uphold our way of life. It is our duty, this is us doing Dawah. We should not be shy to stand up for our values with conviction!!!
More educational material like this article. Alhumdulillah
God Bless you.
Thank you for the thought provoking article.
I have taken pleasure to mail the article to many of the friends & kith & kin of the family who shoulder the responsibility of educating their adolesant chilren .
I pray Allah (swt) to reward the authors & your institution for these efforts to guide the society rightly ! Jazakamullah Khair !
Thank you very much.