Written by Theresa Corbin
I recently wrote an article for aquila-style about the sexual rights of the Muslimah.(The first few paragraphs are in a block quote below) I wrote this article in reaction to what I found to be lacking in Islamic literature. As the article below recounts, literature enumerating the woman’s rights in a marriage and specifically regarding sex is hard to find. But Allah did not forget about the female when it comes to giving her sexual rights, it is just that perhaps the scholars or the authors of Islamic literature that is readily available think it is not good for mass consumption??? I don’t know why a woman’s sexual rights within a marriage is kept under wraps while everyone can recount hadith specifying a man’s sexual rights in a marriage, I can only guess why this is.
If we are shy to talk about such things, we need to think about the greater implications.Sisters, if we don’t know our rights in regards to intercourse (And I am not talking about the 18th century word for conversation ;)) then how will we be able to ask for them? How will we be able to go about being married and not feeling oppressed? Brothers, if you hide your head in the sand about your wive’s sexual rights, how will you know if you are failing in your duties? Imagine being in a marriage and a sexual relationship in which your partner continues to cause you pain and leaves the act before you have achieved pleasure (Not that this is always the case). And imagine living like this for years because neither you nor your partner understand what is due to you.
If you look at it from male perspective it is fair to say that this is a form of oppression.
Then why don’t we look at it the same way for women? Is it because we think of women as a giver of pleasure and not a receiver? This is a narcissistic approach to love and intimacy. Oxymoron? Yup!…
Recently, I was walking through an Islamic bookstore and I came across an entire aisle of books with titles that enumerated the ways a woman is to be a good wife and all the rights her husband has over her.
Out of curiosity, I began looking for the section on a wife’s right over her husband. I knew it had to be somewhere. It was neither next to the section on women being dutiful wives, nor was it in the section about all the ways to go about getting married … it was nowhere.
To balance out all the books about being good wives was just one book entitled Winning the Heart of Your Wife, half of its 64 pages being a note from the publisher. While this book offered some good advice, it also left a lot to be desired …
Read the rest on Aquila Style. Then come back and read on.
If we look to the example of the Prophet (PBUH), we will find that he was gentle and playful with his wives. He offered them foreplay and never left them wanting.
Many of us know very little about the Islamic sexual rights of a woman and even fewer of us understand the anatomy and the reasons behind these rights.
So let me tell you how Allah has created the female (many sisters might not even know this about themselves).
So much thought and “honor” is put into the hymen. When very few people actually know anything at all about this part of the female anatomy. And if we have heard anything about it, it is only in terms of how it should “broken” (sexual violence much?). The hymen is not a layer of skin that covers the female sex organ that needs to be broken. It is layer of skin that surrounds the vagina, it stretches during foreplay and it even heals itself when torn.
It’s true that women may experience pain or bleeding the first time they have sex, but it’s not because of their hymens; more likely, they began having intercourse without proper foreplay to lubricate the vagina. And as it turns out, hymens tell you nothing about a woman’s sexual history. Not every woman is born with a hymen, and the shape and size of a hymen differs dramatically from woman to woman. Since the hymen doesn’t appear to serve any purpose, it may very well be vestigial. –howstuffworks.com
Hence the importance of foreplay. Bleeding caused by sexual intercourse does not always happen when the woman is a virgin. And conversely it can happen when a women isn’t a virgin. Bleeding during intercourse happens when the male has not provided enough foreplay and causes tearing and pain.
It is almost comical to think that an entire custom of proving virginity with bloody bed sheets is really just built around men being bad at sex. That is, it would be comical if it weren’t a great source of pain.
Not only is foreplay an Islamic duty and a deterrent to causing pain, it is also a path to mutually pleasurable intercourse.
While it is debated whether the husband is obligated to bring his wife to orgasm, the hadith I mentioned in the Aquila-Style article gives us a guideline. Imam Malik recounts that a man should not interrupt sexual relations with his wife until she is fulfilled, unless she has given her permission. This tells us that it is not for the man to decide when sex is finished. He must wait for her as best as he can (circumcision of the male helps prolong the sex act). Whether the wife reaches orgasm (nearly impossible if she has suffered female circumcision, but that is for another post) or is she is just done with the experience, it is up to the wife to say when the intimacy is over.
If a woman is promised that the sexual experience will be enjoyable and that she is in control of when it is over (her Islamic rights), she will be more inclined to want to participate. If husbands follow Islamic guidelines, they won’t be begging or manipulated their wife with a hadith of angles cursing them. Such manipulation is oppression when the husband demands his rights but is not fulfilling his rights to her. Both parties need to be sexually fulfilled.
Why can’t we be frank and about sexual rights of women within a marriage?
Why isn’t there more literature explaining what is due to the women in her marriage bed? It is so important to a happy and fulfilling marriage, a happy family and therefore a happy society that it seems criminal to not make the masses aware of these facts.
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