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Is foreplay and oral sex permitted in Islam?

02 March 2015, 14:02Mushra Hartley

Modern Muse discusses what is permissible, and what not, with regards to oral sex, foreplay and Islamic law. 

Q: Is oral sex and foreplay allowed in Islam?


Oral sex is lawful for both the husband and wife. It can be understood from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying: “Approach from the front or the back, but avoid anal sex and sex during menstruation.”

This is clear evidence that the prohibited sexual acts are anal intercourse and intercourse with a woman during menstruation and post natal-bleeding. Everything else between a husband and a wife is permissible. 

The possibility of the existence of impurity does not stand as a sufficient evidence for forbidding it. If a person thinks the intake of impurity (semen/ fluid from a woman’s genital’s), is imminent, he must take action to avoid it.

The female genitals are not impure as long as they are free from ordinary impurities.
A feeling of guilt cannot stand as evidence for the unlawfulness of something. The evidence can only be derived from what is in Allah’s Book or the Prophet’s Sunnah (peace be upon him). There is no evidence whatsoever from these two sources forbidding this practice. Therefore, as things are basically lawful unless evidence to the contrary exists, then this practice is lawful.

Some people may dislike a practice for their own personal reasons, but we cannot say that it is an unlawful practice in Islam.


Answered by: Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî, former professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh (Source: Islam Today)


Additional/ Supplementary information:

Although the Shafi`is and Hanbali schools both consider sperm to be pure, they both agree that it is unlawful to swallow.

Should a couple decide to perform these acts, they must be sure to rinse out their mouths afterwards. This is something they should be doing in any case, and it is an essential part of purification for Hanbalis.

For added benefit: Hanbali books mention that it is lawful for a husband to achieve ejaculation by his wife masturbating him, and by rubbing his penis between her thighs or breasts. They also mention that while anal sex is absolutely unlawful, it is lawful to place a finger on the anus as long as it does not penetrate. One of the reasons for mentioning these detailed examples is to show that they were not unknown to the scholars, and in sha Allah to add strength to the idea that the general rulings mentioned in the books are sufficient for working out these detailed cases.

Up to here the topic concerns the lawful and the prohibited. But this issue is a completely separate from whether these acts should be done, and whether one spouse can compel the other one to do them.

When I asked my sheikh about these very issues he pointed out that while each spouse is responsible to provide for the other spouse’s sexual needs and to keep them chaste, it is absolutely unlawful to abuse one another, mentally or physically. He also points out that Allah Most High in the Qur’an orders husband and wife to act amicably and well towards one another, and one needlessly forcing the other to do something–even when they have the right to demand it–goes against this principle.I once asked whether or not it was disobedience [nushuz] if husband demanded fellatio from his and she refused. His answer was that she is ordered to submit herself to him for intercourse: something she has not denied him here.

Even if people find this whole topic disgusting in practice, we should take note that the example given in the books is one where it is the wife who receives physical pleasure, not the husband, and that the location mentioned is the one most likely to bring about an orgasm. So much for the idea that Islam totally ignores the sexual needs of women, rendering them as little more than house keepers and sex toys for the husband’s every whim. That the example of oral sex in fiqh books is for her pleasure and satisfaction should not go unnoticed.

Oral sex may be practiced as a form of foreplay- similar to kissing other parts of the body. But one may not indulge in it to a degree that makes it replace normal intercourse.

Oral sex should not be accompanied by swallowing genital excretions of either one of the two spouses. Some of these excretions (like the pre-seminal fluid & vaginal excretions) are najis (impure) and should not come into one’s mouth or on one’s clothes. Furthermore, a man may not ejaculate in his wife’s mouth because the mouth is not a place for seed-cultivation, not to mention possible harmful effects of this.

And Allah knows best.

The above has been extracted from an  article by Sidi Musa Furber of the Hanbali Fiqh list and from and article on ”Sexual Education in Islam” 

Read more at Modern Muse



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