Title of Fatwa
Sex Education from an Islamic Perspective

Date of Fatwa
1/ December/ 2003
Date of Reply
1/ December/ 2003
Topic Of Fatwa
Question of Fatwa
Dear scholars, As-Salaam `Alaykum. I would like to know if sex education is allowed in Islam. I am asking this because some people said it is not and I don’t agree with them. If we don’t educate children or if we don’t make them aware of the above topic then how can we stop them from committing illegal sexual intercourse and how do we prevent the diseases from spreading round? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Name of Mufti
Group of Muftis
Content of Reply
Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, first of all, we’d like to commend you for showing much keenness on getting acquainted with the teachings of Islam. Thanks for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Allah created the sexual desire in humans. It is as normal as is the desire for food or shelter. Like other desires that Allah created in humans it is powerful and can overwhelm a weak human (23:106). Sexual desire like the desire for food can be satisfied legally or illegally.

But we have to stress that Islam is aware of educating man on the proper way of satisfying his desire in the light of its noble teachings. In seeking this knowledge, shyness does not stand as a barrier in this case, but such knowledge must be imparted in a modest and dignified manner. Almighty Allah says, “Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only men of understanding will pay heed.” (Az-Zumar: 9)

`A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, made this clear: "Blessed are the women of the Ansar (the citizens of Madinah). Shyness did not stand in their way seeking knowledge about their religion." (Reported by The Group save at-Tirmizi).

In his answer to the question you raised Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

“Sex education means informing a young man and woman about how to satisfy sexual desires innate in them according to the laws established by Almighty Allah.

It is natural that such kind of education must exist in the Muslim societies since it aims, originally, at teaching a Muslim the morals of Islam and its rulings.

Muslim Jurists were keen on disseminating such form of useful knowledge to the extent that they had a common dictum that reads: 'Shyness should not stand in your way to seek knowledge about (sensitive) matters of religion.'

Since the sex education known in the Western societies makes it lawful for any young man and woman to fall in the abyss of adultery, it becomes incumbent on Muslims to inculcate their sons and daughters with the true sex education as shown by Islam and the rulings of Allah regarding such very sensitive and delicate matters.

As we have known that sex education in Islam is a form of imparting religious knowledge to young men or women, for them to be aware of what is required of them in matters of deen and dunya it is not allowed under any pretext to use such sex education to sanction adultery or moral deviation by any means such as naked photos or direct description of sexual practices.

With this in mind, we can say that it is preferable to begin the process of sex education at the age of puberty, for carrying it before this age is not good. As for the Western countries where sex education is normally offered at an earlier age, it is good that the Islamic sex education be offered to children at the age of discretion i.e. about the age of seven.”

Stressing the Islamic stance on sex education and its significance, Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states:

“Those who think that sex education is not allowed in Islam are completely wrong. The books of Islamic jurisprudence expose several topics promoting sexual awareness, including discussion of menstruation, childbirth bleeding, pregnancy, delivery, rules of sexual intercourse, rules of marriage, taking a bath (Ghusl) after sexual intercourse, rules related to ejaculation of sperm during intercourse and intercourse without ejaculation, and rules related to the punishment for committing adultery or fornication. All these rulings are dealt with in the books of Islamic jurisprudence in a moral and scientific manner.

In Surat an-Nur, Almighty Allah says, “The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.” (An-Nur: 2). Also the Qur’an counts among the attributes of the believer: “And those who preserve their chastity save with their wives and those whom their right hands possess, for thus they are not blameworthy.” (Al-Ma`arij: 29-30) It is natural that in the course of explaining these verses to people, we must explain what is meant by fornication and adultery.

Also at schools, children, males and females, study biology and the topics related to reproduction in plant, animal, and human lives. They even may happen to witness some scenes in which animals reproduce. These are natural phenomenon that is known to all.

Therefore, if we do not give our children proper education in this field, they will be liable to commit mistakes and deviate.

In his book al-Majmu`, Imam an-Nawawi mentions that Imam Ash-Shafi`i is of the opinion that parents are under obligation to give their children such kind of sex education.

As for the age, such kind of sex education is to be given at the age of discretion when a child can distinguish between a male and female. But from psychology we learn to start educating children gradually starting from reproduction in plant life, moving to animal life and finally in human life. Through proper sex education given by parents, they can protect their children against moral deviations and in consequence several fatal diseases.”

Shedding more light on what kind of sex education to be given, we’d like to stress that “Islam is explicit about many aspects of human sexuality. Also, based on the numerous hadith showing the Prophet's willingness to discuss these matters openly, it should be obvious that education about matters related to sex is acceptable. Muslims may disagree about the age at which sex education begins; some don't discuss the subject at all. Explaining anatomy and the changes one's body experiences during puberty are essential for enabling young people to grow up with a healthy self-image. Also, in an age where sexual activity in many countries begins at an early age, Muslim adolescents must be informed to better enable them to deal with peer pressure.

Sex education can be taught in a way that informs young people about sexuality in scientific and moral terms. In countries with very diverse populations, such as the United States, the main limitation in developing sex education curricula, particularly in public schools, is the inability to select a universally acceptable moral position. Therefore, young people are given facts and information, and advised that if they choose to engage in sexual relationships, they should take measures to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The moral and religious aspects of sexuality can be incorporated either in schools of a particular religious denomination or in adjunctive coursework offered by religious institutions. Regardless of the challenges of each society, young people must be adequately informed. Also, in some Muslim communities, individuals are encouraged to marry at young ages. They need to be educated regarding sexuality prior to the marriage such that they know what to expect and can consider their options for birth control prior to consummating the marriage.”

Source: http://www.geocities.com/IslamAwareness/Sex/perspective.html
Allah Almighty knows best.

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