Title of Fatwa
Education from an Islamic Perspective
Date of Fatwa
Date of Reply
1/ December/ 2003
Topic 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.
Group of Muftis
Content of Reply
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.”
`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
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.'
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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.”
Allah Almighty knows best.