The objective of religion is purification of the soul. In no way does it regard anal or oral sex as desirable. The Almighty has directed Muslims to come near their wives through the way He has prescribed for it. The words of the Qur’an are:فَاۡتُوۡہُنَّ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ اَمَرَکُمُ اللّٰہُ (222:2) (go to them from where God has enjoined you, (2:222)). The norms of copulation are ingrained in human nature, and as such are no less than a directive of God. Thus if anyone disobeys this innate guidance he disobeys an explicit directive – in fact, something more than explicit, and thus shall definitely be punished by the Almighty for this.

Where this verse occurs in the Qur’an, right after it, the Qur’an has explained this very directive through the metaphor of cultivated land. While explaining these verses, Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

 

One very apparent reason for using this metaphor is the fact that just as for a cultivated land it is essential on the part of the farmer that seeds be sown in the appropriate season at the right time, and no farmer disregards the principle that they be sown within the fields and not scattered outside them, similarly it is a norm of human instinct that one should not approach a lady for sexual intercourse during the menstrual cycle or in an unnatural way because the period of menses is a time during which women are frigid and not inclined, while unnatural intercourse is a painful and wasteful activity. Therefore, people who have not perverted their nature cannot indulge in such an activity.[1]

 

While explaining the expression فَاۡتُوۡا حَرۡثَکُمۡ اَنّٰی شِئۡتُمۡ (go then, into your lands in any manner you please), Islahi goes on to write:

 

… [This] alludes simultaneously to two things: on the one hand, it refers to the liberty, freedom and free manner with which a farmer approaches his land, and on the other hand refers to the responsibility, caution and care which he must exercise in approaching his land. The word حَرْث refers to the latter and the word اَنّٰی شِئۡتُمۡ to the former. It is both this liberty and caution which ascertain the correct behaviour of a husband with his wife in this regard.

 

Everyone knows that the real bliss of married life is the freedom a person has in intimate affairs barring a few broad restrictions. The feeling of this freedom has a great amount of euphoria around it. When a person is with his wife in intimate moments, Divine will seems to be that he be overcome with emotions but at the same time it is pointed out to him that he has come into a field and an orchard; it is no wasteland or a forest. He may come to it in whatever manner and in whatever way whenever he pleases, but he must not forget that he has landed in his orchard. The Qur’an has no objection on the discretion, choice and majesty with which he approaches his field if he knows full well where he is going and in no way is oblivious of this reality.[2]

 

The importance of all these directives is pointed to by the Qur’anin the words اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِیۡنَ  وَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُتَطَہِّرِیۡنَ (God indeed loves those who repent and those who adhere to cleanliness). While explaining the importance of these words in the eyes of the Almighty, Islahi writes:

 

… if one deliberates on the essence of tawbah and tatahhur, one comes to the conclusion that while the former means to cleanse one’s inner-self from sins, the latter means to cleanse one’s outer-self from filth and dirt. Viewed thus, both are similar in their essence and the Almighty holds both these traits of a believer in great admiration. On the other hand, people who lack these traits are disliked by the Almighty. It is evident from the context of this verse that those who do not refrain from intercourse with their wives during their periods of impurity and violate the limits ingrained in human nature in satisfying their sexual urge are detestable in the eyes of the Almighty.[3]

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

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[1]. Amin AhsanIslahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, 2nd ed., 9, vol. 1 (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1985), 527.

[2]. Ibid., vol. 1, 527.

[3]. Ibid., vol. 1, 526.