Sex for pleasure is haraam ?

Question:

I have been hearing conflicting stories recently and am not sure which is the correct islamic way. I have heard some say that to have sex for pleasure is haraam and is only permitted to have sex if you are doing it to get a child. Also is it haraam to use condoms.

Answer:

I have not come across any opinion that suggests that sex for pleasure is Haram. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty describes the ‘love and mercy’ to be found between couples as one of ‘Allah’s signs.’ Clearly, it is thus difficult to deduce from this that sex for pleasure is forbidden in Islam.
As for contraception, the nature of the topic is such that unfortunately, there is no one, agreed-upon answer from the scholars of Islam, both in modern times and in the past. Arrays of opinions exist on the topic. I will therefore give an insight into the parameters of the debate, by which you will understand why the topic generates different arguments.

Traditionally, Muslims have not allowed contraception. The reasons are as follows;

-The purpose of marriage is to produce children. Contraception methods hinder this.
-The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in a Hadith that he will take great pride on the Day of Judgement when his followers are most in numbers compared to previous communities. Contraception methods, again, will prevent this from happening.
-Fear of poverty is not considered a justified reason to use Contraception methods. The Qur’an states, ‘And do not kill your children because of fear of poverty. We will provide them and you.’
-Children are considered a gift from Allah; there are countless couples in the world who would dearly love to have children but cannot due to medical reasons. Therefore using Contraception methods would be neglecting the favour and blessings of Allah.  

Another camp offers more leniency on the issue. Many modern scholars belong to this camp. Their argument is as follows;

-There are reports that suggest that some Companions did practice the withdrawal method in the time of the Prophet, and he did not prohibit them. Therefore, this method is permissible.
-If pregnancy can result in physical and health problems for the mother, then contraception should be allowed. The life of the mother takes priority over the life of the unborn child.
-As for the verse from the Qur’an, some scholars say the verse clearly refers to children that are alive, not unborn. The Qur’an here is prohibiting Muslims from killing children that have been born, but later abandoned and killed.


Both camps can agree on some key points;

-Permanent Contraception methods are Haram, such as vasectomy.
- Contraception methods that work after the intercourse (e.g. morning after-pills) are Haram.
-The life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the unborn child.

 

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