During the past few days, I received a few questions expressing surprise on my point of view regarding of the position of the Shari`ah vis a vis oral sex. It seems from these letters that my answer is construed to imply that the Shari`ah allows oral sex. Actually, this is not the case.
It should be kept in mind that the word “Shari`ah” refers to the legal framework of Islam. Things which have been categorically made obligatory or that which have been allowed or prohibited by the specific directives of the Qur’an and the Sunnah constitute the Shari`ah. A broad look on the contents of the Islamic Shari`ah shows that it has intervened in a very limited sphere of the human life. In other words, Islam, through its legal framework, has controlled a very limited sphere of the human life.
But it should be remembered that Islam does not consist of the Shari`ah alone. Besides the Shari`ah, Islam develops a specific and a strong value system related to our individual as well as our collective lives. This value system, although not a part of the legal framework of Islam, affects the tastes and the decision-making criteria of individuals. This value system primarily develops through the understanding of Islamic beliefs, the Islamic Shari`ah and most importantly through the understanding of the liking of our Creator, which actually forms the basis of all the teachings of Islam.
The primary value, which provides the basis of all the teachings of Islam, is “purification” and “cleansing”. The mind, body and soul are to be purified and cleansed in the life of this world. Those who purify and cleanse their minds, bodies and souls shall be rewarded with the everlasting bliss in the hereafter. It is specifically with this purpose and object that Islam gives all its directives, whether relating to the legal framework (Al-Shari`ah or Al-Kitaab) or the system of beliefs, ethics and morality (Al-Hikmah). A complete understanding and appreciation of this fact would obviously affect the tastes and the decision-making criteria of Muslims. Although, there can and will exist a difference in the degree of this affect, which would result in the difference in the likes and dislikes of the individuals, yet the important thing to note is that the understanding of this value system does, indeed have a continual affect on the tastes and the decision-making criteria of the individuals.
In all such answers to questions, where I state that the Shari`ah has not given any clear directive regarding the allowance or prohibition of a particular idea or a thing, I imply that in these cases Islam wants to influence the tastes and the decision-making criteria of the individuals through its value system rather than through its legal framework.
Looking at my answers regarding the position of “oral sex” in Islam with the above clarification in perspective, I think it should be easy to understand my point of view now. What I actually imply is that Islam does not give any specific directives regarding the allowance or prohibition of “oral sex”. Yet, it is not possible that a complete understanding and appreciation of the Islamic value system has no effect on the taste of the individual in this respect. An individual who knows that he is required to use the life of this world to cleanse his mind, body and soul, who knows that true purification of the soul shall be achieved only through continual remembrance of Allah, who knows that his tongue should most often be used for taking Allah’s name and for reading His book, such an individual would definitely be influenced away from such menial and physical pleasures that put his tongue and lips to such use which makes him feel that his tongue and lips are soiled and defiled for the exalted task of taking Allah’s name or to read His book.