Islamic views on anal sex

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Anal sex (or sodomy) is anal intercourse between individuals. It is considered haraam (prohibited) by some Sunni and Shia scholars.



The basic text of Islam is the Quran, believed by Muslims to represent the direct revelation of God to the prophet Muhammad. In terms of direct references in several places in the Qur'an, anal intercourse is identified with liwat, the "sin of Lot's people".[1] Lot was commissioned as a prophet to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.[2][verification needed] His story is used to demonstrate Islam's disapproval of rape and homosexuality.[3] He was commanded by God to preach to his people on monotheism and to stop them from their lustful and violent acts.[2][verification needed]

And [mention] Lot, when he said to his people, "Indeed, you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds.
Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil." And the answer of his people was not but they said, "Bring us the punishment of Allah, if you should be of the truthful."
He said, "My Lord, support me against the corrupting people."
And when Our messengers came to Abraham with the good tidings, they said, "Indeed, we will destroy the people of that Lot's city. Indeed, its people have been wrongdoers."

— Quran, Sura 29 (Al-Ankabut), 28-31

The Quran expresses clear disapproval of lutis (described as male homosexuals rather than as sodomites). In the Qur'an, Lot is quoted as saying to his people:

"Do you approach males among the worlds. And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing." They said, "If you do not desist, O Lot, you will surely be of those evicted." He said, "Indeed, I am, toward your deed, of those who detest [it]."

— Quran, Sura 26 (Ash-Shu'ara), 165-168

And [mention] Lot, when he said to his people, "Do you commit immorality while you are seeing? Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly."

— Quran, Sura 27 (An-Naml), 54-55

The Qur'an directly comments on the people of Lot and on the nature of their sins:

By your life, [O Muhammad], indeed they [people of Lot] were, in their intoxication, wandering blindly. So the shriek seized them at sunrise. And We made the highest part [of the city] its lowest and rained upon them stones of hard clay. Indeed in that are signs for those who discern.

— Quran, Sura 15 (Al-Hijr), 72-75

Although the Qur'an does not contain a specific punishment or guidance for a luti, the context clearly indicates homosexuality as a moral corruption and describes the punishment for such action for the people of Lot when it grew widespread and accepted in their society.

And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, "Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people." But the answer of his people was only that they said, "Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure." So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained [with the evildoers]. And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.

— Quran, Sura 7 (Al-A'raf), 80-84


The hadith are reports of Muhammad's sayings and deeds from those close to him in his lifetime. Sunni Hadiths on the subject of anal intercourse between individuals clearly state that it is strictly forbidden. The four Sunni schools unanimously disapprove anal intercourse[4][5] as several hadith state:

  • "If anyone [resorts to a diviner and believes in what he says (according) to the version of Musa) or] has intercourse with his wife (according to the agreed version) when she is menstruating, or has intercourse with his wife through her anus, he has nothing to do with what has been sent down to Muhammad." — Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Book of Divination and Omens, Sunan Abu Dawood, 3895.[6]
  • "Allah is not shy to tell you the truth: do not have intercourse with your wives in the anus."—Narrated by Ahmad, 5/213[7]
  • "On the day of resurrection, Allah will not look at a man who had intercourse with his wife in her anus"—Narrated by Ibn Abi Shayba, 3/529; narrated and classed as sahih by Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1165[8]
  • "[Make love to your wife] from the front or the back, but avoid the anus and intercourse during menstruation" — Reported by Ahmad and Sunan al-Tirmidhi[9]
  • "He who has intercourse with his wife through her anus is accursed"—Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Book of Marriage, Sunan Abu Dawood 2157[10]
  • "If you find someone doing the deed of the people of Lot, then execute the doer and the one to whom it was done." reported by Ibn Abbas, Book of Legal Punishments, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Book 17, Hadith 40 [Number 1456], classed as hasan according to Darussalam.[11]
  • "Verily, what I fear most for my nation is the deed of the people of Lot." Narrated by Jabir, Book of Legal Punishments, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Number 1374, classed as hasan[12]

In marriage[edit]

[13] The same ruling applies for heterosexual relationship (i.e., married couple) when performed as "an alternative" while the wife is menstruating.[14] When married, it is rightful and obligatory for the husband and the wife to mutually fulfill their needs but only by upholding the guidance of Hadith and the Qur'an.[15] The Quran says:

And they ask thee concerning menstruation. Say, "It is a harmful thing, so keep away from women during menstruation, and go not in unto them until they are clean. But when they have cleansed themselves, go in unto them as Allah has commanded you. Allah loves those who keep themselves clean." (2:222)

According to Sunni Islam, anal intercourse is haram even if the husband and wife mutually agree on it because mutual agreement does not allow something that has been made haram in Sunni hadith.[16][17][18][19]

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a contemporary Sunni Muslim scholar, states that anal intercourse is prohibited and a wife must abstain from it should her husband demand it, and may seek divorce over it if her husband persists or tries to force her,[20][21] as the act is forbidden. Scholars like Qaradawi and Salih Al Munajjid have clarified that it doesn't nullify the marriage, and the wife must seek divorce in order to separate from the husband.[22][23] Couples who have done it should repent and stop repeating such major sin.[24]

In this regard, a commonly misinterpreted[13] and decontextualized verse from the Qur'an is most often cited as a ground to validate anal intercourse between husband and wife:[25]

Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad)

—Qur'an 2:223

Al Munajjid clarifies that this verse is indicative of the different positions a married couple may copulate in, or adopt, in sexual intercourse, and is fully permissible as long as intercourse takes place in the vagina and not the anus.[13] Involving the anus in foreplay is also forbidden[26][27] and inserting fingers or objects into the back passage is considered a perversion and is forbidden.[28][29] Also, the very word "cultivate" has been interpreted unanimously[13] by all Sunni Islamic jurists as impregnating the wife or nurturing wife as though a farmer cultivates a piece of land, but not as a means of performing forbidden practices.[17]

Law (Shariah)[edit]

Sunni opinion[edit]

Islamic law, or shariah, developed during the 8th and 9th centuries in several different "schools" based on varying interpretations of the Quran and the hadith.[30] Many hadiths, the reported sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, prescribe harsh punishments for homosexuality, and this is reflected in the majority of shariah, the Islamic legal codes. Since sexual relations under shariah are only permissible within heterosexual marriage, it follows that sex outside such marriage is adultery and/or fornication, both of which attract punishments.[30] Homosexual sodomy, defined as adultery or fornication or both, thus attracts the same penalties as those crimes (flogging or death), although the exact punishment varies with schools and scholars.[30] Abu Eisa At-Tirmidhi said, “The people of knowledge disagreed over the legal punishment for the sodomite. The view of some of them is that he should be condemned to death, whether he is married or unmarried, and this is the saying of Malik, Ash-Shafi’ee, Ahmad, and Ishaq. Scholars among the jurists of the companion’s students such as Hasan Al-Basri, Ibrahim An-Nakh’ai, Ata’ ibn Abu Rabah and others said that the legal punishment for sodomy is equivalent to the punishment for adultery, and this is the saying of Sufyan Ath-Thawri and the people of Kufa.”

One passage in the Qur'an takes a particular legal position towards proven adultery, as well as homosexuality in conjunction with the punishments mentioned in hadith as the punishment is prescribed for 'unlawful sexuality':[31]

Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women - bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way. And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

— Quran, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), 15-16

Despite unanimous disapproval of homosexuality in Islam, in practice, cultural norms in different Muslim countries vary from punishment to condemnation, and only a few Muslim countries actually carry out such punishments.

Shi'ite opinion[edit]

Most Shia scholars do not permit anal intercourse. Those who do say it is extremely makrooh.[32]

There are strong indications that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini looked unfavorably upon anal penetration as codified in his two volume work, Tahrir al-Wasilah.

According to Grand Ayatollah Sistani, anal intercourse between a married couple is permissible under the condition that "permission is bound to wife’s agreement", but the act itself "is strongly undesirable."[33]

According to Grand Ayatollah Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi, "anal sex is allowed with her (wife's) permission. Although very hated and discouraged."[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam - Page 132, Gordon Newby - 2004
  2. ^ a b Hasan, Masudul. History of Islam.
  3. ^ Islam and Homosexuality - Page 206, Samar Habib - 2009
  4. ^ "Does anal intercourse cancel the marriage contract?". 2004-01-24. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  5. ^ "Islam Question and Answer - Does anal intercourse cancel the marriage contract?". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  6. ^ "Hadith (Hadis) Books (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu-Dawud, and Malik's Muwatta)". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  7. ^ "Islamic Ruling on Anal Sex". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  8. ^ "The Etiquettes Of Marriage And Wedding". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  9. ^ "The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam". Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  10. ^ "Hadith (Hadis) Books (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu-Dawud, and Malik's Muwatta)". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  11. ^ "Chapter: What Has Been Related About The Punishment Of The Sodomite". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  12. ^ "Hadith on Sodomy: The Prophet fears the Muslims will follow the people of Lot". Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  13. ^ a b c d "There is nothing in Islam to say that anal intercourse is permissible". IslamQA. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Intimacy with one's wife when she is menstruating or in nifaas". IslamQA. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Fareena Alam. "Matters pertaining to Sex". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  17. ^ a b al-Albaani, Muhammad Naasirudden. "The Etiquettes Of Marriage And Wedding". Islam World. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  18. ^ Fareena. "Human Sexuality and the Shariat". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  19. ^ Al-Munajjid, Sheikh Muhammed Salih (1998-03-04). "Ruling on Intercourse with a Woman in her rectum". IslamQA. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Does anal intercourse cancel the marriage contract?". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  21. ^ When Husband Insists on Anal Sex with His Wife - - Ask The Scholar Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Anal Sex with the Wife: Does It Nullify Marriage? - - Ask The Scholar Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Al-Munajjid, Sheikh Muhammed Salih (2000-01-06). "Does anal intercourse cancel the marriage contract?". IslamQA. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Is there any expiation for having intercourse with a woman in her back passage". IslamQA. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Anal Sex In Islam". Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  26. ^ "Inserting fingers into the back passage". IslamQA. 2003-09-20. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Intercourse in the back passage". IslamQA. 2005-12-05. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Repulsive forms of pleasure". IslamQA. 2003-09-25. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Ruling on one who puts something in his back passage, and how can he be treated?". IslamQA. 2005-11-19. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  30. ^ a b c Jivraj&de Jong, p.2
  31. ^ Sura 4:16, quoted in Wafer, p.88
  32. ^ Therefore the majority of the Shi'ah mujtahids have derived two conclusions: (l) that anal intercourse is not haram but strongly disliked (karahatan shadidah) provided the wife agrees to it. (2) and if she does not agree to it, then all mujtahids say that it is precautionarily wajib to refrain from it. (See the fatawa of all contemporary mujtahids in their annotations to al-'Urwatu'l-Wuthqa, p. 628)
  33. ^ "Fatwas of Sayyid Sistani".
  34. ^ "Question: Is anal sex allowed in Islam?". Archived from the original on 2017-10-27.


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