- :Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
The opinions of our mujtahids vary on the permissibility of anal intercourse. This variance in fatwas is because of the difference in the ahadith we have on this issue.
There is a hadith, for example, from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq quoting the Prophet that "The anus of women is haram for my community."1 Now this hadith categorically forbids anal intercourse. But the chain of narrators of this hadith is not completely flawless.2 On the other hand, we have an authentic hadith in which 'Abdullah bin Abi Ya'fur asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq about a man who had had intercourse in the anus of his wife. The Imam said, "There is no problem in it if she agrees." 'Abudllah, "Then what do you say about the statement of Allah that 'Then go into them as Allah has commanded you'?" The Imam replied, "This command is about seeking children, it means seek children as Allah has commanded you. But he also says, 'Your women are a tilth for you, therefore go to your tilth as you like.'"3
When a mujtahid is faced which such conflicting ahadith, he has to see whether he can bring them together or not. In our case, the mujtahids have taken the more authentic hadith which approve anal intercourse as a qualifier for the ahadith which totally forbid such sex. Especially so with the reference to the Qur'anic verses found in the approving ahadith. And in conclusion, they say that the prohibition in the above mentioned ahadith is not on the level of haram, instead it is on the level of makruh.4 This conclusion is supported by a third category of the ahadith in which the Imams have clearly discouraged their followers from anal intercourse.
Safwan al-Jammal said to Imam ar-Riza that, "One of your followers has requested me to ask you a question which he himself feels embarrassed to ask you." The Imam said, "What is it?" Safwan, "It is about a man having sex in his wife's anus." The Imam said, "Yes, he can do it." Then Safwan, who was a close companion, asked, "Do you do it?" The Imam said, "NO! We do not do it."5
Therefore the majority of the Shi'ah mujtahids say that anal intercourse is not haram but strongly disliked (karahatan shadidan) provided the wife agrees to it. And if she does not agree to it, then all mujtahids say that it is precautionarily wajib to refrain from it.6 However, according to Ayatullah al-Khu'i, it is precautionarily wajib to abstain from anal intercourse no matter whether the wife agrees to it or not.7
I would strongly advise against anal intercourse because it can be painful and it can cause injury as the area was not designed for that! Moreover, the scientists say that if you engage in anal intercourse, do not mix it with vaginal intercourse because this will lead to infections in some people with yeasts and other organisms which belong in the anus, not in the vagina or the male organ. I like to end this section with the sayings of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq and Imam 'Ali ar-Riza about anal intercourse: "Woman is a means of your pleasure, therefore do not harm her."8
1. Wasa'il, vol.14, p.104.
2. See Tazkirah, vol.2, p.576-7; Shahid's Masalik, vol.3, p.303.
3. Wasa'il,, vol.14, p.103.
4. Sharh Lum'ah, vol.2, p.68; Shahid's Masalik, vol.1, p.438-9.
5. Wasa'il, vol.14, p.102-3.
6. al-'Urwah, p.628.
7. Minhaj, vol.1, p.64.
8. Wasa'il, vol.14, p.101-2.
Adapted from: "Marriage & Morals in Islam" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi"
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