The discussion of Sex.. the eternal taboo

The discussion of Sex in Arab Society … including mine

The title of my unfinished MA thesis in Jerusalem Studies was: Moslem women in Jerusalem, between Tradition and religion.
A title that I look back at as modest. An attempt to hide behind my real intention, that by the time I started to write, was totally hindered. It even disappeared by the time I started researching what I really wanted to write was non-existent.
My intention was to talk about sex. This taboo subject that we hide behind. I always had this believe that what our society needs is a sexual revolution by girls. I still have this hope in the generation of my daughters. As much as it is still hard to apprehend it, I feel proud to see the generation of my daughter represented by my daughter herself more aware about her sexuality. Still though, a cowardice awareness that this generation found a way to play around it in the social media. We have the real life and the virtual access to life. Which of course makes us more of a schizophrenic society, but yet, there is this place of self-expression that is taking place and is important.
Handling a book like the one I just closed “Sex in Quran” for a Syrian writer, whose most of his works are banned in many Arab countries, makes it more of a dangerous curb. The man and his thoughts are probably into scrutiny and heresy accusation. . Which makes me like him even more.
I have great respect to writers and thinkers, who decide to fight their wars from their own battlefields, not take the west as their ground for fighting their beliefs back home.
The book came back to life today, because of a chapter in it that speaks about old sexual rituals before Islam, and the Hajj, Pilgrimage that in these days millions of Moslems are participating in. Millions of Muslims wait their turn to have the chance to be part of this ritual.
What would Muslims do when they know that the origin of this holy ritual is a massive sex ritual that was inaugurated for the celebration of fertility?
A practice that continued from the beginning of time. From the first humans on Earth, Eve and Adam and continued until the early times of Islam. Islam, however, genius-ly, Islamized the ritual and changed the practice into a celebration of God’s Creation.
In both case it is a celebration of God’s Creation. Of this power of life given to us men and women in making life stay and prosper.
How much of a taboo is it to say all this?
But how much of a surprise is it, as the writer puts the question of the half nudity appearances in the ritual around the Ka’ba and the march towards Asaf and al Marwa (mountains). The myth says that, as-Safa is the mountain where an ancient god Asaf statute was placed, and al-Marwa is the mountain where the goddess Naila was placed. The ancient Arab myth says that Asaf and Naila were cursed into statutes and placed each on a different mountain as a result of their sin inside the Haram. And later Arabs worshiped them.
The whole ritual of semi nudity (which used to be full nudity in the past) was nothing but a preparation for a massive sexual act to celebrate fertility.
Thinking about it, thousands of years back, when life was about, Adam, Eve and a few others. Such a ritual was essential in creating an atmosphere for desires maybe and hence, an act that will result in reproduction.
It shouldn’t be a secret to our minds that creation is based on this very act “Sex” that we still consider handling and mentioning as a taboo, forbidden and illicit.
I am still giggling to this image of all those masses of people that will be gathering in the coming few days to commemorate an act that they are clueless about. Doing it for a totally different purpose. A purpose in our minds that is affiliated with Sacrifice. How sacred would it remain in our minds to realize that Sex is the ultimate state of Holiness? It is a bit of bewildering to connect our minds to the value of sacrifice rather than the value of making life.
The concept of Sacrifice also has another meaning in ancient traditions, in which circumcision as a custom started. Circumcision was originally about replacement of full sacrifice, by sacrificing (circumcising) a vital part of the body that helps reproduction, to sustain Creation.
Another scholar mentioned in the book, who elaborates on the subject of the ritual in what we call today Hajj, in which the myth, in the Torah says that when God sent Adam and Eve to Earth, they were separated, and they were roaming around until they met again, and Adam (jama’a) (as in performed sex) Eve on the mount of Arafa. From this point on, the Arafa standing point became holy. Arafa standing was one of the major parts of the Jahili Rituals. Men and women used to go there as pilgrims and stay overnight.
All those myths may destroy the holy effect of the holiest ritual in Islamic teaching to most minds…
But I insist, that knowledge is the first and only step into faith.
Faith is not about blindly following … it is about understanding the meaning and circumstances behind and around, and remains faithful to that faith …

For more Proper Scholarly information please go to : Sex in Quran, Ibrahim Mahmoud, Ch.4.


  1. If what you say is true, then a lot of people will have to reevaluate their faith. They will either have to maintain the faith they have and disregard the point you just brought to light or change based on this knowledge and start practicing the faith how it was intended to be practiced. My faith is “Love” and Love only. I too believe that sexual intercourse is a conformation of faith between two people to honor one another forever, hence why I haven’t had intercourse in eight years. I agree that the core values of a faith should be understand before entering into it but I disagree with not believing blindly, once you understand the conditions of that faith. There are leaders that have far great spiritual knowledge than the average “Man” roaming the earth, and in time of crisis they must be followed with blind eyes when the time doesn’t permit them to shed light on the destination. Very interesting post….thought provoking!!!!

  2. I’m a former Roman Catholic, and it’s a similar story of appropriation for that religion too. Pagan celebrations, usually steeped in the feminine divine, taken over and “purified” for the masculine-driven faith. It’s fascinating to study.

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