Why we wrote the book

With the information overload we get these days, Muslims are routinely exposed to adverse narratives of Islamic sexual values, norms, and practices. Likewise, our encounters with new and non-Muslim students exposed us to raw outsider misgivings of Islamic sexual teachings betrayed in their questions and snide remarks in class.

Unfortunately, our own counselling experience would bring us face-to-face with those adverse narratives manifested by many Muslim couples. Then, our literature research reveals that historical and contemporary sexual shenanigans among Muslims indeed substantiate those adverse popular perceptions about Islamic sexual teachings. It’s hard to deny that Muslim behaviour are largely to blame for the bad press Islam gets for its sexual mores.

As marital-sex educators cum counsellors, our personal concern is that the true Islamic sexual teaching gets a fair hearing. We note the many websites and books addressing misconceptions and queries on Islamic sexual laws, rulings, dos-and-don’ts and the likes. They are a crucial resource of Muslim viewpoints on the subject. But as important as those are, there is one angle we believe is missing amidst the currently prevalent approach of correcting and rebutting specific misconceptions on sex in Islam: the holistic perspective.

To fill this gap, this book investigates the subject viz-a-viz the totality of the Islamic message itself. Is the sexual phenomenon tangential or central to the story of human existence as Islam has it? This investigation is possible because the totality of the Islamic message is self-defined by it through the triangular framework of “aqidah, syariah, akhlaq” of Islamic knowledge which address the mind, body and soul of mankind towards the attainment of “iman, amal and ihsan”. What we need to find is the inter-connections between these aspects and the sexual phenomenon.

As far as we can see, no book had attempted these inter-connections or in any other way presented the Islamic message on sex in a holistic manner. Our attempt would describe how these inter-connections foster an unlikely but potent alliance between two otherwise opposing elements of the human condition – the carnal and the spiritual – in their shared journey towards the Hereafter. Hence it is called “Sex, Soul, and Islam”.