Subject : Sex Education from an Islamic Perspective
Fatwa Number : 792
Date : 22-06-2010
Classified : Raising of Children
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Does Islam recommend sex education for children?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Sex education refers to teaching children and raising their awareness about issues related to puberty, instinct, and marriage. As Muslims, this education is derived from the provisions of Islamic Law. It aims to protect the younger generation of Muslims against un-Islamic behavior and instill proper perceptions in their mind at early age so that they can, when they grow up, differentiate between what is lawful and what is unlawful, in addition to equipping themselves with Islamic morals in their daily life.

Our Islamic Sharia is replete with examples on proper sexual education. For example, Muslims are commanded not to let their boys and girls sleep together because the Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, "Command your children to perform Salat (prayer) when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not offering) it when they are ten, and do not let (boys and girls) sleep together" {Related by Tirmithi}. Another example is teaching children how to seek permission and the etiquettes of entering a house, as mentioned in chapter An-Nur, Ayah No. (59), "But when the children among you come of age, let them (also) ask for permission, as do those senior to them (in age): Thus does God make clear His Signs to you: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom." They are also commanded to lower their gaze and not to stare at women`s private parts. Allah says {what means}: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And God is well acquainted with all that they do." {An-Nur, 30}. Allah also says: "…….. or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain Bliss." {An-Nur, 31}.

However, sex education doesn`t mean teaching sexual intercourse; rather it means raising children and guiding them in a manner that complies with the provisions of Islamic Law protecting them from falling in with bad companions.

We remind that fathers shoulder a huge responsibility towards their children particularly in light of the vastness of media, which broadcast bad things. Ibn 'Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects, the man is a guardian of his family, the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband's house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. And Allah the Almighty Knows Best.



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