Sex, Soul and Islam

Sex, Soul and Islam

Osman Sidek and Enon Mansor

Paperback

-- pages / Published: 2022

£15.00

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SEX, SOUL AND ISLAM tells a story of an unlikely alliance between two opposite elements of the human experience – the carnal and the spiritual. The sexual instinct could potentially spoil the soul’s quest for paradise. Instead, they become companions when a believer embraces Islam’s revelations on the sex-soul connection.

This fascinating title situates sex in its worldview of life, revisits the spirit behind the letter of its sexual laws, and describes how paradises on earth can thrive – where lovers may dwell in tranquillity, love and mercy.

Along the way, it explains how marriage anchors this alliance, reframes a prevalently male-serving view of conjugal rights and reintroduces sensual pleasuring as the underlying theme behind the Islamic outlook on lovemaking.

The authors explain how classical Islamic perspective regarding sex might navigate pornography, oral sex, sex toys, fantasy roleplay and BDSM, among other – using insights from the social sciences, sexual therapy and the writers’ own counselling experience.

For more details regarding the book, please visit www.enonandosman.com/ssi

Name

Osman Sidek and Enon Mansor

Country

Singapore

Biography

OSMAN SIDEK and ENON MANSOR is a husband and wife writing team. They met in university and married after graduation. Soon after, they both began working as trainers in marriage preparation courses conducted by the Muslim Converts’ Association Singapore (MCAS), the Islamic Religious Council Singapore (MUIS) and Singapore’s then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). In 1998, they co-wrote Tranquil Hearts – A Guide to Marriage, which was co-published by MCAS and MUIS and is still being used as the textbook for the marriage preparation programme in MCAS. In 2011, they collaborated with an Islamic scholar and a social worker to design and conduct Suara Kekasih, a programme of sexual enrichment workshops for married couples in Malay. In August 2021 they conducted an online seminar entitled “Sex, Soul and Islam” organised by the Islamic Institute for Development and Research, UK [IIDR].

Other titles

Title

Sex, Soul and Islam

Format(s)

Paperback

Edition

First

Pages

--

ISBN

9781905837465

Dimensions

--

Reviews:
The Glory of Iqbal 1877-1938

"Sex, Soul, and Islam is a pleasant guide to sexual intimacy for Muslim men and women. "

2023-03-25 04:26:04

Written by marriage counsellors and sociologists, Osman Sidek and Enon Mansor from Singapore, this easy-to-read book provides practical tips and guidance on marital relationships in Islam. Drawing upon contemporary research and decades of experience of marital coaching, the husband and wife co-authors address common myths and rulings on sexual acts.

Divided into four chapters on; sex in Islam, conjugal rights, Islamic sexual etiquettes, and the sexual experience, the book helps readers understand the spirit of Islamic legal rulings.

According to the Islamic tradition and Sunnah of lovemaking, men should be affectionate and considerate when intimate. Similarly, women are encouraged to fulfil their husbands' intimate needs. Mutual understanding and sexual satisfaction should be the aim for a fulfilling marital relationship.

The book also addresses contemporary intimacy issues such as wife-beating, masturbation and female dissatisfaction. According to the authors, "many women are still clueless regarding sexual pleasure and their rights to it and even among those who know of their sexual rights, many do not bother to pursue them as they do not miss something they never possessed in the first place."

The book includes a sound clarification of some sexual hadiths which are often misunderstood by contemporary Muslims as 'misogynistic' or 'permitting marital rape.' The authors debunk these misconceptions as well as highlighting the problem of Muslim machismo.

"The real reason behind the sexual machismo we see in the Muslim community, past and present, is the obsessive focus by men on the Prophet's advice to women while ignoring the guidance for men," writes Sidek and Mansor.

The authors deserve much praise for their efforts in presenting a balanced approach to spiritual intimacy and physical lovemaking from an Islamic perspective. Sex, Soul, and Islam by @enonandosman is a recommended read for Muslims and anyone interested in Islamic sexuality.

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"Very valuable new book "

2023-05-03 10:21:02

Osman Sidek and Enon Mansor have written a very valuable new book on a subject that is rarely covered by other authors.

Apart from some academic writings, there are few publications that deal with this fundamental issue in a simple and straight forward manner that makes it accessible to a wide audience of Muslims of all ages and both sexes. And it covers a lot of sensitive modern issues in a non-controversial manner.

I have known Osman since he taught the Basic Course in Islam class that I attended in 1996 at the Muslim Converts Association of Singapore. I did not know then how much of an impact that class would have in a very positive sense on my life since then. Osman and Enon have put to good use all their years of teaching and counselling people about their faith and their sex lives into one compact book that covers a lot of territory.

Chapter One “The element of sex in our faith” begins with a useful basic overview of Islam in order to explain the role of sex in the scheme of existence and as an expression of faith. It discusses the crucial role of marriage in Islam and why Islam is sometimes seen as being old fashioned in its views and approach to sexual matters. It emphasises that sex in marriage allows the celebration of heavenly pleasures as a “conjuror” of tranquillity, love and mercy between spouses.

Chapter Two deals with conjugal rights and looks at how Muslim societies have often failed to live up to the ideal set by the faith. It calls for a conceptual reframing of the legal rulings that are not in accordance with the faith. Both of the authors have a good understanding of the social sciences and sexual therapy theories and based on their own counselling experience have valuable lessons to share on the ideals and reality of Islamic Sexual Values.

Chapter Three titled “Rulings and etiquettes of sex” discusses how classic Islamic law rulings respond to modern trends, fetishes and genres of sexual practice. It deals with the obligatory, recommended, forbidden, undesirable and legally neutral aspects of Shariah law and then discusses topics like masturbation, oral sex and “kinky” sex.

The last chapter, “The sexual experience” Is a very practical conclusion on all of the above to give recommendations to couples based on scientific knowledge of sex especially for those newly married on their first night, those in “mid-marriage” and those in their “golden years”. It breaks a few sexual myths along the way and concludes by aiming to reclaim the Quranic ideal by embracing the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) so that “tranquillity, love and mercy may prevail in our marriages”.

It is hoped that this book will be of great assistance to many Muslims who otherwise may have difficulty in finding people to talk about these issues that are knowledgeable, sensible and sensitive to their needs.

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"a bold and honest initiative that deserves all the credit"

2023-05-03 10:21:32

I have just finished reading Sex, Soul and Islam by the author couple Osman Sidek and Enon Mansor.

Present at its first introduction at Wardah Books, this little oasis of Islamic culture in Singapore, I waited some weeks to get hold of the book, out of stock as soon as it was released.

I was not disappointed when I finally obtained my copy.

The first adjective that comes to my mind when describing the book is “lovely”.

Not because it delves on the topic of love that modern culture tends to squarely and reductively equate with sex in our unromantic age.

Rather, because it is a beautiful and honest attempt at dispelling feelings of shame and guilt about sexuality for Muslim readers - a topic still largely taboo in Islamic society.

It is astonishing how a culture that in its heyday gave the world the enchanting Thousand and One Nights and some of the most captivating love poetry ever written – by the likes of Al Mutanabbi, Hariri, Saadi and Hafiz, just to name a few, inspiring Western literature from the age of the troubadours up to Goethe - has under the spell of latter day rigid conservativism equated sexuality with shame, if not outright branding it taboo. This misperception led to frustration and suppression in many modern-day Muslim societies with dire consequences, contributing, among other factors, to the surge of extremism that begot such abominations as ISIL or the misogynistic Afghan Taliban regime.

But let us not go to extremes – suffice to acknowledge that in their struggles to harmonize tradition with modernity all Muslim societies had to cope with the challenge of granting women equal rights and aiming at establishing gender equality. The transformation of these traditional societies in the wake of globalization and the information technology revolution, most prominently mass connectivity thanks to social media, has shaken value systems to their foundations. The institution of the family was no exception, the changes rescinding archaic norms and practices like endogamous, arranged and child marriage, as well as the practice of polygamy.

That the character of the marital relationship itself underwent significant changes in the wake of such cataclysmic shifts is not surprising, neither are the battles fought in traditional communities to upkeep and preserve strict adherence to religious injunctions guiding family life.

Sex, Soul and Islam is a beautiful account of how two deeply committed Muslims, marriage counsellors and themselves a married couple, strive to create harmony between the commandments of the Islamic faith and the thorny problems of married life in a modern, multicultural, fast developing 21st century society - where the Muslim community strives to preserve its values and keep pace with the breakneck speed of progress.

The book is delving into the intricacies of how the triple sources of the Islamic Faith, the Holy Book, the hadith or sayings attributed to the Holy Prophet, and the sunna, the corpus of wider prophetic tradition have ordained, regulated or explained the many facets of married life and finally, sexuality.

Honest, outspoken, and refreshingly candid over topics long treated as beyond the realm of permissible for public discourse, Sex, Soul and Islam is a groundbreaking work that may help dispel many misunderstandings and false concepts about married life and sexuality in Islam, merging the merits of a religious guidebook and a psychology manual on sexuality. It will provide invaluable advice to many, who wish to adhere to the teachings and norms of Islam while seeking to live a fulfilling and liberated married and sex life in a dynamic, open, high-speed society such as Singapore is. Moreover, it will be an important contribution to the Muslim community of Singapore achieving its full potential, also helping to guide the global Islamic Umma, leading by example, into a better and more humane future.

The book, even as it was written primarily for a Muslim audience, is an elucidating and insightful read for all, with many conclusions to be taken to heart for those who seek a balance between body, soul, and sublime spirituality.

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"A wide variety of topics are covered"

2023-05-08 02:59:43

This book is a highly recommended resource for anyone who has questions about the nature of sex and sexuality within the context of Islam. A wide variety of topics are covered - which are talked about by the authors in an open and honest way. This is a must-have book for every God-conscious person who wants to bridge the gap between sexuality and spirituality.

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"Well Researched, Written & Elucidated"

2023-05-11 10:38:32

I am friends with the authors. One of them conducted the introductory classes on Islam when I was a new Muslim 27 years ago. For their first book, Tranquil Hearts: A Guide to Marriage, I had the privilege to help them edit and proofread their chapters and writing style and debate with them on how to make their book accessible to an English speaking audience of young Muslim couples. Fast forward 27 years later, I am pleased to see their current book published overseas and their writing style top-notch to match their research. They have also plugged in to a topic that is of great importance to Muslim couples in our present generation. Definitely worth a buy! ????

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"Essential reading for Muslim couples"

2023-07-25 03:23:24

Why this book? Through this book, Sidek and Mansor contribute significantly to the much-needed discussion of healthy (read: spiritually uplifting) lovemaking within Islam.

Going beyond the typical manual, the issues covered range from the co-opting of ahadith to justify marital abuse to the permissibility of pleasure-enhancing devices, engaged from the vantage point of Islamic norms and ideals.

The depth of these discussions reflects the authors’ striving to uphold the sanctity of marriage while navigating the murky waters of everyday reality that make such issues more complex than what a fatwa can address.

Therefore this is essential reading for Muslim couples sincerely intent on making their conjugal fulfillment a means to draw closer to Allah.

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"Great deal of your own practical experience "

2023-08-08 13:15:46

Many thanks for the chance to read your book. You have packed it with a great deal of your own practical experience and it offers something that seems to me unique. I don’t know of anywhere (online or in hard copy form) where this kind of material is referenced or discussed within and for the Muslim community. Clearly it’s not a field that I have operated in and yet it would be a delusion if we assumed that Muslim males and females don’t need this, or that they live in some kind of perfected world immune to the issues or challenges you deal with.

As you know (or as you sensed) I had my misgivings about the book’s title – it seemed a bit “in your face” – but for me or for anyone else offering that response, a decent invitation would be to say, “OK. If you object, what can you offer that would deal with the very significant issues we’re dealing with?” You discuss many real-world examples (some of them sad or very unjust) that Muslim couples experience.

These are not easy times to live in. The wider, global, secular world dismisses the spiritual and faith traditions. Yet faith (and in our case the faith of Islam) offers us a profound shape of love and honour and mutual respect to operate in. Islam is not an escape from the world: it’s a way of being in the world, as partners whose support is the sacred. To be constantly reminded of that and shown ways to that in every aspect of our lives must surely be a blessing.

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"A GOOD READ!"

2023-05-11 09:43:33

I received a copy some time back from a friend who attended its book launch. Only read it recently and came away pleasantly surprised! It’s definitely a good read! I had presumed incorrectly that it would be written in an academic style and heavily laden with terminology. It was most certainly not! It reads well, flows easily from chapter to chapter and dispels much myths and misconceptions that Muslims have of the topic of sex in Islam. A refreshing insight really!

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"A GOOD READ!"

2023-05-11 09:50:27

I received a copy some time back from a friend who attended its book launch. Only read it recently and came away pleasantly surprised! It’s definitely a good read! I had presumed incorrectly that it would be written in an academic style and heavily laden with terminology. It was most certainly not! It reads well, flows easily from chapter to chapter and dispels much myths and misconceptions that Muslims have of the topic of sex in Islam. A refreshing insight really!

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"WHAT AN UNUSUAL TITLE!"

2023-05-11 10:15:15

SEX & SOUL? Lexical Terms that you would not commonly find alongside the word ‘Islam’. For a fleeting moment I thought the bookshop had mistakenly brought in a book written by anti-Muslims. Fortunately, I was indeed mistaken. The title seems deceptive but in a good way. I picked it up and speed-read through several chapters at random. The book challenged my notions of sex in Islam, particularly in Islamic marital relationship . I have never seen or heard sex being spoken about in this way vis-a-vis our soul. Of course, our Prophet s.a.w. would have during his time but in our present tumultuous times of free sex, intersex and rising divorce rates, this book is heavenly sent!

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