Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
What is the ruling of oral sex, if one or both parties avoid contact with any impure sexual fluids?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
In short, it is permissible, but not ideal, in the Hanafi school to perform oral sex (i.e. for a woman to perform fellatio for her husband and a man to perform cunnilingus for his wife) on condition that no impurities are introduced to the mouth nor swallowed by either party. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Since this is permitted, other types of pleasure where no fear of impurities being ingested or introduced to the mouth are permitted a fortiori. [Ibid.]
The Long Answer
Scholars have discussed this issue from many aspects. Of these aspects is the bare legal limits of the issue, and that is what is detailed above in the short answer. Another aspect is the propriety and higher manners of a Muslim. The final aspect is the changing of times and cultures and the ever widespread presence of pornography, nudity, and deviant sexual behaviors. [Ibid.]
The Propriety of the Muslim
Many scholars of the Hanafi school, especially those of South Asia, have strongly professed that oral sex, especially as described above, is strictly prohibited, if impurities come into the mouth or the fear of such a thing occurring is substantial; and prohibitively disliked, if even there is any possibility that impurity come into contact with the mouth; and if all precautions are taken, they would still consider it against that which is best (khilaf al-awla).
The Changing Times
If a Muslim is suffering from extreme lust and desire for such sexual acts, either because of them being a new Muslim or a newly practicing Muslim and have had exposure to pornography, have become accustomed to such practices prior to Islam or with a previous spouse, or the like — it is arguably better for them to take pleasure from their spouses through sexual intercourse and if needed, through oral sex making sure to take the above precautions.
Note that the spouse is not obliged to agree to any such practices.
Due to these ever pressing realities that cannot be ignored, the following summarizes the framework of the Sacred Law regarding this issue:
Ideally, spouses can find sufficient pleasure in normal sexual intercourse. Performing foreplay will assist in achieving this goal. Foreplay, such as fondling, kissing, and romantic/intimate language, has been encouraged by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) and according to some exegetes of the Quran – this is what is implied by the following verse:
Allah Most High says, “Your wives are like farmland (harth) for you, so approach them (consensually) as you please. And send forth something good for yourselves. Be mindful of Allah, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers.” [Quran, 2:223]
The words “And send forth something good for yourselves.” was taken by some to mean good intentions, and to some foreplay.
Another method of increasing normal sexual pleasure without need to recourse to oral sex – is through having intercourse in different sexual positions that do not entail harm on either party and are done consensually.
About the part of the above mentioned verse, “so approach them as you please.,” the scholars narrated from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), “From the front or from behind, but abstain from the anus and the times of menstruation.” [Nasa’i]
If this is not their current state, they can work towards this by incorporating healthy and wholesome foreplay, such as fondling, kissing, and even various positions of vaginal sex that do not cause harm. Note that further mention must be given that oral sex should not be used as a replacement to sexual intercourse, as doing so would go against the benefits of sexual intercourse encouraged in the Sacred Law.
If oral sex cannot be left and one will continue to do it, it should only be used as foreplay.
The Sacred Law
If the couple has needs beyond the above, they may act upon the above legal ruling with caution not to ingest or introduce any impurities in the mouth. Note that pre-sexual fluid is impurity. In such a case, oral sex is permitted especially considering that scholars of other schools of thought permitted oral sex with similar conditions. [al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]
One should seek to un-accustom themselves from things that crept into their psyche as a result of exposure to corruption and widespread debauchery. If exposure to these types of sexual behavior are due to illicit habits of pornography or not controlling one’s gaze from the prohibited, one must repent and strive to free themselves from the shackles of such a tortuous addiction.
In either case, one must refrain from demanding from their spouse that which they are not accustomed to and comfortable with. Many marriages suffered because of a standard of sexual behavior that one spouse requires that is above and beyond the norm and they see that their spouse falls short in fulfilling their desire for not agreeing to do such acts.
In reality, the fault, here, lays upon the one who has become desensitized to what is normal, wholesome behavior and requires abnormal practices to achieve sexual pleasure.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.