Which Sexual Practices Are Permissible in Islam?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Is it permissible for a man to insert his finger in his wife’s private part?

Can a woman masturbate her husband?

Is it permissible to look at one’s partner’s private part?

Is it permissible to have sex standing? In a shower?


I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. May Allah bless you for your concern to observe limits and propriety in your actions.

The general principle is that:

(1) All sexual practices are permissible, besides the specifically prohibited (such as anal sex) or harmful. Allah Most High says, “Your spouses are your fields, so approach your fields whichever way you like.” [Quran, 2.223]

(2) The basis of all relations, including marriage, is mutual agreement (taradi), so any sexual activity needs to be be consensual—and while both spouses are obligated to fulfill the reasonable sexual needs of their spouse, neither is expected to agree to any type of sexual activity that they aren’t comfortable with, especially when unusual.

(3) The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged each spouse to strive to fulfill the sexual desires of the other. Given that many men would neglect satisfying the sexual needs of their wives, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) actually discouraged intercourse without foreplay [Abu Dawud]

Regarding your specific questions,
all the things you mentioned are permissible—with mutual consent. However, while looking at each other’s private parts is permissible without dislike, it is from Prophetic proper manners—as understood from the hadith of Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) to avoid doing so.

Finally, don’t forget that:

(1) Sexual intercourse is an action, and the Prophetic way (sunna) is to do all actions with sincerity—seeking Allah Most High thereby. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) described permissible sexual intercourse as charity (sadaqa).

(2) One should have multiple intentions—which serve as means of expressing how one is striving to seek Allah–in one’s sexual relations, including:

(a) gratitude for the blessing of a spouse and of the opportunity of sexual fulfillment;
(b) fulfilling one’s spouse’s rights with excellence;
(c) satisfying the desires of one’s spouse;
(d) satisfying one’s own desires in permissible ways;
(e) shielding oneself from the impermissible; and, when applicable (e) seeking righteous children.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersGuidance Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).