chapter  2
5 Pages

Sexual prohibitions in Islam

To begin with, Islam rejects the notion of the impurity of women. The opposition of the pure and impure is in no sense synonymous with the opposition of the sexes. It is the sexual relation itself that produces impurity in men as well as in women. Not in itself, but by virtue of the excreta that it produces. Soiling is bound up with ḥadath, that is to say, with all evacuation of organic waste: sperm, menstrual blood or cleansings. This theme of impurity consequent on the organic exercise of sexuality is central to Islam and the whole of Chapter 5 of this book is devoted to the subject.