Is cunnilingus (oral sex) permissible? Is it haram?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Oral sex (putting the sexual organ into the mouth, kissing it, etc.) There is no clear decree about it but it is necessary to avoid intercourses like that because sexual organs are places of dirt. A Muslim has to avoid harams definitely; similarly, a Muslim needs to avoid doubtful things that can be haram.

As a matter of fact, the Prophet stated the following:

“Both legal and illegal things are evident but in between them there are doubtful (suspicious) things and most of the people have no knowledge about them. So, whoever saves himself from these suspicious things saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these suspicious things is like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near the Hima (private pasture) of someone else and at any moment he is liable to get in it.”

“(O people!) Beware! Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah on the earth is His illegal (forbidden) things. Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” (Bukhari, Iman 39, Buyu' 2; Muslim, Musakat 107, 108. See also Abu Dawud, Buyu' 3; Tirmidhi, Buyu' 1; Nasai, Buyu' 2, Qudat 11; Ibn Majah, Fitan 14).

(Presidency of Religious Affairs)

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There is no clear evidence in the Quran or Sunnah that oral sex could be done or not. Therefore, some fiqh and tafsir scholars say it is permissible/halal because every part of the body of the wife and husband is halal for each other and because what is essential for things is being halal unless otherwise is stated. It is possible to find it in tafsir and fiqh books. We will not say that it is wrong but we should know that there are some religious and medical objections regarding the issue.

First of all, such an act is contrary to honor and it is disgusting. Secondly, some substances continually come out of sexual organs; and they are dirty fluids. In that case, a person will take in dirty substances into his/her mouth, which is mentioned by the Prophet (pbuh) as:

"Keep your mouths clean because they are the way of the Quran.”

Thirdly, everybody knows that Islam gives great importance to human health. However, in this way, a person takes in a lot of microbes and puts himself/herself at risk.

(Prof.Dr.Faruk Beşer)

The mouth was not created for sexual intercourse but for other purposes. Sexual intercourse through the mouth is contrary to the purpose of the creation of the mouth and to human nature; those people whose nature are not spoiled hate it.

(Prof.Dr.Hayrettin Karaman)

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We advise you to avoid oral sex because it is not a natural style of having sex, because it can cause feelings like hatred after a while and can affect the sexual happiness negatively.

Oral Sex and Mouth Cancer

Oral sex can cause mouth tumors. According to a recent research, human papilloma (benign tumors that cause bumps like papilla) can cause mouth cancer. Scientists had been suspecting that papilloma viruses caused mouth cancer for a long time. The good news is that the risk is very small. Mouth tumors are seen one in 10.000 people every year. Most of them appear due to smoking and drinking alcohol.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common virus that can be transferred through sexual intercourse. It is known that this virus causes cervical cancer (neck of the womb cancer). Some researches also indicate that this virus can cause oral and anal cancers.

The researchers, working for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, compared 1670 patients who had oral cancer with 1732 healthy volunteers. The participants lived in Europe, Canada, Australia, Cuba and the Sudan. HPV16, the strain seen most commonly in cervical cancer, was found in most of the oral cancers too.

The people with oral cancers containing the HPV16 strain were three times as likely to report having had oral sex as those whose tumor did not contain HPV16. There was no difference between men and women in terms of how likely the virus was to be present in the cancers.

The results of the research mentioned above were published in the December issue of the science periodical "Journal of the National Cancer Institute". The results have made it certain that there is a connection between HPV and mouth cancer.

Genital HPV infections are common. Around a third of 25-year-old women in the US are infected. It is thought that only 10 per cent of infections involve cancer-causing strains, and that 95 per cent of women will get rid of the infection within a year. However, even this does not explain why so few develop cancer.

The latest findings could improve treatments of oral cancers. So, giving antiviral drugs to people with oral cancers caused by the virus could improve their chances of recovery. Research groups are trying to develop vaccines as precaution. It is thought the vaccines would prevent oral infections as well as genital infections. (TR.NET)

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