(Edited by Shahid Athar , M. D.)

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Question: My wife was taught that God says sex is something dirty and its only purpose is to bring children into the world. Is that what the Bible teaches? MH

Answer from Billy Graham: No. It is not. God gave sex to the human race and the Bible reminds us, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean" (Acts 10: 15). However, just like anything else God has given us, we can misuse this gift, twisting it and perverting it into something selfish and evil. But that only underlines our need to commit our sexual drive to God and ask Him to help us control it and recover His purposes for it in our own lives. God meant for the sexual relationship between husband and wife to be a physical sign of their commitment to one another, of their inner joy and oneness. That is one reason why God's purposes for sex can only be fulfilled within the commitment of marriage. (Tribune Media Services. Indianapolis Star August 5, 1995).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has said about usury, "A time will come when usury will reach the people like 'musk' (perfume). That is to say, "It will reach everyone whether they want it or not." In the same way, to some extent, nudity and pornography affects all of us whether we want it or not. Just turn on the TV to watch the evening news and you will be confronted with a young woman in a bikini to advertise for one-calorie Pepsi or for feminine hygiene products or for nutritious cereal. If you want some more action, you can watch the soap operas or prime time programs like "Full House" or late night movies. It reaches also in the written media, in magazines, newspapers and in music programs like MTV and Friday night video, etc.

It is not enough to say to Muslim youth that Islam prohibits such things. They ask for the reasoning process behind why it is wrong, what it leads to and so forth. They will not accept, "Don't watch it," when they ask, "Why?" and the answer comes back, "Because I said so." They ask to discuss the pros and cons to arrive at an intelligent answer. The proponents of nudity present the following argument:

1. It is protected by freedom of speech. The response is that the First Amendment is misunderstood and misapplied. Yes, we have certain rights and certain freedoms, but there is a concept of limited freedom. As long as my freedom does not affect someone else's freedom, it may be okay. If I smoke in my own closet, dance naked in my own bedroom, I am affecting only myself, but if I do the same thing outside, I am encroaching on the freedom of other people. Just like we do not like to get second-hand smoke, we do not have to accept second-hand nudity and pornography. Therefore, this is a wrong definition of freedom of expression.

2. It is harmless entertainment as compared to the violence on TV and in the movies. Response: True, in the short term, nudity and pornography appear to be less harmful than the violence shown on TV and in the movies. However, the long-term effect is much more serious and sometimes the two are tied together. It is a form of addiction. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, admitted that his criminal behavior began by watching movies on bondage and pornography. Child pornography is another disease which has contributed to 500,000 cases of incest involving father and daughter per year in this country. Child slave trade for sex involves 5 million children worldwide.

3. It is educational. Response: If at all true, it is a poor quality of education. Most of the lessons on anatomy are given to medical students these days on a calendar or a plastic replica. It is not necessary to show live human bodies and sex ads to impart education. Even sex education, as such, is more of a theory than practice. How can a person receiving such a vivid education refrain himself from practicing on others? This is the reason for more than 100,000 rapes being committed annually in this country and the majority of date rapes are not even reported. How can bondage be called "education?" Positions of sex can be learned after marriage by experiment rather than by memorizing books or movies.

If it is not necessary to teach baby ducks how to swim, why is it necessary for teenagers to be taught the education of sexual techniques before they are expected to engage in them?


1. Degradation of women. Women and their skin are being used to advertise every product, cosmetic, dress, perfume and even medication. It is a form of oppression of women and a form of enslaving them. Many of the exercise videos are using obscene positions to sell those programs. Many of the unnatural sex acts shown in some of the x-rated moves are committed by force and under threat. Many of the tortures which are shown in bondage are against the will of women.

2. Watching nudity desensitizes men and women to normal sexual stimulus. People get used to it and therefore this is the most common cause of psychological impotency in this country. Just by becoming used to these in order to get an arousal, they have to perform some more weird acts than plain, simple nudity can provide.

3. Nudity and pornography are an addiction which leads to other crimes including drugs, murder, rape, abduction, child molestation, and incest. One leads to another until a person pays for that crime behind bars for many years to come. It is not as innocuous as people claim. It is a perversion. There are clubs of sex alcoholics just like Alcoholics Anonymous or AA where people share their previous experiences in order to enter therapy.

4. Finally, it is a waste of time. The time that is spend on vain desires and pursuit of happiness at the cost of others can be utilized in many constructive ways to include improving their knowledge by reading good books, doing housework, sports, exercise or perhaps of remembrance of God because to Him is our return.

Pornography, thus, is neither educational nor entertainment, but a disease and an addiction and Muslims should avoid it.