The Qur’an declares:
Men innately feel a passionate attraction toward women children treasures of gold and silver (money hoarded) branded horses cattle and plantations. Such are the enjoyments of the life of this world; yet with God is the best of the goals to pursue. (3:14)
God has inculcated such impulses in human nature so that humanity could survive on Earth and evolve spiritually and mentally by disciplining them to transform each one into a virtue in order to develop into being a true perfect human from being only potentially human. Humanity is not like other species for it has been created with a different disposition multiple potentialities and various mental and spiritual faculties. So there must be a significant purpose behind its creation. To realize this purpose and being perfected require selfdiscipline. Islam is the name of the set of principles for that selfdiscipline.
According to Imam al-Ghazzali. Islam’s legal principles seek to protect and secure five basic values in human life namely religion life intellect personal property and reproduction and forbid acts that will nullify them. When we consider the Divinely established prohibitions (e.g. unbelief hypocrisy associating partners with God apostasy killing a person taking intoxicants and drugs usurpation theft adultery fornication and homosexuality) we can deduce that they have been given to protect and secure those values. In order to secure these values for a virtuous life based upon justice the observation of mutual rights mutual helping and righteousness we also see that Islam has taken some measures and precautions. As regards marriage and family life we can point to the following:
Prohibition of Approaching Adultery and Fornication. Islam prohibits illegal sexual relationships for they lead to a confusion of lineage child abuse family breakups bitterness in relationships the spread of venereal diseases and a general laxity in morals. Moreover it opens the door to a flood of lust and self-gratification. God’s command: And do not approach adultery and fornication; indeed it is an abomination and an evil way (17:32) is absolutely just and true.
Prohibition of Privacy between a Man and a Woman Who Are not Married to Each Other. Islam prohibits a man and woman who are not married to each other from being alone together in a private place where there is no fear of being interrupted by someone else. This is done to prevent such illicit sexual activities as touching kissing embracing or having sexual intercourse.
Looking with Desire at the Opposite Sex. Islam prohibits people from looking lustfully at people of the opposite sex for the eye is the key to the feelings and the look is a messenger of desire. The Qur’an declares:
Tell the believing men that they should lower their gazes and guard their chastity; that is purer for them. God is wellacquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women that they should lower their gazes guard their chastity and not display their adornment except that which is apparent of it and that they should draw their head-coverings over their bosoms. (24:30-31)
Looking at the Private Parts of Others. Islam defines “the private parts” as those parts of the body that must be covered in front of others. For men this is the area between the navel and the knees which other men and women are not allowed to see. For women this area is her whole body except her face hands and according to some scholars her feet. This prohibition applies to all men who are allowed to marry the woman in question.
Muslim. Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi report from God’s Messenger: “A man should not look at the ‘awra (private parts) of another man nor a woman of a woman nor should a man go under one cloth with another man nor a woman with another woman.”
Islam equipped and adorned Muslim men and women with chastity dignity selfrespect and modesty while most of the men and women of the “ages of ignorance” were and have been vain showy and anxious to display their attractions.
Sexual Perversion: A Major Sin. Islam while regulating one’s sexual drive has prohibited illicit sexual relations and all ways that lead to them as well as homosexuality. Homosexuality is considered a reversal of the natural order a corruption of male sexuality and a violation of the rights of women. The spread of this unnatural practice disrupts a society’s natural life. It also makes those who practice it slaves to their lusts thereby depriving them of decent taste decent morals and a decent manner of living. The Qur’anic account of Prophet Lut’s (Lot) people should be sufficient for us.
No Monasticism. Although Islam is against sexual license and thus prohibits fornication and adultery and blocks all ways leading to them it does not seek to suppress the sexual urge. Therefore it encourages people to get married and prohibits renunciation and castration.
Muhammad Abu Zahra a modern scholar defines marriage as follows: “Marriage is a contract that results in the man and woman living with each other and supporting each other within the limits of what has been laid down for them in terms of rights and obligations.” Ibn Uthaymin adds: “It is a mutual contract between a man and a woman whose goal is for each to enjoy the other become a pious family and a sound society.”