Shelf Life: Muslim Women Like Sex and They Cannot Lie


The manual inadvertently asserts that pleasurable sex is every woman’s right to demand.
The manual inadvertently asserts that pleasurable sex is every woman’s right to demand.(Photo: Rhythum Seth/The Quint)

Shelf Life: Muslim Women Like Sex and They Cannot Lie

Muslim women want sex and they are not afraid to talk about it. When you stumble across a book titled The Muslimah Sex Manual: A Halal Guide to Mindblowing Sex, you know someone has taken this narrative seriously.

Cover of the 66-page manual.
Cover of the 66-page manual.
(Photo Courtesy: Amazon.in)

However, the author of the book, a Muslim woman addressing concerns pertaining to sex lives of Muslim women, thinks they are not talking about it as much as they should.

And voila! Next thing you know there is a 66-page manual written under the pseudonym of Umm Muladhat to answer queries about kissing, sexting, dirty talk, role playing, sex positions, and so on and so forth, to enrich the dialogue.

Who Are We? Women! What Do We Want? Good Sex!

The manual asserts that pleasurable sex is every woman’s right to demand, drawing attention divorce laws in Islam where being unsatisfied by her husband is a legitimate reason for a woman to call off her marriage.

The book is definitely the first of its kind in terms of being any mainstream literature in the English language which touches upon sex in the Muslim society.

On the issue of debunking stereotypes associated with the brouhaha around sex in a Muslim society, Muladhat said in a recent interview with Huffington Post:

Among Muslims themselves, I don’t think this book challenges any stereotypes... Muslim women are women like any other. I didn’t need to empower them, they were already empowered. Their need wasn’t a shift in attitude, but a practical guide.

She added that the need to write this book came from the realisation that many Muslim women are often ill-prepared for life in the bedroom and perhaps are too shy to ask too many questions on the topic. The book is supposed to be a step-by-step guide for them.

It started with a word document on sex that she wrote for a young Muslim woman she knew, who circulated it among other women in the community. The document soon took the form of this book.

Subversive, But Not Subversive Enough

While the book might perhaps be the first of its kind, it’s very deeply steeped in religious traditions. Right at the start of the manual there is a disclaimer that the book only deals with what is considered halal or legitimate sex according to Islam’s jurisprudence, which means it only deals with sex within wedlock. Anything outside is not touched upon and is considered ‘wrong’. It attempts to be a subversive voice, but isn’t loud enough.

However, on the brighter side, it is a start – at least there is an argument emerging both from and for a society where large sections have always wrongly condemned carnal pleasures publicly, while keeping them confined to secret, hypocritical behind-the-door-realms.

But Before You Jump on the Pleasure Wagon...

In a world when markets are flooded with all sorts of books spouting advice on sex, the one thing that is sure to make this manual stand out is sadly the ‘Muslim’ factor. That, however, is not sufficient to take attention away from the fact that the writer draws almost entirely from personal experience.

She is not a trained professional or any other expert of the kind in the subject. And there is no way of ascertaining the extent of her expertise since she has chosen to keep her identity a secret. This takes away in part from her authority, inviting especial discretion on the reader’s part.

Extremism Scare Everywhere

Muladhat accepts that she adopted a false name to avoid any form of extremist backlash. However, so far the biggest complaint she seems to have faced is that the book does not have enough guidance for men.

I’ve received multiple emails from Muslim women who wear the hijab and even the niqab as well as from Muslim men who give sermons at their mosque thanking me for writing the book. One local Muslim leader told me that he’s planning on giving a copy of the book to new couples who go through a premarital counseling course at his mosque. His only criticism was that he wanted to know why the book was focused only on Muslim women and not Muslim men.
Umm Muladhat

Muladhat adds that there will be a book for them as well slated for release next year.

In the age of the Internet which leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination, there are not a lot of new things for the tech savvy generation of contemporary times. But perhaps this section of society was not meant to be Muladhat’s target audience. Published globally earlier in July, the hard copy of the book is not available for sale in India. The e-book, however, can be purchased online.

Price: Rs 399
Format: E-book
Pages: 66

(With inputs from Huffington Post.)

(We all love to express ourselves, but how often do we do it in our mother tongue? Here's your chance! This Independence Day, khul ke bol with BOL – Love your Bhasha. Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at bol@thequint.com or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)

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