It was a confession on the part of a newly-married friend about her disastrous sex life that he gave Umm Muladhat an idea for an innovative book.
Released last week, The Muslim Manual of Sex: A Halal Guide to the Mind Blowing Sex is the first guide written by a Muslim woman. The author has preferred to remain anonymous, using an alias.
Franco offers advice on everything from kissing cowgirl positions â€“ with the core of the message that Muslim women can and should enjoy a varied sex life and take the initiative in the physical relationships.
While some critics have accused the author of fetishising the Muslim women and promote promiscuity, the book has been well received by the readers who have praised her as a Muslim Belle De Jour, bringing a taboo subject into the open. “I have received encouraging feedback, but also a significant number of degrading and disgusting messages,” he said Muladhat. “One woman said that it is not necessary, they learn everything from their mothers. I doubt that any mother speaks in detail explicit as I am.
“I put an emphasis on having sex only with your spouse, but to have the full range of sexual experiences with your spouse. Islamically, there’s an emphasis on enjoying the physical relationships within the context of marriage, not only for procreation. The wife has the right for her husband to satisfy her sexually.”
Muslim women’s organizations have praised her, saying that the book is going to empower Muslim women and to protect the celebration of evidence of abusive relationships. Shaista Gohir, chair of Muslim Women’s Network uk, who runs the Muslim Women’s help line, said: “I am in favor of women talking about sex. Why not? Speaking of sex in Islam is not new, and the past of the scholars highlight the importance of sexual pleasure for women, which includes tips for men to ensure this happens.
“However, in practice, the sex seems to be all about men’s pleasure. Cases often come in our help line women’s complaints range from being forced to participate in unwanted sexual activity, rape, being treated like a piece of meat with zero effort is made to ensure that the woman has an orgasm. I suspect that the problem is much bigger, as most would be too embarrassed to talk about it.”
Muladhat said she felt compelled to write the book after she discovered that the women were entering into a lifetime commitment with a little bit of knowledge about the sex of the fragments extracted from the back of the guides to marriage, with an emphasis on what was forbidden, instead of what was allowed, and with little from the perspective of women.
“I saw a lot of Muslim women were getting married with no real way to learn about sex,” he said. “The couples knew ‘penis in vagina’, but little about how to improve your sex life. Different positions, different things to try in bed â€“ all absent in contemporary Islamic literature. For those in the west, certain things permeate through osmosis, so that women have heard about the BDSM and doggy style, but only in a vague sense.”
Many misconceptions that the book deals with the mother of cultural attitudes that decent women do not enjoy sex and should “relax and think of the prayers of the morning”. Gohir said: “the Guilt associated with sex is ingrained in women from childhood. It is portrayed as something dirty, where women’s sexuality is often controlled. As a result, the women go to the marriages do not have the confidence to say ‘I’m not enjoying this” or “I want this”. It is time that this topic speaks more openly”.
Muladhat also found that the confusion about what sexual acts were permissible in Islam was the inhibition of women from experimenting in the bedroom. “Outside of the home, the culture varies a lot. Inside the bedroom, the concerns and wishes of Muslim women from around the world were surprisingly similar,” he said.
I’ve had dozens of emails from men asking if I had plans for a companion book to teach them how to please their wives
After the holding of informal workshops, launched a web site to find out the interest in a book. Such was the response, that Muladhat is already considering the possibility of a follow-up, after being flooded with e-mail messages from people also in search of advice. “I didn’t find any guide to sex aimed at Muslims, women or otherwise. There are plenty of books already in the marriage, but spice it up a Muslim’s sex life while staying halal? There is nothing there.
“I’ve received dozens of emails from men asking if I had any plans to write a book to teach them how to please their wives in bed. I’ve taken this into consideration and plan to write a follow-up if this book is a success.”
The author chose to remain anonymous, in part for fear of a violent reaction, but also because she does not want to be known in their tight-knit community as the “sex book of the aunt.” “At first, I thought that my real name would add credibility, but it is a delicate issue,” said Muladhat. “If it is of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or religiosity, people who want to attack the book, they invariably do so by attacking the author. By separating my real self from the book, people are forced to deal with content.”
What she will reveal, however, is that she is an American-born graduate in psychology and a large part of the book is based on his personal experience of keeping the spark of life within your own marriage, along with tips picked up from friends and old copies of Cosmopolitan.
“My major qualification is the knowledge that comes only with experience. A doctor can explain the biology, but if you want a physical attractiveness it is better to learn from a bodybuilder of an overweight doctor.”