In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- A Muslim is a person of a clean heart and tongue. He never utters words of obscenity or vulgarity, since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The believer does not slander, curse, or speak in an obscene or foul manner.” (At-Tirmidhi)
2- However, if a husband and wife find it attractive for them during intimate relation to use some words that are not up to the standard (i.e., they cannot be said in public) with the intention of provoking their desire, it is permissible for them to do so as long as they do not utter them in any other situation and they are sure that no one will hear them.
Addressing the issue in point, Sheikh `Abdul-Karim Al-Khudair, a prominent Muslim scholar, issues:
A Muslim should refrain from obscenity in all his dealings, whether that has to do with words or deeds, but if he cannot reach a permissible objective without mentioning something that people usually feel too shy to mention, then it is acceptable.
It says in the hadith of Maiz that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned some words that he did not ordinarily use.
[Editor’s note: This refers to the incident when M`aiz confessed to the Prophet that he committed adultery and wanted to be punished for that. To ensure that there is no miscommunication and that Ma`iz did mean what he claimed, the Prophet asked him if he did have sex with the lady involved. He used an explicit word in the question.]
But if there is no need for that and those words are not unlawful, such as swearing and insulting, then it is better not to say them. In that case they are more likely to be reprehensible (makruh). So in that case there is nothing wrong with saying what was mentioned in the question, so long as the husband and wife do not use the same kind of words in front of their children or anyone else.
Shedding more light on this issue, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim scholar and lecturer, adds:
It is permissible for both husband and wife to say whatever they want in order to provoke desire during the intimate relation, and that does not have to be something that was narrated in the Sunnah, but it is not permissible to say anything that is forbidden in Islam, such as lies or slanderous words.
But with regard to mentioning the genitals by their colloquial names or other things that provoke desire in word or deed, the basic principle is that it is permissible.
Some of the scholars are of the view that this is reprehensible, and they regarded it as contrary to proper etiquette. But the correct view is that it is permissible.
Even if we accept that it is reprehensible, then that ruling may be lifted when there is the least need for it, and the need here is obvious.
If it is permissible for both spouses to touch each other’s private parts, look at them and enjoy it, then it is more appropriate that they permitted to call them by names that will provoke their desires, and the converse is also permitted.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.