3 Questions About Islam’s Stance on Male and Female Virginity

15 April, 2020
Q Assalamu alaikum sister. I'm your sister from Bangladesh & I have some questions related with virginity. There are many words in English dictionary which discriminate against women even belittle her. One example is the word 'virginity'. Even in my native language, there are some words derogatory for women. I wonder which men were behind inventing & adding these words in dictionary, as there is dark history of patriarchy & men's tendency to play god over women all over the world, which is still continuing even in this modern time unfortunately. I'm eagerly waiting for real Islamic teachings regarding this issue. 1) Is the word "virginity" applied to only women according to normal definition? Or does  Islam prove this definition as wrong & tell that this word applied equally to both men and women? 2) Is keeping & maintaining virginity only responsibility of women or it is applicable to both men & women in equal amount in premarital context? 3)If both men & women lose their virginity unlawfully they are both equally responsible or only the women is responsible?

Answer

Short Answer: 

  • As for your question whether virginity belongs to females only? This is not an Islamic view.
  • In Islam, both male and female are responsible for their chastity. Allah has made such a beautiful balance for humankind.
  • Allah judges each and every individual based on his or her own deeds. Meaning whether you’re a male or a female you will be held accountable! No ifs and buts.

………….

Walaikumassalam, and thank you for approaching us with your question.

3 Questions About Islam’s Stance on Male and Female Virginity

Allah says in the Quran,

“If any do deeds of righteousness be they male or female and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.” (4:124)

The beauty of this concept is that one has to be sincere, to himself and his Lord, and not need to prove anyone else their self-worth. Allah is just and rewards the believing servant for his or her effort. Allah will judge individuals based on piety and not according to one’s gender. This dear sister is true gender equality.

Even today in most societies women are being harassed. Whether it be a shopping mall, a workplace or anywhere else. Also, women are being treated unfairly compared to men. According to Glamour Magazine women exhibited more ambition compared to men to reach the top roles of a company by 17%, however, only 5% were able to actually get promoted.

In many places, men are reaching position easily while a woman needs to demonstrate her potential. Glamour Magazine states, “men at every level reported getting more regular feedback about how to advance their careers. At junior levels, men were slightly more likely than women to get promoted without asking. At senior levels, the gap grew to 18% of men saying they’d gotten a promotion without asking, versus just 5% of women.”

The discrepancy mattered since almost every female interviewee, “even those who described themselves as assertive and highly ambitious,” the study said, had struggled with asking for promotions. Many felt lucky to be promoted at all. Often they were unclear how to advance, and wound up doing jobs without the title and pay that should have accompanied them. This is the sad reality of this world.

Equally Responsible

Allah has made such a beautiful balance for humankind. Allah judges each and every individual based on his or her own deeds. Meaning whether you’re a male or a female you will be held accountable! No ifs and buts.

It’s true that Allah has designated different obligations for the male and the female.  Allah has given the men elbow grease cut out for them and the women work according to their capability. Allah is our Creator and He has full knowledge of our inner workings.

As for your question whether virginity belongs to females only? This is not an Islamic view. In Islam, both male and female are responsible for their chastity.

Allah orders the men in the Quran saying,

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All‑Aware of what they do.” (24:30)

Alongside Allah orders the women saying,

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)” (24:31)

Chastity

As for your second question; The Prophet Muhammad has given a very stern warning to the believing men when it comes to dealing with women. It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar said:

the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.”

Also, Allah says in the Quran,

“The believers, men and women, are allies (awliya) of one another. They enjoin the ‘common good’ (al ma‘ruf) and forbid the bad (al munkar), they observe prayers (salat) and give charitable alms (zakat) and obey God and his Prophet.” (9:71)

According to this verse, men are just as responsible as women for their actions. Also, the verse implies that men and women assist one another. This means that they are helpers of one another. This equality translates, in everyday life, into concrete actions. It builds an environment in which the only criterion for evaluating each other is integrity and moral values.

Caution

Allah has specified punishment for Zina (illicit sex) for both men and women. Allah says in the Quran,

“The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment” (24:2)

So dear sister the verse clearly states the fornicatress separately than the fornicator. Hence both the man and the woman will be punished for this sin.

I must add that this is a terrible sin. A person should know that Allah has specified a grave punishment for the fornicator. Prophet Muhammad said,

“… So we went on, and came to something like a tannoor (a kind of oven).  – I [the narrator] think he said: In it there was much noise and voices. We looked into it and saw naked men and women. A flame of fire was reaching them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried out loudly. I said to them, ‘Who are these?’ They said to me, ‘Move on, move on.’ … ‘As for the naked men and women whom you saw in a structure that resembled an oven, they are the adulterers and adulteresses.’”

May Allah help guide us all towards righteousness. Hope this helped.

And Allah knows best.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

The Status of Women – What Women Want

Men and Women in Paradise: Any Discrimination?

Good Men Are For Good Women

 https://aboutislam.net/family-life/gender-society/the-status-of-women-what-women-want/