Fatwa ID: 04797
Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Viewing illustrations of sexual positions
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Islam is a religion, which is not restricted to just devotional worship; it provides guidance for every aspect of life. When we look at the practice of our beloved Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam, we can see how He Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam taught men and women matters relating to sex.
Saaiduna Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said ‘When a man sits amidst her four parts and then exerts pressure on her, a ritual bath becomes obligatory upon him’. (Sahih Bukhari p.43 v.1 & Sahih Muslim)
The Sahabaas also did not shy away from asking the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam questions of a sexual nature. In a famous incident, Saaiduna Umar Bin Khattab Radiallahu Anhu asked the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam about the permissibility of penetrating one’s wife from behind, i.e. penetrating the vagina and not the anus. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam did not rebuke him for asking an “offensive” question but waited until Allah Most High Himself revealed verses of the Qur’an to answer his question. (Sunan Tirmizi)
Remarkably, women also felt able to ask the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam questions of a sexual nature without any reluctance or being ashamed of such inquiry. Rather, the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam did not shy away from answering them, even though he was shy by nature.
Umm Salama Radiallahu Ana relates that Umm Sulaym Radiallahu Anha came to the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and said, “O Prophet of Allah, Surely, Allah is not shy of the truth. Is it necessary for a woman to take a ritual bath after she has a wet dream?” The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam replied: “Yes if she notices a discharge.” Umm Salama covered her face and asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Does a woman have a discharge?” He replied: “Yes, let your right hand be in dust [an Arabic expression said light-heartedly to someone whose statement you contradict], how does the son resemble his mother?” (Sahih Bukhari p.42 v.1)
Imam Bukhari relates from Mujahid who said: “Sacred knowledge (Ilm) is not gained by a shy person or an arrogant one (Sahih Bukhari p.60 v.1) (Extracted from www.daruliftaa.com Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari)
The conclusion we can come to is that it is permissible to learn about the subject of sexual relations as long as it is done with decency and modesty.
With regards to your question, to view illustrations of sexual positions between a man and woman would not be allowed. To view naked pictures is unlawful, shameful, and sinful. Saaiduna Abu Said Khudri Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said ‘A man must not look at the nakedness of another man, and a woman must not look at the nakedness of another woman’. (Sunan Tirmizi)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham