In this classic work, Abdelwahab Bouhdiba asserts that Islam is a lyrical view of life in which sexuality enjoys a privileged status. Drawing on both Arabic and Western sources and seeking to integrate the religious and the sexual, Bouhdiba describes the place of sexuality in the traditional Islamic view of the world and examines whether a harmony of sexuality and religious faith is achieved in practice.
Beginning with the Quran, Bouhdiba confronts the question of male supremacy in Islam and the strict separation of the masculine and the feminine. He considers purification practices; Islamic attitudes towards homosexuality, concubinage and legal marriage; and sexual taboos laid down by the Quran. Bouhdiba assesses contemporary sexual practice, including eroticism, misogyny and mysticism, and concludes that the ideal Islamic model of sexuality has been debased.
About the Author
Born in 1932 in Kairouan, Tunisia, Abdelwahab Bouhdiba is President of the Beit al-Hikma Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Literature and Arts. An esteemed sociologist and human rights campaigner, Bouhdiba was a member of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities at the United Nations for ten years. He was awarded the UNESCO International Prize for Arab Culture in 2004.
‘Readable and informative ... an imaginative and off-beat sourcebook.’
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute