09/06/2019, 13.12
INDONESIA
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For a Muslim researcher, unmarried sex is permissible in Islam

by Mathias Hariyadi

A young lecturer at an Indonesian Islamic State University sparks controversy claiming in his doctoral thesis that sex outside marriage is possible for Muslims. As a result of hate messages, he has backed off, saying that it is a sin according to Islamic tradition.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A young lecturer at an Islamic state university in Yogyakarta has caused a scandal in Indonesia for claiming that sex between unmarried people is "halal", i.e. allowed in the Muslim tradition.

In his doctoral examination a few days ago, Abdul Aziz said that sex between unmarried men and women is not an illicit (haram) practice if it is “performed behind closed doors.” Indeed, “their action cannot be considered adultery or Zinah.”

The lecturer’s position was eventually posted on social networks, and for two days the #AbdulAziz hashtag went viral. Many people expressed "astonishment" at the idea, which is not widespread in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI), which acts as a “moral” watchdog, slammed Aziz’s thesis as being “off the track”, urging the university not to grant Aziz his doctorate until his sex theory is changed.

In a note, the Council said that such a thesis would encourage people to live together unmarried and violate Indonesia’s moral standards, ethics, marriage law and Pancasila. Some radical Islamic groups even issued threats, including online hate messages against the young man and his family.

Fearful of more serious repercussions, Aziz backed off his stance. In his dissertation’s abstract, he wrote: “Sexual intercourse, both marital and nonmarital, is a sexual human right that is protected by the state. In Islamic legal tradition, however, it is marital intercourse that is legal, while nonmarital intercourse is not.”

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