By : Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir

The development of technology is necessary.  It will continue to influence all aspects of people life. Not only to fulfill the needs, but also offer various desires, pleasure, even though all unlimited fantasy. The convergence of telecommunication technology, such as TV and computer and all of those things in the internet technology had presented the progress and new sophisticated  social phenomenon. The interconnection between this kind of technology and sex or namely sexonology,  continues developing and challenging the social science intellectuals, including the religious leaders. Nowadays,  the new information technology (IT) innovation is more than browsing and conventional chatting activities, including in the sexuality issues. 

The reactive and shallow respond, will not be able to respond the problem deeply. Neither can’t help humanity problems of the people, both in the profan and spiritual side of somebody’s life. Start from the people who live in the remote area, pesantren dormitory, the ultra modern complex of a metropolitant city, a group of scientiest and security mission in the dessert,  jungle or ice-berg,  the luxurious cabin of the sea oil mining company, or in the cabin of Apollo aeroplane which will be launched to the moon. Imagine the basic needs of the people,  not merely eat and drinks, but also sex. 

Technology, in this issue, is similar with the two sides of a coin, it will help and make everything easier, but at the same time can destroy people. The great information about sex in the internet, especially for the adolescent young people, it can be sure will fasten their sexuality development,  if it is not provided with the right and proper education, can give bad impact on their life. For example, sexual deviance, unwanted pregnancy, sexual transmitted diseases, unsafe abortion, and some other social impacts which can end their hope in the future. In this kind of situation, probably the message of Prophet Muhammad PBUH  to fast in a hadith which is popular enough among the muslim youth, should not only interpreted as to stop eating and drinking all the day, but also thir mental readiness to be abstain from  all kind of risky sexual articulation which can disadvantage themselves and other people. 

The Booming of Sex  Technology 

If in our society, we are still debating on the ethics of utilizing the internet for sex information, sex education, and pornographic reading materials and pictures, so in the Western world the debate had reached to the possibility of internet to become  the active media to give the sexual services and to satisfy the sexual needs of its users. In 2013, newspaper The Huffington Post discuss about ethics on the use of ’teledildonic’ where internet technology based on the ’real touch’ and ’brainwave’ which is connected to certain dildo that able to give masturbation, onani, oral sex services in the real time to its users. The kind of services can be given by the legal couple who live in the long distance relationship, and of course from the voluntary or commercial providers. 

Nowadays, the newspapers in the West are still debating about the ethics of creating and ulitizing the sex robotic which are more sophisticated day by day. In 2007,  David Levy in his book Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, had predicted that robot technology will be able to create sex dildo which is similar enough with the human being. And now after the ’brain wave’ technology exhibition in Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas 2013, the dildo sex industry had tried to create the robots which are able to read the sex sensation in the human’s brain (of the users) then  respond it with the active services without moved by the user. 

The robots which had been fitted with the brain wave technology, when read the sex signs in the user’s brain, it will directly smile, say the seductive words, come closer, and furthermore discharge the lubrication from the artificial penis or vagina. Which is enhanced nowadays,  is the kind of robotic latex which is designed to be as closely as possible with the human skin. The merger of robot and internet technology in the sexual matters, will create more formidable innovations, and sure will threaten the conventional human social relation which had been created so far. 

Recently, the robotic expert Dr. Kathleen Richardson, senior researcher in De Montfort University Leicester  UK,  frankly requested to the sex robotic industry to stop the production of the human-like robot as soon as possible. According to her, the production and use of the kind of robots will destroy the human relations between men and women, parents and children, even between women and women, also men with men. 

Probably, the robotic issue has not been a big issue among us in Indonesia, because we are still dealing with the massive stream of sex and pornography information which threaten the youth and immature adult people when using the information technology. But the character of technology, whatever and whenever are the same. It bring the ease and joy the people in one hand,  but in the other hand also threaten the good and rooted people tradition. The positive impact on the information and communication technology, especially internet, had been felt by the people in the area of education, self development, work, and  social and commercial network.

The positive impact of the information and communication technology in the sexuality issues, it bring the comprehensive , easy, and quick information regarding reproductive health, sex consultation, and the improvement of the marriage relationship which rooted from the sexual problems. But the negative impact, especially for young people,  also not a few number which can threaten their future life. Not a few numbers of them who become the victim of sexual violence which began from the social media, and then trapped into prostitutions, fraud, and  human trafficking. In addition to that the misinformation related to the sex matters,  sexual deviant cases, the naked personal selfie photograph or the sexual intercourse videos, and also the young age pregnancy, the risks of sexual transmitted diseases (STD), and other damage of reproductive organs, especially reproductive organs of the young girls. 

Positive Perspective on Sex 

So far, the religious leaders, including ulama (Islamic scholars) more focused on the self control by faith and restrictions,  including the demand to the state policies to ban pornographic sites. The such kind of control may be important as the foundation, but we should think twice about its effectivity. Because the information technology develop fast and massive, which often can’t be hindered, only by restriction and banning certain sites. The human sexuality problems are also very complex, it can’t be seen and approached only by one perspective. 

The tendency to control and restriction,  sometimes are also based on the negative views towards sex, as a dirty, unclean, and dangerous thing. Body and all its needs are seen as the profane thing against the religious and sacred things. This kind of tendency makes people continue to live in the excessive fear, high curiousity, searching for information secretly, and more refer to the informal and invalid sources. 

In the sexonology area, especially internet and sex, probably we should strat the change of mind on sex in a more positive manner. In order the sexual technology in the future will be used to ensure the positive aspect of sex for the sake of human life. In the various Prophet’s hadiths. Body and sex were precisely seen as the good thing, as the media for the joyful life in the lawful manner, furthermore as the media to seek reward and to be more closer to Allah The Almighty. 

In a hadith text narrated by al-Bukhari, Salman al-Farisi ra.  Gave advice to Abu Dzarr al-Ghiffari ra. who did too much sunna worship, such as fast and evening prayer, and neglected his wife. ”If your God has the right on you, your body also has the right on you, so does your wife, she also has the right on you. Fulfill all these rights to every owner”. This advice was reported to Prophet Muhammad PBUH and he agreed.”Salman was right” said the Prophet PBUH   (Kitāb al-Adab, no. hadits: 6209).

The Prophet also reprimanded his companions who choose to remain unmarry to improve their piety to Allah The Almighty. ” I’m the most pious among you all, but in (certain days) fast and in (another days) I don’t (still eat and drink),  and also I still sleep although I do evening prayer, and I also do marry woman. Whoever don’t like to my sunnah (way of life), so he is not part of me,” the Prophet affirmed. (Narrated by  al-Bukhari, Kitāb al-Nikāh, no. hadits: 5118).

In the hadith text narrated by Muslim, firmer again Prophet Muhammad PBUH introduced that the sexual intercourse between husband and wife is part of rewarded worship, as another kind of social worship (Sahīh Muslim, Kitāb al-Zakāh, no. hadits: 2376). The Prophet use the word “sadaqah” to call this sexual intercourse between husband and wife, whis is commonly translated as alms, honesty, and good deeds. The same word is also use to mention zakat treasurec worship, donations, good ritual utterances such as tasbih, tahmid, and tahlil and also social deeds like helping other people and set aside the thorn on the road. 

Inspired by the such hadiths as mentioned above, if the sexuality issues so far had been connotated with fitnah (slander) which trap and endanger people, we should reinterprete the concept of fitnah in a more neutral way. Because, as mentioned in many Quranic verses and Hadith, all things in this world life is a fitnah (exam) for the human being, which can be able improve their good deeds, or in the contrary trap them in the puddle contempt. Family, treasure, social status, and even the good deeds or charity is fitnah (exam). 

With the similar perspective, sexual technology is also a fitnah (exam) which can present the benefit and on the other hand the disadvantages. By using the more positive perspective in addressing the sexual technology, we will think more on how to opitimize the use of technology for the fulfilment of human sexual needs, both in the young or adult age, especially for the husband and wife couples. At the same time, it can be maximized to avoid from the illegal sexual intercourse and to prevent from all the risky and dangerous sexual activity. 

The Mubadalah (Reciprocal) Perspective in the Sex matters 

The important point which should be affirmed, is what I called with mafhum mubadalah or mutual and reciprocal perspective.  For the sexual issues, advices and islamic teaching so far is still understood inequally, where women seen in the object position towards men. They were seen as the source of fitnah for men, so they should be regulated, controlled and heavily guarded. With this kind of fitnah potenstion, as a wife, a woman should optimize her sexual services to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs.  

The views or advices to the contrary, from the men (husband) to women (wife) are almost difficult to find. Therefore, it should be affirmed by the ’reciprocal and mutual perspective’ throgh the fiqh principle mā yaṣluḥu li aḥad al-jinsayn yujlabu likilayhimā wa mā yaḍurru bi aḥadihimā yudra’u min kilayhimā. This is the fiqh principle in the mafhum mubadalah (reciprocal and mutual perspective). It means : all things which give benefit and advantage for one certain sex should be applied for the both sexes, and all things which will give disadvantage and danger for one of the sexes, should be avoided from them all. 

With the such rule, the hadith text which mentioned that women are fitnah (exam) for men (al-Bukhari, Kitāb al-Nikāh, no. hadits: 5152), should be understood in a reciprocal way. That, woman as a fitnah (exam) was just an example, because the subject who want to be communicated by the text were men.  If the subject are women, so the person who become fitnah were men. It means, that men must be alert from the fitnah or slander; exam of women (literal text), and women also must be alert from the the fitnah or slander; exam of men (reciprocal meaning). If a man, however he become a fitnah for women are still allowed to do the public activities, women also should not be restricted just because of fitnah reason. 

Another hadith text said that a wife who reject her husband’s call to go to bed (for sexual intercourse) will be cursed by the angels (al-Bukhari, Kitāb Bad’ al-Khalq, no. hadits: 3273), should also be understood reciprocally and in a mutual way. By using this hadith text, if a wife is encouraged to fulfill and satisfy her husband’s sexual desire (literal text), so at the same time the husband also must be encouraged to to fulfill and satisfy his wife’s sexual desire (reciprocal texts). 

In the previous articles of Swara Rahima, several hadith text in the seeking of knowledge, education, marriage, social and political activities, the reciprocal meanings (mafhum mubadalah) of the such texts had been explained. So that, in the use of sexual technology, the same priciple must be applied. What are useful and give benefit for men, should also be given to women. And also what are disadvantaged for men, should also must be dissociated from women. And so the vice versa, from women to men. 

Of course, this is the general rules or principles, because for the more detail issues, there must be some exceptions, especially if it is related to the different reproductive organs between women and men. But the kind of differences should not ignore the principles that the joy, benefit, and positive aspects of the sexual technology should be given to the both sexes. So that the disadvantages and danger, must be sought to be kept from both of them . Wallahu a’lam. Allah Knows best! {}

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