Things straight Muslims and other allies can do to support asexual Muslims
- Recognize that asexuality and asexuals exist.
- Become alert to sex-normative and amatonormative statements like “everybody experiences sexual desire”, “everybody wants sex”, “everybody enjoys sex”, “everybody falls in love” etc, and find more inclusive phrasing and concepts.
- Recognize that some Muslims do not want to have sexual relationships, even within marriage, due to asexuality, aromanticism, sex-aversion, lack of sex drive, or other factors and that the sunna of marriage does not apply to these people.
- Recognize that some Muslims may be harmed emotionally, mentally, and spiritually by being required to have sex and that sex, even within marriage, may be a site of oppression for them.
- Recognize that it is not an act of disobedience to God to not want sex, even within marriage.
- Recognize that some Muslims will find a healthful condition, integrity of heart, preservation of faith, and a soul at peace through celibacy.
- Conceptualize the purpose of marriage as tranquility, love, and gentleness per Quran 30:21 (rather than as “regulation of sexual desire”).
- Conceptualize nushuz (recalcitrance) as violating the mutual agreement made between the spouses in regard to sex (Quran 4:24), rather than using a uniform standard of compulsory sexuality.
- Support the idea of celibate marriages when it is the mutual agreement of the two partners.
- If you are in a position to be a wali, arbitrator, judge or other authority figure, support women who wish to leave a marriage because they cannot provide sex, rather than telling them Islam requires them to have unwanted sex.
- If you are in a position to be a wali, recognize that some Muslim women may seek marriage for tranquility, love, and gentleness and not sex, and support them in designing a marriage contract to achieve this.
- Exhort Muslim men to follow the Sunna of the Prophet in interpreting Quran 4:34.
- Exhort walis, arbitrators, and judges to follow the Sunna of the Prophet in supporting women to leave marriages when they feel they can’t be a good Muslim while remaining in the marriage.
- Support and promote interpretations of Islam that enable women to claim their rights directly rather than being dependent on the good-will of men.
- Speak out against patriarchy and misogyny in interpretations of Islam and in attitudes of Muslims.
- Consider exploring ways to support same-sex marriage in Islam.
- Reach out to unmarried Muslims to include them in community events, especially during Ramadan and on the Eids.
- Respect the choice of unmarried Muslims (whether asexual or not) to be single and support them in leading spiritually fulfilling lives in accordance with Quran and Sunna as unmarried rather than always pushing marriage on them.
My posts on asexuality, Islam, and marriage provide further information about each of these items.