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Quranic Terminology: Touch


Quranic Terminology: Touch

Published in March 6, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy



 The imams of the Sunnite fiqh have created the silly notion that if any man touches any woman accidentally or intentionally (e.g., through handshaking), his ablution before prayers is rendered as nullified and he has to repeat it. This is utter nonsense that exposes their ignorance, as they know nothing about the Quran and its unique terminology. We discuss here the Quranic term (touch) which in many verses has nothing to do with the literal sense of this term, whereas in some other verses, it is used literally.


Firstly: the literal sense of (touch):

 This term (touch) is sometimes use literally in some Quranic contexts; e.g., this is about disbelievers who demanded from Muhammad a tangible miracle: "Had We sent down upon you a book on paper, and they had touched it with their hands, those who disbelieve would have said, "This is nothing but plain magic."" (6:7); the Jinn said the following: "And we touched the heaven, and found it filled with stern guards and comets." (72:8).


Secondly: to touch in the figurative sense of having sexual intercourse:

1- All languages contain two levels to talk about sex; the polite, indirect level of the standard, formal language and the direct, impolite, explicit level of the vernacular, informal language. Within all cultures and languages worldwide, we find the expressions (to sleep with a woman) and (to know a woman) to indicate sexual intercourse or coitus; the bawdy, lewd terms and the four-lettered words regarding having sex are repeated often within the coarse language employed within the Sunnite and Sufi books of hadiths and interpretations/exegeses of the Quran; this indicates the moral degeneration of the authors of such nonsensical books.

2- God in the Quran uses implicit, elevated terms such as (cover), (approach), and (touch) that figuratively denote conjugal sex.

2/1: The term (cover) is used here to denote the first sexual encounter between Adam and his wife: "It is He who created you from a single person, and made from it its mate, that he may find comfort with her. Then, when he has covered her, she conceives a light load, and she carries it around. But when she has grown heavy, they pray to God their Lord, "if You give us a good child, we will be among the thankful."" (7:189).

2/2: The term (approach) denotes sex between a husband and his wife here: "...But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques..." (2:187).

2/3: The term (touch) denotes conjugal sex (i.e., sexual intercourse or penetrative sex, and NOT mere foreplay) within the legislation of performing complete ablution (i.e., taking a shower or a bath) after having sex: "O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer while you are drunk, so that you know what you say; nor after ejaculation - unless you are travelling - until you have bathed. If you are sick, or traveling, or one of you comes from the toilet, or you have touched women, and cannot find water, find a clean surface and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God is Pardoning and Forgiving." (4:43); "O you who believe! When you rise to pray, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you ejaculated, then purify yourselves with water. If you are ill, or travelling, or one of you returns from the toilet, or you have touched women, and could not find water, then use a clean surface and wipe your faces and hands with it. God does not intend to burden you, but He intends to purify you, and to complete His Bounty upon you, that you may be thankful." (5:6).


Thirdly: further examples of the figurative sense of (touch) to denote sexual contact:

 The term (touch) here indicates full sexual pleasures within bodies and souls of a husband and his wife (and NOT mere superficial touching or groping within sexual foreplay); we provide more examples of the Quranic verses containing the term (touch) employed in that sense.

1- Within the divorce legislations: "You commit no error by divorcing women before having touched them, or before having set the dowry for them. And compensate them - the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means - with a fair compensation, a duty upon the doers of good. If you divorce them before you have touched them, but after you had set the dowry for them, give them half of what you specified - unless they forego the right, or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. But to forego is nearer to piety. And do not forget generosity between one another. God is seeing of everything you do." (2:236-237).

2- Those women divorced before the consummation of the marriage will not have to go through the three-month waiting period before marrying someone else: "O you who believe! When you marry believing women, but then divorce them before you have touched them, there is no waiting period for you to observe in respect to them; but compensate them, and release them in a graceful manner." (33:49).

3- Before being allowed to have sexual intercourse again with their wives, those husbands who have estranged their wives by equating them with their mothers must atone for this sin: "Those who estrange their wives by equating them with their mothers, then go back on what they said, must set free a slave before they may touch one another. To this you are exhorted, and God is well aware of what you do. But whoever cannot find the means must fast for two consecutive months before they may touch one another. And if he is unable, then the feeding of sixty needy people. This, in order that you affirm your belief in God and His Messenger. These are the laws of God. The unbelievers will have a painful torment." (58:3-4).


Fourthly: the term (touch) within the figurative sense unrelated to sexual intercourse at all:

1- The term (touch) is used to show the pain felt by souls in this worldly life, as we perceive in the examples quoted in the points below.

1/1: God has said the following to the believers after they were defeated in the battle of Uhud: "If a wound touches you, a similar wound has touched the others..." (3:140); God has told Muhammad to announce the following: "Say, "I have no control over any benefit or harm to myself, except as God wills. Had I known the future, I would have acquired much good, and no harm would have touched me..." (7:188).

1/2: This sense of the term (touch) is repeated within the Quranic stories of prophets/messengers.

1/2/1: Abraham said the following to his disbelieving father: "O my father, I fear that a torment from the Dominant Lord will touch you, and you become an ally of the Devil." (19:45). Abraham said the following to the angels that brought to him glad tidings of his begetting Isaac: "He said, "Do you bring me good news, when old age has touched me? What good news do you bring?"" (15:54); this is about the suffering of old age that afflicts the humankind.

1/2/2: Inside Egypt, the brothers of Joseph told him the following: "...adversity has touched us..." (12:88).

1/2/3: These two verses are about Job: "And Job, when he cried out to his Lord: "Great harm has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful."" (21:83); "And mention Our servant Job, when he called out to his Lord, "Satan has touched me with hardship and pain."" (38:41).

1/2/4: The unjust disbelievers in one village threatened their three messengers with torment within this Quranic story: "...if you do not give up, we will stone you, and a painful torment from us will touch you." (36:18).

1/2/5: When harms/pains touch the soul or the body, most human beings implore God – within devotion and monotheism – to remove such pains, but once they are relieved, they mostly return to their polytheistic ways. God says the following in the Quran: "Whenever adversity touches the human being, he prays to Us - reclining on his side, or sitting, or standing. But when We have relieved his adversity from him, he goes away, as though he had never called on Us for harm that had touched him..." (10:12); "When We bless the human being, he turns away and distances himself. But when adversity touches him, he is in despair." (17:83); "When affliction touches the people, they call on their Lord, turning to Him in repentance. But then, when He gives them a taste of His mercy, some of them attribute partners to their Lord." (30:33); "When some adversity touches the human being, he prays to his Lord, repenting to Him. But then, when He confers on him a grace of His, he forgets what he was praying for before, and he attributes associates to God..." (39:8); "When adversity touches the human being, he calls on Us. But then, when We favor him with a bounty from Us, he says, "I have attained this by virtue of my knowledge."..." (39:49); "The human being never tires of praying for good things; but when adversity touches him, he despairs and loses hope." (41:49); "When We provide comfort for the human being, he withdraws and distances himself; but when adversity touches him, he starts lengthy prayers." (41:51).

2- The term (touch) is mentioned to indicate pains of the souls inside Hell.

2/1: The polytheists in all eras believe in the myth that if they enter into Hell, they might get out of it days later; God refutes their myth here: "And they say, "The Fire will not touch us except for a number of days." Say, "Have you received a promise from God - God never breaks His promise - or are you saying about God what you do not know?"" (2:80); "That is because they said, "The Fire will not touch us except for a limited number of days." They have been misled in their religion by the lies they fabricated." (3:24).

2/2: The disbelievers will physically and literally feel the touch of being burned by the Hell-Fire: "The Day when they are dragged upon their faces into the Fire: "Taste the touch of Saqar."" (54:48). In fact, Saqar is one of the Quranic names of Hell.   

2/3: God has warned believers against trusting the unjust ones so as not to be touched by Fire: "And do not incline towards the unjust ones, or the Fire may touch you..." (11:113).

2/4: The Paradise dwellers will feel happy and be thankful to God as they are never touched by fatigue inside Paradise: "He Who settled us in the Home of Permanence, by His grace, where boredom and fatigue will not touch us."" (35:35).

3- The term (touch) is used to describe the pains/torment felt by the souls in this world and in the next one.

3/1: This is about prohibiting getting ransoms (money) to release captured ones or POWs: " Were it not for a predetermined decree from God, an awful torment would have touched you for what you have taken." (8:68). This is about fabricating sexual slanders about the immigrants who settled in Yathreb: "Were it not for God's favor upon you, and His mercy, in this world and the Hereafter, a tremendous punishment would have touched you for what you have ventured into." (24:14).

3/2: God has warned the polytheistic disbelievers among the People of the Book against the torment of this world and of the next one: "They disbelieve those who say, "God is the third of three." But there is no God except the One God. If they do not refrain from what they say, a painful torment will touch those among them who disbelieve." (5:73).

4- One's soul is touched also by bounties and blessings: "If something good touches you, it upsets them; but if something bad befalls you, they rejoice at it. But if you persevere and maintain righteousness, their schemes will not harm you at all. God comprehends what they do." (3:120).

5- The term (touch) is used in these Quranic contexts to indicate how souls feel pleasure and pain.

5/1: This verse is about the polytheistic, disbelieving ancient nations smitten and destroyed by God: "Then We substituted prosperity in place of hardship. Until they increased in number, and said, "Adversity and prosperity has touched our ancestors." Then We seized them suddenly, while they were unaware." (7:95).

5/2: God says the following about each one of the disobedient sinners: "Touched by adversity, he is fretful. Touched by good, he is ungenerous." (70:20-21).

6- The prophet Saleh warned his people against harming the she-camel which was the miracle of God to them: "...This she-camel of God is a sign for you. So leave her to graze on God's earth, and do not touch her with harm, lest a painful torment seizes you." (7:73).

7- Within the Quranic metaphorical, figurative style of using descriptions that fit only humans, in order to make us understand and grasp, God denies His being fatigued like mortals: "We created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days, and no fatigue touched Us." (50:38)

8- Psychological pain is suffered by usurers who are worshipers of Mammon/money: "Those who consume usury will not rise, except as someone afflicted by Satan's touch..." (2:275).

9- Only the hearts that are purified from devilish/Satanist abominations, revelations, and hadiths can touch the Quranic Light: "None can touch it except the purified ones." (56:79). Thus, the Quranic Light touches only hearts/minds of those whose believe in it as the Only Discourse in Islam; the context of the verse 56:79 is actually addressing the polytheistic Muhammadans who reject and deny the Quran while they believe in devilish fabrications: "I swear by the locations of the stars. It is an oath, if you only knew, that is tremendous. It is a Noble Quran. In a well-protected Book. None can touch it except the purified ones. A revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. Is it this discourse that you take so lightly? And you make it your livelihood to deny it?" (56:75-82). As always, God says nothing but the Absolute Truth.

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