The question has been on my mind for quite some time now.
Islam says any form of sex which is done between two people who are not married is wrong. The seculars say that as long as it satisfies the following points it is ok:
1-The people involved are not hurting anyone,
2-Done with mutual consent,
3-All people involved are adults.
If this is the criterion for legitimacy of sex, why is incest considered wrong by secular people, even atheist? If it is done between a brother and sister and both are happy, adult and mutually consenting, how can anyone say it is wrong?
Incest is not natural. Virtually all species avoid procreation with their kin. Mammals often chase the male juveniles out of their tribe who generally find a mate from another tribe. This is true in felines, canines, elephants, primates and even birds. The affection that siblings and other close in kin have for each other is not sexualized. This is nature’s way to prevent the degeneration of genes.
Although it is not uncommon for children that grow in one neighborhood to develop romantic love for each other, it is rare that step brother and sisters, not related by blood, or adopted children that grow up as siblings, to develop romantic love for one another, even though there is no moral or legal impediment for them in doing so. Incest is an exception to the norm. It is therefore a mental and spiritual disorder.
The danger of incest is known to all people and animals. The above picture was a child born through an accidental incest. A twin brother and sister were put on adoption after birth. They grew up in separate families without having any knowledge of each other. When in their youth they met accidentally, they felt attraction for each other and got married. This child is the product of that very unfortunate union. Read more about it here.
Apart from the physical, there is a spiritual factor that is equally important. Love, is a generic word that covers a variety of sentiments. Parental love, fraternal love, spousal love, friendship, animal love, etc. are different forms of love, but they are very distinct from each other. They don’t mix or overlap. Friendship can morph into conjugal love. When this happens, friendship ends. The same is true in the case of other loves.
The doctrine of consenting adults is valid only in law. It means that if two or more individuals engage in consensual sex, the act is not punishable by law. As one prime minster of Canada used to say, the government has no business in people’s bedrooms. However, this doctrine does not apply to incest. Incest is illegal and criminally punishable in most countries and the reason is clear from the above pictures.
However, legal does not mean moral. This is an important distinction that Muslims have difficulty to understand. In many Islamic countries it is the job of the government to protect the morality of the public. The Muslim public is okay with it. They even have a ministry of morality and a morality police to tell people how to dress, how to worship and how to live their private life.
Civilized countries distinguish between legal and moral. Morality is private and is left to the individual. It is something between you and your god. Grownups don’t need someone to tell them how to live their life. As long as one’s conduct is not scandalous to others, people are left free to do as they please. You can’t take off your clothes in public places or you’ll be arrested and charged with misdemeanor. But if you wish to practice nudism in your home or in designated places, away from the public, the government does not get involved. So you may find beaches where nudism is practiced legally. However, this does not mean that nudism is moral.
A few years ago, police raided a swinger club in Vancouver Canada and arrested a few dozens of naked men and women. The swingers took the case to the court and the judge ruled in their favor. The reasoning given by the judge in support of his ruling was that having consensual sex is a moral matter, and the government should not police people’s morality.
This ruling, although decriminalized consensual extramarital sex, it did not remove the moral illegitimacy of this act. Promiscuity is still immoral. It is just not the business of the government to regulate morality.
Now that we understand the difference between moral and legal, the question that arises is what is moral. Each culture seems to have its own morality, which is sometimes deemed immoral by other cultures. A good example is polygyny. Muslims see nothing wrong if a man takes multiple wives. For many other cultures this practice is highly immoral, unethical and unfair. On the other hand there are cultures that practice polyandry. Another example is muta’ or the marriage of pleasure, which is erroneously translated as temporary marriage. Muhammad prescribed it to his followers, and Muslims practice it to this day. The Sunnis deem it right during the war and the Shiites practice it at all times. In other cultures this is nothing but prostitution where instead of pimps the mullahs profit. Marriage between first cousins is regarded as incest by most people, but Muslims think it a good practice, because their prophet did it. At the same time Islam considers the marriage between a man and a woman that were breast fed by one woman, illegal. Is there any rationality to this? Whose morality is right?
Morality is formed by social needs. Arabs are patriarchal. In patriarchal societies women have less value. They are no more than objects. Just as having more cars for a modern Arabs is the symbol of status, his ancestors regarded having multiple wives as a symbol of status. The Inuit people, (formerly known derogatorily as Eskimos,) lived in isolated small communities. They had realized that intermarriages produce defective children, and hence encouraged strangers to copulate with their wife so they may have strong children. Some poor communities in Tibet practiced fraternal polygyny. Several brothers shared one wife. This reduced the number of children and precluded the division of the land.
As you see, morality is formed by social needs. Religions did not bring morality. They codified the already established morality. In many olden societies, there was no distinction between religion and state. The power was in the hand of the priesthood or the monarch was vested with divine right. He had the control of his kingdom and the church, a position known as caesaropope. The division between religion and state has its origin in Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms, therefore, it is relatively new in the west, but still absent in Islamic consciousness.
Moral is therefore, what is perceived as beneficial for the society, and immoral is what is perceived as harmful. A society that believes women are the source of man’s temptation, finds it beneficial to devise dress codes to force women to cover their beauty. A society that thinks men are superior to women and women are the property of men will see nothing wrong in polygyny, child marriage or political marriage, where women are used as pawn to gain favor from other clans. A society that finds no value in the rights of the individual will not tolerate non-conformism and will uproot dissent. On the other hand, where individuality and equality of rights between men and women are the cornerstones of the society, forcing a dress code on women is rejected as immoral; child marriage is immoral; polygamy is immoral, and so on and so forth. The morality of the society shapes its legal codes.
Now back to your question. Does incest fall under the category of consenting adults? No, because the life of innocent beings is at stake. Drinking and driving is prohibited because it endangers the life of others. Incest should remain a crime for the same reason. What if the procreation is avoided? Does incest become acceptable? No, the law cannot make exceptions. It is like saying, is it okay to cross a red light if one does so with caution?
Apart from the fact that incest must remain illegal there is a spiritual factor that we have to take into account. Who are we? What is the definition of human? Are we mere biological machines? If the answer is yes, then I find it hard to argue why promiscuity, open marriage, nudism, and other sexual evidences should be considered immoral. Under the doctrine of consenting adults, nothing seems to be inherently wrong. To some extent this also applies to incest.
In 2001, Armin Meiwes, a German man found a voluntary victim on the Internet who responded to his ad that read, “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.” Meiwes videotaped everything that showed the couple first engaged in consensual homosexual activity. Then they jointly attempted to eat the victim’s severed penis. Then Meiwes read a book for three hours, while his victim lay bleeding in the bath. He then chopped the cadaver and proceeded eating its meat. The whole scene was recorded on the two-hour video tape.
The case attracted considerable media attention and led to a debate over whether Meiwes could be convicted at all, given that his victim had voluntarily and knowingly participated in the act.
Although this shocking incident takes the doctrine of “consenting adults” to its logical extreme, it highlights its deficiency. Consenting adults doctrine cannot be the bases of human morality.
We humans are not just biological machines. We are primarily spiritual beings. The source of most human sufferings is in our inability to find the balance between our physical and spiritual dimensions. We have a body that is created and it will eventually perish. We know fear because we know we are mortal. Fear is necessary for our self-preservation. We also have needs that have to be satisfied. These needs cause competition, aggression and violence. Their excess result in greed and evil. Evil exists because we have a mortal body.
We also have a spiritual body. This spiritual body is our consciousness. It is the “I” in us. It is not created. It therefore will not die. It is as eternal as God. Our spirit is not a creation of God. It is a piece of God, in the same way that water molecules, whether in the ocean or in the air and land, are pieces of the ocean. They come from the ocean and they return to it.
Unlike our body that knows fears because it is perishable, our soul has no fear, unless we don’t know we are eternal. It also has no needs and therefore no greed, no aggression, and no evil. As pieces of God we have godlike attributes. Since the essence of God is love, the more we love the more godlike we become.
As long as our soul is associated with our body, we are caught in between two worlds: the world of the body and the world of the spirit. Consequently, we have both animal attributes and divine attributes. One is not better than the other. Both are necessary. Our job is to find the balance. Pain and suffering are part of this world. They are necessary for our survival. If you don’t feel pain how do you know something is wrong with you? Without pain, you could burn one of your limbs to ashes without noticing it. Without fear, you could risk losing your life. Our sufferings are symptoms that something is wrong. They push us to fix the problem. All the progress we humans have made has been to alleviate our suffering and to satisfy our needs.
However, since we are also spirit, we must nourish our spiritual being too. Love is the food of the soul, while sex is for the body. The question is not which is better. Both are important. Let us say you want to go from one city to another. You need a vehicle. Your vehicle must be in good shape with enough oil and fuel. But as a driver, you too need to be fit for the trip, well rested, well fed, and your needs have to be taken care of. For a safe trip you can ignore neither your needs nor the needs of your car. We come to this world, using our body as a vehicle. It is important to take care of it, but not at the cost of ignoring our soul. We come here for a purpose. The purpose of life is to love. Love has many shapes and forms and all of them are needed. We need parents to love, siblings to love, friends to love, a life partner to love, children to love, pets to love, our home to love, our town, country, and humanity to love, love the Earth, the animals, the universe and above all love ourselves. I omitted God because God is in all these thing. When you love someone, you love God.
The only love that can be sexualized is conjugal love. Sex improves the conjugal love and makes it grow. It destroys all other forms of love. Parental love and fraternal love are the most elevated forms of love. When sexualized they are destroyed. Incest kills the most perfect, the most divine form of love. And since our consciousness is eternal, the damage endures forever. Incest harms our soul. It limits its progress. It separates us from our source. Joy is from God. Pleasure is from body. It is foolish to exchange something eternal for something transient. Yes we have to enjoy the pleasures of this world, but never at the cost of the eternal joy.
Morality therefore, does not just benefit the society, it also benefits our soul. It is a spiritual faculty. We are spiritual beings and we need to work on our morality to elevate our soul.
What is true in regards to incest, to a lesser degree is also true in regards to promiscuity. Conjugal love must be exclusive. It can exist only between one man and one woman, with the exclusion of everyone else. Polygamy, open marriage, group sex and all other variations of sexual behavior, damage the conjugal love. This is a special kind of love that unites the couple physically and spiritually. You can’t be in love with multiple partners. There is no love in polygamous families. This affects the children and it explains why Muslims are generally psychologically damaged. Therefore, even though polygamy among Muslims is legal, it is still immoral. The same is true in regards to marriage between first cousins and child marriage. Muslims lead very immoral lives, but because they can’t tell the difference between legal and moral, they think what their prophet has made legal is also moral and feel no shame for it. Their sense of shame is destroyed because their awareness is destroyed. An immoral act remains immoral even if it is practiced by many. Nudism is immoral, but since in a nudist camp everybody is naked, the nudist does not feel inhibited. His or her sense of decency is hampered because everyone else also does it. Likewise, Muslims who commit incest with their first cousins, or rape little children, feel no shame for their immoral act because it is legal and the norm.
The financial cost to countries that allow Muslim immigrants is imminence. Incestuous Muslims cost tax payers huge sums of money and increase the index of retards and imbeciles here they are immigrate. This article is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the ignored problem of incest among Muslims. For 1400 years Muslims have practiced and even encouraged incest, producing nations of imbeciles deformed people and now they are bringing their incestuous culture to the west. According to the BBC, 55% of Pakistani-Britons are married to a first cousin, and as a corollary to that produce « just under a third » of all children in the UK with genetic illnesses, despite being only 3% of the total births. The Muslim population is the only population on earth that is mentally and physically devolving.