The NbA Muslims Authors Speaks interview series returned with an exciting conversation between Islamic erotologist and historian Habeeb Akande and managing editor Layla Abdullah-Poulos. They discussed an array of thought-provoking issues about sex, sensuality and faith as well as problems and dysfunctions stemming from modern Muslims’ cultural aversion to thinking of sex as an Islamic endeavor.
Enjoy these recap clips of their stimulating conversation.
Reviving Islamic Erotology
Layla and Habeeb talk about the disappearance of Islamic erotology as a science.
After expressing her surprise that there is, in fact, a rich heritage of Islamic sensual scholarship, Layla asked Habeeb why the scholarship is no longer present in modern Muslim cultures. Akande provides a few contributing factors.
No Sex for 600 Years?!
Layla asks Habeeb about the pushback he has received because he chose to revive Islamic erotology after 600 years of dormancy and address topics like foreplay, oral sex and multiple orgasms.
Women’s Libido Fear Factor
Habeeb honestly addresses the fears and anxieties that many men have regarding women’s libido. Habeeb talks about the simultaneous correlation between manhood and sexually gratifying women along with prevailing ignorance about satisfying women that feeds the fears that lead to suppressing Muslim women’s sexual autonomy.
Islam and Male-Centered Sensuality
Layla asks Habeeb if the prevailing paradigm of Muslim works and talks about sex that almost exclusively centers male desire is Islamic. Habeeb offers a more Islamically-aligned perspective on sensual pleasure.
Hating on Black Muslim Women for Centuries
Because many scholarly assertions in his book A Taste of Honey degrade Black women’s bodies, Layla and Habeeb explore the history of misogynoir in Muslims cultures and the continual maligning of Black Muslim women even by respected Muslim scholars.
They talk about the affects of exposure to anti-Black texts on Black Muslim women readers as well as resistance to racist narratives by other Muslim scholars.
It’s not an Author’s Speak without a Layla rant. She expresses her frustration that despite the evolving role of sex in Muslims’ adult lives, there remains a lack of critical and intense text on Islamic erotology, Muslims and sex in comparison to the plethora of books and talks about topics like using miswak.
Habeeb provides some reasons why Muslims avoid writing books on Islamic erotology.
Layla asks Habeeb how his soon-to-be-released book Kunyaza: The Secret to Female Pleasure is not just another work by a man with notions that he knows how to provide directions on satisfying women. Habeeb explains that his new book describes a 150-year-old African sensual tradition that centers and is taught by women of multiple faiths and reinforces prophetic promotion of physical and emotional sensual gratification.
Habeeb further expounds that Kunyaza demonstrates a heritage of sensual dialogue in Africa that resists the idea that new and enlightening discussions about sex come exclusively from Europe and White people.
Habeeb describes various sexual relationships resulting from Muslim men who seek sexual gratification via typical and “technically halal” forms of womanizing.
Layla pushes back on the idea that sexual relationships that result in emotional abuse are “halal” and that it is an exploitation of the word.
Watch the full NbA Muslims Authors Speak interview of Habeeb Akande.
More on Habeeb Akande
Books on Erotology and Seduction:
- A Taste of Honey: Sexuality and Erotology in Islam
- Illuminating the Performance: African and Arab Erotology
- Illuminating the Difference: Black, White, and Brown Women
- Kunyaza – The Secret to Female Pleasure (Soon to Be Released)
Books on Black Muslims
- Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam
- Illuminating the Blackness: Blacks and African Muslims in Brazil
Follow NbA Muslims
Look out for the next NbA Muslims Authors Speak! Layla interviews author Sahar Abdulaziz on her new book Tight Rope and racism inside and outside of American Muslim culture.