Hunger for food and sex

Q261 :God has implanted in human beings two types of hunger: the first and stronger is that which is satisfied with food, and the other is the hunger for sex. It is most difficult to avoid these physical needs and natural tendencies. In any circumstances, living creatures will find a way to fulfill both needs. Please comment.

A261 : May I ask: Who is responsible for what? It is true that God has given us both these natural desires, but each of them has a definite purpose. The first gives us the nourishment to sustain us. Thus it makes our survival possible. The other, namely sex, helps us procreate and ensures our continued existence. This means that the desire for food satisfies the instinct of self-preservation, while sex answers the need for preservation of the human kind. God has allowed us to seek fulfillment of both desires, but he has placed certain restrictions which ensure that we go about their fulfillment in a legitimate way. Thus, we work in order to earn money to buy food and preserve ourselves. We get married, which gives us companionship and a family to contribute to the preservation of the human species. Each of these methods is legitimate for the fulfillment of our desires. But if we go about their fulfillment in a forbidden way, such as stealing, bribery or looting other people's property, then we certainly are responsible for these crimes. Similarly, we are accountable for any act which seeks to give us an illegitimate way of satisfying our sexual desire. If He has facilitated marriage and made it the proper frame for a legitimate fulfillment of our sexual desires, then why do human beings go beyond that limit and commit fornication and adultery? It is not God who has told us to go about its fulfillment in such an illegitimate way. It is man's choice. Therefore, man is accountable. To sum up, there is a legitimate way to satisfy every human desire. If we seek such fulfillment in a legitimate way, we are rewarded. As the Prophet has mentioned, even when a person satisfies his sexual urge with his wife, he will be rewarded for seeking this fulfillment legitimately. Similarly, if he goes about its fulfillment in a forbidden method, he is to be punished, if God determines so, because of his choice.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )