Islam rejects asceticism; sexual fulfillment within marriage for both partners is the ideal state. Sexual relations are permitted only within a legal and normative marriage or, among the Shii, in a temporary marriage contracted between an unmarried woman and a married or unmarried man. Sexual intercourse is prohibited during menstruation, for forty days after childbirth, during the daylight hours of Ramadan, and on pilgrimage. Women must be chaste for a period of three months after divorce (iddah) to determine paternity in the event of pregnancy. Various legal arguments allow or oppose specific forms of sexual activity and mandate that wives submit sexually upon their husbands' request. Homosexuality is acknowledged in the Muslim world; it is variously considered unlawful, abnormal, and punishable under religious law, or tolerated in areas where homosexuals are viewed as a third sex. The pre-Islamic practice of female circumcision (and/or infibulation) is practiced in Egypt, Sudan, parts of the Gulf, Libya, Chad, and other Muslim areas of Africa in order to control female sexuality.
See also Birth Control/Contraception