Maybe with his wife.
This recalls the incandescent line from Annie Hall: “Sex with you is really a Kafka-esque experience.”
It also recalls a diary entry written by the Shi”ite seminarian Aqa Najafi Quchani early in the twentieth century, right after he had concluded a temporary marriage:
“¦Fortunately, the woman was at home and I married her for a while. When I had quietened my desire and enjoyed the pleasure of the flesh from my lawful income, I gave the woman the qeran [an old Iranian monetary unit]…It is reported that the Imams have said that whoever makes love legitimately has in effect killed an infidel.
Anyway, the really noteworthy aspect of this, aside from the comedy gold of his comparison of sex with jihad, is Hossein Dehnavi’s assumption that jihad is fighting for Allah’s sake, and that it is a religious obligation. Islamic apologists in the West often obscure the martial aspect of jihad, but Hossein Dehnavi considers himself to be under no such obligation.
“The rules of love, as told by an Iranian cleric,” by Afshin Valinejad for the Christian Science Monitor, June 29 (thanks to Kenneth):
“Love” may be one of the most heavily used words in Persian literature. Famous poets Rumi, Hafez, and Sa”adi obsessed about “eshq” centuries ago, though their words most often referred to divine and spiritual emotions.
Discussion of physical love was another matter. As in many cultures, it was long a taboo subject, and the advent of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution did little to change that. The trend for decades has, in fact, been evident in annual police crackdowns that target women showing too much hair, or boy-girl handholding in the streets.
So it might be a surprise that one of the hottest-selling DVDs in Tehran — at least at souvenir stores that cater for Shiite religious pilgrims to the Shah Abdol-Azim shrine, south of the capital — is one that seems to encourage something of a sexual revolution, Shiite-style.
Advertising posters proclaim, “The Art of Making Love,” and show cleric Hossein Dehnavi looking like any other young seminary-trained holy man in Iran, bespectacled and bearded, wearing a turban and religious robes.
Yet Mr. Dehnavi’s comparisons of lovemaking to jihad have ensured that, since its release in late May, religious bookshops here run out of their new stock of DVDs every afternoon.
The video is of a theological speech that Dehnavi gave during a seminar, to a gathering of newlyweds and others, in the shrine city of Mashhad in northeast Iran. It is called: “Improving the Skill of Making Love: The Peace and Pleasure in Matrimonial Life.”
In a nation where sexual dissatisfaction ranks as one reason for a high rate of divorce, even guidance from a cleric appears welcome to some.
“According to our religion, eshqbazi [lovemaking] is a form of worship,” says Dehnavi in the video.
“We have quotes from the 12 [Shiite] Imams saying that having sex with your wife is just like jihad, fighting for the sake of Allah,” says Dehnavi. “Unfortunately, some people believe sexual relationships are ugly. No, it is not an ugly behavior in Islam, it is a divine behavior and it is even a religious obligation to properly make love.”…