Foreplay is Highly Recommended
Islam emphasizes on foreplay. Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) says, “When you intend to have sex with your wife, do not rush because the woman (also) has needs (which should be fulfilled).” 1
Sex without foreplay has been equated to cruelty. The Prophet (S) said, “Three people are cruel: …a person who has sex with his wife before foreplay.” 2
Another hadith equates sex without foreplay to animal behavior: “When anyone of you has sex with his wife, then he should not go to her like birds; instead he should be slow and delaying.” 3
As for the role of a woman in sexual foreplay, the Imams (A.S.) have praised a wife who discards shyness when she is with her husband. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (A.S.) says, “The best woman among you is the one who discards the armor of shyness when she undresses for her husband, and puts on the armor of shyness when she dresses up again.” 4 After all, modesty and chastity in public is the hallmark of a Muslim lady.
These sayings clearly show that the husband and the wife should feel completely free when they are engaged in mutual stimulation which is known as foreplay. There is nothing wrong, according to Islam, for a woman to be active and responsive during sex. As for the Islamic Shariah, all the mujtahids are unanimous in saying that the act of sexual foreplay in itself is mustahab (recommended). Likewise, it is recommended not to rush into sexual intercourse.5 The operative word is mutual pleasure and satisfaction.