The following is a response to the article on Revisitingthesalaf.org entitled: Sex with Animals, which was published on the 5th of March, 2012, and can be found here.
RTS, in this one quotes the following religious ruling from a Sunni book of law:
Mohammad Al-Misri al-Hanafi:
It is recorded in Mi’raj al-Diraya: “And even if the male organ of a donkey, or a cut-off-male organ, would go inside the female, her Hajj would be void because of the intercourse. And if the organ is to be wrapped with a cloth and enter it, if he would find the heat and lust of the female organ, it would be void, and if it were not so then it would not expire.”
Source: Bahr al-Rahiq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa’iq, Vol. 3, Pg. # 26.
RTS comments that this quote shows the permissibility of bestiality (having sex with animals). Yet, there is nothing in the text that indicates the permissibility of this action. The quote describes the validness of the pilgrimage of someone that performs such an action, and the scholar here is suggesting that the pilgrimage would only be invalid if there was direct contact between the sexual organs of the female and the male organ. The cloth prohibits direct contact, heat, and enjoyment, and thus, this is not considered to be proper sex.
The scholar is not saying that such an act is permissible, but rather, that it doesn’t break one’s pilgrimage, since it is not considered proper intercourse.
Similarly, some major Shia scholars like Al-Hilli share a similar opinion. In Nihayat Al-Ahkaam (p. 96), we find the following:
ولو لف على ذكره خرقة وأولج ، احتمل حصول الجنابة لحصول التحاذي . وعدمه ، لأن استكمال اللذة إنما يحصل مع ارتفاع الحجاب ، واعتبار الخرقة ، إن كانت لينة لا تمنع وصول بلل الفرج إلى الذكر ووصول الحرارة مع أحدهما إلى الآخر حصلت ، وإلا فلا .
“If he wrapped a cloth around his penis and entered (a woman), there is a possibility of entering a state of impurity due to contact, or not, since enjoyment occurs with the removal of the barrier. Depending on the cloth, if it doesn’t prevent the wetness of the sexual organ from reaching the penis, or them feeling the heat of one another, then it causes one becomes in a state of impurity, and if not, then it doesn’t.”
In other words, Al-Hilli is suggesting that if a male were to perform such an action, and feel no heat, wetness, or enjoyment, then he wouldn’t even have to cleanse himself. Does this mean that Al-Hilli is advocating this method of intercourse?
No, it doesn’t. It simply means that he doesn’t see it as a proper intercourse. It does not mean that such an action is permissible, but only that it doesn’t require cleansing.
This is correct. Books of fiqh standardly deal with all kinds of strange and unlikely situations in which people perform bizarre actions; the aim is not to show that those actions are acceptable, but to show what the rulings are given that those actions have been performed.