Prostitution in Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic Religions

Prostitutionin Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic Religions

Prostitutionin Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic Religions

Prostitutionis the act of engaging in sexual practices for financial gain. Theaction began years ago as mentioned in the holy books. As such,different religions handle the matter differently. For instance, somereligions are entirely against it while others are not. Apart fromthat, the punishment criteria in all the religions differ. This paperwill discuss prostitution based on Christianity, Islam, and Judaismreligions. The interpretations on prostitution tend to vary with theincreasing number of denominations, especially in Christianity.However, this paper will attempt to provide a concise description ofthe beliefs or rather assertions related to prostitution.

Prostitutionin Christianity

Prostitutionis regarded as the “oldest profession.” It was the commonestmeans of making money among the women. The Christian faith condemnsprostitution. As illustrated in the Bible, the bodies exemplifyChrist’s temple. Therefore, they should not be united withprostitutes. In different scenarios within the Bible, Christians aremandated to keep their bodies clean. As the Bible statesprostitution is wicked. Christians believe prostitution is immoraland must not be allowed to progress. This is because it multipliesthe number of unfaithful men enticed by the act. As evidenced in theBible, God bars the association with prostitutes because they aredetrimental to both women and men. As stated in the book of Proverbs,“the lips of a wicked female drop honey, and her mouth is slickerthan oil. However, in the end, she is sharp as a sword and unpleasantlike a wormwood. Apart from that her feet and steps lead to hell.”Therefore, hell is the most logical destination for prostitutes. Inaddition to that, as stated in the Bible, the consequence of sin isdeath. The effects of sin are also quite wide. For instance, theydestroy marriages, lives, and families. Moreover, they destroy thesoul and the spirit of an individual leading to both spiritual andphysical death. Christians believe that God created our bodies pure,and therefore, they should remain the same since they are toolsutilized for his glorification. As such, Christians are encouraged touse their bodies as vessels of the Lord and not immoral activitiessuch as prostitution [ CITATION Law16 l 1033 ].

Christianbelief on prostitution remains the same across the manydenominations. Though the Bible condemns the practice, it allows forforgiveness. One of the major Christian teachings states that all thesins are equal before the Lord. In other words, a thief or a murderercommits a sin that carries the same magnitude of a prostitute.Therefore, the teachings are quite encouraging to remorsefulprostitutes. Once such case is exemplified by Rahab in the Bible whothrough obedience was rewarded and blessed. Similarly, a sexualsinner in the New Testament was forgiven by Jesus and cleansed. Suchinstances display the forgiving aspects of Christian teaching [ CITATION Pam161 l 1033 ].

Prostitutionin Judaism

Accordingto the Torah, the Jews are prohibited from offering their daughtersfor prostitution but does not forbid foreign prostitutes. In thatregard, prostitution within Judaism is proscribed if it affects theparticular religion. Nevertheless, they are at liberty to haveforeign prostitutes who are not Jews. Furthermore, the Jews arebarred from chasing after foreign women. In that case, as much as thelaw allows them to interact with foreign prostitutes, it orders themto stay away from foreign women. The Talmudic Rabbis prohibitedprofessional prostitution. Apart from that, any sexual interactionbetween unmarried women and men was a harlotry (Zenut). Censure ofharlotry continued all through the Jewish history, while there isadequate indication that it was acknowledged in every era. In somefeudal societies, special guidelines were instituted againstprostitutes. The guidelines also dealt with the people who sort theprostitute services [ CITATION Rab16 l 1033 ].

Accordingto the Jewish leaders, it is hard to relate holy places with theimmoral avenues. For instance, when quizzed on whether a formerbrothel can also be utilized as a synagogue, Steinberg remarked thatit was hard. Abraham Steinberg (1847 – 1928), a Galician Rabbi statedthat it was not logical to assent to such a move. Though the codes orthe Talmud does not restrict such a move, the average being will findit quite odd. Therefore, a brothel where people met to perform theirsexual desires could not be used as a place of worship. In thatregard, the Jewish leaders affirmed the move would be detrimental tothe general public. The Rabbi further stated that even though the lawpermits some things, they cannot be affected if they appear to beoffensive to the values. In other words, if they are not logical inthe moral sense, then they should not be adopted. Probably, peoplemay perceive Judaism with distaste. In another case, Jacob Mazeh, theRabbi of Moscow (1857 – 1924) stated in his autobiography that hedisallowed the placing of a costly curtain on the Ark in thesynagogue because it was donated by a prostitute. Therefore, theJewish codes did not restrict the actions of good will from immoralpersonalities like prostitutes, but due to the moral sense, thesemeasures were deemed illogical [ CITATION Rab16 l 1033 ].

Prostitutionin Islam

Prostitutionaccording to the Quran is forbidden. As entailed in the holy book,“do not induce your girls into prostitution when they wish to staypure, to acquire worldly things. However, whoever forces them, stillAllah is Merciful and Forgiving.” The Quran explicitly forbidsprostitution, and religious people abiding by it must follow thesentiments. It is haram. Apart from that, if a Muslim is caughtpracticing prostitution, he/she must be punished. The punishment wasstoning until death. During the 6th century, people caught in the actwere stoned to death. Nevertheless, sexual slavery as concubines wasnot regarded as prostitution. The religious leaders were allowed topurchase female slaves since the codes did not prohibit the same [ CITATION Ais11 l 1033 ].

Thoughprostitution is forbidden, as per the Shia Muslims, the ProphetMuhammad allowed for fixed-term marriages also referred to as themuta’a or sigheh depending on the region. Some people use thisaspect to legitimize sex workers in a culture that forbidsprostitution. However, the Sunni Muslims believe that either Muhammador Umar prohibited this practice. In general, all the Muslimsdisregard prostitution, terming it sinful.


Allthe above religions have a similar notion when it comes toprostitution i.e. it is prohibited. The Christians believe it is asin and can lead to death, and so does the Jews and Muslims.According to the Jews, brothels could not be converted to serve assynagogues, simply because it did not seem morally right. It is alsohard to find brothels that are converted into churches or mosques.The consequences of prostitution also seemed to be similar to someextent. For instance, offenders could be stoned. All the threereligions also agree that prostitutes could be forgiven.Nevertheless, accepting signs of good will is much harder for theJew. In general, though the three religions may have similar thoughtswhen it comes to prostitution, the consequences vary from one beliefto another.


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