Sexual Intercourse with Wife whilst she is Pregnant

I have a question regarding what I read in a book. In the section, The reason a man may marry more than one wife, it is mentioned in p.219 “The reason sexual intercourse must not be had with a pregnant wife is besides the likelihood of miscarriage, the sensual behaviour of the parents will be reflected on the child in the womb and when he is born he might grow up to be immoral. The child in the womb surely gets the influence of its parent’s sexual excitement and that become part of his nature.

Is this undesirability of cohabiting with one’s wife whilst pregnant merely from a (proven) medical point of view, or is it a ruling from the Shari’ah?

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Engaging in sexual intercourse and cohabiting with ones wife while she is pregnant is perfectly permissible from an Islamic perspective.

Sayyiduna Sa’d ibn Waqqas (Allah be pleased with him) reports that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and said: “I practice coitus interruptus (withdrawal method) with my wife”. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) inquired: “why do you do that” He replied: “A man is more apprehensive regarding his child”. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give peace) said: “If this was harmful, then it would have been harmful to the Persians and Romans.” (Sahih Muslim)

The great Hanafi scholar, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) states in the explanation of this Hadith in his famous treatise al-Mirqat:

“The statement “A man is more apprehensive regarding his child” is referring to the child in the stomach of the wife. Meaning, so that she does not conceive again, thus have twins, which will be a cause of both becoming weak. Or it refers to the child she is breast feeding, meaning sexual intercourse is harmful to the suckling child. The statement of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) “If this was harmful” means, if sexual intercourse was harmful during the period of breastfeeding or when the woman is pregnant…”
(Mirqat al-Mafa’tih, 6/238)

From the above, one may conclude that Islamically there is nothing wrong in having sexual relations during pregnancy. The presence of the pregnancy does not prevent the permissibility of sexual intercourse.

However, many scholars have stated that if a particular woman is advised by a physician that it is harmful for the child or herself that she engages in sexual intercourse, she should avoid it.

Also, the husband should ensure that he is gentle and tender with his wife during the act of intercourse. He should avoid positions that may cause discomfort to the pregnant wife, especially in the last few months of the pregnancy, when the wife can become tired and exhausted very easily. (Ahmad Kan’an, Usul al-Mua’sharah al-Zawjiyyah, p.79)

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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