Answered by: Mufti Javed Ibn Nazir Kachhalia
As-salamu ´alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu honorable Mufti; I’m asking a fatwa for my friend. She has told me sometimes she goes home very tired from work and she doesn’t want to have intercourse with her husband.
But she is worried and fears to sin.
*1st question*: She would like to know if tiredness is considered a valid reason to refuse to have intercourse with the husband. Another thing: during menstruation, spouses can’t have sexual intercourse and the husband can’t touch the area between the navel and the knee of his wife. But the wife can satisfy her husband in other legitimate ways.
*2nd question*: The sister would like to know if having the menstrual cycle is a valid excuse for refusing to masturbate her husband.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
In the above-mentioned scenarios that you have mentioned:
- Yes tiredness is a valid reason
- No menstruation is not a valid reason
Below you will find both answers and clarity to the questions.
Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “When a man calls his wife for sexual intimacy and she refuses him, thus he spends the night in anger, the angels curse her until morning.” (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim, See: Riyad al-Salihin, no. 281)
Sayyiduna Talq ibn Ali (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “When a man calls his wife for sexual intimacy, she should come, even if she is (busy) in the cooking area.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi & Sunan al-Nasa’i)
The above and other narrations of the beloved of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) clearly signify the importance of the wife obeying her husband in his request for sexual intimacy. It will be a grave sin (in normal circumstances) for the wife to refuse her husband, and even more if this leads the husband into the unlawful.
Imam Al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his commentary on the Hadith of Abu Huraira stated above:
“This Hadith indicates that it is unlawful (haram) for the wife to refuse her husband for sexual intimacy without a valid reason. Menstruation will not be considered a valid reason, for the husband has a right to enjoy her from above the garment (on top of cloths).” (Sharh Sahih Muslim, P. 1084)
However, the above does not in any way mean that the husband may force himself over her for sexual gratification. The Hadith mentions “the husband spends the night in anger or being displeased” which clearly shows that he must restrain himself from forcing himself over her. Had this not been the case, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would have advised the husband to gain his right in a forceful manner.
Similarly, it should be remembered here that, the wife must obey her husband in his request for sexual intimacy unless she has a valid reason. She must obey him as long as she does not have to forego her own rights. As such, if the wife is ill, fears physical harm or is emotionally drained, etc; she will not be obliged to comply with her husband’s request for sexual intimacy. Rather, the husband would be required to show her consideration.
“On no soul, does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 286)
Many times it has come to our knowledge that the husband demands from his wife to fulfill his sexual needs no matter what state she is in and uses the above-quoted Hadiths to impose himself over her. If the wife is not in a state to engage in sexual activities and has a genuine and valid reason, and the husband forces her, then he will be sinful. Husbands should realize that their wives are also humans and not some type of machines that can be switched on whenever they desire!
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Javed Ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham