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Sexual Intercourse on Certain Nights

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com

I am soon to get married, insha Allah, with a Turkish girl (I’m Lebanese) and we have found a page (in Turkish) about sayings that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is to have said to hazrat Ali (radiallahu anhu) on the subject marriage and on which night he should avoid intercourse. examples are that the man should wash the woman’s feet when entering their home and then take the water and sprinkle it in different corners or something… also, they say that having intercourse on certain nights gives you an Alim child or a child with six fingers an so on…

I wanted to ask you if these sayings are real.

ANSWER

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

Firstly, it should be remembered that sexual intercourse and cohabitation with one’s spouse is generally permissible at all times, unless there is some other reason of prohibition, such as the time of prayer (salat), or the woman being in a state of menstruation, etc.

However, it has been reported from certain companions (sahaba) and predecessors (salaf) the dislike to cohabit on specific times, and the preferment of other times.

For example, the great Hanafi faqih, Imam Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi (Allah have mercy on him) mentions in his work al-Bustan that the correct time for intercourse is the latter part of the night because the stomach is full during the earlier part of the night, and intercourse is detrimental on a full stomach. Intercourse would therefore be undesirable in the early hours of the night.

It should be remarked here that, this undesirability is merely from a medical point of view, and it is not a ruling of Shariah (hukm shar’i). In fact, it has been reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) cohabited at various times of the day and night (as mentioned in the works of hadith such as the Shama’il of Imam Tirmidhi).

It has also been reported from some scholars that cohabitation should take place when there is a state of relaxation and temperamental balance in both spouses. Any form of tension, pressure, depression, etc will dampen the pleasure.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have advised Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) not to cohabit on the fourteenth night of every month, as the Shayatin appear in large numbers on this night, (Tibb al-Nabawi, I am unaware of the authenticity of this narration).

Some have mentioned that it is disliked to cohabit during the three nights of each month; the first, the last and the middle (fourteenth). This has also been narrated from Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him). (See: Rif’at al-Muslimin)

It has also been reported from Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that he said in his advises (wasaya):

“The result of conception due to intercourse on:

Monday night: is a child that will be a scholar of Islam,

Tuesday night: a generous, big hearted child,

Thursday night: an upright and God-fearing child,

Friday night: a sincere child.” (Rif’at al-Muslimin)

In conclusion, the above are some of the guidelines reported from Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) and others with regards to which night one should (or shouldn’t) engage in sexual intercourse. (It should be noted, however, that virtually all the poetry transmitted from Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) is not authentically established with proper chains of narration.)

Given such transmitted preferences, one should not object or consider baseless what some books mention in terms of times to have marital relations and times to avoid them. However, these preferences are based on experience, wisdom, or personal judgments. They do not constitute a legal ruling regarding the likeness or dislikeness of these times and circumstances.

It is obvious that this is not something which is a fundamental part of the teachings of Islam; rather some of these things have been mentioned based on experience. Therefore, it is necessary that they should not be given the importance to the level of other major aspects of Shariah.

As far as the man washing the wife’s feet and then sprinkling the water is concerned, I personally have not come across anything like that in a reliable book.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

This answer was collected from Daruliftaa.com, which is headed by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. He’s based in the United Kingdom.

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