Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I have been married for a decade, my husband is physically unable to sexually satisfy me, and he does not want to seek medical advice. He also doesn’t practice. What should I do?
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this sensitive and important issue.
Dear sister, your husband’s inability to sexually satisfy you is treatable, but only if he is willing to seek help. This sexual difficulty can actually point to other health issues.
Please refer to this fact sheet to give you more information about what could be happening to your husband:
Is there an alternative health practitioner he is willing to see, like a naturopath or an acupuncturist?
This is a serious issue, as being unable to sexually satisfy one’s wife is legitimate grounds for divorce. I pray that Allah softens your husband’s heart, and helps him satisfy you through seeking medical help.
If you are sexually frustrated to the point of fearing falling into zina, then it is permissible for you to masturbate. However, that is a last resort. It is praiseworthy for you to use other methods of controlling desire, such as fasting, reducing/eliminating meat intake, avoiding media that can inflame the senses etc. Allah knows how difficult this is for you.
Prayer of Guidance
I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times to help you decide how to move forward. Marriage is a a contract which permits lawful intercourse between a husband and a wife. If this is not happening for you, then you need to have an open and honest discussion with your husband about how you are not satisfied with your marriage. Part of loving one’s spouse is wanting to please them in ways which are important to them. Wanting to be sexually satisfied is a reasonable, healthy and important expectation within marriage. Please see a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor so you can get some professional help in resolving this issue.
Do you and your husband want to have children? Addressing his health issue is a critical step in wanting to have kids someday.
May Allah reward you for making dua for your husband and encouraging him to good. I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Need regularly, in the last third of the night, and beg Allah for help. Never underestimate the power of dua.
Set a good example by being someone who actively worships Allah in all that you do. Treat him with compassion, patience, and make dua for improvement in his character as well as yours. Be of service in other ways too, and encourage him to do the same e.g. soup kitchens, visiting the sick etc.
I encourage you and your husband to complete this free course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life.
“What is with you passes away and what is with Allah is enduring; and We will most certainly give to those who are patient their reward for the best of what they did.” [Qur’an, 16:96]
Allah alone knows the tremendous reward you are earning for being patient with your husband. At the same time, please be honest with yourself. Is this a life you are truly content living? If you want change, such as the ability to experience marital intimacy or the joy of a spouse you can worship Allah with, then you must do your best to get him on board. If he resists and does not want to be part of the solution, then please ask yourself if you’ll be happy going on like this indefinitely. I pray that Allah grants you clarity on this issue, and guides you to what is most pleasing to Him.
Problems in the bedroom department play a huge part in the failure of many marriages.
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Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.