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Spouse no longers want sexual relations

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: If one has become old and does not value sexual relations with one’s spouse anymore, is that a valid excuse?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

People vary in their sexual needs. But at the end of the day, as long as there is a need, and as long as one is physically able to satisfy that need, one should and must. At the same time, the other spouse should help their spouse fulfill their need by giving them the emotional atmosphere they require, including giving space and time when asked for.

If one’s migraines stop one from fulfilling one’s spouse’s needs, then one, of course, is excused.

Busying oneself with worship, however, is not an excuse. Fulfilling a personal obligation is far greater in Allah’s eyes than optional worship, especially if it is an obligation to others slaves of Allah.

If one really feels like one cannot muster the emotional energy to entertain one’s spouse’s physical needs, one should try and solve the problem through discussion and mutual understanding. Counseling is also a good idea. Failing that, one might consider either a divorce or facilitating one’s husband to take a second wife.

Allah does not ask us to do things we cannot do. At the same time, one cannot remain in relation on one’s own terms to the detriment of another. ‘Let there be no harming or harming back. Whoever makes things unbearable for another, Allah will make things unbearable for him.’ (Hakim)

Please also see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/wifes-right-to-intimacy/
https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/8306

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the Arabic language sciences and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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