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Is marital intimacy not to be enjoyed?

Question:

Should i be appreciating and thankful to my husband every time he helps me knowing full well that it is his duty?

It is my belief that intercourse is only there for reproduction, And its not there to be enjoyed.Nor should it happen too often bcos its a mans lust which is forbidden in islam.Having grown kids,Does a 55yr old man really have the right to remarry just because his physical side is not satisfied from present wife?

 ( Question published as received )
Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Men and women were created different by Allah in His Infinite Knowledge, Wisdom and Mercy.  That said, we should realize that these differences help us live in this world. When we try to go against the laws that Allah has commanded us there is chaos and disorder.

 

Being appreciative and thankful for each other’s assistance only increases love between the couple. If one constantly asks “Do I need to do this for him?” or “Is this required of me?” then it is a slippery slope towards quarrels and marital discord.

 

Look at the the love that a mother naturally feels towards her children. It is not governed by rules. It is a natural state that leads her to sacrifice her own comforts for her children. If women were not given compassion and love towards children, the patience to raise them, the ability to endure the hardship of pregnancy and labor, mankind would have become extinct long ago. The mother doesn’t ask all the time “Do I have to do this for my son or daughter?” She does whatever she can for them.

 

Likewise, conjugal rights are not governed by a set of rules. It is very important for the couple to fulfill each other’s conjugal rights in order to protect the chastity of their spouse. Allah has provided such a beautiful and halal avenue through marriage for fulfilling these rights that every act of intimacy between a married couple is a rewarding act.

 

If the wife is not fulfilling her husband’s rights then she is being negligent because it is the husband’s right to fulfill his needs. Where else will he fulfill his desires? Look at the increasing amount of people involved in adultery and extra-marital affairs. You will always find the majority of them to be men.

 

A man finds tranquility (sakinah) in his wife, meaning that all his marital needs (love, intimacy, confidant, etc) can be found in her. This tranquility is an important part of preserving and maintaining his chastity. Ponder upon the following:

 

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (30:21)

 

The fitnah that is present today, on the streets, on the computer, on mobile phones – everything so increasingly accessible makes it even more important that the wife dress alluringly for her husband if he desires that and also help him satisfy his needs.

 

In a hadith, Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

 

“When a woman fascinates any one of you and she captivates his heart, he should go to his wife and have intimacy with her, for it would repel what he feels.”

 

Based on the above hadith, the scholars have stated that it is mustahabb (preferred/better) for a person whose eyes inadvertently fall on a woman (thus stirring in him desire) that he go and engage in marital relations with his wife in order to remove that desire and find tranquility. [i]

 

Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (may Allah be pleased with him) has mentioned in Bahisti Zewar the story of the wife of Rabah Qaysi. She would spend the entire night in worship and even encourage her husband to pray tahajjud. After praying salah for a decent portion of the night she would adorn herself in beautiful clothes and ask her husband if he had any desire. If he replied in the negative she would change her clothes and continue to pray salah until the morning.

 

We understand from the Quran, the hadith, and from the stories of the pious as mentioned above that marital intimacy is an extremely important aspect of marriage, preserves chastity, increases love, and moreover if a husband needs to satisfy his desires then the wife should make herself available for it.

 

Yes, a man does have the right to remarry but he needs to take into account all the responsibilities that will naturally come upon him with a second wife. It would be more plausible and practical for the wife to fulfill his needs so he is satisfied.

 

Mufti Sohail ibn Arif,
Assistant Mufti, Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

[i] إن المرأة تقبل في صورة شيطان وتدبر في صورة شيطان فإذا أبصر أحدكم امرأة فليأت أهله فإن ذلك يرد ما في

 نفسه  وفي الرواية الأخرى : إذا أحدكم أعجبته المرأة فوقعت في قلبه فليعمد إلى امرأته فليواقعها فإن ذلك يرد ما في نفسه

ومعنى الحديث : أنه يستحب لمن رأى امرأة فتحركت شهوته أن يأتي امرأته أو جاريته إن كانت له ، فليواقعها ليدفع شهوته ، وتسكن نفسه ، ويجمع قلبه على ما هو بصدده .

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