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Marital Rape OK within Islamic Marriage?!

Questioner

Bethany

Reply Date

Aug 09, 2017

Question

Dear Respected Scholar, I have a few questions about a very sensitive topic. I have been exploring the role of women in Islam as a non-Muslim. One of the most important roles of a woman is to be a wife and to behave properly and to fulfill certain duties. One of the duties that I have been constantly observing is that of fulfilling the husband’s sexual needs. I have found several references within essays, books, and the Quran that pertain to this principle. For example, in Surah 2, verse 223:*{Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will...}*I interpret this as the wife being the husband’s “property” and he may utilize it whenever he pleases. I find this a bit disturbing, because if a woman is not feeling well or is “not in the mood,” does she still have to submit to her husband? Or, is the husband expected to respect his wife’s position and dismiss his desire? Unfortunately, this reminds me too much of marital rape, which I have studied in a sociology class. Even though it may be a very controversial issue for any religion, I wonder, is marital rape not considered an offense in Islam? I would very much appreciate your scholarly perspective and knowledge on this subject.

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