Answer by Hannah Morris:
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,
It is pleasing to read how much you love your husband and are willing to stand by his side because of the love between you despite intimacy problems. You understandably feel frustrated with the situation because even though this love exists between you, he is unable to satisfy you sexually. It is understandable why you feel even more frustrated by the fact that all the scholars seem to be saying that the solution you have found to the problem is haram and that without this solution you find your focus on Islam is not 100%. However, you still continue to be committed to your husband in such a loving way and are able to talk about the issue openly, ma sha’ Allah; this is the sign of a very strong relationship. May Allah (swt) make you both the coolness of each other’s’ eyes.
It is frustrating when the scholars tell you something that you don’t want to hear, but they are knowledgeable people and must draw their conclusions from somewhere, even if they, unfortunately, do not share from where. But this is something we should respect, especially if it seems they all say the same.
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It seems, in your case, they have only been advising on whether it is halal or haram to use a toy, but they have not come up with a solution of how to overcome the fact that your husband cannot satisfy you sexually. The important thing here is not necessarily whether its haram or not. If the scholars all conclusively say it is haram, then, to be on the safe side, even if you disagree, it would be best to take their word and find out they were wrong than potentially face the punishment if they are, indeed, correct. The way to move forward, therefore, is not to allow this frustration at their responses get to you, but instead you could play it safe; go with what they have said to avoid the potential of displeasing Allah (swt), if in fact they are correct, and work on ways to improve you sexual satisfaction with your husband. There are several ways you can approach this that are not cited as haram by the scholars.
In addition, take some time to think of how your husband feels, too. He wants to please you, but can’t, so he must also feel frustrated, too. This probably makes him feel down about himself as well. He must feel that he is inadequate which could result in reduced self-esteem, making things sexually very difficult for him as well. Therefore, it’s important that you try and keep your frustration under control to avoid this. This is understandably difficult, but there are a number of ways you can try and work on.
You could begin by working on matters of intimacy that are not even related to penetration at all. It is clear that the love strongly exists between you, so this should be relatively easy to achieve. Although with 4 children things will need to be timed in an appropriate way. After having children, naturally things will change, both physically as well as mentally in terms of the added responsibilities of taking care of 4 children, so you might begin by increasing the elements of intimacy other than penetration first.
Do things like spending quality time alone together, either when the kids are in bed or at school, or when friends and family can take care of them for a night. Have a romantic dinner together in a nice, relaxing atmosphere, dress up nicely, wear perfume, light scented candles; and give each other massages. Engage in activities that will increase the level of closeness and intimacy between yourselves. Creating this kind of romantic atmosphere can help to naturally increase your levels of arousal, making it easier to climax as you engage in intercourse.
You might also experiment with different positions to stimulate different areas. Experts often cite that certain positions will stimulate areas that even men who are less endowed are able to reach. Many women are actually able to reach climax without penetration and, therefore, size doesn’t matter. As you said, most scholars say that it is ok to use a toy to stimulate the outside, so you might also try using a toy to stimulate outside whilst your husband penetrates. There are even toys that exist with this very purpose. This way, he will still be the one to penetrate you, but you will get the added pleasure of external stimulation.
Answer by Sh. Ahmed Kutty:
Marriage is a divinely ordained institution with the purpose of uniting two souls to attain sexual fulfillment and tranquility. It is intended to help them to maintain modesty and chastity and guard them against falling into temptations and sins. Therefore, each of the spouses is encouraged to strive hard to help each other find sexual fulfillment in marriage.
Islam looks at sexuality not as a taboo, but rather as something to be celebrated within the bounds of lawful marriage. Hence, there is no inhibition in regards to healthy sexual expressions or asking questions about them. In fact, the women at the time of the Prophet (saw) were never shy about asking questions about sexual intimacy – which is considered to be taboo in some communities today.
Spouses are encouraged to be creative and use imagination to bring pleasure. At the same time, they must avoid all acts of perversion. Perverse acts in marriage include anal intercourse, sadistic expressions, watching porn as well as vaginal intercourse during the menstrual period or while undergoing the postnatal period of bleeding. Sexual intercourse is strictly forbidden during the day hours of fasting, or in a state of ihram, or consecration for hajj or umrah.
Now, coming to the issue of using sex toys to find sexual fulfillment, it is a contentious issue. The majority considers it as clearly forbidden; they argue it amounts to sexual perversion; demeans spouses and interferes with the natural way of sexual fulfillment appointed by God. There is, however, a minority who consider it as permissible within reasonable limits; according to them while it is forbidden, in general, there is nothing wrong if it is used as an aid to enhanced sexual fulfillment or as lesser of the two evils to guard oneself against falling into adultery. So, if you are left with a choice of not getting any satisfaction – without the use of such aids – because of the particular challenges your husband is facing or divorcing him, then it could be permitted under the rule of necessity.
Some eminent scholars of the past have allowed the use of aids to sexual fulfillment. For instance, distinguished Hanbali jurist al-Mardawi – in his famous work Al-Insaf – after summarizing the Hanbali position on the issue states: “I would like to add two points in this context: Masturbation or induced ejaculation is not allowed except in the case of dire necessity… secondly, the woman is like a man in this matter; so, she is to use a device like a penis when she fears falling into zina. Then he adds: This is the authentic ruling (of the school), and the author has reckoned it in al-Furu’ as the preferred ruling on this issue.”
Based on these, you may use the vibrator as long as you use it only as an aid to enhance your sexual intimacy with your husband and not as a substitute for him – as long as he is comfortable with it. In other words, it can only be practised through mutual consent.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.