Why the Double Standards in Nafl Fasting? | About Islam
Home > Ask About Islam > Why the Double Standards in Nafl Fasting?

Why the Double Standards in Nafl Fasting?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 18, 2019

Question

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahiwabakatuhuI am a practicing muslimah and I came across a hadith which prohibits a wife to observe voluntary fast without the husband's permission. I can understand the reason behind it as the husband might want to spend time with the wife but why is not vice versa as even wife has sexual right over the husband just like a husband has over the wife( I believe both of them have equal right for having sex with each other as they have no other way to satisfy their needs). I read a similar question asked by a fellow muslimah who was answered that a husband's need to have sex is more than a wife as he is superior among two . I felt this answer was quite biased as even women have sexual needs just like men but since they are modest they try to hide it but it doesn't mean that they have less sexual desires (this is what I feel). As far as know there is no verse in the holy Qur'an which says men are more sexual than women. I want to know whether there should be mutual understanding about nafl fast among the couple or is just the wife who needs the permission and also what if a husband fasts without informing his wife and needs him that time. Wouldn't that be injustice to her. Please help me by answering this question as I am really feeling as if it's only about man and his needs in marriage and nothing about the wife.Jazakallah

Consultant

Answer


Nafl Fasting

Short Answer: Any Muslim, male or female, are allowed to break their nafl fast for a valid reason. This will not be counted as a sin when done with a correct intention. Therefore, a husband may break his nafl fast if his wife is experiencing very high sexual desire. If he does so to sexually satisfy her, and this increases the love between them, then he will be earning reward.

………….

Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.

May Allah reward you, sister, for your keenness to understand your rights in Islam.

Marriage is a different experience for each couple. Satisfaction of sexual desires is one of the main purposes of marriage (although not the only one). You are 100% right that, in an Islamic marriage, both spouses are obligated to satisfy the sexual desires of their partner. However, one question arises. Do both spouses have absolutely equal rights upon each other, in this matter? The answer to that is more nuanced.

The rights of both spouses

According to Qur’an and hadith, some rights of a husband are superior to those of his wife. For example, the right to make the final decisions, and the right to obedience. In lieu of certain ahadith, he has a slightly superior right to having his sexual needs satisfied as well. That is, he can demand sexual intercourse from her. If she refuses his demand without a valid reason, she is sinning.

However, please bear one thing in mind, sister. This superior status of the husband in Islam, does not allow him to abuse his authority. Rather, it is because of his greater responsibilities. As the appointed leader and provider of his family, he is more accountable.

What about the wife’s sexual needs?

It is true that a wife may feel the need to have sex whilst her husband is fasting. However, he does not need her permission in order to keep a nafl fast.

This disparity i.e. she needs his permission to fast, whereas he does not, is because of practical and physiological reasons. Men and women are not 100% the same, when it comes to sexual desire. Even though they both have sexual desires, there are differences.

For one: there is the matter of quickness of arousal. Men can get aroused by simply a look, or a few racy words. Second is the matter of urgency. Sometimes, men urgently need to have sex, especially when they are in severe temptation.

Women, on the other hand, are programmed a little differently. In both aspects i.e. quickness of arousal, as well as the level of urgency, Allah has favored them over men. Women can delay sexual gratification without being put to great trial because of it. They also do not get greatly aroused merely by a single look.

So gaining permission from his wife to keep a nafl fast is not imperative for the husband. However, he should still consult his wife first and try to respect her wishes. It is ideal if they fast together.

This need for permission is not just because of sex

Sister, men can look at each issue related to marriage in Islam, in the light of sex. However, there is great Divine wisdom in every decree related to marriage. Every ruling in an Islamic marriage does not have to do with sexual intercourse.

Fasting involves abstention from eating, drinking, fighting, and sexual intercourse. A nafl fast affects a person’s energy level, social commitments, and daily routine. It also impacts their level of concentration and focus.

When a wife is fasting, she might not be able to go out somewhere far during the day. She might not be able to do certain errands. While her husband is present at home, she will not be able to play around with him and the children. She will not be able to eat lunch with them. Logistically, her fast will affect the whole household and family routine.

A wife/mother is the pillar of domestic life. If she is down in any way, the whole family gets affected.

Conclusion: There is flexibility in nafl fasts

In the end, sister, I’d like you to keep in mind one important thing. Any Muslim, male or female, are allowed to break their nafl fast for a valid reason. This will not be counted as a sin when done with a correct intention.

Therefore, a husband may break his nafl fast if his wife is experiencing very high sexual desire. If he does so to sexually satisfy her, and this increases the love between them, then he will be earning reward.

And Allah knows best.

I hope that this answers your question.

Salam. Please stay in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Why Love Disappears After Marriage?

Thinking about Marriage? Avoid These Odd Marriages

2 Important Rules For a Blissful Marriage




About Sadaf Farooqi

Sadaf Farooqi is an author, blogger and freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. To date, Sadaf has authored over 300 original articles, most of which can be accessed on her blog, "Sadaf's Space" (sadaffarooqi.wordpress.com). She has recently started self-publishing her past articles as non-fiction Islamic books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle (www.amazon.com/author/sadaffarooqi)

Add Comment


find out more!