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Can a Wife Refuse Intimacy in Islam?

10 June, 2023
Q As-salamu `alaykum. My question is: what does Islam say on a woman whose husband calls her to bed while she is in good condition and she refuses? What time is intercourse permitted between spouses?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

It is the right and duty of each couple to satisfy each other both emotionally and sexually. Hence, before seeking his/her right, each spouse should make sure he/she has fulfilled his/her duty towards the other partner.

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In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

It is the duty of the husband and the wife to do their best to satisfy each other in bed.

However, sex, you should know, can never be isolated from your overall interaction with your wife. If you have a loving relationship with your wife, she would be more than happy to please you. If you don’t, she may not feel like doing that. So, you may do well to ask: how am I treating her? Am I loving and caring? Or do I simply treat her as if she were a sex object?

I would urge both of you to read this book and apply its lessons to make your marriage strong: The Blissful Marriage by Ekram Beshir.

Almighty Allah knows best.