Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
A woman’s fulfillment of her physical needs is one of her marital rights in Islam since chastity is one of the major objectives of marriage for both male and female. In the same way, it is a religious obligation that a man provides certain financial rights of the wife, he must also fulfil certain conjugal rights.
The wife has as much right to have her sexual needs fulfilled as the husband has. When informed of Abdullah Ibn Amr’s neglecting of his wife’s conjugal rights, the Prophet (peace be upon) reminded him that, ‘Your wife has a right over you.’ (Al-Bukhari)
Just as satisfying a spouse keeps him chaste and away from sin, satisfying one’s wife’s desire prevents her from sin and temptation. One should not presume a woman would be tempted any less than a man when his needs are not fulfilled. Moreover, Allah describes that marital rights are mutual among spouses, ‘Women have rights similar to those of men equitably.’ (Al-Baqarah 2:228)
According to a weak hadith narrated in Musnad Abu Yala, the Prophet is reported to have said, ‘If any of you has intercourse with his wife let him be true to her. If he attains his pleasure before her then he shouldn’t hurry her away until she also attains her pleasure.’
Though the hadith is weak, the meaning is sound as mentioned scholars. Therefore, a man who intentionally neglects his wife’s physical needs is not only abandoning his obligation, but also manifests a lack of understanding of the true nature of what Islam entails in practice.
Because one of the purposes of marriage is to keep the spouses chaste, spouses should satisfy each other’s physical needs whenever possible, without interfering with their other duties or causing harm to each other or themselves.
This will vary from person to person, couple to couple. Imam Al-Ghazali states in his Ihya that
“A man should make love to his wife every four nights … though he should make love to her more or less than this, according to the amount she needs to remains chaste and free of want since it is obligatory for a husband to enable her to keep chaste.’
Almighty Allah knows best.
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