Class 9 – Issues and FAQs in Marital Life

Q. Is it obligatory to have intercourse on the wedding night?

A.      It is not obligatory for the man to have intercourse with his wife on the wedding night. They may delay that until the time that they choose. But intercourse — in general — is obligatory, and it is the right of both spouses, and the wife must allow the husband to do that when he wants, so long as it is not harmful to her, and the husband must have intercourse with his wife as much as suffices her, so long as it does not weaken him physically or distract him from earning a living.  And Allah knows best.

Q. Pornography is prohibited in islam. How big a sin is “watching” pornographic material with your wife once in a while?

A.      Watching pornography is forbidden, whether a person is married or not. The one who does that has to repent to Allah. How can a person watch such things with his wife and how he can he permit her to watch it too? Indeed watching such things may lead to problems between the spouses which may end up in divorce – Allah forbid. Undoubtedly if a man approves of such a thing he is lacking in gheerah (protective jealousy), which is what distinguishes a Muslim from others, from kaafirs and duyooths (cuckolds) who approve of obscenity and immorality in their families. Moreover, watching such material makes one take the matter of immorality lightly and encourages promiscuity. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound. Let the one who has committed such a sin beware of the punishment of Allah; let him hasten to repent. He should be keen to look for anything that may help his wife to remain chaste, not for things that will encourage immoral actions.

If the husband calls his wife to watch these movies, it is not permissible for her to obey him, because the Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no obedience if it involves disobeying Allah, rather obedience is only with regard to that which is right and proper.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7257; Muslim, 1840.   And Allah knows best.

Q. Is it OK to use condoms or other forms of birth control?

A. It is permissible to use condoms so long as this does not cause any harm and so long as both husband and wife consent to their use, because this is similar to ‘azl (coitus interruptus or “withdrawal”). But it reduces the sensation of pleasure, which is the right of both partners, and reduces the chance of conception, which is also the right of both partners. Neither one of them is allowed to deprive the other of these rights.

Regarding the use of other hormonal birth control methods (such as pills) one should consult with a Dr and determine if it is harmful for the body of the woman. If it is, it is not permissible to use them. Her husband should also give his permission to take the pills, because the husband has the right to have children . And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Q. I have been married for several years and I have never experienced an orgasm. I tried to keep my husband satisfied, but I have little desire since we have tried everything to make me reach a climax. This is an issue for me, because my husband has a healthy sex drive. I always try and meet his needs, but I know he’d be happy if I was more into it. Do you have any suggestions for us?

A. Sister, I can’t stress the importance of letting go and relaxing. Enjoying what your hus­band does and not feeling any pressure, being in with the moment. Remember; don’t be in any pressure to climax and it will come. Sister, believe me in all of my research I have found an average woman climaxes 5 years after her first experience with a man. This research is based on the average non-Muslim woman who has multiple part­ners, has tried various exotic positions and done a lot of romantic things. Yet, it still takes her 5 years to reach an orgasm. If this is the case with an average non-Muslim lady, then the average for a Muslim woman in a monogamous relationship with a husband who may not be as romantic and exciting as others, it will take even longer. This is normal, just enjoy it; allow your husband to be romantic and express his love.

Though a husband may be extremely gentle, there are many other wives who have expressed that they suffer from a lot of pain in sex. They are absolutely normal, and this is nothing to worry about. Sister, you should tell your husband that this is stan­dard, especially if you’ve only been married a year or so, completely normal! Use extra lubrication, try different types of lubrication, try longer foreplay, try telling your husband what to do, and just relax. As I said, sisters in particular, please under­stand: if you feel the need to enjoy or if you feel the need to climax, then this will be problematic. Just let it go and enjoy. You may not climax for the first time, the second time, the tenth time, but when you do, let go and when you don’t feel the pressure, then insha’Allah Ta’ala it will make things a lot better

Q. Ruling on wife taking the husband’s last name (surname). What if the husband insists on that?

A. It is not permissible for a woman to take her husband’s name or his family name because that is attributing oneself to someone other than one’s father, and imitating the kuffaar from whom this custom was adopted. 

Al-Bukhaari (3508) and Muslim (61) narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet ﷺ say: “Any man who knowingly attributes himself to someone other than his father is guilty of kufr. Whoever claims to belong to a people when he has nothing to do with them, let him take his place in Hell.” 

“When he has nothing to do with them” means, when he has no lineage among them, as is highlighted in some reports. 

Based on that, the husband has no right to force his wife to do that, and if he forces her to do it she should not obey him, because it is obedience to a created being which involves disobedience to the Creator. So she should persist in her refusal and explain to him that it is haraam, and look for Islamically acceptable means of establishing her rights from a legal point of view.

Q. Does the wife needs to take permission from Husband or does he needs to know where she is spending the money she earns.

A. Undoubtedly the free adult person who is of sound mind and discernment is permitted to dispose of his own wealth with no restrictions as long as he is alive, whether he is buying, renting, giving a gift, establishing a waqf (endowment) or any other kind of transaction. There is no dispute among the scholars on this point.

There is also no dispute among the scholars concerning the fact that the husband does not have the right to object to the way his wife handles her wealth in transactions such as buying, renting, etc., if the woman is of sound mind and there is no reason why she should not handle her own money and she is not one of those who may be tricked.

But the scholars differed as to whether a woman has the right to give all or some of her wealth in charity or as a gift without the permission of her husband.  

The Muslim woman is encouraged to seek her husband’s permission but it is not obligatory for her to do so and she will be rewarded for doing that. Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allahﷺ  was asked, Which woman is the best? He ﷺ said, The one who makes [her husband] happy when he looks at her, who obeys him when he tells her to do something, and who does not oppose him in a manner he dislikes with regard to herself and her wealth. (Reported by al-Nisaai, 3179; Saheeh al-Jaami, 3292).

And Allaah knows best

Click here to read a detailed discussion about this.

Q. Plucking part of the eyebrows in order to look beautiful for ones husband or if the Husband demands it.

A. It says in Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen: 

Plucking of women’s eyebrows is not permissible, it is the namas for which the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ cursed the one who does it. The naamisah is the one who does it for someone else and the mutanammisah is the one who asks someone else to do it for her (as mentioned in the hadeeth). The same applies if a woman does it for herself. It is haraam and is not permitted. 

You should not remove anything from the eyebrows at all, unless there is hair outside of the line of the eyebrows, such as if there is a mole from which a hair is growing. This may be removed because in this case it is removing a kind of fault or deformity, not in order to look beautiful. And Allah knows best. 

See Fataawa Manaar al-Islam by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 3, p. 832. 

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said: “It is not permissible to cut the hair of the eyebrows, or to shave it, reduce it or pluck it, even with the husband’s approval. This is not the matter of beauty, rather it is altering the creation of Allah Who is the Best of creators. A warning has been narrated against doing that and the one who does it is cursed; this implies that it is forbidden.

Q. Her husband is asking her to take off her hijab

A. If what is meant is that he is ordering her to uncover her hair and neck, etc, this is a command to disobey Allah, and there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator. There is no difference of opinion among the Muslim scholars that it is obligatory for a woman to cover her hair, neck and arms, and it is not permissible for her to take off her hijab in obedience to her husband or father, rather she should stand firm and seek help in that from righteous people in his family and hers, and those who have some influence on her husband. 

Q. Ruling on staying with a husband who does not pray

A. It should be known that the one who does not pray any of the prayers and persists in not doing so, according to the Sahaabah and the majority of scholars, is counted as a kaafir and it is not permissible to marry him or eat meat slaughtered by him. If the husband does not pray at all, then he is taking a very serious risk and it is not permissible for you to stay with him. You have to remind him and scare him with this. As it was reported in Saheeh Muslim from the hadeeth of Jaabir that the Prophet ﷺ said:

  • “All that stands between a man and shirk and kufr is his giving up prayer.”
  • “The covenant that separates us from them is salaah, and whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir.”

‘Abd-Allaah ibn Shaqeeq said: the companions of the Prophet ﷺ used not to count the giving up of any action as kufr, apart from prayer.” You have to warn your husband against neglecting the prayer. If he persists, it is not permissible for you to stay with him because you are a Muslim and he is something else. May Allaah help the Muslims to do what Allaah has commanded and to obey Him. You have to advise and scare him, and may Allaah bring about good for him through that.

Q. Ruling on staying with a wife who does not pray

A.   According to a saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet ﷺ said: “The man is the shepherd of the members of his household and is responsible for his flock. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. So the man is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” The most important duty of the “shepherd” is to guide his “flock” to obey the commands of Allah by doing that which Allah has enjoined and abstaining from that which He has forbidden. In this way he will be fulfilling his duty of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. So the husband has to tell his wife to do that which Allah has enjoined upon her and he must forbid her to do that which Allah has prohibited. The greatest duties that the Muslim must fulfil are the five daily prayers and fasting Ramadan. These are two of the pillars of Islam. The husband must tell his wife to do these things and to observe these two pillars regularly. It is not permissible for him to be careless in this matter. The same applies to all other obligatory duties. He must also forbid her to do that which Allah has forbidden, whether it is words or deeds. If he sees that she is responding and obeying, then that is what is required. But if she persists in disobeying then the Muslim man should not stay with her, rather he has to divorce her. How can a Muslim be pleased with a wife who does not pray or who misses some of the prayers, or does not fast in Ramadan? 

Q. Remaining unmarried for the sake of worship

A. Allah has enjoined marriage, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty” [al-Noor 24:32] 

There is the story of the three men who came to ask about the worship to the Prophet ﷺ. When they were told about it, it was as if they thought it was not much. One of them said, “I keep away from women and I will never get married.” The Prophet ﷺ said to this man and to his companions that he ﷺ fasted and broke his fast, he stayed up praying and slept, and he married women. Then he ﷺ said: “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5063; Muslim, 1401. 

This story indicates that the Prophet ﷺ warned against the monasticism practiced by the Jews and Christians, both men and woman. 

Q. Can a husband refuse to let his wife visit her parents?

A. Upholding family ties is obligatory, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (and do not cut of the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…” [al-Nisa’ 4:1]

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Allah created His creation, and when He had finished, al-rahm (the tie of kinship) got up. He said, ‘What is it?’ Al-rahm said: “This is the position of one who is seeking refuge with You from being cut off.’ He said, ‘Will you not be pleased if I should take care of the one who takes care of you, and cut off the one who cuts you off?’ Al-rahm said, ‘Of course, O Lord.’ He said, ‘Then it will be so.’” Abu Hurayrah quoted (interpretation of the meaning): “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?” [Muhammad 47:22]. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6948)

The husband should realize that it is not permissible for him to deliberately prevent his wife from visiting her family and upholding her ties of kinship with them. By the same token, the wife should not exhaust her husband with frequent trips and expenses that he cannot bear. She should make requests of him commensurate with his capabilities. It is not permissible for a woman to go out of her husband’s house without his permission, whether to go to her parents or elsewhere, because that has to do with his rights over her, unless there is a shar’i reason that compels her to go out. End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah(19/165). 

Another indication that it is essential to have the husband’s permission to visit one’s parents is the report narrated in al-Saheehayn about the story of the slander (al-ifk), in which ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said to the Prophet ﷺ: Will you give me permission to go to my parents?  

Al-Bukhaari (4141) and Muslim (2770). 

Q. Is it allowed for Husband/wife to enquire about the past after getting maried?

A. With regard to the past from which you have repented to Allah, may He be exalted, the husband or wife has no right to ask about it. And it is not prescribed for anyone who has fallen into sin to tell anyone else about it when Allah has concealed him, and he should not expose himself, Allah forbid. 

If the husband or wife insists on asking, you do not have to tell him/her about what you did before you knew him/her.

Q. Is it necessary to take the permission of the First wife to have a second wife?

A. “It is not obligatory for the husband, if he wants to take a second wife, to have the consent of his first wife, but it is good manners and kindness to deal with her in such a manner that will reduce the hurt which women naturally feel in such situations. This is done by being kind to her and speaking to her in a gentle and pleasant manner, and by spending whatever money may be necessary in order to gain her acceptance of the situation.”Details about this topic will be discussed in tomorrow’s class.

Q Who has priority, one’s mother or one’s wife?

A. The Muslim should always give preference to his mother, because it says in a hadeeth that a man said to the Prophet  ﷺ: “Who among the people is most deserving of my good company?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” He said, “Your mother.” … (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5514; Muslim, 4621).

But the wife takes precedence over the mother in one case, and that is the matter of spending. If the husband cannot afford to spend on both his wife and his mother because he is poor, then in this case he should put his wife before his mother. The Muslim has to give what is due to each person who has a right over him, and he has to help the one who is oppressed. If his mother mistreats his wife, he has to put a stop to it, in a kind and fair manner. And Allah knows best.

Q. His mother mistreats his wife and her family

A. We must – may Allah guide us and you aright – inform each party of the rights of the other. The mother must understand that her son’s wife has rights that have been ordained by Allah and taught by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ; the wife must understand that the mother has rights ordained by Allah and affirmed by the Messenger of Allah. 

Moreover, each of them must understand that when Allah ordained rights for people, He forbade mistreatment and enmity, and He forbade transgressing the limits that He has set for His slaves. So what we must do is adhere to those limits and no one who has been given rights should transgress the limits in order to transgress against the rights of anyone else. 

Q. Should she agree to be a second wife or be patient?

A. Undoubtedly the way in which many Muslim societies view plural marriage is as a betrayal of the first wife, or as something for which the husband or second wife are to be blamed. Undoubtedly this is a mistaken view that is contrary to the law of Allaah, which permits a man to marry up to four wives. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four …” [al-Nisa’4:3] 

The Muslim cannot object to the rulings of Allah, or think that there is any injustice, transgression or error in the rulings of Allah. 

Hence we do not agree when a woman says: “How can I take the husband from his wife and children?”  

You are not taking this husband away; rather he has come and proposed to you of his own free will. 

Moreover he is going to bear the burden of two families and two households at the same time; he is not going to leave his first wife and children for your sake, so how can that be taking him away? 

For a woman to agree to be a second wife and to put up with some problems from the first wife or the society around her, is much easier than staying without a husband. Polygyny will be discussed in tomorrow’s class.

Q. Who is supposed to recite the dua of Intercourse and when?

A. The man should recite the Dua, woman can do it as well but its prescribed for men. He should do it when he intends to have intercourse and starts as it is makrooh to take Allah’s name while doing it.

Q. Is Oral Sex allowed or Haram?

A. Islam is a religion that demands purity and cleanliness in all aspects of life. The scholars say that there is no doubt that the act of oral sex (in its full meaning) is disgusting and a totally shameful act. The mouth which is used to recite the Dhikr of Allah, send Salutations on the blessed Messenger of Allah ﷺ, recite the holy Qur’an and other things, can not be used for filthy and dirty things such as oral sex.

But the scholars stopped from calling it Haram as it needs daleel (reference) and that is where the scholars have stopped, they said it is imitating the animals and we should stay away from it.

The husband should know that it is not permissible for him to force his wife to do anything repulsive or that may cause impurity (najaasah) to enter the stomach, and he should have intercourse with her in a natural manner. And the wife should try hard to make it pleasurable for him in Halal means (by beatifying herself and being playful, etc). Key point to remember is to stay away from Haram content which glorifies this haram and creates this urge in men.

Click here to watch a video about this Q&A.

Q. Is it permissible for a man to pray for marriage to a particular woman, or for a woman to pray for marriage to a particular man?

A. Yes, there is nothing wrong with a man asking Allah to make it easy for him to marry a particular woman, and there is nothing wrong with a woman asking Allah to make it easy for her to marry a particular man. If a Muslim man or woman offers supplication in general terms without specifying anything, and delegates the matter of choosing the best to his Lord, such as a man saying “O Allah, make it easy for me to marry a righteous wife”, or a woman saying “O Allah, make it easy for me to marry a righteous husband”– if he or she does that, that is preferable, because it is complete reliance upon Allah and delegating one’s affairs to Him.

Click here and Click here for detailed answers on the subject.

Q. Does touching wife cause breaking of Wud’u?

A. In this issue, the strongest of the statements of the scholars is that touching the wife does not break the wudu, unless there is a discharge of sperm. Click here to read a detailed answer on the subject.

Q. Can she withhold herself from her husband who does not pray?

A. Indeed it is obligatory for the woman (in this situation) to withhold herself from the intimate relationship, and the opposite also applies [i.e., a man should withhold himself from his wife if she does not pray]. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives” [al-Muntahanah 60:10]

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to stay with a man who does not pray at all or does not pray most of the time; she has to leave him and not stay with him, because he is a kaafir who has gone beyond the pale of Islam. We ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound.