Intimacy between husband and wife

Intimacy between husband and wife

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Fiqh, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 0 comments


Islam teaches us to how to eat , dress, etc…is there also a Sunnah way of sleeping with one’s any position Sunnah ..or is there nothing in Saheeh Hadith with regard to this?



Praise be to Allah.

Yes, you are right: Islam teaches us all things and has broughtall good teaching to mankind concerning their livelihood, religion, living anddying, because it is the religion of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

Sexual relations are among the important matters of life whichIslam came to explain and to prescribe proper conduct and rulings which elevateit from the level of mere bestial pleasure and physical desire. Islam connectsit to a righteous intention, supplications (adhkaar) and proper conductwhich lift it up to the level of worship for which the Muslim will be rewarded.The Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him) explains this. Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercyon him) says in his book Zaad al-Maaad:

Concerning sexual relations, the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought the most perfect guidance,whereby health may be preserved and people may find pleasure and enjoyment,and it may fulfil the purpose for which it was created, because sex was createdfor three basic purposes:


1.The preservation and propagation of the human race, untilthey reach the number of souls that Allaah has decreed should be createdin this world.


2.Expulsion of the water (semen) which may cause harm to thebody if it is retained.


3.Fulfilling physical desires and enjoying physical pleasure.This alone is the feature that will be present in Paradise, because therewill be no producing of offspring there, and no retention which needs tobe relieved by ejaculation.


The best doctors suggest that sex is one of the means of maintaininggood health.

(al-Tibb al-Nabawi, p. 249).


And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Among its benefits is that it helps to lowerthe gaze, brings self-control, enables one to keep away from haraam things,and achieves all of these things for the woman too. It brings benefit to a manwith regard to this world and the Hereafter, and benefits the woman too. Hencethe Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be uponhim) used to enjoy regular intimate relations with his wives, and he said, Inyour world, women and perfume have been made dear to me. (Narratedby Ahmad, 3/128; al-Nasaai, 7/61; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim).


And the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: O young men, whoeveramong you can afford it, let him get married, for it helps him to lower hisgaze and protect his chastity. And whoever cannot do that, let him fast, forit will be a protection for him. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 9/92;Muslim, 1400).

(al-Tibb al-Nabawi, 251).


Among the important matters which should be paid attentionto when engaging in intimate relations:


1.Having the sincere intention of doing thisthing only for the sake of Allaah. One should intend to do this to protectoneself and one’s wife from doing haraam things, to increase the numbersof the Muslim ummah so as to raise its status, for there is honour and pridein large numbers. It should be known that one will be rewarded for thisaction, even if he finds immediate pleasure and enjoyment in it. It wasreported from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: In the sexual intercourseof any one of you there is reward (meaning, when he has intercoursewith his wife). They said, O Mesenger of Allaah, when any one of us fulfilshis desire, will he have a reward for that? He(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Do you not see thatif he were to do it in a haraam manner, he would be punished for that? Soif he does it in a halaal manner, he will be rewarded. (Narratedby Muslim, 720).


This is the great bounty of Allaah towards this Ummah; praisebe to Allaah Who has made us among them.


Intercourse should be preceded by kind words, playfulnessand kisses. The Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him) used to play with his wives and kiss them.


When a man has intercourse with his wife, heshould say: Bismillaah, Allaahumma jannibnaa al-shaytaan wa jannibal-shaytaan maa razqtanaa (In the name of Allaah, O Allaah Keep us awayfrom the Shaytaan and keep the Shaytaan away from what You bestow on us(our children)). The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: If Allaah decrees thatthey should have a child, the Shaytaan will never harm him. (Narratedby al-Bukhaari, 9/187)


It is permissible for the husband to have intercoursewith his wife in her vagina in whatever manner he wishes, from behind orfrom the front, on the condition that it is in her vagina, which is theplace from which a child is born. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexualrelations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina andnot in the anus), when or how you will [al-Baqarah 2:223]. Jaabiribn Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Jews usedto say that if a man had intercourse with his wife in her vagina from behind,the child would have a squint. Then this aayah was revealed: Your wivesare a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with yourwives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus),when or how you will [al-Baqarah 2:223]. The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)said: From the front or from the back, so long as it is in the vagina.(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 8/154; Muslim, 4/156).


It is not permissible for the husband underany circumstances whatsoever to have intercourse with his wife in her backpassage. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Your wivesare a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with yourwives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus),when or how you will [al-Baqarah 2:223]. It is known that theplace of tilth is the vagina, which is the place from which one hopes fora child. The Prophet (peace and blessings ofAllaah be upon him) said: He is cursed who has intercourse with womenin their back passages. (Narrated by Ibn Udayy, 1/211;classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Adaab al-Zafaaf, p. 105).This is because it [anal intercourse] goes against the fitrah [natural inclinationsof man] and is an action which is revolting to those of a sound human nature;it also causes the woman to miss out on her share of pleasure; and the backpassage is a place of filth and dirt and there are other reasonswhich confirm the fact that this deed is haraam. For more information seeQuestion #1103.


If a man has intercourse with his wife andwants to come back to her a second time, he should do wudoo, becausethe Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaahbe upon him) said: If any one of you has intercourse with his wifethen wants to repeat it, let him do wudoo between the two (actions),for it is more energizing for the second time. (Narrated byMuslim, 1/171). This is mustahabb (recommended), not waajib(obligatory); if he is able to do ghusl between the two actions, this isbetter, because of the hadeeth of Abu Raafi who said that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)went around his wives one day and did ghusl in this ones house andin this ones house. He (Abu Raafi) said: I said to him, O Messengerof Allaah, why do you not do one ghusl? He said, This is cleaner andbetter and purer. (Narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaai,1/79)


One or both of the spouses have to do ghusl in the followingsituations:


1.when the two circumcised partsmeet, because the Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him) said: When the circumcised part meets the circumcisedpart (according to another report: when the circumcised part touches thecircumcised part), ghusl becomes waajib (obligatory). (Narratedby Ahmad and Muslim, no. 526). This ghusl is obligatory whetherejaculation takes place or not. The touching of the circumcised parts meansthat the glans or tip of the penis penetrates the vagina; it does not meanmere touching.



2.Emission of semen, even if the two circumcisedparts do not touch, because the Prophet (peaceand blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Water is for water [i.e.,the water of ghusl is necessary when the water of semen is ejaculated].(Narrated by Muslim, no. 1/269).



3.Al-Baghawi said in Sharh al-Sunnah (2/9):Ghusl for janaabah [impurity following sexual discharge] is waajibin either of two cases: when the tip of the penis enters the vagina, orwhen gushing water is emitted by either the man or the woman. Formore information on the details of ghusl as prescribed in shareeah,see Question # 415.It is permissible for the husband and wife to do ghusl together in one place,even if he sees her and she sees him, because of the hadeeth of Aaishah(may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I used to do ghusl togetherfrom one vessel between me and him; we would take turns dipping our handsin the vessel and he would take more than me until I would say, Leavesome for me, leave some for me. She said, and they were bothjunub (in a state of janaabah). Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.



1.It is permissible for a person who has to makeghusl to sleep and delay the ghusl until before the time of prayer, butit is definitely mustahabb for him to do wudoo before sleeping, becauseof the hadeeth of Umar, who said that he asked the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), Can any one of us sleep whenhe is junub? The Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him) said: Yes, but let him do wudoo if hewishes. (Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan, 232).



2.It is forbidden to have intercourse with awoman when she is menstruating (having her period), because Allaah says(interpretation of the meaning): They ask you concerning menstruation.Say: that is an adhaa (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercoursewith his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away fromwomen during menses and go not unto them till they have purified (from mensesand have taken a bath). And when they have prufieied themselves, then goin unto them as Allaah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manneras long as it is in their vagina). Truly, Allaah loves those who turn untoHim in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bathand cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for theirprayers, etc.). [al-Baqarah 2:222]. The person who has intercoursewith his wife whilst she is menstruating has to give a dinar or half a dinarin charity, as it was reported that the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) obliged a man to do when hecame and asked him about that. This was reported by the authors of al-Sunanand classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Adaab al-Zafaaf, p. 122. Butit is permissible for the husband to enjoy his menstruating wife withouthaving intercourse, because of the hadeeth of Aaishah (may Allaahbe pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would tell one of us, when shewas menstruating, to wear a waist-wrapper, then her husband would lie withher. (Agreed upon).



3.It is permissible for the husband to withdraw(azl) if he does not want to have a child; by the same tokenit is permissible for him to use condoms if his wife gives her permission,because she has the right to pleasure and to children. The evidence forthis is the hadeeth of Jaabir ibn Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleasedwith him) who said, We used to do azl at the time ofthe Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him). The Messenger of Allaah(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard about that, and he didnot forbid us. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 9/250; Muslim, 4/160).



But it is better not to do any of that, for several reasons,including the fact that it deprives the woman of pleasure or reduces the pleasurefor her; and that it cancels out one of the purposes of marriage, which isto increase the number of offspring, as mentioned above.


It is forbidden for both spouses to spreadthe secrets of what happens between them in their private marital life;indeed, this is one of the most evil things. The Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Among the most evilof people before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who comesto his wife and has intercourse with her, then he spreads her secrets.(Narrated by Muslim, 4/157).


It was reported from Asmaa bint Yazeedthat she was with the Prophet (peace and blessingsof Allaah be upon him) and men and women were sitting with him, and the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,Would any man say what he did with his wife? Would any woman tell otherswhat she did with her husband? The people kept quiet and did not answer.I [Asmaa] said: Yes, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, they (women)do that, and they (men) do that. He said, Do not do that. It islike a male devil meeting a female devil in the road and having intercoursewith her whilst the people are watching. (Narrated by Abu Dawood,no. 1/339; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Adaab al-Zafaaf, p. 143).


This is what we were able to mention about the etiquette ofsexual relations. Praise be to Allaah Who has guided us to this great religionwith its sublime manners. Praise be to Allaah Who has shown us the best of thisworld and the next. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.



The Prophet ﷺ said, “From this world, women and perfume have been made beloved to me, but the coolness of my eyes comes from prayer” [al-Bukhari].


In one hadith we learn, “This whole world is an enjoyment, and its best enjoyment is a righteous wife” [Muslim]. Another hadith states “I advise you to marry young women, for they have sweeter lips…and are more passionate in their embrace” [Reported by Ibn Majah, al-Tabarani, and others, and it is hasan].


And finally, we are advised in the traditions, “If one of you approaches his wife, and then wishes to repeat, let him do wudhu, for it will make the recurrence more energetic” [Abu Dawud].





  • In all of these hadiths, we see once again the clear encouragement to engage in passionate and fulfilling intimate relations with one’s spouse.



  • Even the blessed Prophet ﷺ found comfort in his wives, but the comfort that prayer and turning to Allah gave him was obviously the most sweet and pure.



  • In another hadith, the Companion is told that a woman of his age would be better because her passion would be more. Better kissing is explicitly mentioned, and more passionate sex is hinted at.



  • A righteous wife (and, by analogy, a good husband) is the best enjoyment of this world. Pure, halal, encouraged enjoyment.



  • The frank advice given in the last tradition makes it crystal clear that we should aim to have passionate sex lives. No less a figure than our beloved Prophet ﷺ informed us of ways to increase that passion. Washing oneself after a first act invigorates the body and rejuvenates the soul, and thus helps in repeating the act again.






Foreplay between the spouses before actually engaging into sexual intercourse is immensely important (especially for the wife) and a vital ingredient for a happy and prosperous marriage, that which should never be neglected.


The husband should sexually arouse his wife before having sex. It is indeed selfish on the husband’s part that he fulfils his sexual needs and desires, whilst his wife remains unsatisfied and discontented. Failure in satisfying the wife can have terrible consequences on one’s marriage. That is why the Prophet ﷺ discouraged sexual intercouse without foreplay, to guarantee and to protect the sexual pleasures and rights of the wife in bed.


Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on him) said “He should fondle his wife first before having sex by kissing her and sucking her tongue. The Prophet ﷺ used to fondle and kiss his wives.” [Zaad al Maad 4/253]


Imam Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is mustahabb to engage in foreplay with one’s wife before having intercourse and to arouse her desire, so that she will get the same enjoyment from intercourse as he does. [Al-Mughni, 8/136]


An Nawawi said it is Mustahab to fondle and caress i.e. foreplay before having sex.


Islam recognizes a woman’s need of love, affection and foreplay. Women tend to be more romantic than men. They like to hear tender words, to be praised, to feel that they are being cared for, to be the main concern of their husbands and the one to whom he directs his ardent love (thats why the prophet ﷺ discouraged engaging in sexual intercourse before foreplay). In Islam it is a women’s right to be satisfied by her husband in bed. Islam stresses the importance of mutual sexual satisfaction between marriage partners in the following quranic verse:


“It is lawful for you to go in unto your wives during the night preceding the (day’s) fast: they are as a garment for you, and you are as a garment for them. God is aware that you would have deprived yourselves of this right, and so He has turned unto you in His mercy and removed this hardship from you. Now, then, you may lie with them skin to skin, and avail yourselves to that which God has ordained for you.” (Qur’an 2:187)


A garment brings satisfaction, comfort, protection and warmness! These are the things a husband must strife to give his wife during intercourse!


The Messenger of Allah ﷺ also stated:

“Every game a person plays is futile except for archery, training one’s horse and playing with one’s wife(foreplay and kissing) ”. (Sunan Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Ibn Majah).


In a weak hadith narrated in Musnad Abu Y’ala, the Prophet ﷺ 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.


It is permitted for married couples to enjoy themselves with complete satisfaction when they are in seclusion with one another; whether it is by taking pleasure at looking at each other’s body, or kissing, or touching and caressing one another, or by conversations of an adult, sexual and intimate nature or by any other means of permissible enjoyment.

The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Hide your ‘awrah (private parts) except from your wives and what your right hands possess.” (Ahmad 5/3) And the mother of the believers, Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “I and the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would take a bath together from the same vessel of water after having sexual relations.” (Al-Bukhāri 1/64, Muslim 1/256) So this is proof that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would look at his wife, and that she would look at him. And complete pleasure and enjoyment are achieved by gazing along with caressing, touching, whispering intimate speech, foreplay and sexual intercourse. Ibn Al-Qayyim (d. 752H) stated: “It is from the necessary affairs that a man precedes sexual intercourse with his wife with foreplay, kissing and sucking her tongue. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would participate in foreplay with his wives and kiss them.” (Zād al-Ma’ād, 4/253) All of this is allowed and legislated―and it brings about love, intimacy, compassion and the utmost nearness between their hearts and bodies.


Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to Jābir bin Abdillāh (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā), “Why not marry a young woman so that you could play with her and she could play with you?” (Muslim, 715) This shows that foreplay, touching and kissing between the married couple is important and recommended and it is from the greatest means that leads to intimacy and sexual pleasure that leaves no room for seeking what is prohibited from relationships outside of marriage. And each of them should prepare themselves for their intimacy. In the same hadeeth Jābir stated: “Then when we arrived and were about to enter Madinah (and it was still daylight), the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Wait, so that we may enter by night in order that the woman with dishevelled hair may comb it, and the woman whose husband had been away may shave her intimate parts. And when you enter your home enjoy sexual intimacy with her and make children.”



Ibn Jareer At-Tabari (rahimahullāh) said in his Tafseer (3/488) that this includes, “lewd speech of a sexual nature.” And Ibn Jareer and Ibn Mundhir reported from Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) that he said: “Ar-Rafath (ٱلرَّفَثُ) means frequently coming to the wife, kissing her, winking at her and speaking with sexually explicit language.” (Shaqā’iq al-Atrujj of As-Suyooti, p. 85) Also, ‘Abd bin Humayd reported from ‘Atā (rahimahullāh) in his explanation of this verse: “Ar-Rafath (ٱلرَّفَثُ) means sexual intercourse and besides that from sexually explicit language.” Ibn Seereen (d. 110H) was asked, “Can a person use sexually explicit language during intercourse?” He responded: “The most pleasurable intercourse is the one with the most sexually explicit speech.” (Nawādir al-Ayk of As-Suyooti, p. 48)

All of this conduct is good for society as a whole and brings about its cohesion and harmony.





Kissing one’s spouse is also of utmost importance in general. It is a Sunnah of our blessed Messenger of Allah ﷺ.


A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would kiss one of his wives and then leave for prayer (salat) without performing ablution (wudu). Urwa says that I asked A’isha: “It must have been you?” (Upon hearing this) A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) smiled.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 86, Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 181 & Sunan al-Nasa’i, no. 170))



A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) says: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would kiss me before leaving for prayers, and he would not perform an ablution.” (Sunan al-Darqutni, 1/49 and others)



The above two narrations indicate the recommendation of kissing one’s spouse. They also show the importance of greeting the wife when entering the house with a kiss and departing with a kiss. This was the Sunnah of the beloved of Allah ﷺ. Thus, it is inappropriate for husbands to leave the home in a hurry without even greeting the wife in a proper manner with hugs and kisses, and then entering the house with the first question on whether the food is cooked or not, or whether had someone called, etc…



Passionate kissing (or French kissing) is also the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.


A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would kiss her whilst he was fasting and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)





The most common complaint amongst men is that their wives are not as interested in sexual intimacy as the men are. And likewise, the most common complaint amongst women is that their husbands are just interested in sex and only come close to them for one purpose. One of the primary reasons for this disparity is the issue of sexual arousal.


A man’s arousal is like a microwave: it can be turned on instantly. A woman’s arousal, on the other hand, is like an oven: it slowly and gradually heats up over time. This is why when a husband approaches his wife, he is already turned on and aroused. He seeks instant gratification. He mistakenly assumes that his wife will get aroused as instantaneously as he does, and gets frustrated when she doesn’t respond to him the way that he wants.


Conversely, a woman feels frustrated that her husband wishes her to ‘perform’ on demand, without her emotional or physical needs being addressed first.


Men must be more sensitive to a woman’s needs, and understand that for a woman to start her arousal oven, she needs to feel loved, cherished, and beautiful. She needs to feel emotionally satisfied, otherwise she will feel like the man is just taking advantage of the fact that she is his wife and must obey. The most intimate act of marriage, will become a chore for her that she dreads instead of enjoys. It is a husband’s responsibility to make sure that he has addressed the emotional needs of his wife before he approaches her. The best way a man can do this is through romance, non-sexual touching and helping her deal with the stresses of daily life.


Men need sex to feel loved and appreciated. When a man approaches his wife, he is showing that he loves her. This is why when a wife does the act unwillingly, with little excitement, and treats it like a chore, the man feels rejected.


In turn, women need to understand that romance is something that does not come naturally to men, as men don’t need romance to be aroused or feel loved. Women need to be patient and continually try to explain this to their partners.


In conclusion, both men and women need to understand the differences in the mechanisms of arousal, and be sensitive towards each other’s needs. A man needs to try and be more attentive beforehand as this is vital for a woman’s enjoyment. The woman needs to understand that a man’s arousal is instant and for him intimacy equals love, so intimacy needs to be a priority on her list.





Even at the peak of his passion, a believer does not forget his Lord. He remembers that his intercourse with his wife is a means of fulfilling many noble purposes – not only his lust. One of these noble purposes is producing a good progeny. Thus, it is important to supplicate to Allah to keep Satan away from him and his progeny.


The Messenger ﷺ said: “When one of you wants to approach his wife, if he says (the below Dua) If it is then decreed that they have a child (from that intercourse), Satan will never harm it.” (Bukhari)


بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ، اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ، وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا


“Bismillah, Allahumma jannib nash-Shaytan, wa jannib ish-Shaytana ma razaqtana


– With the Name of Allah, O Allah, keep Satan away from us, and keep him away from what You grant us,”



How often?

It is the wife’s right that her husband should spend his nights with her.


Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “It is obligatory for the husband to have intercourse with his wife as much as is needed to satisfy her, so long as this does not exhaust him physically or keep him away from earning a living… If they dispute over this matter, the judge should prescribe more in the way of intercourse just as he may prescribe more in the way of spending.” (Al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah min Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, p. 246)


Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali said: “If he has a wife, he should spend one night in four with her, so long as he has no excuse.” (Al-Mughni, 7/28; Kashf al-Qinaa’, 3/144).


Sharee’ah also requires that a wife be protected from immorality by means of her husband having intercourse with her, as much as is needed to satisfy her and to provide this protection. But there is no way that this can be stated in terms of a specific period of time, such as four months, or more, or less. It should be defined according to the wife’s needs and her husband’s ability to fulfil her rights.


If the husband is absent from his wife because he is travelling for a legitimate purpose or other legitimate excuse, in this case the husband should try not to be absent from his wife for too long.





The following is a list of additional important adab that should be observed when being intimate or having intercourse with one’s spouse.



  1. The man may only have intercourse with his wife in her front entry (vagina). Approaching her from the back entry is a major sin. The Prophet ﷺ said,


  • “Cursed are those who come to their wives in their anuses.” [Aboo Dawood, Ahmad and others with hasan isnaad and is supported].



  • “The one who has intercourse with a menstruating woman, or with a woman in her rectum, or who goes to a fortune-teller, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 1/243; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5918).



The wife should reject this even if the husband demands for it, as obeying Allah comes before obeying the Husband.




  1. During his wife’s menses, a man may not have intercourse with her, but may otherwise enjoy other parts of her body. Performing intercourse with a menstruating woman is a major sin.




  1. A person becomes junub (unclean) in one of two ways:


  • a. By climaxing and ejaculation, which results from intercourse, wet dreams, foreplay, etc.



  • b. By performing intercourse – regardless of whether it results in ejaculation or not. Ghusl is obligatory when the private parts touch each other even if there is no intercourse.



  1. A junub person must take a ghusl (bath) before being able to pray. It is further recommended for a junub to take the ghusl before going to sleep or mentioning Allah. If that is not possible, one should at least wash his (or her) private parts and perform wudu.




  1. When a Muslim man has had sexual intercourse with his wife and then wishes to do it again, he should first perform wudhuu’, based on the statement of the Prophet ﷺ:


“When one of you comes to his wife and then wishes to return another time, let him perform wudhuu’ between the 2 times (In another version, the same wudhuu’ which he performs for prayer) for verily, it will invigorate his return.” [Muslim, Ibn Abi Shaibah and others].



  1. It is permissible for the husband and wife to bath together in the same place even though he sees her private parts, and she sees his.


On the authority of ‘Aa’ishah (radiallahu anha) who said: “I used to bathe with the Prophet from a single container of water which was placed between us such that our hands collided inside it. He used to race me such that I would say: `Leave some for me, leave some for me!’ She added: `We were in a state of Janaba (i.e. the state of having slept together).'” [Al-Bukharee and Muslim].



  1. It is strongly prohibited for the two spouses to disclose to others the secrets of what takes place during their intimacy sessions.






The act of intimacy is the single most private and personal moment that a husband and wife share together. A good sexual life helps couples come closer together in love, and allows each spouse to overlook the more trivial problems in a marriage. Conversely, when bedroom intimacy suffers, other problems in a marriage are compounded and more tensions develop.


Couples should be aware of the ‘Three Basic C’s’ that lead to healthy and happy intimacy. These C’s are:


1) Confidence. In order to enjoy healthy intimacy, both partners need to be confident in themselves, and not distracted by insecurities. Most times, such insecurities are self-induced (for example, a woman might be too conscious of her body and feel that her husband will not find her attractive). Sometimes, however, they might be induced by a comment made by a spouse(for example, a husband might be worried about not being able to give his partner what shewants). Each partner must work to resolve any personal issues so that one’s full attention can be given to the act itself. Until such issues are resolved, the spouse will simply be too self-conscious and insecure to achieve ultimate happiness in intimacy.




2) Communication. It is inevitable that issues will arise regarding the act of intimacy. Perhaps the husband is not gentle in some aspect; perhaps the wife wishes a longer foreplay. Whatever the issue is, the other spouse will not be able to read the mind of the first spouse! Rather, there must be frank communication if it is desired that the act of intimacy reach its full potential. Such communication must be based on positive reinforcement rather than negative criticism. It is very easy to bruise a spouse’s ego and hurt his or her feelings if one is critical. One should phrase all such suggestions in a positive manner. Instead of saying, “It’s really frustrating when you spend so little time kissing me,” one can say, “I would really enjoy it more if you spent more time being romantic beforehand.” Such positive reinforcement will far more likely bring out the best in one’s spouse.



3) Creativity. No matter how passionate a couple is, after years of marriage, it is likely that even this intimate act becomes routine. The couple eventually evolve into well-defined habits, and know exactly what to do and when to do it. Such a ‘routine’ has the negative aspect of making intimacy monotonous. And when intimacy becomes monotonous, it ceases to serve the function that it should. This is where creativity comes into play. Couples should learn to change routines, vary positions, or alter environments. This is one of the main reasons why taking a vacation with your spouse is a key factor in spicing up the relationship.



A Primer On Intimacy And Fulfillment Of A Wife’s Desires Based On The Writings Of Scholars Of The Past


This short piece is intended to provide insight on the troubling and detrimental lack of understanding among Muslim men for the necessity and virtue of the female orgasm during sexual intercourse in married couples.  The importance of the female orgasm is substantiated by naṣṣ of Qurʾān, corroborated by the ḥadīth of Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) , and has been elaborated upon by the fuqahāʾ throughout the centuries.


Many Muslim sisters have taken it upon themselves to tackle the issue online and anyone who has love and concern for the Muslim community should praise their efforts.  In initiating conversation on this matter, they have shown concern, initiative and courage worthy of the followers of Rasūlullāh .  The benefit which their writings, webinars, round-table talks have provided is obvious to anyone who ponders.  It is a known principle among the fuqahāʾ that knowledge is to be imparted to the masses by order of its need and prevalence of troubles within the masses.



The anonymous testimonies of our Muslim sisters are undoubtedly a justification for drawing the attention of our Muslim brothers to what authentic Islām teaches us on the subject.  It is also known among the fuqahāʾ that women are the only legitimate source of information for matters specific to them; such as the different patterns of menstruation and post-natal bleeding.  Consequently, the only legitimate source for determining whether and to which magnitude the issue of reaching orgasm during intercourse is pertinent to Muslim women is the Muslim women themselves.


A synopsis of the most striking among those anonymous testimonials follows:


Testimonial 1: “Being married for 10+ years Alhamdulillah with 3 kids it’s a journey of pain and frustration in terms of sexual life.  I never knew till some 4 years of marriage that there is something called ‘orgasm’ for females.  I simply cannot explain the emptiness it leaves when he just sleeps calmly leaving me aroused once he is done. He feels hurt when I say I too want to be satisfied.  But my requests to all the brothers out there: don’t be selfish no matter how tired you are. If you want to be satisfied every single time of making love, make sure so does your wife too. Your wife will never be emotionally attached to you if you do not satisfy her with your own love and willingness in bed.”


Testimonial 2: “I am 2 years in this marriage and I’m highly dissatisfied. Because I’m outspoken I have told my husband clearly many times that even if he doesn’t want I do. But it only led to fights and more dissatisfaction. He tried to improve but after it had done enough damage already. He loves me, he kisses and cuddles a lot but his appetite for love making is very poor. I don’t feel desired.  We so often hear [sic] that we should not deny intimacy to the husband but why is it not the other way round too?”




Testimonial 3 “In [my first] 5 years of marriage, I’ve orgasmed once with him though I love him with all my heart. I cannot stress on the importance of a female climaxing and reaching an orgasm with her husband because this has saved our marriage [after he realized how important it was]. It brings a couple so much closer. To all you ladies who think sex is a chore, I can guarantee none of you have ever had an orgasm. Had you had a true orgasm you would be pulling him to bed. It’s the best physical feeling ever and melts away the stress.”


These testimonials speak for themselves, and the verses of Qurʾān, aḥādīth and sayings of the fuqahāʾ below will demonstrate their legitimacy.


The Qurʾān unambiguously affirms the presence of lust in both men and women, without distinction:



“Tell the believing men that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts; it is more decent for them. Surely Allāh is All-Aware of what they do.  And tell the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts” (s. 24, v. 30-31).


In Aḥkāmul-Qurʾān, Qāḍī Abū-Bakr Ibn al-ʿArabī (passed away 543 A.H/1148) comments on this verse as follows: “Just as it is not permissible for a man to gaze at a woman, it is likewise not permissible for a woman to gaze at a man; the man’s attachment to her is no different than her attachment to him.  His [lustful] intent from her is likewise identical to her [lustful] intent from him”.  It is noteworthy that Al-Qurṭubī also relays this statement of Ibn al-ʿArabī in his tafsīr.  This then raises the question: if lust is set to be fulfilled through marriage, then what is the purpose and benefit of such fulfillment?


The Qurʾān provides clear guidance as to the importance of a loving marital relationship.  “And it is among His signs that He has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them, and He has created love and kindness between you” (s. 30 v, 21).  The greatest mufassir among the Ṣaḥāba, ʿAbdullāh b. ʿAbbās, contends that “love is intercourse (jimāʿ)” i.e a loving relationship stems from the act of intercourse. It is simply inconceivable for the relationship to be a loving one, if one of the parties to intercourse is dissatisfied.  Mujāhid and al-Ḥassan al-Baṣrī ascribe the same meaning to love as Ibn-ʿAbbās.


The Qurʾān does not detail the requirements of the act of intercourse. That responsibility is carried out by Rasūlullāh .  While commenting on the verse “And We sent down the Reminder (The Qur’ān) to you, so that you explain to the people what has been revealed for them, and so that they may ponder.” (s. 16, v. 44), Al-Qurṭubī explains: “The Rasūl  explains on behalf of Allāh that which He intends in the rules of ṣalāt and zakāt as well as other commands, by detailing such intent where Allāh has provided  statements which are general in nature”.  This leads us to the aḥādīth below for the guidance of men on how to satisfy their spouses during intercourse.


إذا جامع أحدكم أهله فليصدقها فإن سبقها فلا يعجلها خرجه أبو يعلى عن أنس


“When one of you has intercourse with his spouse, then let him be truthful towards her.  If he happens to precede her then he should not rush her” .


Al-Manāwī comments on this ḥadīth as follows: “He should be truthful in his love and his display of good will towards her.  This means that it is commendable for him to make love to her with strength, resolve and make fine love to her”.


إذا جامع أحدكم أهله فليصدقها ثم إذا قضى حاجته قبل أن تقضي حاجتها فلا يعجلها حتى تقضي حاجتها خرجه عبد الرزاق وأبو يعلى عن أنس


“When one of you has intercourse with his spouse, then let him be truthful towards her.  Then if he fulfills his need before her need is fulfilled, let him not rush her until it is fulfilled”


Al-Manāwī comments as follows: “When he has fulfilled his need from her by reaching climax, then-as a matter of merit-he should not impel her to separate from him.  Rather he should carry on with her until her need from him is likewise fulfilled.  This will only occur by her reaching climax and her lust settling.”.


The next ḥadīth praising a woman whose appetite for intimacy is strong, should therefore not come as a surprise.


خيرُ نسائِكم العفيفةُ الغَلِمَةُ ، عفيفةٌ في فرجِها ، غَلِمَةٌ علَى زوجِها



“The best of your women is the one who is modest yet lustful.  She is modest with regards to her private parts (towards strange men) while she is lustful towards her husband”.


Al Manāwī comments as follows: “The modest woman refrains from the ḥarām. For her to be lustful means that her carnal desire is restless. However, such restlessness is not praiseworthy in an absolute sense, as explained by the ensuing part of the ḥadīth i.e she is modest towards strange men”.


The above references in ḥadith literature are not meant to be exhaustive. Other references exist, and the commentators have been consistent in their explanations.


The fuqahāʾ(jurists) in the Ummah have, from very early on, also unapologetically touched on the subject in the most emphatic and direct manner. Some are quoted below to demonstrate such.


In his commentary of Al-Naṣīḥa al-Kāfiya Ibn-Zukrī, a Moroccan scholar who passed away 400 yrs ago (1133 A.H) quotes from Ibn al-Ḥājj (passed away 737 A.H/1336), Imam al-Ghazālī (passed away 505 A.H/1111) and al-Manāwī (passed away 1031 A.H/1621). The quotations below are directly taken from his commentary on al-Naṣiha of Shaykh Aḥmad Zarrūq (passed away 899 A.H/1493). These dates are quoted here to stress on the fact that this subject is not a contemporary one, it is rather a subject that has existed from the very time Muslim scholarship has. What is most pertinent here is the unambiguous language the fuqahāʾ use to get their point across.


“And softness towards the woman, until her fluid mixes with the fluid of the man, is certain to induce love for her and for him as well”.


Ibn-ʿArdūn explains: ‘The author of al-īdāḥ explains: whenever their two fluids blend together at the same moment, it is the utmost form of reaching pleasure, love, affection as well as cementing love. The amount of pleasure and love will be commensurate with how closely in time they blend together’.


The author of al-Iḥyāʾ mentions: ‘And once he has fulfilled his need let him take his time with his spouse until she likewise fulfills her need because her climax may be delayed and to withdraw from her while her lust has been agitated would cause her harm. Differences in patterns of climax inevitably lead to repulsion and discord whenever the husband should reach climax first. It is more gratifying and pleasurable for the woman that she and her husband reach climax simultaneously because  he will be engaged and absorbed alongside her, accommodating thereby her likely shyness [she will enjoy her orgasm without bashfulness]’


In al-Madkhal [Ibn al-Ḥājj] explains: ‘It is fitting for him, when he has fulfilled his need, not to rush to rise because it is among the things which will upset and perturb her.  Rather he should remain agreeable and engaged until he ascertains that her need has been fulfilled.  The intent is to have consideration for her matter because the Nabī  used to advice [men] regarding women just as he used to encourage kindness towards them. At this juncture, it is not possible to show kindness to her without it [the fulfillment of her need]. The man should therefore thoroughly exert himself to achieve that goal, and Allāh will certainly forgive any incapacity’.


Ibn Zukrī then goes on to quote al-Manāwī’s commentary of the two first ḥadiths quoted above.


The author of the Naṣīḥa then goes on to explain, and Ibn Zukrī’s commentary follows:


“And whoever wishes to accomplish that, then let him not come close to her until her breathing becomes intense and her eyes hollow, and that she seeks to remain attached to him; those are signs of her lust having been awakened”


Ibn Zukrī : it is explained in the commentary of al-Waghlisiyya : part of the etiquette of intimacy is to engage in foreplay so that the wife’s heart becomes cheerful and that the attainment of her desire becomes easy. This should be done until the point that her breathing becomes intense, her agitation increases, and she seeks to remain attached to the man, only then should he come close to her [for the act of intercourse].


He continues to say: “Those preliminaries consists in abundant foreplay with her, fondling her breasts and rubbing his penis with her labia”.  Ibn Zukrī explains: the author of the Madkhal explains: ‘When one decides to intimately engage with his spouse, it is befitting for him to refrain from the prohibited behavior which some of the common folk adopt, which consists in approaching their spouses hurriedly. Rather he should not do so until he has played and bantered with her in permissible ways. That includes cuddling, kissing and similar actions, until he sees that she has aroused herself to what he is seeking from her, feels relaxed and takes interest in it. Only then should he approach her. The wisdom of the religious code in this matter is obvious, and it is that the woman desires from the man what he desires from her. If he were to come to her abruptly, he may very well fulfill his need while she would remain upset and her dīn and chastity may be compromised as a result.  If he however does as stipulated, then the matter will be eased for her and her dīn and chastity will be protected’.


End of quotes from Ibn-Zukrī.


It is clear from the above that the fuqahāʾ have kept within the confines of the Qurʾān and the Sunna and, as is their responsibility, lucidly relayed the information contained therein to the masses, with a full understanding of the pertinence of the subject in society.


This article cannot be complete without mentioning what some of the people of ḥaqīqa i.e taṣawwuf have said on the subject.


Ahmad Ibn Ajība explains, regarding ḥaqīqa: ‘It is derived from the Qurʾān and the Sunna, as well as from the inspirations of the ṣāliḥīn [pious ones] and the spiritual unfoldings [futūḥāt] of the ʿārifīn [gnostics]’. The subtle understanding of the Quran and the Sunnah is predominantly found among the ṣālihīn.  Their statements clearly show that.


In his book on the etiquettes of marriage, Muhammad al–Tihāmī Kanūn (passed away 1915) explains: Abul ʿAbbas Aḥmad b. Yaḥya al–Wansharīsī says in his abridgment of the nawāzil of al–Burzulī: ‘The pious Shaykh Abu–Bakr al–Warraq states: every worldly passion hardens the heart, except the passion of intercourse which in fact softens the heart, which is why the Anbiyāʾused to engage in it’.  It is also mentioned in hadith:



Three things have been made beloved to me among your worldly matters: perfume, women and the coolness of my eyes has been placed in salat’.


In fact, al–Qurtubi relates the statement from al–Warrāq with a prelude explaining how it is said that the desire for intercourse is commensurate with one’s taqwa.


Note: We will state the obvious here, that this is true for both men and women, in accordance with what has been stated above regarding their equivalency in the search for carnal satisfaction from one another.


Finally, the author of marginal notes on Tafsīr al–Jalālayn Aḥmad al–Ṣāwī states: ‘One of the gnostics [ʿārifīn] has mentioned that intercourse is one of the avenues towards reaching [the ma’rifa of] Allāh’.


These last statements from the ṣālihīn should serve as an admonition as well as an encouragement to the Muslim brothers who are lacking in being mindful of their spouse’s sexual needs. They may beg the question: is it a deficiency in taqwā which causes a man to not be mindful of this? It clearly makes the case for an opportunity for spiritual development through the act of intimacy.


There are many related subjects which have not been discussed here, as the intent was very specific. However, our brothers and sisters should certainly take it upon themselves to contribute in educating the Muslims on those issues. Issues such as: the need and importance of marriage counseling; how to nurture a good relationship outside of the bedroom; how to address psychological and/or medical issues related to intimacy; how to educate Muslim adolescents (girls and boys alike) on sexuality, etc. There are, alḥamdulillāh, many competent and articulate brothers and sisters who specialize in different fields, and/or have valuable life experience which can be put to the profit of the Muslim Ummah.


And we all ask Allāh for tawfīq.


PDF of sources in Arabic with references

1.Aḥkāmul-Qurʾān, Vol. 3 p. 380

2.Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, Vol. 16 p. 412


4.Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, Vol. 12 p. 329

  1. Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 1 p. 325. Ḥadīth n. 548.
  2. Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 1 p. 325. Ḥadīth n. 549.
  3. Al-Manāwi mentions that this is mustahab, and he is correct. However, the statement of istiḥbāb is only to encourage this action, in order to avoid harm to the woman. If she is being harmed by the lack of satisfaction, then it becomes wājib.
  4. Faidhul-qadīr, Vol. 3 p. 493. Ḥadīth n. 4093.
  5. Sharḥ al-Naṣīḥa, Ibn-Zukrī Al-Fāsī, p. 651.
  6. Reference from Hikam.
  7. Qurratul-ʿuyūn bi-sharḥ naẓm ibn-Yaʾmūn, p. 48.

12.It is worthy to mention here that the commentators of hadith have determined that “three things” is an addition from the narrator as opposed to being the speech of the Nabi SAW.  Salat is not part of worldly matters. The hadith should therefore be: ‘Among your worldly matters perfume and women have been made beloved to me and the coolness of my eyes has been placed in salat’.

  1. Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Vol. 6 p. 419.
  2. Ḥāshiya al-Ṣāwī, Vol. 3 p. 204.



Many men and women in our communities live under the illusion that only men feel desire or have an interest in being sexual, and that women should not or cannot feel attraction, do not experience sexual pleasure, and can live healthy intimate lives without sexual satisfaction for lengthy periods of time.  This leads to misunderstandings and disappointments about wanting sex, initiating intimacy, and/or feeling excitement when sexual stimulation occurs.


This series of articles contains the perspectives of several Muslim women at different stages of life who have grown up and lived in different parts of the world, East and West, and want to share some insights with Muslim men – both married and unmarried – who don’t want sexually repressed, bitter spouses and failing marriages.  This is a look behind the scenes to aid understanding of a universal social issue. For the sake of privacy, each writer is identified only by her marital status. May Allah bless all of us with loving, passionate, and fulfilling intimate lives.


Married 20 Years, On Learning and Teaching Female Sexuality

With all due respect to my beloved and respected shuyukh, to whom I owe much of the knowledge I have gained about my religion, and for inspiring me to higher spiritual goals in my life, I firmly believe teaching female sexuality should be primarily handled by females – especially those who counsel on marital issues, psychologically or spiritually, and are familiar with the extended intimacy problems amongst women.


We already have issues with Muslim women not being sexually satisfied in their marriages, and these issues are exacerbated when women hesitate before approaching a male scholar to discuss their sexual challenges. It is time for us to acknowledge a serious problem we are facing in our Ummah: the issue of female sexuality.


Married 17 years, From the View of a Therapy Couch

Female sexuality is a source of confusion and frustration for many men due to misinformation. As a therapist, I have come across a number of issues faced by couples. Some men believe that women are not interested in sex because they are somehow disgusted by it.  Others think that women are not capable of being fulfilled sexually. Due to a lack of knowledge, experience and know-how, a multitude of men are not fulfilling their wives. As a result, many women experience painful sex without climax.  The majority of the clients I have done therapy with have expressed that sex is either painful or uneventful.


The reason that women are experiencing this level of disappointment is NOT because they are incapable of having fulfilling sexual experiences, rather it is because some men are detached emotionally from their wives and not fulfilling their needs outside the bedroom which prevents women from opening up in the bedroom.  Other men have corrupted themselves through over exposure to pornography and seductive pictures of surgically enhanced, air brushed women which as a result causes them to be overly critical of their wives who in turn feel inadequate and unattractive. When women don’t feel attractive or confident they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable and perform sexually. When men take the time to bond with their wives, nurture their relationship and familiarize themselves with sexual needs of their wives, they can be successful in fulfilling them on a regular basis.


There are Muslim women that report having fulfilling sexual experiences with their husbands. It is evident that individuals who have these experiences usually have a very strong friendship with their spouse. There is mutual love and respect with open communication.  The men have taken the time and effort to learn the techniques (not from porn, but from proper educational sources) while investing in the relationship and making their wives feel like a valuable gem.  This form of consistent affirmation allows the wives to feel nurtured and to open up sexually to their husbands.


In this vicious cycle of confusion and frustration with female sexuality there is hope! In order to improve the sexual experience for both husbands and wives, there needs to be a great effort put forth towards improving the marital relationship. When a couple has good communication, conflict resolution and commitment to excellence on a personal and marital level, then the environment is created which is conducive to romance, fulfillment and joy. Our Muslim brothers and sisters need to focus on increasing their knowledge, skills & emotional know-how in having the best marriage in order to increase their chances of a mutually enjoyable sexual experience.


Married 15 Years, On the Importance of Arousal

“On the authority of Jaabir bin Abdullah raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Jaabir bin Umar, both reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:“All things in which there is no mention of Allah are frivolity, absent-mindedness and idle play, except for four things: a man being playful with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals and teaching another man to swim.” [An-Nisa’ee in al-Ishrah and at-Tabaree] [1]


As someone who has been married for several years and has counseled women about intimacy, I see some core issues that frequently come up amongst those seeking counseling that I would like to share with both, husbands and husbands-to-be.


Arousal 101

love marriage sex muslimA lot of people (even women) don’t realize that when men and women become sexually aroused, their genitals become prepared for sex. In women this normally results in an enlargement of the clitoris and surrounding tissues (comparable to a male erection) and secretion of vaginal lubrication (i.e. she becomes wet).


Why is foreplay so important?


Imam Ibn Qudama [ra] the Hanbali Jurist narrates a hadith that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not begin intercourse until she has experienced desire, like the desire you experience, lest you fulfill your desires before she does.” (AlMughni 8:136)


I cannot stress the importance of foreplay enough. Men who cuddle and kiss their wives and know how to enjoy sensitive foreplay will often find that their spouses will not only enjoy sexual intercourse more, but will also reach orgasm  easier. The method varies from person to person – flirting outside the bedroom, talking, kissing, massage, touching, hugging, fondling, undressing, French kissing (which is from the sunnah [1]), petting – anything to get in the mood and more importantly to reach full arousal and enrich the sexual experience. Most women need prolonged stimulation in order to reach a state of complete arousal, and foreplay will provide them with the required stimulation (some don’t, and only a loving open relationship will let you know what your spouse needs and wants) and she will love you more for it.


Using lubricant is amazing as an aid but cannot be a substitute for natural arousal.


Dear brothers, giving pleasure to one’s spouse is an act of virtue with immense rewards. Ask her what makes her feel good and tell her what gives you pleasure. Listen to her voice, look into her eyes, watch her body –  they all give clues even if she is too shy to say anything. Lest someone thinks that these are all novel, 21st century ideas, many ahadith, classical Islamic books and our pious predecessors[2] paid a lot of attention to the needs of women.


Narrated by Sayyidna Anas raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said  “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Musnad Al Firdaus- Imam Daylami)


“If you would have pleasant coition, which ought to give an equal share of happiness to the two combatants and be satisfactory to both, you must first of all toy with the woman, excite her with kisses, by nibbling and sucking her lips, by caressing her neck and cheeks….Then when you observe the lips of a woman to tremble and get red, and her eyes to become languishing, and her sighs to become quicker, know that she is ready.”Shaykh Muhammad Umar Nefwazi in The Perfumed Garden


Don’t be selfish; it will harm your lovemaking in the long run. Investing in foreplay makes the whole lovemaking experience much more enjoyable. Most women want to please their man. Seeing him reach his climax is very satisfying and gives her a boost, but it is not enough. “Many women need a transition period between dealing with the stress of everyday life and feeling sexual,” Dr. Ian Kerner, Ph.D and certified sex therapist says, “a few minutes of foreplay usually isn’t enough.”


Inadequate or ineffective foreplay (as well as depression, poor self-esteem, sexual abuse, feelings of shame or guilt about sex, stress, fatigue and illness) can impede arousal. Your wife may desire sex but if her genital area fails to respond normally, it makes sex painful and sometimes impossible.


In a healthy relationship, sex is only 10 percent of a marriage, meaning the focus of the marriage doesn’t revolve around the quantity or issues, but when something is wrong, sex becomes 90 percent of the marriage.  Couples start arguing about it and  it causes fractures in  marriage.


Married 20 Years, The Woman Behind The Big O

As a community doyen who often hears women’s complaints, is familiar with their struggles with regards to sexuality, feels their sexual dissatisfaction, and listens to their sexual fantasies, let me be very clear: if a woman is not having an orgasm for 1-2 years, she should seek counseling with her husband.


[1] Sayyida A’isha raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)


[2] One day while” Umar raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) May Allah be pleased with him) was walking in Madinah during the night, he heard a woman saying: “What a long night! I do not have a lover with whom I can play. By Allah! Unless Allah watches me, there will be someone to make love with me. Accordingly, ‘Umar asked about that woman. He was told that her husband was away from her for fighting in the cause of Allah. Then, he ordered that they must gather together. He sent for the husband to return. He entered upon Hafsa and asked, O daughter! How long can a woman stay away from her husband? She said, Five or six months. Therefore, he issued a command that warriors in the cause of Allah should not be taken away from their wives more than six months.


[3] In another version: Every thing that does not pertain to the remembrance of Allah is amusement except the following four things: 1- Caressing one’s wife,  taming one’s horse, shooting arrows, learning how to swim. [Reported by Al-Nisa’i] [Tuhfatul Aroos]


Women have orgasms


Sex without orgasm is frustrating for women, and this frustration and fatigue causes a delay in her orgasm. It is a vicious cycle. The solution is not to believe that a woman needs to de-stress in order to reach her orgasm, the solution is to give her an orgasm so that she can de-stress!


Dissatisfaction is a reason for intimate disconnection.


If a man cannot make his wife climax, she may not want to jump into bed with him. If a man wants his wife to connect with him in bed, and to take initiatives to spice up their relationship, then he needs to make sure she reaches her orgasm every time. Women are perfectly capable of having an orgasm every time[4] with adequate foreplay.


Some men believe that a woman does not necessarily have to have to climax during every intercourse, and the mere fondling can “satisfy” her.  Quite the contrary, a woman, once instigated and fondled, is in dire need of reaching her orgasm. Our psychologist confirmed that to fondle a woman, get her excited and then leave her without an orgasm will only make her frustrated, moody and unhappy until she experiences her next orgasm! “Like their male counterparts, women can experience pelvic heaviness and aching if they do not reach orgasm,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D.


In fact, according to our psychologist, a woman not reaching orgasm is worse than leaving an aroused man without ejaculating. While men may get aroused several times in the day, women do not. So to get her excited and bring her to a point where she’s being fondled and then to not have her experience an orgasm is worse for her than it is for men. And if a newly-married man has the belief that their wives may not reach orgasm for up to 1-2 years due to misinformation, he will not put in much effort to help his wife climax.


Not being fulfilled decreases libido and is often the reason women stop wanting to have sex or think it’s a chore. This does not mean that her body does not desire sex. In fact, it turns into a cycle where she wants to enjoy sex but because of the above mentioned reasons she cannot climax, which adds to her frustration, making it even harder for her to reach that orgasm. Instead of complaining about his wife’s stress and fatigue and blaming that for her not reaching an orgasm, the husband should realize that because she cannot reach her climax, she is more fatigued.


Connect with your wives, and orgasm can only be a finger touch away.


Married 10 Years, On Role Playing & Vulnerability

Your wives are as a tilth unto you so approach your tilth when or how you will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah, and that you are to meet Him [Al-Baqara: 223] [5]


Being open about sexual fantasies, role-playing, exploring styles, positions, etc. is directly connected with a willingness to be vulnerable with one’s spouse. Being vulnerable means admitting or sharing something with your spouse when you fear the possibility of rejection. Will he think I’m too kinky?  Strange? Disgusting?  Yet this vulnerability is what keeps a couple’s sex life burning strong over the years, it keeps sex from getting boring and from having to “space out” in one’s head to become aroused fully. Hearing what your partner has to say is also a way of affirming your love and desire to know them, which reinforces the intimacy needed for amazing sex. Sharing a fantasy or making an admission about something in the bedroom is something many women shy away from, at the fear of rejection and believing that their husband’s needs are highest priority.  They don’t want to “shake things up.”  Yet if a woman continues to repress what she really dreams of and wants, it can lead to her looking elsewhere for it, or perhaps just becoming complacent.


Either way, not feeling safe to share your true desires with your husband is a passion killer.  Couples need to make a commitment to hearing each other and consider trying new things, as long as it doesn’t make someone highly uncomfortable.  Also, when it comes to sex, because marriage is the only means of halal pleasure, couples should try to be as limitless as possible within the bounds of shariah. [6]


[4]results of sexual studies conducted by American researchers Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, Shere Hite and others. In addition, the last 20 years have seen a number of sexual surveys conducted with large samples of people through newspapers and magazines. The Medical Information Service – has designed many of these.


[5]On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who said: “The Ansar, who had been polytheists, lived with the Jews, who were people of the book.” The former viewed the latter as being superior to them in knowledge, and used to follow their example in many things. The people of the book would only make love to their wives from the side, this being the most modest way for the woman, and the Ansar had followed their example in that. These people from the Quraish, on the other hand, used to expose their women in an uncomely manner. They took pleasure in them from the front, from the back, or laid out flat. When the Makkans came to al-Madina at the time of the Hijrah, one of them married a woman from among the Ansar, and began doing that with her. She disapproved of it and told him: “We used only to be approached from the side, so do that. This dispute became very serious until it reached the ears of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). So Allah, the High Exalted revealed, {Your wives are as a tilth unto you so approach your tilth when or how you will} [Reported by Ahmad]


Common Myths & Misconceptions, Tropes & Notions about Female Sexuality

Married 15 Years, On Sex as a Tradeoff for Love, Protection & Provision

This notion that sex is a trade-off for women in exchange of provision, protection and emotional love in a marriage doesn’t make sense to me and to most women I know. It objectifies the man as a cash register and denies his needs for emotional love. The idea of this trade-off may motivate some women who do not have any sexual desires (a VERY low percentage of women, and this cannot be used to make a general ruling for all women).


A sister who was taught this in an intimacy class mentions, “extending the “contract or legal” aspect of marriage into daily life hinders meeting the needs of one another in terms of a relationship. For example, we don’t have a contract defining our relationship with our parents. Most of it is based on God-consciousness (taqwa), goodness (ihsan), and using common sense to meet their social, emotional, and physical needs. Why not extend that to the spouse?


In his book, Zad al-Ma’ad, Imam Ibn Qayyim says, “Approaching a woman from her anus is unlawful. This is because the woman has also the right of sexual satisfaction. She cannot get any kind of sexual pleasure by such position. The only natural and proper way to have sex with a woman is through her vagina.” Not completing each other sexually is an injustice, and men are digging themselves into a hole for which they will have to face Allah. It is not enough to think they are okay just because some of our shuyukh are telling the wife to be patient.


Married 15 Years, On Sex and Virtue

“The  Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) declared Salman and Abu Darda’ brothers.  One day,  Salman visited Abu  Darda’. He found his wife wearing shabby clothes.  He asked  her,  “What  is  the matter with you Umm Darda’?” She said, “Your brother, Abu Darda’ stands in prayer all the night and fasts all the day. He no longer wants anything from this worldly life. Then Abu Darda’ came back greeted him and had some food prepared for him. Salman said, “You have to eat with me” Abu Darda’ said, “I am fasting.” But Salman swore an oath that he must eat with him.” Accordingly, they ate together. At night, Abu Darda’ wanted to spend the night in prayer but Salman asked him not to do (in that night). Then, he said, “Your body has a right over you and your wife has a right over you. Observe the fast sometimes and also leave it (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also approach your wife at another night. Thus you have to give everything its right. In the morning Abu Darda’ told the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) what Salman had done with him. The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), repeating Salman’s statement, said, “Abu Darda’! Your body has a right over you…” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Tirmidhi]


Another devastating misconception that often comes up is that a woman cannot be a virtuous and a sexual being at the same time, that virtue and desire are not mutually exclusive.  Feeling desire does not mean that a woman is promiscuous. Many women are reticent to express their desire because their husbands may think less of them. Others are taught that sex is dirty or shameful or that only prostitutes climax.  If your wife is under this misconception, for Allah’s sake, please talk to her.


Some Islamic classes and teachers addressing sexuality teach that women who feel desire will not attain the pleasures of Paradise. This teaching can really hurt a marriage, particularly of those women who are becoming more ‘practicing’. Others teach sex as charity (sadaqah) based on the hadith from Bukhari, but limit women when they stress that charity (sadaqah) is seeking reward only from Allah. Women then start treating sex as an obligation, with a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, not expecting any sensual pleasure. But sadaqah also means truth and giving the best that we have.  Sadly, many times this is not emphasized.


Married 10 Years, On the Sex Drive Myth

We’ve all heard that men think about sex almost as much as they breathe. The command to lower the gaze, though directed toward both genders in the Qur’an, is more strictly enforced on men. Men and women are created differently, yet the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentioned in a hadith that, to paraphrase, women like what men like, such as good looks for the sake of arousal and pleasure. Sexual chemistry is a must for both husband and wife to have a healthy intimate life.


However, everyone knows that the hadith about fulfilling sexual needs is often directed toward women: a woman should get down from her camel or let her bread burn if her husband wants to have sex with her. She should also fear Allah if she refuses, knowing that if she neglects her husband without valid reason, the angels will curse her.


Yet there are women who go about their married lives sexually unsatisfied and wondering if their husbands are held to the same obligation. If marriage is supposed to protect both partners from zina (unlawful intercourse), is a husband punishable for not coming to his wife when she asks for sex? Should he drop what he’s doing to fulfill her needs?


The implication here is that women are more likely to refuse the call of their partner for sex, generally speaking, which indicates that generally, many men have a stronger libido than women, or that women are more prone to sexual highs and lows than men, whether circumstantial or hormonal.


Yet we cannot escape the fact that women do have a libido, and one that is strong enough to tempt an unsatisfied woman to have an affair or watch pornography, for example.


Other women are born with stronger sex-drives.  Scientists theorize it may have some connection to do with male hormones (androgens) that the female fetus was exposed to in-utero. Men are either very excited to be married to them or very confused, some even intimidated.  Such women may have what comes off as a voracious appetite for sex, and will leave some men wondering why she isn’t a little more demure.  A woman can even be made to feel ashamed or too “masculine” for having a high sex-drive.  Yet whose yard-stick are we using to measure what is or isn’t normal?


A woman can have as strong a libido as a man, or even stronger.  Since a woman’s libido vacillates with circumstance, and actually rises with age, a woman’s sexuality is fluid. She can be aroused more easily and more often at thirty-five than as a teenager or newly-wed.


Married 5 Years, On Sex During Pregnancy

Sex during pregnancy is different for each couple. Depending on the condition, libido and sex drive fluctuates, sometimes from week to week. During the 2nd trimester especially, “normal” pregnant women have an increased sex drive and are easily aroused, especially by stimulation of the G-spot, so take advantage of those days. Keep in mind the idea of “unselfish care of your partner,”  and try some different positions.



Married 10 Years, On Sex After Kids

sex after kids pregnancyOne devastating trope about women is that after they have children, their libido goes down. Yet scientific research suggests it goes up. Does a woman actually have a lower libido or has she come to expect less satisfaction over time, often presenting a false image that she is less interested in sex?


Marriages change after children and motherhood is extremely taxing.  Women can almost seem to go into a “dormant” state, yet the reality isn’t that her libido is gone.  The reality is that her sex-drive is directly connected with a general sense of well-being.


If more men were in tune with their wives emotionally, wanted to uphold a lasting friendship, or were proactive as husband and fathers, they might find the dramatic change that they were hoping for in their marriage.  With a better sense of emotional well-being outside of the bedroom, a woman’s libido will sky-rocket inside it.  She may even be more open to trying new things or engaging in different styles or fantasies she was too reluctant to explore in her younger years.


[7] Research suggests that cognitive factors like sexual motivation, perceived gender role expectations, and sexual attitudes play important roles in women’s self-reported levels of sexual arousal. Rupp, H. A., & Wallen, K. “Sex differences in response to visual sexual stimuli: A review”, “Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(2), 206-218”, 2008



Married 15 Years, On Spirituality in the Bedroom

The languishing eye

Puts in connection soul with soul,


And the tender kiss


Takes the message from member to vulva.


-16th century Muslim poet


Something that is often missing from these discussions is the spiritual component. I like to think of it in this way: everything that we do – love, bear children, have sex, feel good  – has to take us higher spiritually and closer to Allah. The correct intention is what make these acts of worship. If I do something solely to pleasure myself or my husband, it is going to get tired quickly. But if I keep my focus on pleasing Allah then anything I do in my intimate life, whether it’s the flirting, having an orgasm, or sharing our bodies, becomes something that feeds my soul. If sex is sadaqah, it should be given with your whole heart.


If after good sex I am not grateful to Allah for the experience and neither is my husband, then there is an essential element missing.  Spirituality is very emotionally and sexually empowering. If we look at sex as a spiritual not just a physical exercise and climaxing as the epitome of pleasure that Allah has gifted us, it is easier to understand why it is meant to be a source of Divine Love for both man and woman; perhaps a taste of Heaven on Earth.


The post has been reviewed by Shaykh Abdullah Hasan and clinical psychologist Haleh Banani.


-It is essential to overcoming shyness to communicate with the husband about your sexual expectations, and for coping with other psychological issues like performance anxiety.


-Every time a husband initiates sex he is opening himself up for rejection. Think what constant rejection can do to a person. Refusing sex for no reason is, plain and simple, a sin.


-If a woman is in a healthy relationship with her husband she will naturally want to flirt with him. Charming your husband only works if it is genuine, men aren’t dumb and know when they are being manipulated. Thinking that men are easily manipulated creatures is disrespectful and belittling to both husband and wife. In an Islamic marriage the emphasis is on respect.



Lack Of Sexual Intimacy In A Marriage : Raising Awareness In The Muslim Community


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