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Assalamu’alaikum

Please, introduce my name. I am Melawati. I have been married for five years and we have 2 children. Every day, I work to maintain my shop in the home, and also I take care of my children. 

 

Here is my problem. Usually, I don’f feel comfortable when I am called by my husband for a sexual intercourse because of tired condition and also in a menstrual period. Sometimes, when I reject my husband, he becomes angry and says that a wife must serve her husband. He often says that when a wife rejects her husband’s call, she will be cursed by the angel and said don’t blame the husband when he cheats with another woman. I feel very guilty and awry, because of the conditions that sometimes make me feel tired because of managing my shop, doing all of the domestic work, and taking care of my children in the home. Actually I want to ask whether a wife can reject her husband’s call to bed when she is tired, sick and in a menstrual period. Then, how should I explain it to him? Please give me some lightning advice. Thank you. 

 

Wassalamu alaikum

Mrs. Melawati, Tasikmalaya

 

Dear honorable Mrs Melawati who blessed by Allah, 

I really sympathize with the problems you face nowadays. Thank you for believing us in helping you to give the advice and find the solutions related to the problems. I also understand the dilematic situation you face, in which you have to maintain the condition of your body and need enough times to take a rest from tire, sickness, and mesntruations, but in another way the husband needs to do sexual intercourse.  This condition often happens in the relations of husband and wife, and actually can be solved if it can be communicated well so it will be understood by both parties. 

Sometimes, the demand of the fulfilment of the husband’s sexual needs are perceived as part of the obligations of the wife, by neglecting her conditions. These perceptions are also justified by the religious text that cornering women’s position.  One of them is the hadith that said if a woman rejects the call from her husband for sexual intercourse, therefore  she be cursed by the angel up to morning  (HR. Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud). 

Even though, ‘the rejection’ here means if the wife does the rejection by intention, neglecting the ethics, crude and without fundamental reason.  But, if the rejection was done because of some strong and specific reasons, and delivered through good manners (ma’ruf), of course women will not be sentenced by the punishment as mentioned in the hadith. The hadith also reciprocally can be applied to the husband who forced his wife for a sexual intercourse, or reject his wife’s desire for not doing the sexual intercourse inappropriate manner. Principally, the sexual relationship is not only to please one party, but to please and to bring happiness for both husband and wife. So that, the sexual intercourse must be done freely without forced and any constraints. 

According to the views of some contemporary fuqaha’ (Islamic Jurist) , such as az- Zuhaili, it was said that the curse will come to the  unreasonable rejection (min ghair ‘udzrin), and did not appear because of fulfilling the religious obligation (lam yusyghilhâ ‘an al-farâ’idh). It means, a woman has the right to reject her husband will which is sure will hurt herself, or when she is still doing her obligation (Husein Muhammad, 2000). For several reasons, the subordination of women’s sexuality towards men is not an absolute thing). The are some spaces, in which a woman is considered to have right to rejecting the intimate relationship call from her husband (Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir, 2020). 

So, Mrs.Melawati, you have the right to reject the call for sexual intercourse because of working to contribute in fulfilling the family needs and also to take care of the children; so the rejection is not done by intentionbut under the justifiable reason. If your husband call you for the sexual intercourse during your period, so you need to discuss with him related to the ethics of sexual intercourse in Islam and also to build an emphaty for the situation of his wife in the menstrual period. According to the Islamic teaching related to the period is for not doing the intercourse during menstruation and at the same time building the perception emphatically that menstruation can bring the sickness (adza),  not disgracing, and giving the appropriate time for woman in solving her feeling of sickness (fa’tazilun nisa’a fil-mahidl).

Mrs. Melawati who blessed by Allah, 

The purpose of a marriage is to realize the sakinah (tranquility) which is completed with a feeling of mawaddah wa rahmah (love and compassion) as mentioned in QS Ar Rum: 21. Both husband and wife must be willing to have tranquility in the family, so to achieve that goal, is how to grow and strengthen the feeling of love and compassion between both of you and your husband. 

Your rejection for the call of sexual intercourse can be delivered by love and compassion also, so your husband doesn’t feel being left and neglected. You can also said to him about the negative impact that you will face if the sexual intercourse done in the inappropriate conditions. The relationship between husband and wife as mentioned in the Quran is just like clothes that complete, cover, and warm each other. Both of them are in the equal relationship  as said Hunna libâsun lakum, wa antum libâsun lahunna (QS. Al-Baqarah, 187) which means “a woman is a cloth for her husband, and also man is a cloth for his wife.” So, it needs a reciprocal and cooperative relationship between both of them. 

You and your husband can start to discuss the share of domestic works in the household and also the child caring management.  Sharing roles in the domestic works, will lighten the burden of one party and will be impacted to the harmonious relationship in the family, including in the sexual relationship. 

Hopefully, this answer will be useful for you and can help you in solving the problems. Perhaps, you and your husband can deliberate and discuss well in making the decision. Thanks for your attention and happy working. 

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.

 

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