#341: Belittling the Conjugal and Spiritual Needs of a Husband

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it permissible for a wife to belittle the conjugal and spiritual needs of her husband?

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Marriage’s purpose is to develop the family institution and it is highly encouraged in Islam. Its purpose is also to fulfil the natural need of people, expand the Muslim community as well as cultivate a calm and peaceful soul. Islam encourages marriage in order to attain its various advantages and benefits. This is as stated in a hadith from Abdullah bin Amr RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ، وَخَيْرُ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْمَرْأَةُ الصَّالِحَةُ

“The whole world is to be enjoyed, but the best thing in the world is a good woman.” [1]

Likewise, a husband and wife are a couple who protects one another and are in need of each other. The parable of their relationship is mentioned in the Quran, Allah SWT states:

هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ

“They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.” [2]

Dr Mustafa al-Khin in his book al-Fiqh al-Manhaji [3] stated the wisdoms of marriage are:

  • Fulfilling the innate need of human
  • Expanding the Muslim ummah with lineage
  • Create calmness of soul and spiritual peace
  • Maintaining the character and conduct from damage and decline
  • Protecting a prosperous human generation
  • Developing families and strengthening cooperation

According to the above question, a wife should never adopt such an attitude. Islam commanded wives to always obey their husbands, helping them and offering aid as long as they aren’t instructed to sin towards Allah SWT. Husbands are commanded by Allah SWT to always be kind and do good to their wives as stated by Him:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“And live with them in kindness.” [4]

The same for women, Allah SWT commanded them to be responsible for the needs of their husbands:

لَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ

“And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.” [5]

Furthermore, such an act could lead to nusyuz for a wife. Dr Muhammad Zuhaili defined nusyuz to mean disobedient. And nusyuz of a woman is disobedience towards her husband by disobeying her husband. And nusyuz for a man on a woman is to disregard his responsibilities and hurt his spouse. [6]

Allah SWT states:

اللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ

“But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them.” [7]

The act of nusyuz by a wife is prohibited and it is one of the major sins. This is stated in a hadith from Abi Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ فَلَمْ تَأْتِهِ فَبَاتَ غَضْبَانَ عَلَيْهَا لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلاَئِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ

“When a man calls his wife to come to his bed and she refuses and does not come to him and he spends the night angry, the angels curse her till the morning.” [8]

Dr Muhammad Zuhaili in his book stated nusyuz of a person can occur in various situations and circumstances. Such as a wife disobeying her husband, for instance, she went out of her house without the permission of her husband or permissible reason which permits her such as seeking advice from a qadi working to provide for their family since her husband is poor. Or she refuses to have intercourse with her husband due to reasons permitted by syarak. [9]

The grave warning shows the great importance of the role of a wife in helping her husband in managing his sexual needs so as to not get involved with unwanted demise of morals such as the act of adultery or others. This also means that fulfilling the needs of her husband is considered worship and rewarded by Allah SWT.

Thus, we state that it is unreasonable for a wife to belittle her husband’s sexual or other needs, without strong reasoning such as harm, for it is a form of sin in religion and oppression amongst people.

However, if the wife complains to the qadhi to get an explanation or sentence regarding the conjugal rights of her husband without belittling her husband, then this is permitted by syarak, just like during the time of Rasullullah PBUH, where a woman came to complain and this incident is narrated from Aisyah R.Anha, she said:


أَنَّ امْرَأَةَ رِفَاعَةَ الْقُرَظِيِّ جَاءَتْ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ رِفَاعَةَ طَلَّقَنِي فَبَتَّ طَلَاقِي، وَإِنِّي نَكَحْتُ بَعْدَهُ عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ الزَّبِيرِ الْقُرَظِيَّ، وَإِنَّمَا مَعَهُ مِثْلُ الْهُدْبَةِ، قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: (لَعَلَّكِ تُرِيدِينَ أَنْ تَرْجِعِي إِلَى رِفَاعَةَ؟ لَا، حَتَّى يَذُوقَ عُسَيْلَتَكِ وَتَذُوقِي عُسَيْلَتَهُ

“The wife of Rifa’ah came to the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘Rifa’ah divorced me and made it irrevocable. Then I married ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair, and what he has is like the fringe of a garment.’ The Messenger of Allah smiled and said: ‘Do you want to go back to Rifa’ah? No, not until he (‘Abdur-Rahman) tastes your sweetness and you taste his sweetness.'” [10]

May Allah SWT grant us all a true understanding in religion. We end with the following supplication:

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

 “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Narrated by Muslim (1467)

[2] Surah al-Baqarah, 187

[3] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 4/13-16

[4] Surah al-Nisa’: 19

[5] Surah al-Baqarah: 228

[6] See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e, 4/90

[7] Surah al-Nisa’: 34

[8] Narrated by Muslim (1436)

[9] See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e, 4/92

[10] Narrated by al-Bukhari (5260), Muslim (1433), al-Tirmidzi (1118), al-Nasaie (3408) and Ahmad (24144)

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