Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you

Marriage and Sexual Starvation

Written by Abu Jabir Abdullah Musa Abdul Penabdul


I begin with the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. 


Marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman which becomes binding at the mentioning of the Name of Allah.


In a narration in Sahih Muslim on the strength of Jabir bin Abdullah the Prophet SAW said; 


“Fear Allah regarding women. Verily, you have taken them as a trust from Allah, and intercourse has been made lawful by the word of Allah.”


Allah commands men to live honorably with their wives. 

“And live with them honorably”

Qur’an 4:19


This command should not be taken lightly.


In order to safeguard the chastity of the wife, the husband has been charged with the responsibility of not only protecting her but also of fulfilling her sexual needs according to his ability.


Being kind and honorable to the wife is beyond feeding and accommodation. Sexual satisfaction according to her needs and the husband’s ability is a key element in the rights of women in marriage.


Many women are suffering silently in their matrimonial homes that is supposed to offer them a sanctuary and refuge from the harsh realities of life.


This deliberate sexual starvation can cause depression, hypersensitivity, anxiety and restlessness in women. 


Factually, if there is an open misconduct and a blatant disobedience on the part of the wife such that she fails to fulfill the rights of the husband over her, he is asked to forsake her in bed as an interim measure to correct her misconduct. But, where there is none, he is culpable.


Cases on almost weekly basis of women being forsaken in bed by their husbands for lengthy periods, is becoming increasingly common in our society.


Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo’ stated that the right to sexual intimacy is more important than feeding the wife.


Some of the scholars have stated that it is OBLIGATORY for the husband to have sex with his wife at least once in every four months. (This of course has its basis from the incidence of Umar RA).


While some scholars did not peg it on once in four months, rather, they said it is obligatory to be intimate with one’s wife according to her needs and his ability.


What words could express the pain of women being left and forsaken in bed for not months but years! What words could describe the temptation that these women are exposed to and what words could express the danger the husbands are in?


The scholars have stated that if the husband refused to get intimate with his wife for more than four months then the Islamic judge will ask him to fulfill that right, if he refuses then he will be asked to divorce her and if he refuses the judge will issue a ruling on divorce.


As for the wife, whenever you notice that your husband has forsaken you in bed, then try to understand the reason. Look inward to see if you are at fault so that you can immediately rectify the problem. Otherwise, have an amicable conversation with him regarding the issue.


Let the men fear Allah and not expose their wives to dangerous consequences of starving them of sexual intimacy. Would anyone want that fit his daughter, or sister? Definitely no.


If the marriage is not working and all efforts to resolve pending issues proved unsuccessful then divorce is better than keeping a woman and harming her.


Please, let us strive to make our homes work.


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