Category: Marriage (Nikah)
Fatwa#: 38432
Asked Country: South Africa

Answered Date: Sep 10,2017

Title: What should a husband do if wife refuses intimacy


Asalaamuliakum, what does a huaband do if the wife refuses to sleep with her husband? Can they husband hold back her allowance? Is there any recourse that a husband can take?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

One of the fundamental aims and objectives of marriage is to fulfill one’s carnal desires and maintain chastity.

This requires cooperation between the spouses. Each spouse should be sensitive to his/her partner’s intimate needs.

This is understood from the following Hadith;

قال النبي(صلي الله عليه وسلم): «إِذَا الرَّجُلُ دَعَا زَوْجَتَهُ لِحَاجَتِهِ فَلْتَأْتِهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَتْ عَلَى التَّنُّورِ» 

Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “When a man calls his wife to fulfill his (intimate) need, she should obey him even if she may be at the stove (cooking).”[1]

While the Hadith refers to the wife, the husband is also responsible to fulfill his wife’s intimate needs.[2]

It should be also pointed out that marriage is more about cooperation between the spouses rather than rights.

The spouses need to understand each other. If any spouse errs in fulfilling his/her duty, the other spouse should adopt wisdom and after enquiring the reason for that, advise his/her partner with love and care.

In the enquired situation, the husband should find out from his wife why she does not want to be intimate with him. Perhaps she may be experiencing some sort of physical, emotional, or even mental strain. 

To identify the cause of a problem is half the solution. The husband should work towards the other half for a full and complete solution to the problem.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Saad Haque

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] سنن الترمذي ١١٦٠

[2] امداد الفتاوي (٢/٢١٧)

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