If you’re a woman, married or unmarried, this is for you. Surprisingly, the post is about men. Oops!
It’s because we live in a world where everyone is keen to know their rights but hardly anyone is concerned about their duties. It’s satisfying and easy to know what rights you have, but fulfilling your duties is uphill work. Anyway, it’s a long debate and we will not be getting into it just now, suffice it to say that men and women both have their sets of duties and rights, Allah has set them and He is not unfair to either sex.
What I do want to talk about is hadith no. 3237 in Sahih Bukhari, it is a well-known hadith but the intensity of the implication of its meaning is what’s often not registered:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”
Refusing a husband when he calls for sexual relations is a major sin.
Major sins are not something to be taken lightly. If not doing something is a major sin then doing it is an obligation. You have to do it, there is no way around it. Sometimes when people start getting pleasure out of certain things, they think they have to do those things only as long as they’re enjoyable and when they don’t get the pleasure any more, they think it’s okay to leave them and they forget that in the first place it was an obligation, the pleasure was just a bonus.
This is the mercy of Allah that He has put pleasure in obligatory things for us. For example, attending a Quran class and learning new things is fun. But even if it wasn’t fun, we’d still have to do it.
Similarly, your husband is your friend, you have good times together and you have bad times. You get tired and sometimes want to be alone as well. But even then, when you don’t feel like it, you still can’t say ‘no’.
Some might call it cruel but then again the thing to remember is that all the rules are set by Allah and He knows us best, wants the best for us and is never unjust. To understand the scientific aspect of it, you can read the details somewhere where you will find how it is important for men to release that specific energy bottled up inside which would otherwise be harmful for them. It’s a need, just like food is our need. To understand the emotional aspect, you can still read on it elsewhere.
There are only 2 conditions in which you can refuse your husband:
- There is a legal reason. You’re on your period, you’re fasting the obligatory fast, he’s asking you to do something forbidden in Islam (anal sex etc.)
- There is a physical reason. You’re extremely ill and weak and don’t have the strength to please him.
Other than this, denying him his right just out of boredom, because you’re not in the mood, you’re doing something else or you want to do it conditionally, all this is wrong.
This is an obligation. Leaving obligatory deeds is sure to bring all sorts of problems in life. The first thing it would do is to take away Allah’s mercy. If your marital life is suffering, think is it because I am not doing something that I am supposed to be doing?
Obeying one’s husband is very important anyway. His place is only after Allah and His Prophet ﷺ. If the husband is not happy with you, Allah won’t be happy either. We should be careful lest all our other good deeds go to waste by not taking care of this obligation.
Just like it is sinful to not obey him, similarly, obeying him has a lot of merits. Not only does it make you enter Paradise but it will make Allah happy and it will eventually bring marital bliss. Your husband will notice what you do for him and be good to you as well. You just need to keep doing your job.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (Ramadaan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: Enter Paradise by whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.”
[Narrated by Ahmad (1664) and others; classed as hasan by al-Albaani because of another report in Saheeh al-Targheeb, as stated by al-Arna’oot in Takhreej al-Musnad.]
May Allah make our spouses the coolness of our eyes. Ameen.