Disclaimer: Although it is generally considered taboo for Muslims to talk about openly in most cultures, it is important to note that the Prophet (saww) and the Imams' (asws) advice often go wasted because no one speaks about it. We strongly recommend only married couples to read and to make use of these hadiths in a mature manner.
Many times we focus ourselves exclusively on the sexual needs and requirements of the men, and the duties of the wife towards him. However, what are the sexual rights, needs and recommendations given by the Holy Prophet (saww) and His Ahlulbayt (asws) for husbands concerning their wives?
Here we present a couple of ahadith taken from various sources and tried to cover the topic for the understanding of married men.
Once every Four Months
The wife has the right that the husband must attend to her sexual needs at least once every four months. This is obligatory on the man unless it is either harmful to either party or the wife waives this right or it is stipulated in the marriage contract. Being a far distance or travel is not an excuse.
Safwan bin Yahya asked Imam al-Redha (as): “A man has a young wife and hasn’t come close to her for months, even a year. It is not because he wants to trouble her (by staying away), but rather a calamity has befallen them. Is this counted as a sin?” the Imam (as) replied: “If he leaves her for four months, it is counted as a sin.”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 140
Now, this hadith does not mean that the husband should only attend his wife only once every four months. They should attend to them often as it is a form of sadaqah (charity, or in this context a generous deed) for them.
Imam Al-Sadiq (as) narrates that the Prophet (sawa) addressed one of his companions on the day of Friday and asked: “Are you fasting today?” (The companion) replied, “No.” The Prophet asked: “Have you given anything as sadaqah (charity) today?” (The companion) replied, “No.” The Prophet told him: “Go to your wife and that is your very sadaqah to her!”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 109
Some also may argue that the pious and virtuous of men do not engage in sexual acts falsely thinking it is impure and evil. This is quite against the teachings of Islam and Ahlulbayt (as).
Muhammad bin Khalad narrates from Imam al-Redha (as): “Three things are from the sunnah of the noble Prophets and the Messengers of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (saww), and these are – application of perfume, cutting off the hair and engaging in a lot of conjugal relations.”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 241
It is narrated from Imam Al-Sadiq (as): Three ladies went to the Prophet (sawa) to complain. One of them said: “My husband does not eat meat.” The other said: “My husband does not smell perfume and does not use perfume,” and the third lady said: “My husband does not come near the ladies (i.e. does not engage in sexual relations).” The Prophet (sawa) with unhappiness, in the manner that his blessed Aba (cloak) was dragging on the floor, left and went to the mosque and on to the minbar. He praised Allah (swt) and then said: “What has happened, that a group from my followers don’t eat meat, or don’t apply perfume, or don’t go to their wives? Whilst I eat meat, I apply perfume and also go to my wife. This is my sunnah, and any person that turns away from this sunnah is not from me!”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 107
Rushing the Wife
On the other end of the scale, there are those Husband whom do attend to their Wives but do so in a selfish manner.
It is narrated from Imam Ali (as): “When any of you wants to sleep with his wife, he must not rush her for indeed women have needs (too).”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 118
It is narrated from the Prophet (sawa): “Do not engage in sexual intercourse with your wife like hens; rather, firstly engage in foreplay with your wife and flirt with her and then make love to her.”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 117
There are many hadiths suggesting the encouragement of foreplay. In one hadith, there is some advice from Imam Al-Redha (as) encouraging on type of foreplay, which is the caressing the breasts:
It is narrated from Imam al-Redha (as): “Do not engage in sexual intercourse unless you engage in foreplay, and play with her a lot and caress her breasts, and if you do this she will be overcome by passion (and excited to the full pitch) and her water will collect. This is so that the emission of the watery juices shoots off from the breasts and passion becomes evident from her face and her eyes and that she desires you in the same way you desire her.”
Source: Mustadrak Al-Wasa’il, Volume 14, Page 221
Tell her that you love her
Finally, a small suggestion from the Prophet (sawa) where he says:
“The saying of “I love you” from the man to the woman never leaves her heart!”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 20, Page 23
Note: This does not mean you only have to say it to the wife only once in your life! 🙂
At another place, Imam Sadiq (as) says, “Everyone who intensifies love for us, intensifies love for his wife too.”
Source: Wasa’il Al-Shi’a, Volume 14, Page 11
It will be great if we end our topic with the Right of Wife as mentioned by Imam Sajjad (as) in Risalat al-Huquq.
“The right of your wife (zawja) is that you know that God has made her a repose and a comfort for you; you should know that she is God’s favour toward you, so you should honour her and treat her gently. Though her right toward you is more incumbent, you must treat her with compassion, since she is your prisoner (aseer) whom you feed and clothe. If she is ignorant, you should pardon her!”
May Allah grant us taufiq to follow the footsteps of the Pure Ahlebayt (asws) and count us among their servants and followers. May Allah forgive us all.