Marital Relationship: Duties and Rights Featured

By Prof. Dr. Yehia Othman June 24, 2024 5699

Dear esteemed Dr. Yehia,

Peace be upon you, and may Allah's mercy and blessings be with you. Greetings and appreciation to Al-Mujtama magazine. May the efforts and contributions of its staff be accepted and blessed. I have hesitated for a long time, out of embarrassment, to write to you. Many times, I intended to write but felt too shy to speak about my suffering. However, what encouraged me to bring up this issue is, unfortunately, its recurrence among my friends, although the causes and effects may differ. I hope you find it important enough to discuss and address ways to deal with it.

I am a woman in my early forties, and my husband is in his mid-forties. We have been married for two decades and have lived in happiness and harmony. My husband has made tremendous efforts to grow and develop his company. He has never neglected his responsibilities towards his family, often working late into the night. His routine became disrupted; he no longer eats regularly nor goes to the gym. I noticed a decline in his performance (Marital Relationship) but was too embarrassed to mention it. Often, I eagerly prepared to meet him, but he would fall asleep during dinner. Even if he tried out of embarrassment, he would frequently not complete the encounter as he would finish before I have my enjoyment! This caused me both physical and emotional pain. Usually I pretend to reach ecstasy to satisfy his ego, especially since he is perfect in everything else, so why should I deny him the belief that he can meet my needs in bed?

Thank ALLAH, my desire no longer represents any pressure on me; I lower my gaze, close my ears, and refrain from speaking in a way that might encourage anyone with ill intentions. I no longer prepare myself to meet him to avoid causing embarrassment for both of us. What pained me was his disregard for my unusual behavior. I don't know if he didn't notice because he usually returns exhausted, or if he found it a solution after his repeated attempts often ended in failure.

I was shocked by a call from his office manager informing me that my husband was in the hospital due to a coma. I rushed to the hospital, and the doctor reassured us that it was a diabetic coma. The doctor scolded him for neglecting his health for so long that his condition had deteriorated to this extent and warned him about not adhering to the treatment, especially the need to change his lifestyle.

I read about diabetes and its devastating effects on those who neglect it and realized that it was the main reason for my husband's deteriorating performance (Marital Relationship). I forgave him despite the pain of being deprived of my marital rights. I decided to prepare special food for him, and encourage him by sharing it with him. We sat down together to reorganize his priorities, emphasizing that his health was the most important thing, especially since the company had grown several times in size, and we do NOT need more money but really we are in need to him.

Thank ALLAH, my husband adhered to the treatment, and his test results improved. However, within a month, he started neglecting the doctor's instructions again and began to stay out late, justifying it with the opening of a new branch.

The problem that is now destroying our lives is that, despite my efforts to avoid making him feel inadequate and despite enduring my deprivation from my right (Marital Relationship) as a wife and forgiving him, his sense of inadequacy has made him quick to anger. His mistakes towards me have become frequent, and he has accused me of no longer "arousing" him. He constantly criticizes my appearance and the way I speak.

Dear Professor, my husband is an avid reader of your esteemed magazine, so I hope that my issue receives your attention in a way that helps my husband overcome this obstacle that is on the verge of destroying our lives.

Analysis:

  • Marital relationships are characterized by their complexity, diversity, and reciprocal influence, both positively and negatively. Mismanaging these relationships in an unhealthy manner can lead to problems, especially when it comes to intimate aspects (Marital Relationship). Here, I don't just mean the BODY intimacy between spouses, but rather all forms of expressing the intimacy of the marital relationship, which can only be fully realized between spouses, from verbal and visual expressions of love to the merging in intimate relations. It's understood that without emotional, verbal, visual, and sensory interaction, physical intimacy loses its value. It becomes merely a release of desire rather than a fulfillment both emotionally and physically.
  • The primary motivation for marriage is the intimate relationship, through which self-restraint (self-protection, Taqwa: is an Arabic term that is often translated as "piety," "fear of ALLAH," or "ALLAH-consciousness.") is achieved and offspring are sought. Therefore, it is one of the most important aspects of the relationship between spouses. Based on the problems presented to us, any disruption in the intimate relationship is the cause of more than 95% of marital issues, leading to either actual or emotional separation between the spouses. The fruit of Allah's blessing upon the spouses in their intimate relationship is emotional and physical fulfillment, a sense of mutual containment, and psychological blending, which strengthens the bonds of love, trust, tolerance, and forgiveness between them.
  • Expressing affection throughout the day prepares both spouses for a pleasant night, especially during her menstruation period. This can be done by exchanging tender whispers of love and longing, appreciative and grateful looks, gentle touches, and goodbye and welcome kisses throughout the day. These romantic actions help to lessen the intensity of arguments, no matter the cause of the disagreement, and prevent misunderstandings, anger, and its consequences. Many problems dissolve or become easier to solve when one of the spouses takes the initiative through saying: "My beautiful wife" / "my lovely husband."

From the problems presented to us, we reach to a conclusion that, many spouses have a misconception, limiting emotional communication to intimate moments only. Even some are emotionally stingy during intimate encounters!

A wife may confirm that her intimate encounters with her husband, both in frequency and performance, are satisfactory, but she still needs emotional fulfillment. The problem can be exacerbated when the husband does not emotionally prepare his wife for intimacy, causing her emotional and physical pain and deprivation.

The prophetic guidance, peace be upon him, states: "None of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; let there be a messenger between you." It was asked: "What is the messenger, O Messenger of Allah?" He said: "The kiss and sweet/lovely words." He also said: "Three things indicate a man’s weakness... including when a man approaches his wife and do intimate relation with her without speaking to her or caressing her, fulfilling his need before she fulfills hers."

  • The intimate relationship is both a responsibility and entitlement for both spouses, and it serves the legitimate (Al-sharia) purposes of chastity and protection. Based on the legal principle "What cannot be accomplished except through it, becomes obligatory itself", so every spouse must take all legitimate means to fulfill his duties towards his spouse, especially those duties which only he/she can perform, such as the intimate relationship. While it is obligatory for the husband to provide for his wife, but if he falls short for any reason, her family may provide her with her needs, but, if he neglects to satisfy his wife in intimate relationship, who will compensate her?

 

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "When a man calls his wife to his bed and she does not respond, and he (the husband) spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until morning." [Agreed upon]

This applies to the rights of the husband, who is allowed to marry up to four women and is not restricted to specific spouse. So, what about woman who are restricted to only her husband! Allah, the Almighty, says, "And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable." "وَلَهُنَّ مِثلُ الَّذِي عَلَيهِنَّ بِالمَعرُوف. [Quran 2:228]

Basic Requirements: Therefore, it is incumbent upon every husband:

       1. The requires essential knowledge:

To acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable him to interact well with his spouse in intimate relationships, and to be diligent in continuing to learn. Thanks to Allah, there are thousands of specialized Muslim-run webpages that scientifically address all aspects of marital relations.

       2. Take care of yourself:

He should take care of his physical health, starting from dental hygiene to sexual competence, as well as his mental well-being. Yes, it is upon the husband to seek halal sustenance to support his family, but he should also avoid exhausting himself in pursuit of wealth to the extent that he cannot fulfill his wife's rights. Allah has rights over His worshipers, yet this should not adversely affect the rights of the husband. The wife is not permitted to observe voluntary fasting while her husband is present without his permission. Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sought permission from his wife Aisha to engage in night prayers.

      3. Transparency:

Without compromising his spouse's modesty, the spouse must be attentive to what helps him/her fulfill this responsibility. He/she should not be shy or unjust to himself/herself or his/her spouse, as this may lead to frustration.

      4. Development and Innovation:

Monotony and repetitive routine can lead to disinterest, boredom, and subsequently, diminished performance. But in the other side, development and innovation—whether in conversation, approach, bedroom decor, attire, grooming, recalling joyful moments between spouses, and much more—make every night the most memorable encounter.

      5. Grooming (be beautiful / lovely view):

Some husbands may think it's solely the responsibility of their wives to groom themselves and present themselves in the best manner possible, while neglecting their own grooming for them. It is narrated from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, "I love to beautify myself for my wife just as I love her to beautify herself for me, because Allah Almighty says: 'And due to them [wives] is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.‏'"

      6. Do not neglect your spouse's needs:

The intimate relationship is highly sensitive, making it difficult for either spouse to initiate at times, and his spouse neglects or overlooks meeting his spouse's needs. So, the relationship can become strained and complicated, especially when the wife is the one who initiated. Constantly reminding both spouses, "Do not neglect your spouse's needs, but sense her/his needs and strive to fulfill them before asking you. Therefore, it is very important to recognize, be aware of and fulfill the emotional and physical needs of the spouse, especially the husband with his wife, who may naturally be more modest and shier.

      7. The Bedroom:

The bedroom is for sleeping, not for arguments or solving problems. I always emphasize leaving all your worries and problems at the bedroom door and preparing yourself for a warm embrace with your spouse.

      8.Communication Despite Abstaining from Intimacy:

Intimate relations may be temporarily abstained from due to “sharia reason” or medical reasons, and they may weaken or disappear entirely due to permanent medical conditions. This does not mean that emotional communication between spouses should cease, but shortcomings in intimate relations should be accompanied by an increased flow of emotional expression, as both spouses will need to compensate for the lack of physical intimacy.

     9. Marriage is Not Just an Intimate Relationship:

Many husbands overemphasize this aspect, as if their worth to their wives is solely based on their performance in intimate relations! While intimate relations are indeed valuable and important to the wife, love, tenderness, and affection generally satisfy her and help maintain a good relationship with her husband. On the other hand, the husband should put in his utmost effort to fulfill his wife’s needs, and there are many ways to do so, as long as both partners agree.

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Last modified on Monday, 24 June 2024 13:14