There is no Marital Rape in Islam

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That’s it.

There is no concept of marital rape in Islam.

In Islam Rape is a crime of Zina, which refers to extramarital or pre marital sex.

Within marriage there is no extramarital or premarital intercourse by definition.

Therefore there can be no marital zina.

No marital rape.

Zina can also mean other things;

The eyes commit Zina, the hands commit Zina and feet commit Zina and the genitals commit Zina.” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith no. 4258)

Which means there can be Zina in lustful gazes, thoughts, or without full intercourse.

The word Rape in English is much broader, it refers to “a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent

There is no concept of marriage within this current definition.

However within Islam there can be illegal intercourse within marriage. Such as intercourse during menses, during obligatory fast or intercourse which will harm the woman, due to illness, infection and so on

So although there can be no zina in Islamic marriage. There can be illegal intercourse. Which in English translates as rape.

Still with me?

There can also be assault within an Islamic marriage.

Therefore the man who forces his wife to have sex can be guilty of assault on his wife.

Now, many will be saying a woman should not be refusing her husband, so he shouldn’t have to force her based on the hadith;

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to his bed, and she refuses to come, the angels curse her until morning comes.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3065; Muslim, 1436.

However this is simplifying the situation and ignoring some other rulings. It has to be understood that out of context the rulings of shariah don’t work. They only work when applied together in its entirety. A demonstration of this is arranged marriages work if the parents are looking out for best interest of kids as per Islam, but if they are more bothered about status and debts and other stuff it doesn’t work for the best of all involved.

firstly –  “al-Fataawa al-Islamiyyah, 3/145, 146 

It is not permissible for a husband to force his wife to do more than she is able to bear of intercourse. If she has an excuse such as being sick or unable to bear it, then she is not sinning if she refuses to have intercourse”

Secondly – This is ignoring the nature of an abuser. That is not the fault of who ever brings the argument that a woman shouldn’t be saying no,as they are normal, reasonable human beings.

In a normal marriage women say no, men say no, neither are upset, the husband who loves his wife and cares about her akhirah wouldn’t be angry with her, as he wouldn’t want the angels to curse her.

In an abusive marriage the husband does not force the woman because she does not give him intercourse. This is a misunderstanding. according to Shariah if the husband wants more sex then the wife they should come to an agreement.

“Because there are no sharee’ah courts nowadays in your country, the wife should try to come to an agreement with her husband on this matter, so she should speak to him frankly and remind him of the verses and ahaadeeth that command the husband to be kind to his wife. She should explain to him that she is only refusing because of the harm that is being caused to her, and that she is very keen to obey him and respond to his desires.”

and often women in abusive marriages do go willingly to their husbands. That is why they are still in the marriage. Because they want to make it work. They are trying. They love their husbands. They try everything, even making agreements with a man who is forcing them to have sex on how often they will be intimate.

This will not stop a rapist raping his wife. Even if she had consensual intercourse with him a few hours previously, he will still force her, hold her down. There is no concept of the woman responding to his call, as he will not even call, or give her a chance to respond. He will just take what he wants.

He will not do this out of desire that is natural. He will do this out of a desire to control, humiliate,  degrade, make his wives life difficult. Rape is not a crime of passion.

Will you say then the woman is sinful as she didn’t fulfil her husbands rights willingly?

and we have to remember The husband has to fear Allaah with regard to his wife, and not make her do more than she is able to do. He should be kind to his wife and treat her in a reasonable manner.

In the Prophet sallalahu allayhi wa salaams last sermon He sas emphasised good treatment of women, in his last days he wanted his Ummah to remember;

“Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah.”

and he sallalahu allayhi wa salaam also said

The most perfect amongst the believers in faith is one who has the best manners and best of you are those who are best to their wives.”

(Musnad Ahmad)

So how does the treatment of ones wives when a man forces her to have sex come in to agreement with the above hadith?

Also, we need to educate men a bit about female anatomy. This may be offensive but;

“When we turn to our own classical works, we find that sexual conduct has been mentioned in
numerous books. Every single work of fiqh has chapters related to sex. Every explanation of
hadith, every tafsir of the Qur’aan, must by its very nature deal with matters pertaining to sexuality. Additionally, throughout our own fourteen centuries of tradition and history, there have been
many books written to help couples find more meaningful relationships and increase sexual pleasure within marriage. These works are many times quite explicit, but hardly ever crude or vulgar.
And I believe that we can learn much from their language and style.”

http://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Like_A_Garment.pdf

So, a woman does not walk around in a state with a gap between her thighs. There is a closed wall of muscle there. If it is forced open it will hurt and bruise. Even if a man forcing his wife does not leave bruises and marks externally, and one says, she has not been harmed by my actions, there are no marks on her, the act of forcing a woman who is not ready or prepared will harm her and bruise her internally.

That is not even considering the emotional affect on the woman. In Islam a woman’s fitrah is to be emotional. Emotions effect the woman’s ability to do things in ways they don’t effect a mans.

So, there is no Marital rape in Islam.

for further info read http://islamqa.info/en/ref/9602

http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/we-believe-you-campaign-rape-myths-busted

if you are a muslim woman being effected by Domestic violence, please contact Nour DV http://nour-dv.org.uk/ or national zakat foundation http://www.nzf.org.uk/ if you contact me on fb I can put you in contact with people in these organisations if you like.

Do not suffer in silence, we are one Ummah, you are my sister, if you hurt I hurt too.Image

p.s Although the legal definition of rape and assault has changed with time, and marital rape was only criminalised recently in the west, marital assault and being good to your wife have always been important parts of Islam. Islamic standards do not change according to time or the changing whims of society, but remain constant inshallah.

EDIT: can someone please let me know who shared this article on twitter? I would like to say thanks!

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Posted on 05/11/2012, in marriage and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

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  12. Cassie J Scott

    Fantastic presentation on womens rights. Im actually orthadox catholic but my faith shares many similar belifes. For example modest dress and the same view on marital relations. Unfortunately not all men are educated and think because a wife can’t refuse a resonable request it means they are justified by God to take it and also punish the woman as well. This leads to much suffering.

  13. Reblogged this on Hear Thy Youth and commented:
    In response to the veto of the law that meant to protect married women from marital rape.

  14. BORN 2 SERVE

    My mind is occupied with many things and was seeking for answers .I tried to browse many website and came across yours.

    I was forced into a marriage.I don’t love him and I have been refusing his calls to bed because I’m not ready but my husband tried to his best to get me serve him. Unfortunately he still haven’t made it but my parents and siblings keeps telling me that is my duty to serve him and it doesn’t matter even I’m tired or sick. My dad said no excuses to refuse. My sister said it is my responsibility and my Mom said no arguement. No one is bother about my feeling.

    Before marriage,I told my husband that we will date like any other people.I wanted him to know me first before jumping to sexual relationship but my husband cares more about his sexual needs than my feeling. I don’t have any feeling toward him and I wonder how to serve him. Is it a sin for a Muslim woman for not loving her husband? It has been three months we have married but till now I still haven’t find my self falling in love with him. I don’t think sex is the only important matter in a marriage. Knowing the partner is much important but people around me keeps pushing me including my husband.

    • Sis I think you have to realise men and women are different. It is his right over you for intimacy. And intimacy is a way of creating love between spouses. Your husband has kept himself chaste probably with difficulty so that once married he can be in a halal relationship. Love is not something that is like the movies. Real love is love for the sake of Allah that grows and deepens with time. Allah gave you this husband. If he is good to you you should love him Feesabillah to start with.

      The same way you accuse him of not bothering about your feelings and emotional needs you are not bothering about his. These are things that should have been agreed on before marriage as it is not the norm to wait for intimacy.

      However if you were forced into marriage then you should annul the marriage. Forced marriage is not valid in Islam. Your consent is required. If you did not consent there is no nikkah.

      However it sounds like you were on contact before marriage and agreed?

      Do you trust him? Respect him? Has he got good character?
      It is not a sin to not love your husband.

      Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (radiyAllahu’anhu) said to a man who was thinking of divorcing his wife:

      “Why do you want to divorce her?” He said, “I do not love her.” ‘Umar said, “Must every house be built on love? What about loyalty and appreciation?”

      (Al-Bayan wa at-Tabayeen, 2/101)

  15. You should not remain in a marriage you were forced into. Spending your dunya with someone is a huge commitment, and you have the right to choose whom you spend it with. Your family have gone against Islam forcing you. This is going against what Allah has decreed. You should not remain with this man. Certainly, you do not need to force yourself to have intercourse with someone you refused to marry, but were made to. It is disgusting that you feel you have to be with him, you don’t. You clearly state you were forced, and this is against Islam and good morals.

    Even if you were not forced, the simple fact that you do not like him is ENOUGH for you to divorce him in Islam sister. This is because if you do not like him, you will not want to fulfil your duties, both as a wife and Muslim, and this is not the right way to live. Islam acknowledges this. If a woman feels that she cannot love her husband sincerely, and fears that she may commit the sin of disobeying and opposing this husband whom she does not love, then she may ask for a divorce right away. This is confirmed by the report in which the wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, Jamilah the sister of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy, came to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said:

    “O Messenger of Allah, I have nothing against Thabit ibn Qays as regards his religion or his behavior, but I hate to commit any act of kufr when I am a Muslim. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Will you give his garden back to him?” – her mahr had been a garden. She said, “Yes.” So Allah’s Messenger sent word to him: “Take back your garden, and give her one pronouncement of divorce.”

    According to a report given by Bukhari from Ibn ‘Abbas, she said, “I do not blame Thabit for anything with regard to his religion or his behavior, but I do not like him.”

    Please divorce this man sister. Allah has given you the right to share your life and body with a man of your choosing, not to be forced against your will to share yourself with a man you do not want. That is unbearable cruelty and completely against Islam. Allah gave you rights, and choosing a husband of your liking is one of them. Make plenty of dua and ask Allah for help, because if Allah helps you, then you will not need the help of anybody else, and it seems your family are not supporting you the Islamic way. However I encourage you to look for support, since you may face a lot of difficulty trying to obtain a separation from this man. Are there any mosques where you live? Any sisters groups? you will need support. Inshallah I will pray for you.

    Also, can I just respond to a comment made by Naila

    ”Sis I think you have to realise men and women are different. It is his right over you for intimacy”

    Yes men and women are different. But can I just point out that Islamically, men and women are NOT different in this regard. They are both *equally* entitled to sexual relations as and when they please, within reason. Islam does not curse a women for refusing her husband, but allow a man to refuse his wife without good reason! Islam is just! I believe you may have seen the hadith regarding the angels cursing women who refuse their husbands without reason till morning, should he sleep angry. This hadith was simply directed at women, we cannot look at this alone and decide that only men have such rights and not women! This is not the case. This hadith was directed only at women only yes, but that does not mean the same is not true for men as per what the ulema say, please go and look at this. There are many hadiths that speak only of men, and many that refer only to women, We must look around and we will find that Muslim men are also *obligated* to satisfy their wives sexually, and not refuse them without a good reason. It is the same for both parties. That hadith is only one of many. It is just as wrong to refuse your wife as it is your husband. Both can be tempted to sin and hurt by being refused, this isn’t something that will affect only a man.

    In the Qur’an we read: {turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging} (4:129) . Further the Prophet approved Salman’s word to Abu al-Darda’: “_and your wife has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Vol.7, No. 127)) This unanimously means cohabitation.

    And al-Qurtubi said: “She has over him the same right of sexual cohabitation he has over her.” (Tafsir for 2:178).

    There is a lot more out there supporting equality in this regard but I simply cannot list them all here. Just because the hadiths regarding refusing sexual relations specifically mention men, does not mean that women are not included in this regard. For example, in the Quran, we are told about the punishment for accusing a chaste women of sin.

    ”And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient”

    Now would we say that it is halal and therefore OK to accuse a chaste male? since nowhere in that *particular* verse does it mention men, only women. No of course it is not permissible to accuse a chaste male, both are haram. It just so happens that this verse deals with accusing women specifically.

    Lastly, I completely and utterly disagree that there is no such thing as ‘marital’ rape in Islam. As far as I am concerned, the concept of rape is simple.

    Rape = forcing a person by violence or other means to have sex/sexual relations, against their will.

    *For the purpose of this response I only refer to women, though I acknowledge rape is not solely inflicted on women but men also*

    I call a spade a spade. So therefore rape is rape, regardless of what the persons marital status happens to be, and regardless of who the attacker is, husband or not. There is little point changing the name of the crime simply based on whether the person is single, married, or divorced, or on whether the attacker is known or not. What does that achieve? What sense does it make? Are we attempting to re write the dictionary here? or are we just challenging common sense, as well as deeply offending victims of said crime?. Just because someone is married, does not lessen or change the *actual act* in any way does it?. Whether a women is raped by her husband or a stranger does not lessen or change the *actual act* in any way does it?. Do you follow? Refusing to call it rape IS lessening the crime. Why? On what basis? Trying to label it ‘abuse’ instead of rape is just disgusting. Rape is a severe enough act to be given a title of its own. I would ask then, according to this deluded logic, if a women is raped while married, but not by her husband- rather by a stranger, do you accept that as being called rape then? Or do you have a third name for this? So this is what your ludicrous formula looks like:

    Single women forced into sex = rape
    Divorced women forced into sex = rape
    Married women forced into sex by husband = abuse
    Married women forced into sex by someone other than husband =

    Well I shall tell you my formula, it is rather simple

    Single women forced into sex = RAPE
    Divorced women forced into sex = RAPE
    Married women forced into sex by husband = RAPE
    Married women forced into sex by someone other than husband = RAPE

    What exactly is this difference *in crime* that you appear to have found? You surely must have found a difference, since you have changed the name?. Is the peverse act not exactly the same, no matter who performs it on the victim, and regardless of status? Same crime, same name, regardless of the who the perpetrator is. It is also *very dangerous* to state that ‘Islam does not recognise marital rape’. This is a complete and utter fabrication, and anyone believing such is terribly misguided. From where did you get this then? Since declaring this an Islamic stance surely demands some proof! Which verses of the Quran exactly? which hadiths of the prophet SAW? Would you like to share? Why even make an issue out of this? How on earth can someone start inventing portions of Islam to suit their own twisted ideas?

    Are you aware of the slave girl that was raped by her master? and when the prophet SAW heard of this he asked to speak to the women. He asked her what had happened and she told him she had been raped. The prophet saw told her to leave and that there was no sin on her, and of the man that raped her, he demanded that he be stoned to death.

    Think about it!

    This ridiculous invented notion has no basis in either religion or logic. Shall I give another example to illustrate my point? Lets use theft shall we. Now say you have bought your own home outright. One night a thief breaks in and robs you while you sleep. We call the crime burglary. Now say a thief breaks into your home but this time you do not own it, rather it is a rented property. So now we shall call the crime ‘public disturbance’ instead. Tell me, what on earth kind of sense does that make? The thief broke into your home and stole your possessions, the crime of burglary is the same whether or not you owned the house, is it not? the crime does not depend whatsoever on your circumstance does it?

    That’s all.

  1. Pingback: There is no Marital Rape in Islam | Building The Believers -Mind, Body & Soul

  2. Pingback: How Islam Disregards Sexual Consent Within Marriage | The Secular Brownie

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