Limiting Distance—4 Month Cut Off Period and Sex in Islam
Having a healthy relationship as a married Muslim couple is important. It is said that in Islam, a couple cannot abstain from having sexual relations for more than four months without having to then decide on the fate of their relationship. Karaz’s Yousef takes a look on the clock, and what it reflects.
A marriage without a regular dose of healthy sex, is not a complete marriage. For couples that are going through a rough time, there is a term called “ila” in Islam, in which a four month period of “separation” can be agreed upon by the couple to take time and decide whether they want to continue their relationship or not. More than four months is unacceptable as Sharia law would dictate that a decision would then have to be made.
But for those who have seemingly drifted away or lost a spark—it’s a warning sign. A healthy marriage is one where there is communication, commitment, and also sexual pleasure. This also, contrary to popular belief reflects on the rights of women and their right to have a sexually fulfilled relationship. In fact, Sheikh Al Islam Ibn Taymiyah has stated:
The husband is obliged to have intercourse with his wife on a reasonable basis, which is one of the most important rights that she has over him; it is more important than feeding her. It was said that what is obligatory with regard to intercourse is once every four months, or according to her need and his ability, just as he should feed her according to her need and his ability. And the latter is the more correct opinion.
Thus, intimacy is placed high on the priority list, as it is an important need for women that must be met.
Life is hard, and work can be tiring, children can be draining, and the daily grind can get to you. But as a couple, its important to know that making a relationship work, takes work. Getting comfortable in a distant, loveless marriage can be easy but it is unhealthy and disliked. So make the effort, communicate your feelings, talk about it and then actually do something about it to rekindle the flame.
You both deserve it.