Fatwa: 151

Category: fatwas about marriage

The limits of enjoyment between the husband and his wife

The question:

Honorable teacher, it gives me pleasure to address you a question that we are often asked. It was so confusing to bring answer to it. The question is the following: is it permissible to get pleasure from one’s wife whatsoever, except penetrating in the anus? (Such as asking her to suck his member or to suck her sex). Excuse me for this form, but the question is very pressing, and may Allah reward you.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Scholars diverged over the ruling of this act. Some, who are the Hanbalite scholars and some Malikites such as Asbagh, said that it is permissible. Some others said that it is absolutely forbidden. Others said that it is detestable.

Those who said that it is forbidden used as arguments the hadiths that prohibit to the husband and his wife to look at the private parts of each other; for example, the hadith reported on the authority of `Â'isha رضي الله عنها when she mentioned her situation with the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم by saying: “I have never seen his member, nor did he see my sex”(1). Therefore, if seeing the sex of each other is forbidden, then touching and sucking them is forbidden for a greater reason.

As for those who said that it is absolutely permissible or it is permissible but with some restriction, they stated that, as a rule, the man and his wife are allowed to get pleasure from each other, as the Sharia did not except but penetrating in the anus, during menses, confinement or when it harms her, because Allah تعالى says:

﴿وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ. إِلاَّ عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ﴾ [المؤمنون: 5-6].

The meaning of the verse:

And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts), except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame﴿ [Al-Mu'minûn (The Believers): 5-6]. Alla تعالى also says:

﴿نِسَاؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَكُمْ فَأْتُوا حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ﴾ [البقرة: 223].

The meaning of the verse:

Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth (have sexual relations with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina and not in the anus)﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 223].

The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm”(2). He says also: “Do everything except sexual intercourse”(3). This hadith means that both the husband and his wife can get pleasure from each other except the penetration in the anus and penetration during menses.

However, they refuted the tradition reported on the authority of `Â'isha رضي الله عنها. They said that it is weak and not valid as evidence. Moreover, the authentic hadiths contradicts it: the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم used to take the ritual baths with his wives. In addition, the way he lived his intimate life proves that seeing at the sex of one’s wife (or vice versa) is permissible. Also, the same tradition contradicts the hadith where the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “Hide your private parts except from your wife”(4). If the hadith (of `Â'isha) were authentic, it would be considered as a kind of good manner, according to Ibn Al-`Arabi.

Among the texts stated by the Hanbalite scholars, we mention what Al-Mardâwi said in Al-Insâf:

“First, Al-Qâdi said in Al-Jâmi`: “It is permissible to kiss the sex of the woman before intercourse. But it is detestable after, and he attributed this saying to `Atâ'. Second, the woman should not introduce her husband’s member into her when he is asleep. However, she can touch it and kiss it out of desire. It is asserted in Ar-Ri`âya and confirmed in Al-Furû`. Ibn `Aqîl expressed it clearly by saying: “Because the man has the right to keep or repudiate her…”(5).

Among the sayings of the Malikites, we mention what is reported by Al-Qurtubi in his Tafsîr after Asbagh Al-Mâliki who said: “It is permissible for him to suck it”(6).

For me, this habit is detestable due to the following things:

First: the tongue is the means of evocation; so one should avoid touching with it the places where urine, Madh’y and Wad’y emanate from.

Second: we are enjoined to avoid impurities. And it is known that when doing such thing, one could not avoid Madh’y, which is transparent sticky thin fluid that comes out during foreplays, remembering and wanting intercourse. One might not feel when it comes out of him. It is one of the impurities which are difficult to avoid; this might be associated with saliva when doing such act.

Third: the sucked place may contain dirty things or bad smell. The sex may have an affection which can contaminate the one who would do it. And even if there is no risk of illness, this act is detestable by nature and loathed by sane persons.

Fourth: taking pleasure by this way might be a cause to divert people significantly from the natural intercourse, which is the place of tilth and the source of offspring.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Rabî` Ath-Thâni 6th, 1424H.
Corresponding to: June 3rd, 2003.

(1) Reported by Ibn Mâjah (262/1922) and by Ahmad in his “Musnad” (6/63) on the authority of `Â'icha رضي الله عنها. In another version: “I have never seen the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم male organ”. This hadith is judged weak by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ' ” (6/213, number: 1812) and in “Âdâb Az-Zifâf” (page: 34).

(2) Reported by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Rulings” (number: 2341) and by Ahmad (3/267). This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ' » (3/408, number: 896) and in “Ghâyat Al-Marâm” (hadith 68).

(3) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “Menstruation” (hadith 6709) and by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Purification” (hadith 258) on the authority of Anas رضي الله عنه.

(4) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Bath” (hadith 4017), by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Good manners” (hadith 2794), by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Marriage” (hadith 1920), by Ahmad (5/3-4) and by Al-Bayhaqi, chapter of “Purification” (hadith 988) on the authority of Mu`âwiya Ibn Hayda رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ'” (6/212, number: 1810) and in “Âdâb Az-Zifâf” (page: 111).

(5) (8/32).

(6) (12/232).

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