When husband refrains from having intercourse with his wife
Fatwa No: 318697

  • Fatwa Date:26-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 18, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Respected scholar, I got married the first time in 2008; due to misunderstandings and arguments, he pronounced a triple divorce in anger, so I got separated from him. I got married to another person in 2009. Before marriage, he said that he has some sexual problem, which I am fine with. I feared Allaah and did istikhaarah (prayer of consultation) before marriage. I saw white and light pink colors and thought that it was a good sign and got married to him. For him, it is also a second marriage. Due to his problem, he divorced his first wife. Within a year, Allaah blessed us with a baby girl. The real problem started after the delivery of the baby. I came to know he is gay and is guilty of grave sins. I asked him to repent and not repeat it, which he did, but he never touched me to be intimate ever since. I recently had a chat with my first husband, and he claims that a proper divorce process as per the Quran and Hadith did not take place between us. He loves me a lot and I do too. He wants me back in his life. I searched so many hadiths and got to know that our divorce is valid. I am too tired of living with my present husband without having been intimate for five years. I am afraid that I may fall into sin with my ex-husband . I really need guidance to lead my life. I want to make sure that the divorce that happened between first husband is valid. Secondly, I would like to know whether living with a gay husband wil make me successful in this world and the hereafter? Please advise.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Your first husband did wrong by contacting you and by disclosing his wish to get back with you while you are already married to another man. In fact, his conduct is considered spoiling the relationship between a wife and her husband, which is prohibited in Islam as underlined in fatwa 92056.

As for the divorce pronounced by the husband, it takes effect. Divorce issued in a state of extreme anger does not take effect only if the husband was absolutely unaware of what he did or said in such a state. Please refer to fatwa 121374 about the validity of divorce uttered in a state of extreme anger.

As for the triple divorce, please, refer to fatwa 94110 about the triple divorce pronounced in one session. If he doubts that divorce has taken effect in your case, then he is advised to refer the case to the concerned authority responsible for the settlement of Muslims' disputes in your place of residence.

As long as you are still married to your husband, you have a right over him to satisfy your desire for sexual intercourse within his ability. Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “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 even 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.” It is impermissible for him to deny you this right for no valid excuse.

If it is true that your husband is gay, then this is a serious matter. You did well be advising him to give up this grave sin. If he repents to Allaah and stops committing this sin, then all praise be to Allaah. However, if he persistently continues to sin, then it is recommended for you to seek termination of the marriage by divorce or khul' (divorce at the instance of the wife in return for a compensation payable by her). The Hanbali jurist Al-Buhooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If the husband neglects any of the rights of Allaah, it is recommended for the wife – just as it is recommended for the husband in a similar situation – to request termination of the marriage, i.e. demand khul’, for his neglect of the rights given by Allaah.” Remaining married to this man in your case does not necessarily entail being deprived of success in the worldly life and the Hereafter; however, it is better to leave him unless he repents of his sins, as underlined above.

For more benefit, please refer to fataawa 117370and 198201.

Allaah knows best.

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