Having sexual intercourse during the daytime in Ramadan when one is overcome with sexual desire
Fatwa No: 51163

Question

I have heard a religious scholar say that if a person is extremely overcome with sexual desire during the daytime in Ramadan, he is entitled to force his wife to break her fast so as to have sexual intercourse with him. Is this correct?

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 ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

A Muslim man is prohibited to engage in sexual intercourse with his wife during the daytime in Ramadan. If he does this deliberately, then he is required to observe the respective expiation, in addition to making up for the day of fasting that he broke with sexual intercourse. The same ruling applies to the wife of such a person if she willingly obeys him. If the person forces his wife to have sexual intercourse with him, then he is required to observe the expiation both for himself and his wife. However, the person is required neither to make up for the fast nor to offer the expiation if he has sexual intercourse with his wife out of forgetfulness or ignorance about the prohibition due to being a new convert or someone who has been brought up in an environment that lacks religious awareness. In this case, it is recommended for both the husband and the wife to make up for the each day in which they broke their fast with sexual intercourse, as maintained by some Muslim scholars, including Maliki scholars.   

Nonetheless, if a husband is overcome by sexual desire during the daytime in Ramadan, to the extent that he feels that his testes would crack and his sexual desire would not go away except through a sexual engagement, then the husband may, out of necessity, nullify his wife’s fasting by having sexual intercourse with her and make up for the day later on. The husband, in this case, is not required to observe the expiation. This is the view of the Hanbali scholars.   

In his book Al-Insaaf, Al-Mardaawi says:

If a person’s sexual desire was greatly aroused to the extent that he fears that his testes would crack, then he may break his fast, have sexual intercourse, and make up for that day later without offering the expiation. This opinion is reported by Ash-Shaalanji. The Hanbali scholars maintain that the person may do so in case his sexual desire would not go down unless he engages in sexual intercourse. However, the person is not allowed to engage in sexual intercourse if his sexual desire can be extinguished without it. Also, the person is not allowed to nullify his wife’s fasting with sexual intercourse if he can spare her this, otherwise it is permissible due to the compelling necessity.

Allaah Knows best.

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