Obligations and etiquette between husband and wife
Fatwa No: 85167

Question

I am going to be married very soon and I need to know about the physical and mental relations, which are defined in Islam, between husband and wife. (Esp. the manners of first wedding night, etc).
What are the rights and obligations of husband and wife on each other?
Please reply with some references.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Married partners should be aware that marital life is a strong relationship and a powerful covenant. The motives of marriage can only be achieved by mutual understanding, having the clear knowledge of each other's rights and each one of them should strive to fulfill them perfectly. If both the husband and wife spare no efforts to please each other and overlook the mistakes, then both will enjoy a happy flourishing life that is demanded in Islamic Sharee’ah.

The right of a wife upon her husband is to live with her in harmony and kindness. He has to have sex with her at least once during every period of her cleanness if he is able. Also, he should satisfy her desires by foreplay, i.e. kissing, smiling, etc.

Moreover, a husband is also responsible to fulfill the physical necessities of his wife and children such as food, clothes, housing, etc., just as he is responsible to satisfy their spiritual necessities by teaching them the religious matters and guiding them to the truth.

A husband should not burden his wife beyond her scope. If he burdens her beyond her capacity she is not obliged to obey him, since Allah does not burden one beyond his ability.

The wife should know that her husband's right upon her is to obey him in good, i.e. in every matter that does not constitute disobedience of Allah.

Also, she should respond to him whenever he asks her to have sex with him.

In addition, she should protect herself, his money, his property, and should not allow anyone to enter his house except with his permission.

Finally a wife should know that the rights of a husband upon her are very great. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “If I were to order anyone to prostrate for anything other than Allah I would have ordered a wife to prostrate to her husband. I swear by Him in Whose Hands my soul is, a woman does not fulfill her Lord's right unless she fulfills her husband's rights. Even if he asks her to have sex while she is on the back of her seat (on a riding camel) she should not prevent him” [Ibn Majah].

For more details please read the Fatawa 81608 and 81556.

Allah knows best.

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