Do not forbid what is ‘halal’ in Islam, Isma Wanita chief says of marital rape

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (ISMA) Dr Norsaleha Mohd Salleh says a Muslim wife is obliged to fulfil their duty and serve their husbands as best as they can. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (ISMA) Dr Norsaleha Mohd Salleh says a Muslim wife is obliged to fulfil their duty and serve their husbands as best as they can. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The women’s chief of an Islamist group today said wives cannot cry rape when their husbands force themselves on them, so long as the act is within the “limits of the Islamic code”.

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (ISMA) Dr Norsaleha Mohd Salleh, who is also the head of the Usuluddin studies department at Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS), told news portal Ismaweb.net that rape accusations should not be thrown at husbands.

“Let’s not forbid what is allowed by Allah just because we are angry.

“This means a wife cannot claim that being forced by her husband to serve him is rape as long as his demands are within the limits of the Islamic code,” she was quoted in Malay by the portal.

She added that a good Muslim will not hurt his wife, and would definitely not force his wife to have intercourse when she is menstruating, fasting, dressed in ihram (worship garment), exhausted, or in pain.

“This is because Islam acknowledges the weaknesses and shortcomings of both sides.

“So if there is any force, it usually involves men who are drunk and mentally ill. Or when the husband is not well-equipped with religious knowledge and the wife is unaware of her rights provided for in Islam,” she said.

Norsaleha pointed out, however, that at all other times, the wife is obliged to fulfil their duty and serve their husbands as best as they can.

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