KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin claimed today that a Muslim husband is obliged to fulfil his wife’s sexual desires, to the point that he should not even perform coitus interruptus without consent from the wife.
Weighing in on the marital rape debate, the Perlis mufti said that despite the obligation, sexual relations between husbands and wives must happen in a “harmonious situation” without physically harming each other.
“Rough and painful sex is forbidden in Islam. Therefore, all couples must find the best sexual method that fulfils the personal desires of both parties,” the mufti said on his official Facebook page.
“Although the act is allowed in the hadith, it must receive consensus from the wife since the wife might have yet to savour the intercourse. This shows that forced and rough intercourse that is not enjoyed by one party is indeed forbidden in marriage,” Mohd Asri said of coitus interruptus.
Coitus interruptus refers to the act of withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation as a form of birth control during sexual intercourse.
The Perlis mufti said a husband who refuses to have sex with his wife has committed a sin for neglecting his marital duties, and similarly with a wife who refuses sex with her husband without “acceptable reasons”.
However, Mohd Asri said a wife can refuse sex with her husband if the latter can harm her with infectious diseases, such as AIDS, and if the husband has failed to carry out his responsibilities, such as providing financial support.
Yesterday, Malay Mail Online reported religious scholars saying that it is sinful for a Muslim man to force his wife to have sex when she is ill or menstruating, while insisting that the concept of marital rape does not exist in Islam.
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said that men can always have sexual intercourse with their spouses even if the latter did not agree, saying that a Muslim woman has “no right” to reject her husband’s demand.
“Even the Prophet says even when they’re riding on the back of the camel, when the husband asks her, she must give. So there’s no such thing as rape in marriage. This is made by European people, why should we follow?” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted, citing the hadith — collections of Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds.
In Malaysia, marital rape is not a legal offence, but a husband may be prosecuted and imprisoned up to five years for forcing his wife to have sex by threatening violence or by harming her.
Following the launch of DAP lawmaker Yeo Bee Yin’s joint rape awareness campaign with the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) last week, some Muslims have disagreed with a poster that said “Without her consent, it is rape. No excuse” and claimed that rape does not exist in the context of Islamic marriage.