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Sexual Intimacy

An integral part of a healthy marital relationship is the fulfillment of each spouse’s sexual needs. However, it is important to understand that during a woman’s menstruation (hayd) or post-natal bleeding (nifas), it is unlawful to engage in sexual intercourse. The Qur’an, a complete and definitive source of guidance for us, directly addresses the issue of sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. “And they ask you about menstruation [ruling of being intimate with one’s wife]. Say, it is impure. So abstain from women during menstruation.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:222)


The Fiqh of It

As mentioned above, it is not permissible to have sexual relations while a woman is in hayd or nifas. If such a transgression takes place, both husband and wife should immediately repent and seek forgiveness. It is also recommended (mustahabb) for the husband to give charity to any zakat-eligible recipient (Al-Hakim 278/1, Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 207/1)).

  • If sexual intercourse occurs while the blood is red or during the beginning of hayd, 1 dinar should be given. This is equivalent to 4.25 grams of gold. The monetary equivalent can fluctuate based on the price of gold.
  • If sexual intercourse occurs while the blood is yellow or during the middle/end of hayd, then one-half of a dinar should be given. This is equivalent to 2.125 grams of gold.

Intercourse becomes permissible when a woman exits from hayd or nifas and enters into her purity days. The exact time depends on when she ends in relation to her previous cycle.

It is impermissible to look at the area between the navel to the knee. However, it is permissible to have indirect contact in this area, such as stimulation through a barrier, for example a piece of cloth. There is no prohibition in a husband and wife hugging and kissing one another during these days. (Manhal al-Waridin p.281)