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©Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

I got this question from a brother through my twitter handle (@assudaisy):

Salaamullahi Alaik ya Ustadh. Please i have an urgent question sir. 

   This couple got married about 4years ago, they have a child after the Nikkah. They used to have normal sexual intercourse as a couple, eventually they found themselves in having sexual intercourse daily. So the problem now is that the husband lives in abroad and it’s seriously affecting the wife sexually, mentally and probably getting depressed anytime she wants her man. The question now is how would this wife manage this situation. 

                 Jazaakallahu khairan

My response:

Before going to the question proper, let me make this clarification. These days, some people underate sexual urge, whether in men or women, and it can be very dangerous. Let us not deceive ourselves, a lot of things are happening behind closed doors. Allāh has created us differently, and we all react to sexual differently. It is not a sin to have high sexual urge. But it is sinful to seek to satisfy it in ways sharī'ah does not permit.

In the course of my research on this area, I have had to deal with many cases relating to sexual urge in a distance marriage. This week alone, I had answered questions relating to this severally. You will hear some scenarios and be shocked.  There are people that when they feel the urge to have sex, it leads to severe headache for them if they are unable to fulfil it at the right time. 

If some people have sexual urge, they will never be productive at work until they fulfil the natural desire. I can go on and on to mention the negative consequences of late marriage or denying your spouse sex when they need it most without any reasonable justification. This is why couples must take sex seriously in their relationships depending on the nature of their partners. We must all say "NO" to sex starvation in all its ramifications. 

However, there are some inevitable instances when couples would not be able to have sex. Some of these instances are short term, while some are longterm in nature. The short term sex break could as a result of monthly menstrual cycle of the wife, brief illness or weakness of the body in either party, and so on. 

The long-term sex break could be as a result of the death of a spouse, divorce, terminal or chronic diseases etc. Long distance relationship may also fall under this category depending on how long the couple would be able to meet for physical intercourse. For instance, those living in different countries, or the same country but who don't get to see each other except after months. 

The best thing is for couples to avoid this kind of distance as much as possible because they can cause big problems in a marriage. I commend men who work outside their wife's places of residence and still visit weekly or two weeks basis. This does not only helps the relationship to bond sexually, it also assist in the proper upbringing of the children. 

Marriage is companionship and part of what defines this concept in a marriage is effective intimacy between the couple. But if circumstance demands that the couple stays apart for a long time, then it is important for them to still fear Allāh and be chaste as expected.

Consequently, the first point to note as far as this scenario is concerned is that couples are not supposed to be having sex always or on daily basis. Sex is important in a marriage. But we must understand that too much of everything is dangerous. Couples should train themselves to go through some days or weeks without sex, so that when it happens that they are apart, they will not feel the pressure much and it will not affect their chastity adversely. Sexual urge is wild animal that must be tamed with piety and self discipline.

Secondly, the world is now a global village. Couples can make use of their social media options carefully. Couples are permitted to chat on social media with each other seductively and erotically once in a while with a bid to relieve each other of the sexual pressure if there is fear of committing zina. They must keep chats of this nature away from third parties. They must not do this except with their spouses. They can do video calls to even see each other. This is permissible under the sharī'ah based on relevant texts and according to the most correct juristic views on them. I discussed this clearly in the book *Halāl Sex and Intimacy*.

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But more importantly, the couple must be patient till they meet for physical intercourse. There is no justification for zina. Distance marriage can be very challenging. Yet, husband and wife must be disciplined and be faithful to each other. 

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