Tuesday, 21 November 2017

When a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses……

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In Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460: It is stated: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning." I have heard one Muslim speaker who contended that according to the Arabic grammar the pronouns in here and other similar hadiths, are general and applies to both sexes i.e the hadith should be more accurately be translated as "If a person calls his/her spouse to his/her bed ....."(perhaps like the word assalamualaikum refers to both sexes & not just to males) This would be in line to Islamic justice and the order to treat the wife fairly and to fulfill her needs. Is this interpretation correct?


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.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "When a man calls his wife to his bed (for intercourse) and she refuses and he spends the night upset with her, the angels keep on cursing her till the morning." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

If we study the wording which is reported in the above Prophetic narration, we will find out that the pronouns which are used refer to the feminine. For instance, "she refuses", "upset with her", "cursing her", and all these refer to the pronoun 'She' which cannot be used for a male.

Therefore, the pronoun 'her' in the narration refers to the wife and we have not heard any linguist or grammarian who said that the pronoun 'she' or 'her' could refer to the male as well.

As regards the address (speech) that is directed to men, the women are included as well, but it is the men who are mentioned as they are predominant.

Allaah Says (what means): {And establish prayer and give Zakat.}[Quran 2:43]. Allaah also Says (what means): {O you who have believed, fear Allaah.}[Quran 2:278]. Ath-Tha'aalibi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him when interpreting the above verses, said: "The address here is directed to men and women, but the style [in the Arabic language] is directed to men as this is the predominant style in Arabic."

To conclude, it is not correct to interpret the above narration with what the questioner mentioned, that if the husband does not answer the call of his wife to bed, the angels curse him until the morning.

However, a husband should fulfill the desire of his wife for sexual intercourse according to his ability because the nature of a man differs from that of the woman, as their ability for sexual intercourse differs.

Allah Knows best.

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