Physical intimacy is an essential aspect of married life, and Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, comes with unique guidelines and regulations. One common question that often arises during this self-purification month is, “Can Muslims have sex during Ramadan?”
According to Islamic Sharia, engaging in sexual intercourse during the daylight hours of fasting is strictly prohibited and considered a sin.
However, Muslims are permitted to engage in sexual relations with their spouses after breaking the fast (Iftar) and before dawn (Fajr). This is based on Quranic verses that acknowledge conjugal relations during the night.
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We will discuss in detail the topic of having sex during Ramadan, drawing insights from the Quran and Hadith to understand Islamic guidelines for this holy month.
Can Muslims Have Sex During Ramadan: Quran and Hadith-Based Evidence
The Quran and Hadith have specific guidelines and restrictions regarding sex while fasting in Islam.
- Daytime prohibition and nighttime permission
- Special cases and i’tikaf
Now, check out the Quran and Hadith-based evidence regarding sexual relations during Ramadan.
1. Daytime Prohibition and Nighttime Permission
Muslims are prohibited from engaging in sexual relations during the daytime hours of Ramadan but are permitted to do so during the nighttime. This prohibition is based on the Quranic verse Surah Al-Baqarah 2:187.
According to this verse, Allah says:
“It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are a clothing for you and you are a clothing for them.”
Allah knows you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allāh has decreed for you [i.e., offspring]. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the night [i.e., sunset].”
This verse in the Quran emphasizes that sexual relations with a spouse are allowed in Ramadan after the fast is broken (Iftar) and until dawn (Fajr prayer). The verse also metaphorically refers to spouses as “clothing” for each other, highlighting the intimacy and protection that marital relations provide.
2. Special Cases and I’Tikaf
Engaging in sexual relations during the period of I’tikaf in Ramadan isn’t permissible according to the guidelines set by the Quran and Hadith.
In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:187), it is stated that:
“And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allāh, so do not approach them. Thus does Allāh make clear His verses [i.e., ordinances] to the people that they may become righteous.”
This verse establishes a clear boundary that must be followed by all Muslims who wish to participate in this unique practice. The purpose of I’tikaf is to enhance one’s devotion to Allah through intense worship and deep reflection.
Keeping to the prescribed limits allows the individual to focus solely on spiritual purification and inner reflection during this spiritual retreat.
Additionally, refraining from sexual activity during I’tikaf contributes to its spiritual sanctity. It forms an integral part of the individual’s overall spiritual journey, aiming to foster a deeper connection with Allah.
Therefore, Muslims who wish to engage in I’tikaf during Ramadan must abide by the Quranic injunctions that prescribe the necessary boundaries for this spiritual practice. By adhering to these regulations, one can become more righteous and gain spiritual enlightenment through the unique experience of I’tikaf.
What if a married couple engages in sexual intercourse during fasting hours in Ramadan?
If a married couple engages in sexual activity during Ramadan fasting hours, the fast will break, and kaffarah (expectation) is mandatory.
In Sahih Muslim (Hadith 1111th), Abu Huraira narrated a Hadith to Humaid b ‘Abd al-Rahman.
“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) commanded the person (who) broke the fast in Ramadan to free a slave or observe fasts for two (consecutive) months or feed sixty poor persons.”
To rectify the situation, the individuals involved must seek forgiveness and make amends according to these atonements. This serves as a reminder that Ramadan is not only about abstaining from food but also about maintaining spiritual purity and avoiding any actions that may tarnish it.
Can husband and wife kiss, hug, or touch during Ramadan fasting?
During obligatory Ramadan fasting, husband and wife are permitted to exchange kisses and hugs. But it comes with the requirement that one must be able to control oneself and refrain from crossing boundaries into sexual activity.
The emphasis in obligatory fasts is on maintaining self-restraint and the fast’s spiritual sanctity. If there is a genuine fear that such affectionate gestures could lead to sexual desire and actions, it is advised to refrain from them.
The key is to approach these expressions of affection with mindfulness and respect for the fasting obligation, ensuring they do not lead to actions that would invalidate the fast.
Can wet dreams during fasting invalidate the Ramadan fast?
Wet dreams during fasting in Islam do not invalidate the Ramadan fast. According to this law, Allah does not burden a person beyond his capabilities, and wet dreams are involuntary and out of control.
There is no sin or need for expiation if a person experiences a wet dream while fasting. However, it is recommended that they perform a bath if semen is emitted.
Balance Between Physical and Spiritual Needs During Ramadan
It’s clear now that Muslims can have sex during Ramadan based on the Quran and Hadith.
Even though Ramadan is a time of fasting and spiritual reflection, it is permitted to have sexual relations with your spouse at night, which emphasizes self-control. However, the prohibition of sexual activity during the daylight hours and during the practice of I’tikaf is set to maintain the spiritual sanctity of the fast.
A married couple engaging in marital intercourse during fasting hours must atone for their actions according to Islamic traditions. While affectionate gestures like kissing and hugging are permitted during fasting, one must approach them mindfully and respect the sanctity of the fast.