Lets imagine that a man's wife had upset him a great deal day in day out over many years (to the extent that it is considered emotional abuse where he needs counselling to recover).

To show his wife that he is not happy with her behavior (after verbally explaining it to her), is that man allowed to deny his wife sexually, or must he continue to satisfy his wife even though she continues to upset him?

3 Answers 3


It is allowed. Allah says:

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Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. [4:34]

Please note that the third part, where it says strike them, all scholars agree that it should be like the prophet did, where he would jokingly hit them with a Miswak, nothing that should hurt or leave a mark.

As you can see the second part clearly gives a husband the right to forsake sex with the wife until they are obedient.

Tafseer of Ayah in Arabic: http://library.islamweb.net/newlibrary/display_book.php?flag=1&bk_no=65&ID=475

  • 1
    Jokingly is the wrong term to use, the issue doesn't revolve around a joking matter. Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 1:00

Allah (swt) says, first let them know that you're upset, if they don't listen then refuse to fulfill their desires, if again they don't listen, then as a last resort strike them (to signify that this is the last straw). If all three does not change your wife's behavior, then you're advised to discuss divorce, and then divorce as a last option.

...But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

Once again, yes, you've every right to refuse.


In order to answer your question, you have to understand the consequences of denying your wifes needs. As you mentioned that you tried to verbally explain to her that you are upset, you need to think twice about the outcomes of denying her needs as a husband.

Using sexual rejection as a form of punishment to your wife can contain grave consequences such as a marriage break up and possibly of her using other forms and means to fulfil her needs, therefore may lead to adultery.

Think about it, if she has upset you, won't fulfilling her needs bring you closer together?

Therefore, to avoid a break up in marriage, both parties must satisfy each other needs

To summarise it all, no you can not deny your wifes requests

  • @Bilalm, so if a wife hits you, scratches you, bits you like an animal, spits on your face, swears at you, lies to you, creates lies about you, and does many other evil things to upset you, you're supposed to continue to give her her rights, even though giving her her rights, does not stop her from doing all those evil things to upset you? Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:14
  • No, in that case you would need to think about whether its right to continue with the marriage, what your saying is in extreme situations. The original question states if the wife has 'upset' the husband, not if the wife physically abuses him as you mentioned
    – Bilalm
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:17
  • Many things can upset a person. So if you are made upset by your wife's extreme behavior, and if you want to try to work things out, and you want to start off by showing her that you disagree with your behavior, do you just straight to divorce before denying her, or do you start off with denying her rights first before jumping to divorce? Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 17:01
  • So what your basically saying is that you can deny your wifes rights, and when you do, she goes and has an affair because you are not giving her what she wants, what will happen then? According to this case, he has tried to talk things through but its not working, therefore would you want to live with someone who is making you unhappy and not willing to change?
    – Bilalm
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 17:04
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    The problem with your answer is that is seems to be based on personal opinion. The point of this question was to find out what Islam via Islamic texts says a person should do in such a situation. Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 13:20

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