Connect with us

Lack Of Sexual Intimacy In A Marriage : Raising Awareness In The Muslim Community

Guests

Published

on

By Umm Ayoob

It is any woman’s worst nightmare to find out that her husband is not attracted to her. It so happens that I am that woman. I am in an intimacy-starved marriage with my Muslim husband and have stayed in the marriage for 10 years. To be “intimacy-starved” means that we as a couple lack intimacy in terms of touch (something my husband dislikes), kissing (which does not  appeal to him), and sex.

The Husband 

From my description, you may understandably assume that my husband is a loner who is shy and asocial. However, quite the contrary is true. He is a charming, charismatic person, active in the Muslim community, and widely respected both at work and among his brethren for his integrity, hard work, and vision. I am very proud of him.

The Wife 

With this, people may assume a number of things about my appearance and personality or situation. I will be brief by saying that everyone has personal preferences regarding looks. However, my husband chose me for marriage, knowing how I look and I didn’t feel that he was being charitable in asking for my hand. I have a postgraduate degree, speak several languages and I would describe myself as flawed as anyone, but not generally unappealing.

How did we get here? 

We were young when we got married and this was the first relationship for both of us. We were (and still are) best friends. We laugh and have similar world views and goals. I love him and I have no doubts that he loves me. Our cultures encourage spouses to remain married, so divorce wasn’t an option I had initially considered. And why would I leave him? I loved him intensely and still do. However, intimate moments steadily declined. I initially blamed it on the stress of living independently and his long working hours. Weeks turned into months and I tried reasoning with him. I asked him what was wrong and if I could change something; he eventually opened up about superficial matters. I took care of them, but that changed nothing. I explained women’s needs for feeling loved. I cited studies and explained chemicals released during the interaction that promote good feelings, but to no effect. I tried to seduce him and was rejected. I encouraged him to come with me to couples counseling without success. And when all else failed, I made dua’a.

Months turned into years and the problem persisted. I started to blame myself. I wasn’t beautiful enough, thin enough, appealing enough. All of my insecurities were at full throttle. My self-esteem tapered off until nothing was left. Who would want me anyway? I stayed in a dead end job because, although I had a postgraduate degree, I wasn’t smart enough to move ahead in a career. My depression, a diagnosis that had previously been mild, became severe. I was sick all the time. I had thoughts of killing myself. My husband and I still enjoyed each other’s company but I was noticeably miserable. My husband became upset at me for being miserable, and asked me to cheer up. I was lacking in everything including social upkeep, home upkeep, exercise routines, career moves, you name it. I threatened to leave him over this issue and formally asked for a divorce once. I went back on my own word however because I couldn’t imagine my life without him; I loved him deeply and couldn’t let go of the connection.

I was in the process of grieving and I didn’t know it. I grieved the life I wish I had. I grieved at my own inadequacy of not being enough for him. My heart was broken and to a large extent, still is.

Why am I telling this story? 

You may experience a difficulty and not realize how much it is affecting your life. The well-known sources of grief and difficulty in our communities include, among others: death, child concerns, handicap, financial worries and health problems. It is, to a large extent, societally acceptable to discuss these matters and highlight their hardship. However, I have never seen a sheikh, or a learned religious person publicly speak about my experience or the idea that gender stereotypes aren’t always accurate. Lack of intimacy is an intensely private matter and likewise, an intense source of grief.

Difficulties and Stereotypes 

I have written this article in the hopes that others may realize the enormity of this issue and identify how harmful it is. I also wish that we would realize that stereotypes of any gender, including the sexuality of men aren’t always true.

In my case, believing the stereotype that all men are extremely sexually inclined damaged me extensively because I expected my husband to display those tendencies, and when he didn’t, I believed that something was wrong with me. I cannot lie and say that I feel adequate, even 10 years later. I haven’t figured out my way yet.

Postscript

If you are a woman finding yourself in my situation, let me reassure you: what is happening to you is not exclusive to you. Many women have struggled silently with this issue. Shame has prevented many from speaking out or even seeking counsel from others.

It is most assuredly a difficult test, and with difficulties, shaitaan is ever present. You will be tempted. If you have not decided where your relationship is headed and are “waiting it out” several things may happen. You may want to start looking more attractive when you go out. You may look things up on the internet to satisfy your urges, or even look for sexual outlets such as an affair. I am suggesting that this could happen to the most pious and proper of people.

Therefore, I advise you, my sister, to make a decision about your relationship for the sake of your deen. You have two options. Either you will decide to leave the relationship, or like me (for now), decide to stay.

In either case, I strongly suggest that you seek religious and psychological counselling. Counselling will help you deal with your emotions. It will also help you in identifying what intimacy actually means to you, and help you decide (with guidance) if it is something that you can live without.

From personal experience, your counsellor does not need to be a Muslim to be able to help you. If your husband is willing to come with you, I would strongly suggest couples’ counselling.  From a religious point-of-view, know that if you decide to leave, this circumstance warrants the rights to a divorce, or a khula’. Consult with the imam of your community to arrange this.

If you choose to stay, you are certainly not alone in your decision. In this situation, it is essential that you continuously nurture your connection with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Remind yourself that this life is temporary. Live your life solely for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and He will help you throughout your difficulties. Become active in other areas of your life and do your best to excel in them. This will give your life meaning as well as give your self-esteem a boost. I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to strengthen you as He strengthened Ayoob 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) in his intense difficulties.

Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the Most Merciful, and verily with hardship there is relief.

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nuqra furquan

    October 25, 2017 at 6:16 AM

    Assalamualaikum
    I will pray for you dear and for my aunt too..
    She is facing the same problem from past 14 years …..
    ?

    • Avatar

      Anon b

      October 27, 2017 at 10:13 PM

      I am a guy in this situation. I no longer feel attached to my wife.

      She put on weight and refuses to go to the gym. How much can I tell her to lose weight? I give up. There is no intimacy left in this marriage.

      Perhaps other commentors should reflect on whether they are ignoring warning signs from their husbands.

      • Avatar

        SY

        October 31, 2017 at 10:45 AM

        Salam, I am happy you shared this I have one issue. U never outlined any hope for the man, u never put anything about repairing or rectifying a relationship. I dislike articles like these because you practically gave one option which is divorce, and ur right it is the right of a woman, but the only other option u gave is stay with misery. As a man you haven’t given me any hope that I can improve that part of my marriage if that is suffering and for that I dislike this article. U also didn’t talk about the pornographic society we live in, and how men often turn to this and this is part of their oppression against the intimacy rights of their wives. It’s a very one sided, depressing, and hopeless article that just puts people into more depression esp if they want to do good, and as a man my wife deserves the best inshAllah I can overcome the negativity of this article and please my wife and please Allah in the process.

        • Avatar

          Anon

          October 31, 2017 at 4:59 PM

          You have the right to dislike whatever you wish. This article IS a one-sided view and there is nothing wrong with that. It is written from a woman’s perspective for women in the same situation. After 10 years of trying to change things. If you’re trying to find solutions to change your situation, this isn’t the place to look. And it isn’t the responsibility of the wife (or author, in this case) to figure out the situation for the husband; that’s his job. This article is an account of how a wife feels after 10 years of this type of treatment and after exhausting all means to change things. Why does it fall on the wife to find the solution to a problem that isn’t hers? This could be a good means of encouragement to change for those who love their spouse. May Allah make things easy for us all.

    • Avatar

      Dr Ali

      October 30, 2017 at 1:17 AM

      Disagree; I am male married for last 8 years. From male perspective the reason of lack of intimacy is that husband force to stick with one wife thinking polygamy as taboo in even “religious” wife . Imagine if you have to eat single food every time for last 10 years. definately you will get bored ..

      if writer or any muslima wants to solve this issue lets their husband to get more wives , i bet it will improve..

      /Ali

      • Avatar

        Shamsia

        February 19, 2018 at 12:39 AM

        I have been married to my husband who is 26 years older than me for almost 24 years. We have two boys 23 and 20. My husband never paid any attention to me. I am the bread winner of the family. It always bothered me. I used to to cry and asked him to sleep in our bed, but he rarely slept with me. He smokes too much and lately has been addicted to proscription medication. I always felt lonely. My family is totally against divorce. I started an affair with someone at work 4 years ago. I am emotionally and physically vey close to him. He is married. I know that it is wrong, but it’s not all about sex. I need someone to talk to. Someone to make me feel wanted and important. Someone who appreciates all my hard work.

  2. Avatar

    BISHONNOMAHMUD

    October 25, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Dear Sister:

    I am not saying that your husband is not attracted to you, and even if he is not attracted to you, he may not admit that you. It is such a taboo to admit that to your wife. I got into a marriage where I did not feel attraction to my wife, and I ended the marriage after three months. Yes, I was sure in my heart that I would not able to overcome that and I made the decision. I would rather love what I cannot have than have what I cannot love.

    I believe many Muslim men are often unable to marry woman of their dream or actual choice for many reasons including (1) inability communicate our choices and wants to our mothers or rishta aunties who look for us, often due to haya (2) family or society or parents dismissing us or totally abandoning us if we want to marry into different ethnicity (3) settling for less than ideal when it comes to look (and look is in the eye of the beholder) hoping that deen will make up for it, but it never makes up because we never have that strong eeman to begin with and on top that we are bombarded with beautiful looking women everywhere

    The result is: mediocre marriage with lack of intimacy. I personally have reached a point where I have almost given up hope of re-marriage because I have found that there are so many constraints to find the right girl that it often feels not worth it.

  3. Avatar

    Anonnymous

    October 25, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    I faced something… ND still facing something similar. I was also pregnant continually. It turned out my spouse was cheating on me. I’m still in the marriage for the sake of my kids.

  4. Avatar

    Anon

    October 25, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    In the same boat for years now. I think we’re together for the kids but not admitting it.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 25, 2017 at 3:25 PM

    JAK Sister for writing this. I know how you feel. I have decided to divorce my husband of 10 years not only due to lack of intimacy and rejection no matter what I tried; but he has been abusive, and does not provide financially for me and our 2 kids, putting all the burden on me and making me go into credit card debt. I tried to be friends but failed. It’s a no-brainer to divorce – I should have done it sooner. Marriage is supposed to protect us from temptations, not cause them . I thought he was gay but he denies it and recently told me he wasn’t attracted to me. While the divorce finalizes, I don’t know if Allah has another husband for me or how to seek him.

  6. Avatar

    Banago

    October 25, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    From the description of your relationship, it does not seem he is not attracted to you. It’s either he is fulfilling his needs elsewhere or he has a medical condition.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous me

    October 25, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Now I know am not the only one. This stereotype is really terrible. Believing all men who love thier wife/-wives most be sexually active. My husband loves me I am very sure and doesn’t cheat on me. He just doesn’t get really interested in intimacy so he goes months without nothing. Initially was worried. But i am no longer worried one bit. Our marriage is going to 12 years now. And we still standing. I have kept really busy with school and career so don’t feel lonely much. Some times I slip into grief but bounce back quick by doing CBT on myself as I am a psychologist.
    This article has given me some succour you won’t understand.
    I guess with time people will start speaking up and facing the grief becomes less painful.
    Thanks again for this article.

  8. Avatar

    Brother Anon

    October 25, 2017 at 5:26 PM

    Not specific to this situation but generally it would be very informative to hear why the Husband is like this? Is he talking to someone else? What’s made him lose attraction, as a man my only suspicion being the problem is himself rather than the wife.

    As a man in the process of getting married, this has become a big fear of mine all of a sudden. Losing interest in my wife, I’d feel like garbage.

    Now if I have to choose one or the other, do you go with piety over beauty? inshAllah both but that’s also scary.

    May Allah put the love back in your hearts for one another as if you just got married again.

    • Avatar

      Anon

      October 25, 2017 at 8:08 PM

      The reason that sexual intimacy declines is not something that the initiating partner can fully know. It is something that the other partner needs to decide for themselves and get help for on their own. It leaves the other partner feeling powerless, but that is the essence of the problem. I’ve stopped looking for answers. Your mind goes through all kinds of scenarios to explain the situation (it’s human nature). But when nothing you find actually sticks, you realize that it’s a pointless activity. This realization took a long time.

      Brother, if you feel that something in your history may make you averse to foreplay or intercourse, try to talk to a professional about it. If there is nothing in your past, your worry may be satanic whisperings. It could also stem from the fact that you’re in the beginning of a relationship and your feelings may not be fully developed for your fiance yet. This is a woman’s perspective, so it may not apply, however, I became much more attracted to my spouse once I got to know him. There must be some level of attraction to your spouse, and it can’t only be based on personality or beauty. There has to be a balance of both. Wanting to spend time with your spouse is as important as wanting to sleep with them.

      In terms of the reasons this happened, my husband told me a few things. He said that he got bored of intimacy quickly, that I’m not the most attractive woman to him, along with a number of other things. It sounds harsh to the outside reader, and it stings, but I, personally, always appreciate honesty, even if it is hurtful. Of course, it would be better to be diplomatic and I do not suggest that you tell your future wife any of this outright (if God-forbid, you ever feel this way), because you can’t take your words back. In any case, I do think that there are other issues going on with him and I don’t fully buy all of his explanations.

      As for me, I’ve always found him attractive and regularly tell him that. I think this is more of a norm than not, to find your spouse attractive. I feel the same about him today as I did the day we were married. I’m still as attracted to him regardless of how he’s changed over the years. In all honesty brother, he is the perfect spouse with all and any of his flaws, minus this issue.

      I suggest the following:
      Never forget that duaa changes destiny. Use it to sooth your soul. Make istighfaar. Remember that rizq is already written for both you and her. I sincerely pray for you and I ask Allah to make your relationship happy, ameen.

  9. Avatar

    Aasma Maqbool

    October 25, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    It seems this man is gay.

    • Avatar

      Anon b

      October 27, 2017 at 10:17 PM

      That is quite an inappropriate thing to say without knowing all the details.

  10. Avatar

    Mariam

    October 25, 2017 at 6:41 PM

    Our religion is clear about it, get a khula because you are miserable also imagine if it was a woman who can satisfy him! Never stay in such marriage for the sake of kids because they see everything and later it will affect their life. As you tried everything my sister move on but stay friends

  11. Avatar

    Y

    October 25, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    As a married man, I know this starts to happen when you get too busy with making a living and your mind is mostly preoccupied with everything else so you don’t feel any physical need. An ideal solution would have been to get home after Isha and leave EVERYTHING out of mind and enjoy each other’s company. But this may not be possible in the world we live in today. So, an advice for someone who is newly married or going to be married, make a habit of getting intimate on a regular basis even if you don’t feel the urge, because if you lose the habit, you will lose intimacy even though you may not lose the urge. And be happy and be in a positive frame of mind always and don’t let the struggles of life get in your way of enjoying conjugal life.And it’s not easy.

  12. Avatar

    Siti

    October 25, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    Jazakallah for sharing the story dear confessor. The purpose of a married life is to find contentment with each other, when you don’t get it, ask yourself why should you stay? From the many efforts you did, it showed me that the much love you have for your husband doesn’t match with what he has for you. Despite whatever you did to improve yourself, his affection to you remains the same. Leaving you discontented and hoping for equal treatment and affection like how you showered him. Does he do anything about it? If he doesn’t, that means he may be an ignorant/arrogant/selfish man. Or, it could also be that he doesn’t know how to express his feelings/desires to you. You went to a counsellor and checked your emotional states. Why don’t you try coaxing him into checking about his physical health and condition with an andrologist, maybe he’ll open up. I’m just talking through my own experience and assumption here. As we age, our sexual desire declines. Our appearance too, so be it as a wife or husband, we should be at par with our spouse’s expectations to please them. Both of you must prioritise open discussions on how to solve this matter. Working alone wouldn’t help. Wallahua’lam. Assalamualaikum.

  13. Avatar

    Golden eye

    October 25, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    Did anyone consider the problem could be sehr or hasad or Ayn or all of the above?
    Try listening to a rukyah diagnosis recording on YouTube it rukyah for marriage problems and see if there’s a reaction.
    Some people can take days to react and some people straight away. Listen to a recording for 21 days.
    If you react then you know it’s a spiritual attack.
    If you have no reaction then recite albaqarah v223 x3 after every prayer and Surah room v21 x3,Surah taha v39 from Wal alkaytoo elayka…. X3
    And the most important dua Surah alfurquan v74 x11 after every prayer.
    For those who have problems with numbers ( above) read these verses until you feel satisfied.
    Remember the Qur’an is a healing and a mercy and so the answer will be in the quran in shaa Allah.
    These verses cause a gradual change upon the person reciting and the person it is recited for. Nothing happens over night , just a gradual change so stick to these duas. For proof of this method, refer to hadith surrounding recitation of dua from Quran.
    The answer to these duas may either strengthen the relationship or make the spit bearable and the new partner is the answer to the dua.
    May Allah give you all where the khair is. AMEEN

  14. Avatar

    Reader

    October 25, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    Most people don’t realise that every individual has varying levels of sexual need–shaped by physical conditions as well as past experience. The chemistry between two individuals is also a determining factor. There are two wonderful books by a sex therapist–‘The men on my couch’ and ‘The women on my couch’. There are all sorts of situations described in the books and lack of sexual interest from the male partner despite deep feelings of love comes up again and again. The therapist mostly unearths hidden fears and past memory to get to the bottom of it. I suggest, sister, you read these two books. While you read, mark chapters that you think is similar to your situation. Underline and highlight parts. Then read them with your husband. Even if this doesn’t change the sexual intimacy situation between you two, inshallah this will bring you two together in a different may–may help with your grief.

  15. Avatar

    Xxx

    October 26, 2017 at 1:16 AM

    jazak Allahu khair

  16. Avatar

    Ali

    October 26, 2017 at 1:35 AM

    There are number of reasons why this may happen. Some are the men’s fault, other times its either the wife or the man’s female relatives faults;

    1) Men indirectly forced to marry girls they are not attracted to, by being told over and over again by insecure female relatives that “looks don’t matter, piety , pretty girls tend to have loose character”

    2) Wives who treat her in-laws horribly, and the expect the husband to treat her like a wife as if nothing happened.

    3) Wives who refuse to indulge in certain foreplay citing cultural reasons

    4) Refusal by one partner to adapt to the birth control preferences of the other.

  17. Avatar

    anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 3:44 AM

    I am also in the same situation. i am totally confused of what to do as i got divorced once and this is my second marriage to him. i got into this with lot of dreams and hopes. But now, I am really depressed more often and had almost lost my hope. But, i am praying to Allah ..in shaa Allah..May Allah help us .

  18. Avatar

    John

    October 26, 2017 at 8:01 AM

    Don’t forget to take a hormone blood test!

    He could have a condition that is affecting him, and he doesn’t even know it.

    Check testosterone levels, prolactin, oestrogen etc.

  19. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    If we only do things that we ‘feel like doing’ or ‘want to do’ or ‘have urge to do’ then where is the love? Things that I want to do, I can do them for ‘anyone’. But for people ‘I love’, I’d do things even if ‘I don’t feel like it’ because it’s ‘not about me’ but about ‘what pleases the one I love’.

    I can’t say I love someone but at the same time I don’t mind them feeling disrespected, insulted, rejected and refused when they expect to be touched and wanted. This is not lack of love, its even lack of multiple values in a human being.

    1) It lacks empathy: when we see the pain, we want to help the other person
    2) It lacks love: when we love someone, we want to make them happy
    3) It lacks iman: spouse has a right over us and we’re obliged to fulfill that right

    Why do we kiss and hug babies? Because we find them cute and our natural expression of ‘love’ is kiss and ‘hug’. Intimacy is ‘natural’ expression of ‘love’.

    There are certain things that can turn off a man
    1) A wife that complains a lot
    2) A wife that hates her inlaws
    3) A wife that wastes money
    4) A wife that is disrespectful or rude or argumentative
    5) A wife that keeps pointing out mistakes like a parent

    There are things that turns on the man
    1) A wife that cooks good food
    2) A wife that dresses up for her husband
    3) A wife that is usually in good mood and smiles
    4) A wife that is grateful and thankful
    5) A wife that is proud of her husband and makes him feel accomplished/successful/hero.

    When we’re living with a dog/pet for years, we even feel love for that pet and hug and caress it. If we don’t feel that for our spouse then there is physical, psychological problem or simply no love.

    If the person loves the other person but has physical or psychological problem then they would desperately want to get professional help to overcome this issue because they want to make their beloved happy but if they are not interested in resolving the issue then they simply don’t love the other person.

    I can’t say honey I love you but I don’t care if you are living a life of misery because I don’t like intimacy and I don’t want to get help because you won’t feel like trash but I still love you.

    There is no love in that relationship, it’s only a matter of convenience in that case, you have someone to take care of the house (wife) or you have someone to earn money for you (husband). One person is using the other to get through the life.

    Yes this life is test and it is short and life in Jannah is infinite but that doesn’t mean that it ‘has’ to be miserable. Sabr is something we do when there is ‘nothing’ in our control. We have sabr if we’re born with disability but if Allah has given us tools to solve our problem, then we should use those tools.

    In Surah Mujadila, when a man refused to be intimate with his wife and didn’t care for how she felt, she came crying and pleading to Prophet (S), she didn’t sit down and have sabr. Allah responded to her in Qur’an.

    One of the wives of Prophet (S) did not desire intimacy so she gave away her night so He (S) can be with another wife. If a woman has an issue with intimacy, she can ask the husband to marry another wife and like Prophet (S) he can be with both of them and treat them both with kindness.

    But in husband has that issue, wife cannot do a second marriage, he should fear Allah and either let her go or get professional help.

    A person who had tied a cat in the house and didn’t nourish the cat properly got thrown in hellfire as a recompense. A human being has feelings and needs that Allah has recognized in the Qur’an (Surah Mujadila).

    In our society both divorce and second marriages are turned into taboo but there is nothing Islamic about this. The discussion of divorce has happened in life of Prophet (S) (Surah Tahrim). Islam doesn’t recommend us to live a life of misery with a person when the other person ‘doesn’t care’.

    Finally for the person in this situation following are the resolutions

    1) Do self-inspection i.e. what is the problem in you that could be turning off your spouse
    2) Do what pleases your spouse
    3) Explain to your spouse your need clearly and how hurt/insulted/rejected/worthless you feel
    4) Explain the possibility of divorce
    5) If they are unwilling to get help, involve a family member
    6) Make dua, pray tahajjud, say lots of istighfar

    Heart of slave is in hands of Allah. Allah can turn it either way. It is Allah who puts love and mercy between the spouses. Allah is turner of the hearts. If you take all the measures and nothing changes, it may be for your own good and you can move on with life i.e. get divorce and ask Allah to replace your spouse with someone better.

  20. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    May Allah help you and me!
    I just got married 8 or 9 months ago and I feel like this is my future because similarly both my husband and I are best of friends and I love him dearly, he does too but… we lack intimacy. I don’t understand how or why.

    • Avatar

      anna

      November 14, 2017 at 4:45 AM

      I have been in this situation for 11 years now, highly educated have all means but have kids. Husband is exceptionally good person otherwise, tried and did whatever I could but the response was not good.point is it’s not only that one spouse should try and do everything just to sleep with her husband. Many will say don’t involve egos, but this is a matter where the other spouse is kind of constantly rejected its hard for the victim to come up with all the courage all the time to beg.I am at a stage where everything is finished, something died inside me, even when confronted now my husband wants to straighten up everything the hurt and break is so deep it cant be ignored. Even if we start again inside me I know he doesn’t want me he is pretending.We have kids who are happy they need both parents so I am living. God knows everything I might leave sometime, but this wasn’t the life I wished for.I have all these feelings about who would want me thing, though people say I am good looking I am so doubtful of myself .It kills you slowly… lacking in everything including social upkeep, home upkeep, exercise routines, career moves, you name it. Seriusly thinking of an affair

  21. Avatar

    abc

    October 26, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Dear sister,

    This kind of thing can not be forced. The desire if there or it is not.

    If you do everything from your side to arouse him and there is still nothing, you should say that this is the will of Allah. This is not your fault.

    If Allah did not provide you with his desire, maybe this is a sign that he is not fit for you.

    But, before you go to this conclusion, do the maximum you can to arouse him.

    I can give you some tips.

    My husband is very attracted to me, this is a gift form Allah, but I can say that, after His help, I work very hard for that.

    I always prepare myself very well, on specific days (every two or three days). I take a shower, I put cream, perfume, the nicest of clothes (I have a lot of sexy clothes that I change all the time) makeup, and henna.

    I also make sure the environment is adequate like the children are at sleep, the house is clean, there is nice smell in our room and candle lights.

    Also, the most important, I always maintain the best attitude during theses moments, smiling and say nice words. Make sure he is happy with me (because if he is angry against me, it does not work).

    If he is in a bad mood because of something outside, at his work or with his family, I listened to him before, and make douas that everything will be ok, but if he is too much preoccupy, I leave him alone… You have to be smart and understand the psychological state of your husband and the limits.

    If he is in a good mood, I arouse him the way he likes to be arouse, by dancing in front of him, making him a massage, touching the part of his body he likes to be touched, saying the words he likes to hear. I let him take the control when he feels he wants to, or when he can not longer resist.

    Many sisters are shy and think that this is the husband who should arouse them, not the contrary. This is not the case. The man should be arouse. They actually need more than us.

    Many sisters feel that if they are active lovers, they are like prostitutes. But in fact, the prostitutes, they just try to imitate loving wives…

    Think deeply of what you can do, improve one thing at a time, but know that you can not make come something that is not there. You can only fix the problem between you and him (if there is a problem) and improve and entertain what Allah has provided you.

    May Allah bless you and make you successful in this life and the next.

    Your sister in Islam.

  22. Avatar

    sa

    October 26, 2017 at 11:05 PM

    I am having the exactly same problem with a non-muslim, Indian – to be more specific, husband. As sister cited, “He is a charming, charismatic person, and widely respected both at work” for his soft behavior to the women. But with me he is quite rude. He lies all the time. He pretended that he accepted Islam – in reality he did not. He is very different in public and when I am alone. I have been living with him for 23 years. Always think, “I will wait to see if he changes … until next year…”. But can never take that final step.

  23. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 27, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    When you want food and spouse doesn’t give you then you can make it yourself or buy it outside and its halal

    When you want money and spouse doesn’t give you then you can earn it yourself and its halal

    When you want intimacy and spouse doesn’t give you then you can neither do it yourself nor but it from outside because both are haram

    This is why the person feels suffocated and depressed and feels like getting a divorce. No wonder angels curse the spouse all night for refusing to be intimate.

    A person has to be heartless to not realize this.

  24. Avatar

    Sister in deen

    October 27, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Salams sister, I completely understand your situation. It’s tough. My husband and I’ve been married for 9 years with three beautiful kids. Recently, my in-laws came living with us. He remains busy at work, doing long hours, and I, after the days house chores and kids, am so tired by night that we just can’t find time to get intimate. Privacy is another issue with in-laws being home all the time. But, we have a mutual understanding allhumdolillah of knowing each other’s needs. I think many of you need to take a few day vacation, just you two, to reconnect with each other. Expressing our intimate needs is sort of a taboo in our culture/beliefs and thus many at times it can be cause of broken marriages. So, please seek help, talk to each other about an out your problems. Marriage is a very sacred bond and it’s the foundation of all relationships. Adam (as) and Hawwa were first husband and wife, then became parents, then grand parents and so forth. My duaas are with you.

  25. Avatar

    Bint N

    October 27, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Salaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu dear sister, someone might have commented this but I don’t have time to read all the comments, so I want to share something I thought about during my read of your article: there are a lot of incidents of brothers (most likely also sisters) that have been affected by sihr I.e black magic, where a husband might lose all intimate interests of his wife, which will cause a lot of damage in the marriage and eventually divorce. The reason for this, is often becuse of jealous people who wants to break the marriage of someone they know, so they either themselves perform magic upon the couple or they pay others to do so and the husband will become possessed and the shaytan will mess up his mind. It even happened to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam; It is proven in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was bewitched until he thought that he had had intercourse with his wives when he had not done so, and that is the worst kind of witchcraft.” (https://islamqa.info/en/68814). Therefore I suggest that he and you will be treated with ruqya, because there could be a chance, that someone has done magic on you and may Allah give you both sabr and shifaa Ameen.

    Another thing I want to say, which kinda bugged me, was that you state that you haven’t come across any Imam or sheikh talking about this issue of yours from a woman’s perspective and I have to say, well you might not have been looking deep enough because it IS talked about and it IS mentioned in Islam – physical attraction, fullfilment of the spouse’s needs etc are upon both the husband and wife and I heard about this a lot :)

  26. Avatar

    Musafir

    October 27, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    As’salamu Alakum wa rahmatullah
    Please read this books if you are in difficulty in your relationship.
    1) The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace, By Doyle, Laura
    2) read online free
    Marriage – The Making & Living of it
    by Mirza Yawar Baig.
    May Allah success our marriage and put lots barakah in our marriage

  27. Avatar

    Assiya

    October 27, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    This was an eye opener, may our lord bring a way out for you

  28. Avatar

    Anonymous

    October 27, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    AA, Sister I am married from 12 years and I have 3 kids. My husband has medical condition but he’s so comfortable he doesn’t even want to or motivated to fix himself. My needs doesn’t concern him, when I spoke to my mother about it, basically want she said was there’s no way out of marriage, she doesn’t want me to bring embarrassment to family. When I tried to speak to a friend they say if that so Howcome I conceived. I started staying sick all the time. I also support my family financially and try to keep super busy to Shaitan’s waswasa don’t get me. It’s like a deadend road for me. I’ll pray for you and for everybody else who’s going through this year but it’s invisible to everybody else.

  29. Avatar

    Ummu 'Abdilaah

    October 27, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Excellent resource on a situation like this:
    ‘I want sex, he wants fries’ by Rebecca Watson.
    Available on amazon.
    She also runs a website and a coaching practice at http://hightmarriage.com/
    Excellent coach for sisters in such a situation because she’s a woman and she also comes from conservative Christian environment and has 5 children herself.
    Hope this helps.

  30. Avatar

    Kay khan

    October 27, 2017 at 11:56 PM

    Has he ever gone all the way with you sexually and how did that feel? Well, if he isn’t being intimate with you maybe he has a problem, tell him to go see a doctor – or maybe he doesn’t know what to do in bed seeing as it’s both your first relationships!

    You can’t live like this tho, either he fixes up or let you go and be witb someone else who can give you sex

    Also in your own room what are you doing to turn him on?? Put some lingerie on turn him on

  31. Avatar

    Fiza

    October 28, 2017 at 1:15 AM

    Hmmmm…. Sad but truth about the men of our Muslim community or maybe every community. Even I have had a bad marriage. I was hardly 18 when I got married there was zero intimacy so I decided to quit. Now I’m 22, our society does not understand that we women also have sexual desires and we want our spouse to fulfill them. But once the khula is taken our society treats women even more worst than we could ever imagine. Do you think we could get a better man for next marriage? Unfortunately, no infact we get men double of our age or even more gone cases than our previous ones. But a divorcee man can marry a spinster. He is allowed to have every right. What about us? After all Allah Swt created us to fulfill each other’s desires. But here in our society our desires our partners are decided by our parents and especially if a guy is willing to marry someone his parents will try every possible way to stop him. Haha, I could not really understand what has happened to our Muslim ummah? When our prophet saw has married a widow hazrat khadijah. He created a big example for the ummah but still we go with the society. May Allah guide every muslim.

  32. Avatar

    Javed

    October 28, 2017 at 6:17 AM

    All those who these type of problems …consult a good homoeopath doctor ….. Homoeopathy has a cure for not attracted towards the opposite sex and it is because of many reasons homeopathy cure the mind …….i m also homoeopath so I m telling u…it is better than counseling………It will help Insha Allah…..

  33. Avatar

    Jasmine

    October 28, 2017 at 7:13 AM

    This is more prevalent in Muslim Asian countries, were care and concern is given to males in such issue.
    Moreover in such countries the husbands usually works overseas leaving their wife and kids with inlaws..
    The wife is expected to take care of husband’s family as well as her kids..she suffers in lack of intimacy as well as emotional support ending up in loneliness and tears at night.

    It’s like she’s living a life of a divorcee/widow but yet she’s still considered married.

    When such husbands return to their families during holidays , neither their wives nor the kids gets attached to them nor do they share feelings of togetherness like a family supposed to be …those husbands are treated like VIP guest in their own family then they return back to work.

    Years pass by like days..kids grow up without help of upbringing of their fathers, due to which disciplinary issues prevail…if at all kids arent good the moms are to be blamed ,not the father…. her life gets encompassed in loneliness with sole responsibility of the family .

    My advice to sisters..
    Don’t compare your life with others who are above you.
    But compare your life with those below you as our beloved prophet Mohammed (pbuh) has mentioned in number of hadiths.

    I could understand the pain and the thoughts which emerges and interupts our daily lives.but atleast you are blessed with husband while there are many who aren’t.
    Even if he is not good at this , he must be having other good qualities like a perfect dad for your kids etc…enhance those qualities and belittle this one..as no human is free of faults.
    “A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another”. (Muslim).
    This applies to both genders.

    This dunya is designed for test and trials hence it can’t be perfect in fulfilling all our desires,if it was so then it would be considered jannah and not dunya.

    Hence my dear sisters be patient..walking away from a marriage can be done easily but the consequences of it is mostly falls upon the kids and wife.

    As my grandmother says:
    If in your house lights go off.do you walk away from your house or do you mend your lights and continue staying in it..
    Same parable applies in our lives also…so we need to work hard with a lot of sacrifices to built up a successful family for this dunya as well as aakhira. As we are questionable for it in the day of judgement.
    Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.”
    Ma salaam.

  34. Avatar

    anonim

    October 28, 2017 at 7:26 AM

    Sister, you are in the same problem with me. And I don’t know that maybe my problem is worse or yours is, because I found, just couple months after marriage, that my husband is gay. The worst is, I found it my self. It is not he who told me honestly, it is me who found that. What made me curious about who he is, was actually his way to treat me is not like a husband treats his wife. Even I feel that he is more intimate with his friends than with me. He also has some friends (male friends) that seems like too close for a man’s friends. He then told me that he apologized and told me some reason why he could be like that. However, he is not open enough to me. I really ikhlas to be treated like that. But I just don’t want him to cheat me. I just want him to tell me about everything honestly. only he can really do that, it will really okay for me. I know being like that is not what he wants and it is, basically, not his mistakes. I was about to divorce once, but as you sister, told here, I realized that i can not imagine my life without him. The more problems I am facing now, because I am now in the middle to achieve my phd degree that makes me have a long distance marriage. Everyday I think about my husband and wondering what he is doing like crazy. My long distance communication with him is really cold, and flat. Previously I was annoyed and depressed with communications matter. But since I knew who he is, I understand that I can not force it now. I am not an ambitious woman, but since I married him and know him in the middle of my study, I really have to finish my study with all I faced in my family life. Being a wife of a gay is not a wonderful thing. It gives me motivation to really finish what I am doing now no matter what. Giving up with my study will just add more problems for me. But with this consequences, I have to really struggle in this relationship. Your story and all other women comments really motivate me to be stronger because I know that I am not alone. And I am sure no matter what happened in the future, I have to do all my best now to make everything goes well without sacrificing one of them. I am trying to keep positive thingking about my husband and motivate my self that there maybe something good in the future waiting for me, hopefully, with him.

  35. Avatar

    Hblq

    October 28, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Assalamualaikum sister.
    I am someone who is going thru the same problem.
    So many things from this article are similar to my life.
    I have 2 children and i am not very independant.
    There have been times when iv thot of breakng free. Because the emotional pain is too much sometimes. Like you said we are good friends and he loves me n i do too but over the years it has reduced bcs of this and in laws have played their parts well too.
    I want to take a break from him, some time away from him. But our children. I feel very trapped in life at the moment.

  36. Avatar

    Waqas

    October 28, 2017 at 11:30 PM

    Solution for this problem is so easy. You may not believe but its 100% effective. ASK YOUR HUSBAND TO MARRY ANOTHER WOMEN and see the results with in few weeks

  37. Avatar

    MuffinMan

    October 29, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Not to deflect from the theme of this article. Personally, if she has tried all possible routes (therapy, biological testing, etc.) and still nothing comes up then I would strongly advise divorce, as it may seem silly for sexual reasons but every marriage has 2 parts. One is emotional and the other is sexual. When there is lack of sexuality then the marriage is doomed to fail.

    However, I am getting the feeling that those who comment on this article are missing some key details. Look, this is an anonymous sister who reported on the details of her marriage. Of course, she cannot reveal everything lest she should break her privacy. But I am sure there are key details that she is not mentioning that could change this scenario and how we think of it. So let us not generalize muslim men. If this situation sounds similar to yours understand that there are probably a bunch of nuanced details this article does not mention and how even your situation has its nuanced details that require the help of a behavioral health specialist.

    Also, why is it that I have yet to read an article on this website that shows the reverse phenomenon occur? In fact, as far as I am aware the opposite phenomenon that the wife frustrates the hubby occurs way more often than the reverse. Not that the hubby frustrating the wife does not occur and it does but to also understand that the rate of its occurrence is not amongst the majority or slight majority of muslim men. But, on the contrary in terms of numbers muslim women frustrating their hubby’s is more than hubby’s frustrating their wives. So let us not lose sight of how BOTH genders do things to cause problems in their marriage, again I am not referring to the case in this article specifically and the case in the article may actually have a biological base as it were, but in general.

    Ironic that when the wife frustrates the hubby the muslimahs that I have talked to about this issue love to place the blame on the guy for not “doing enough”, this a dangerous assumption, and the article above points out that often times when frustration occurs it is due to the selfish behavior of the spouse that does not want intimacy and many times no matter how much one “does enough” many times things just do not work out. I have literally met a large amount of muslim guys whose wives frustrate them so much that they even want to do things like put in the nikah contract that the wife has to “put up” as it were a certain number of times a week. Again, attention needs to be placed on why BOTH genders in, again not the case in this article, tend to frustrate the other in terms of sexuality. And since I and many muslimah here agree that the wife should divorce her hubby for her trying everything to get him to do intimacy with her but failing. In the same vein of thought I think that, and this occurs more often, when a wife frustrates the hubby and he does everything he can to engage in intimacy but she does not listen then I would also say the hubby does not deserve to suffer in such a marriage and ought to divorce.

    I don’t mean to be prejudiced, but I can guarantee that most of the commentators here would agree to a wife divorcing a hubby due to sexual frustration but would hypocritically not support a hubby divorcing a wife due to her sexually frustrating the hubby.

    I care about solving this issue for BOTH genders, and that means not picking and choosing which side, but giving similar advice to both genders and not pushing all the blame of bad sexuality in the marriage on the hubby if he is the victim, and when he is the perpetrator we learn to give the same advice to the victim wife as we would give to the victim husband if his wife was the perpetrator.

    Again, I am not deflecting from the issues in this article. But trust me I know of a decent amount of real life examples wherein the opposite occurs but there is no sympathy for the muslim man and he has to “control his bestial desires” and rewire his sexuality to fit the wife’s “unique condition”. I honestly cannot give full support to the same people who will yell from the rooftops to divorce the guy in this article but then these same muslims will hypocritically not even mention divorce as an option should the reverse occur, which does occur more often. Heck oftentimes the victim husband does divorce, but he will be forever vilified in the hearts of some but not all muslimah.

  38. Avatar

    MuffinMan

    October 30, 2017 at 4:36 AM

    Moderators, I am sure I made a comment here, why did it get deleted?

  39. Avatar

    Dr. A Adnan

    October 30, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    Salam,

    The opposite is true as well of course.
    There are many women who do not desire intimacy, or have issues consumating the marriage due to vaginismus or other mental and health issues.

    In your case, I have seen this increasingly common in my practice.
    In many of the cases the men are actually homosexual and have married in order to conform to their cultural or societal norms.
    They do not show outward manifestations of homosexuality, but in private have confessed to me their disdain for the situations they are in. They will not divorce and would rather stay in the marriage and meet other gay men outside.

    There have been some cases of men being abused or having low testosterone, but the vast majority I have found to be homosexual.

    I would highly recommend women in this situation to seek divorce as their are many other straight men who desire intimacy who would marry and take care of your needs.

    You can still be best friends after if you so choose, but sexual intimacy is part of a healthy, normal, loving relationship and you should not delude yourself into thinking otherwise.

    People above have quoted Hadith and Stories, and they are well intentioned, however, we must address your specific issue here.

    Please leave the situation and exit the relationship.
    It will be difficult. It will be hard.
    But you will be better off for it and find a man who wants to be with you in a full, normal, healthy and loving relationship.
    Your marriage is abnormal and should be exited.

  40. Avatar

    trying22

    October 30, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    Salam sister,

    I am going to be frank with you, and perusing through the comments, you have been advised various things in a gentle mannered way so I will spare the molly-coddling and, as I said, be frank.

    First of all. Your mention of having a postgrad degree, you mentioned it twice. Where I am from, women in their hundreds have postgrad degrees and more, and so no one really needs to mention it – but the mere fact you mentioned it twice in this article (as well as what you said about staying in a dead end job) demonstrates the severe lack of self worth and self respect you have for yourself.

    Perhaps this marriage is a test from Allah. Can you be strong enough to give yourself the respect and rights you deserve? You have a right to intimacy the same way it is incumbent upon you to avoid intimacy outside the marriage. You are like someone who has to fast even outside of the sunlight hours – no one is asking you to do that, and indeed suhur is recommended!

    I know counsellors and psychologists aren’t allowed to tell you what to do, just help you work through your own feelings, so I hope you get that kind of help but remember all the work is going to have to be done by yourself. Yes, your husband needs major self-reflection too, perhaps a hidden ordeal from his past, or perhaps he is getting his needs fulfilled elsewhere. I am sorry if this comes across as accusatory but I have spoken to wives with similar situations whose husbands were either cheating, or cheating with men i.e. they were gay. I am not particularly persuaded that humans can be fully assexual but that is something of consideration as well.

    Nevertheless even though he is the catalyst for your depression I don’t want to make this about him.

    Depression is sometimes your own mind and soul throwing you red flags that you are not living the life you want to be living. You have one life, and you will be judged on judgement day. Regardless of our best appraisals of how we think we will do on the day, the truth is you or I could end up in hell forever, or heaven if Allah judges us to be worthy. Only Allah knows.

    But the reason for me mentioning this – you only have this one life, are you willing to living a life you deny yourself not only worldly joys but also deny yourself god-given rights?? We are Muslims of a middle nation, we are not taught to become nuns and prescribe to a life of celibacy.

    You cannot deny it is affecting your deen and weakening you and making your husband’s affection (or lack thereof) your main focus in life. Turning your back on that affection and making Allah your focus again can be one way to get out of this – the fact you reversed your decision to get a divorce shows me you are enslaved by this marriage. We are only the slaves of Allah.

    You are going to constantly run back and forth from your husband until (you hope) he caves and gives you the love you desire. Have you sent him a link to this article/shared it on your facebook in hopes that he sees it? There is no one in the world we can ever change…except ourselves. And how you change yourself can affect your hereafter.

    My advice to you is, it is not selfish to put yourself first. You clearly feel like you have been handed the short end of the stick in life with marriage and career. What if I told you, you are holding the short end of the stick and staring at it and crying, but if you wiped away your tears, and pulled yourself away as hard as it is, be “stickless” for a while as you race towards where sticks lay aplenty as Allah is the provider of all sustenance, and there you will find sticks that are long and fulfilling.

    You’ll become (if you haven’t already) fixated on this issue until it takes over your life. When it came to describing your looks you were so hesitant and diplomatic. Woman, you are beautiful but you stopped believing it so how can others believe it? Please, use your ONE life well, become the woman you want your daughter to be. Would you want your daughter feeling the way this marriage makes you feel and still stay?? Really?

    Treat yourself the way you want your loved ones to treat themselves. In a way you are a role model to your children perpetuating the myths that when men do not get what they want in a marriage they can drop everything and leave but women have to stay till the bitter end.

    Please, strengthen yourself and do what is right by your soul. I know I have rambled but I would love for happiness to come by your way, in the form of a fulfilling relationship, career or both. Stop selling yourself short.

    Gandhi once said, you are 100% responsible for everything in your life and everything not in your life.

    And before anyone leaps up saying we aren’t responsible for what is in our life, then explain why we are judged on the day of judgement? Because indeed, we are 100% responsible for everything in our lives, and everything not in our lives.

    You are saying you do not have a fulfilling relationship in your life….

    So what are you going to do about it?

    • Avatar

      Project illumination

      October 31, 2017 at 12:07 AM

      MashaAllah everything the sister above said…please consider.

      If you need assistance in getting out of your NEED of any human being and beong dependent on Allah only, please please pleasd consider life coaching. You need someone trained to hold a mirror and show you your reflection AND SHOW YOU THE POTENTIAL you have inside that YOU DIDNT EVEN KNOW YOU HAD!

      Please take the first step…pray istikhara, ask for guidance from the Creator of the heavens and the earth…and pls reach out.

      I would love to direct you to people that can help. But as the sister mentioned, YOU AND ONLY YOU have to decide you are ready to try something new. No one else can make this decision for you.

      Projectillumination1.0 (at the google mail) <- wont allow me to write it out (basically ATGMAILDOTCOM)

  41. Avatar

    Project illumination

    October 30, 2017 at 11:56 PM

    Anyone facing such issues, I humbly suggest that you seek help through therapy, counselling or thru a life coach.

    You may reach out and we’ll direct you:

    Projectillumination1.0 AT (the google mail) <- they arent allowing me to post the address correctly.

    But Allah swt is Kareem and Wadud, and He doesnt want us to suffer. If He doesn't send a disease without a cure, then surely, there isn't a problem without a solution.

    And the most amazing thing about life coaching is, it doesn't have to be both spouses. You just need to decide, I am ready.

    May Allah swt grant us all that which is best for our dunya a d akhirah. Ameen.

  42. Avatar

    Sis

    October 31, 2017 at 7:25 AM

    I was in a marriage once where my husband had erection problems. It took him one month to consummate fully after he would spend hours everyday. I startef doubting myself, but I reminded myself to remember Allah and trust Him.

    These things are not publicly spoken about…. istighfaar and dua and gratitude helps a lot

  43. Avatar

    Ahmed

    November 1, 2017 at 1:52 AM

    Funny how easy it is to comment by many people that the only way is DIVORCE. Of course we are allowed to but how can we go about just by reading an article and jumping to an advice that DIVORCE is the best solution. I suggest our brothers and sisters not to advice breaking up of a family without knowing the person or the family personally. I mean can you imagine the person you still love and had intimate moments he or she opens up to an other man or woman!
    The sister just shared her side and wanted us to know that everyone with intimacy issues is not alone. If you can advice good then please do so and leave the negative side and gay accusations and the divorce side alone that is best for the sister to decide as she is a muslimah and knows her rights.
    I believe this was an important share because a happy couple=happy family=happy society=happy ummah= happy life in this and the next.
    I also don’t believe that our sisters or brothers facing issues in their marriages that the only option for them is to stay or leave. What about giving your 100%! The sister in the article said “Become active in other areas of your life and do your best to excel in them” In the whole article I didn’t come across the same excellence in terms of working towards the intimacy part. A sheikh once asked me for an issue I was facing did you give your 100% to which I replied I tried! He asked me again, if YOU stand in front of Allah one day and your Creator asks YOU did YOU give your 100% and your answer in your head is 99.9% and there was still room for that .1% then u failed to give your 100% . This shook me as this was the first time someone questioned about ME, the sheikh didn’t care about what the other person did it was about ME!
    I believe many people don’t realize that we don’t come trained on how to be a husband or a wife we learn from how we deal and react when living together as husband and wife on a daily basis and this reactions forms the skeleton of our married life. Many times in our marriages we always end up how dare he or she said this to me, why do I need to ask or say it! doesn’t he already know it. I am sure you can relate to it. Many times when we are discussing issues and are blunt on the face or we don’t like something we hear we get sad and moody just because he or she said it. Later you realise that I shouldn’t have said it. And this reaction becomes the basis of your married life you end up not saying and doing things because you don’t want to hurt the other partner. Then comes the part where you don’t wanna talk or say anything because if u do there will be a sad face and no talk for days so u just suck it up and days goes by, months and years and we fail to realise our reactions to each other was responsible for what was constructing the marriage tower. Our reaction to each other left cracks on the pillars which never got repaired and left the whole building weak which can fall any time. Which can be repaired if you realize it.
    This question is to all men and woman. When was the last time you took off time off work to do things for your partner? When was the last time you took a long break from work to spend time with you partner? When was the last time you worked out to look fit for your partner and a healthy life and healthy intimacy life? When was the last time you took few days off away from children to build back your married life? When was the last time you broke all boundries to try to love each other in a halal way? When was the last time when you come from work or had a long day you come home you see the sofa but u go to your partner held his or her hand and just went for a long walk? When was the last time you asked each other what works out in bed…..what he or she likes, does it arouse? When was the last time you discussed with your partner on having a climax? When was the last time it mattered that your partner had the big “O” ? When was the last time you humbled your self and actually gave a hearing to your partner on what he or she has to say? When the last time u kept your mobile on off mode because u only thought of being with your partner? When the last time you were leaving for work but wanted to stay to be with your partner? When was the last time you wanted to hurry back home because you miss him or her? When was the last time nothing mattered except the smile on your partner face?

    When was the last time you gave YOUR 100%? And EXCELLED!

    • Avatar

      sigh

      November 1, 2017 at 8:19 AM

      No one said Divorce is the best solution but it is *A* solution, I mean there’s a whole chapter in the Quran named divorce. Not to mention there was a sahabah who divorced (witnessed by Prophet Muhammad SAW) simply as she was not attracted to him. This madness to stay in a marriage when there is a lack of compatibility is not part of Islam, no one says to stay in a marriage if it starts to affect your mental health. Khadijah RA was divorced twice by the time she married the prophet SAW can you imagine if she never had divorced.

      Exactly.

      In terms of giving 100%, this is how we should all give our lives. But you can argue giving 100% in a marriage, at the expense of your mental health or even your FAITH is not a deal that as worthwhile as a divorce, plus 100% effort in keeping strong through the stormy waters after the divorce.

  44. Avatar

    M

    November 5, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    Assalam Alaikum Sister

    Have you considered the possibility that your husband may not be straight and might have realized this later on in his life?

  45. Avatar

    Sadia gill

    November 7, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    I have been married for 19 yrs and have the same problem My husband took two years to consummate the marriage.After initial treatment we had two kids by the grace of Allah (swt).But he stopped taking interest in intimacy and I am suffering.I desired to have more kids but it never happened.

  46. Avatar

    lost soul

    May 26, 2018 at 7:43 PM

    What if this reversed and the husband takes care of financial matters, cooking and cleaning. While the wife whatever she makes she keeps and some food only she likes. In the past two years we have been fully intimate 3x And all my wife can say is whats the big deal.

  47. Avatar

    Blue Eyed Brownie

    January 8, 2019 at 12:07 AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I can relate on some levels.

    Male, 14 years married to a beautiful, loyal and very pious woman and we are in love. When we are “together” it is perfect and we are very happy and satisfied. Unfortunately as we aged she became obsessive with her weight and looks. Things that people wouldn’t even notice. Partially triggered by terrible comments her parents made to her as a kid when she gained some weight. She also developed an eating disorder which creeps in from time to time because of those parents.

    Anyway, her experience makes her feel fat and ugly and embarrassed to be with me because I’m in good shape. Truth is I have never mentioned her weight as an issue because I’m very aware at the unrealistic pressures on women and the constant bombardment of perfection they are faced with in the media. I’ve always told her how attracted I am to her / her body and it’s no lie. I go out of my way to provide her with extra attention and pleasure in the bedroom which she greatly enjoys but we constantly fall back into dry spells when she’s feeling fat/ugly. It took me a long time to realize this wasn’t about me. That’s what makes it so hard to resolve…it’s nothing I can fix. She has to fix it because it is an internal struggle for her. Unfortunately I don’t believe in her ability to fix it.

    Maybe your husband is having a similar internal struggle and it’s not about you at all because God only knows I’ve tried so many things. At times I wonder if I could be a therapist with all of the reading and strategies I’ve implemented.

    So I sit here tonight, frustrated and praying to Allah. I can feel myself losing control to address my urges alone with myself after making towba to Allah and stopping previously. Although I’m frequently approached by women it never crosses my mind to cheat. I am starting to lose attraction for her because I’m giving up but she has no idea yet. Eventually it will show as such a thing is impossible to hide no matter what you think. I am heartbroken with this existence because I really enjoy intimacy but she is the one that Allah wanted for me.

    If we didnt have children, as much as I love her and am attracted to her I would have left. However I remind myself that this is no different than a spouse getting sick and that my reward will inshallah be in the hereafter. Who knows why Allah placed me in this nightmare. Is it punishment that is meant to test me / cleanse me? Only Allah knows and He knows what is good / bad for us and we dont.

    Marrying a second spouse will not work as I’d lose her and I don’t want to for the sake of my children and my promise to be with her.

    Remember to constantly hug and nurture your children being aware of words you say to them and their mental state. Also be aware of the media they are consuming because it has an impact on their self image. This is for both boys and girls as they’re all getting hit with media. Otherwise, you can create a beautiful, religious human being who is broken because of words, who will also break their spouse.

    I hate my life but Alhamdulillah for everything. It can always be worse.

  48. Avatar

    Ammar

    February 27, 2019 at 9:26 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    we need to talk on such issue in public

    I appreciate you sister and understand your feelings very well.

    I am so happy to know that Muslims women are so strong to stay away from evils and sins in this age where having extra marital affairs is not illegal.

    I am so happy that Your eemaan is strong and you are an example for Musim women.

    May Allaah grant you Jannat-ul-firdaus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Unexpected Blessings of Being Alone

Juli Herman

Published

on

My seven-year old son sat on the ground, digging a hole. Around him, other children ran, cried, and laughed at the playground.

“He’s such a strange kid,” my oldest daughter remarked. “Who goes to the playground and digs holes in the ground?”

In an instant, scenes of my ten-year-old self flashed through my mind. In them I ducked, hiding from invisible enemies in a forest of tapioca plants. Flattening my back against the spindly trunks, I flicked my wrist, sending a paper shuriken flying towards my pursuers. I was in my own world, alone.

It feels as if I have always been alone. I was the only child from one set of parents. I was alone when they divorced. I was alone when one stepmother left and another came in. I was alone with my diary, tears, and books whenever I needed to escape from the negative realities of my childhood.

Today, I am a lone niqab-wearing Malay in the mish-mash of a predominantly Desi and Arab Muslim community. My aloneness has only been compounded by the choices I’ve made that have gone against social norms- like niqab and the decision to marry young and have two babies during my junior and senior years of undergrad.

When I decided to homeschool my children, I was no longer fazed by any naysayers. I had gotten so used to being alone that it became almost second nature to me. My cultural, religious, and parenting choices no longer hung on the approval of social norms.

Believe it Or Not, We Are All Alone

In all of this, I realize that I am not alone in being alone. We all are alone, even in an ocean of people. No matter who you are, or how many people are around you, you are alone in that you are answerable to the choices you make.

The people around you may suggest or pressure you into specific choices, but you alone make the ultimate choice and bear the ultimate consequence of what those choices are. Everything from what you wear, who you trust, and how you plan your wedding is a result of your own choice. We are alone in society, and in the sight of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) as well.

The aloneness is obvious when we do acts of worship that are individual, such as fasting, giving zakah, and praying. But we’re also alone in Hajj, even when surrounded by a million other Muslims. We are alone in that we have to consciously make the choice and intention to worship. We are alone in making sure we do Hajj in its true spirit.

We alone are accountable to Allah, and on the Day of Judgment, no one will carry the burden of sin of another.

مَّنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا ۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ ۗ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا

“Whoever accepts guidance does so for his own good; whoever strays does so at his own peril. No soul will bear another’s burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger.” Surah Al Israa 17:15

On the day you stand before Allah you won’t have anyone by your side. On that day it will be every man for himself, no matter how close you were in the previous life. It will just be you and Allah.

Even Shaytaan will leave you to the consequences of your decisions.

وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“When everything has been decided, Satan will say, ‘God gave you a true promise. I too made promises but they were false ones: I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call, so do not blame me; blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I reject the way you associated me with God before.’ A bitter torment awaits such wrongdoers” Surah Ibrahim 14:22

But, Isn’t Being Alone Bad?

The connotation that comes with the word ‘alone’ relegates it to something negative. You’re a loser if you sit in the cafeteria alone. Parents worry when they have a shy and reserved child. Teachers tend to overlook the quiet ones, and some even complain that they can’t assess the students if they don’t speak up.

It is little wonder that the concept of being alone has a negative connotation. Being alone is not the human default, for Adam 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was alone, yet Allah created Hawwa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) as a companion for him. According to some scholars, the word Insaan which is translated as human or mankind or man comes from the root letters that means ‘to want company’. We’re naturally inclined to want company.

You might think, “What about the social aspects of Islam? Being alone is like being a hermit!” That’s true, but in Islam, there is a balance between solitary and communal acts of worship. For example, some prayers are done communally like Friday, Eid, and funeral prayers. However, extra prayers like tahajjud, istikharah, and nawaafil are best done individually.

There is a place and time for being alone, and a time for being with others. Islam teaches us this balance, and with that, it teaches us that being alone is also praiseworthy, and shouldn’t be viewed as something negative. There is virtue in alone-ness just as there is virtue in being with others.

Being Alone Has Its Own Perks

It is through being alone that we can be astute observers and connect the outside world to our inner selves. It is also through allowing aloneness to be part of our daily regimen that we can step back, introspect and develop a strong sense of self-based on a direct relationship with Allah.

Taking the time to reflect on worship and the words of Allah gives us the opportunity to meaningfully think about it. It is essential that a person gets used to being alone with their thoughts in order to experience this enriching intellectual, emotional and spiritual experience. The goal is to use our thoughts as the fuel to gain closeness to Allah through reflection and self-introspection.

Training ourselves to embrace being alone can also train us to be honest with ourselves, discover who we truly are, and work towards improving ourselves for Allah’s sake. Sitting with ourselves and honestly scrutinizing the self in order to see strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement is essential for character development. And character development is essential to reach the level of Ihsaan.

When we look into who we want to be, we are bound to make some decisions that might raise eyebrows and wag tongues. Being okay with being alone makes this somewhat easier. We should not be afraid to stand out and be the only one wearing praying or wearing hijab, knowing that it is something Allah will be pleased with. We should not be afraid to stand up for what we believe in even if it makes us unpopular. Getting used to being alone can give us the confidence to make these decisions.

Being alone can strengthen us internally, but not without pain. Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns found that people who dissent from group wisdom show heightened activation in the amygdala, a small organ in the brain associated with the sting of social rejection. Berns calls this the “pain of independence.”

All our prophets experienced this ‘pain of independence’ in their mission. Instances of different prophets being rejected by their own people are generously scattered in the Quran for us to read and reflect upon. One lesson we can extract from these is that being alone takes courage, faith, conviction, and confidence.

 

We Come Alone, Leave Alone, Meet Allah Alone

The circumstances that left me alone in the different stages of my life were not random. I always wanted an older brother or someone else to be there to rescue me from the solitude. But the solitude came with a blessing. Being alone gave me the time and space in which to wonder, think, and eventually understand myself and the people around me. I learned reflection as a skill and independent decision-making as s strength. I don’t mind being alone in my niqab, my Islam, or my choices. I’ve had plenty of practice after all.

Open grave

You are born alone and you took your first breath alone. You will die alone, even if you are surrounded by your loved ones. When you are lowered into the grave, you will be alone. Accepting this can help you make use of your moments of solitude rather than fear them. Having the courage to be alone builds confidence, strengthens conviction, and propels us to do what is right and pleasing to Allah regardless of human approval.

Continue Reading

Why Israel Should Be ‘Singled Out’ For Its Human Rights Record

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians.

Avatar

Published

on

israel, occupied Palestine

Why is everyone so obsessed with Israel’s human rights abuses? From Saudi Arabia, to Syria, to North Korea to Iran. All these nations are involved in flagrant violations of human right, so why all the focus on Israel – ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’? Clearly, if you ignore these other violations and only focus on Israel, you must be anti-Semitic. What else could be your motivations for this double standard?

This is one of the most common contentions raised when Israel is criticized for its human rights record. I personally don’t believe in entertaining this question – it shouldn’t matter why an activist is choosing to focus on one conflict and not others. What matters are the facts being raised; putting into question the motives behind criticizing Israel is a common tactic to detract from the topic at hand. The conversation soon turns into some circular argument about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people is lost. More importantly, this charge of having double standards is often disingenuous. For example, Representative Ihan Omar has been repeatedly accused of this recently and her motives have been called ‘suspicious’ – despite her vocal criticism of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

However, this point is so frequently brought up, I think that perhaps its time activists and critics simply own up to it. Yes – Israel should be singled out, for some very good reasons. These reasons relate to there being a number of unique privileges that the country enjoys; these allow it to get away with much of the abuses it commits. Human right activists thus must be extra vocal when comes to Israel as they have to overcome the unparalleled level of support for the country, particularly in the US and Canada. The following points summarize why Israel should in fact be singled out:

1) Ideological support from ordinary citizens

When Iran and North Korea commit human right abuses, we don’t have to worry about everyone from journalists to clerics to average students on campuses coming out and defending those countries. When most nations commit atrocities, our journalists and politicians call them out, sanctions are imposed, they are taking them to the International Court of Justice, etc. There are instruments in place to take care of other ‘rogue’ nations – without the need for intervention from the common man.

Israel, however, is unique in that it has traditionally enjoyed widespread ideological support, primarily from the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, in the West. This support is a result of the historical circumstances and pseudo-religious ideology that drove the creation of the state in 1948. The successful spread of this nationalistic dogma for the last century means Israel can count on ordinary citizens from Western countries to comes to its defense. This support can come in the form of foreign enlistment to its military, students conducting campus activism, politicians shielding it from criticisms and journalists voluntarily writing in its support and spreading state propaganda.

This ideological and nationalistic attachment to the country is the prime reason why it is so incredibly difficult to have any kind of sane conversation about Israel in the public sphere – criticism is quickly seen as an attack on Jewish identity and interpreted as an ‘existential threat’ to the nation by its supporters. Any attempts to take Israel to account through standard means are thwarted because of the political backlash feared from the country’s supporters in the West.

2) Unconditional political support of a world superpower

The US is Israel’s most important and closest ally in the Middle-East. No matter what war crimes Israel commits, it can count on America to have its back. This support means the US will use its veto power to support Israel against actions of the UN Security Council, it will use its diplomatic influence to shield any punitive actions from other nations and it will use its military might to intervene if need be. The backing of the US is one of the main reasons why the Israeli occupation and expansion of the colonial settlement enterprise continues to this day without any repercussions.

While US support might be especially staunch for Israel, this factor is certainly not unique to the country. Any country which has this privilege, e.g. Saudi Arabia, should be under far great scrutiny for its human rights violations than others.

3)  Military aid and complicity of tax-payers

US tax-payers are directly paying for Israel to carry out its occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel is the largest recipient of US-military aid – it receives an astonishing $3 billion dollars every year. This aid, according to a US congressional report, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians. Activists and citizens thus have a greater responsibility to speak out against Israel as their government is paying the country to carry out its atrocities. Not only is this aid morally reprehensible, but it is also illegal under United States Leahy Laws.

4) The Israeli lobby

The Israeli lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington and is the primary force for ensuring continued US political support for the nation. It consists of an assortment of formal lobby groups (AIPAC, Christians United for Israel), think-thanks (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), political action committee or PACs, not-for-profit organizations (B’nai B’irth, American Jewish Congress, Stand for Israel) and media watchdogs (CAMERA, Honest Reporting). These organizations together exercise an incredible amount of political influence. They ensure that any criticism of Israel is either stifled or there are serious consequences for those who speak up. In 2018 alone, pro-Israel donors spent $22 million on lobbying for the country – far greater than any other nation. Pro-Israel lobbies similarly influence politics in other places such as the UK, Canada, and Europe.

5) One of the longest-running occupation in human history

This point really should be the first one on this list – and it is the only one that should matter. However, because of the unique privileges that Israel enjoys, it is hard to get to the crux of what it is actually doing. Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, over 50 years old, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history.

Israel continues to steal land and build settler colonies the West Bank – in flagrant violation of international law. It has implemented a system of apartheid in these territories which is reminiscent of the racist regime of South Africa. The Gaza strip has been under an insufferable siege which has made the living conditions deplorable; it has been referred to the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’. In addition to this institutional oppression, crimes committed against Palestinians include: routinely killing civilian protesters, including teenagers and medics, torture of Palestinians and severe restrictions on the everyday movement of Palestinians.

The brutality, consistency and the duration for which Israel has oppressed Palestinians is alone enough reason for it being ‘singled out’. No other nation comes close to its record. However, for the reasons mentioned above, Israel’s propaganda machine has effectively painted itself as just another ‘liberal democracy’ in the eyes of the general public. Any attempt to bring to light these atrocities are met with ‘suspicion’ about the ‘real’ motives of the critics. Given the points mentioned here, it should be evident that the level of support for Israeli aggression is uniquely disproportionate – it is thus fitting that criticism of the country is equally vocal and unparalleled as well.

Continue Reading

This Article Could be Zakat-Eligible

Who Accounts For This Pillar of Islam

Avatar

Published

on

Co-written by Shaykh Osman Umarji

As writers on MuslimMatters, it came as a surprise when the website we write on marked itself zakat-eligible on its fundraiser for operations in Ramadan. This website has previously highlighted the misuse and abuse of zakat for vague and dodgy reasons, including instances of outright fraud by nonprofit corporations.  We have lamented the seemingly inexorable march from zakat being for living human beings in need to financial play-doh for nonprofit corporate boards.

Estimated global zakat is somewhere between $200 billion to $1 trillion.  Eliminating global poverty is estimated at $187 billion– not just for Muslims, but everyone.  There continue to be strong interests in favor of more putty-like zakat to benefit the interests of the organizations that are not focused on reducing poverty. Thus, in many ways, a sizeable chunk of zakat benefits the affluent rather than the needy. Zakat, rather than being a credit to the Muslim community, starts to look more like an indictment of it.

No, it’s not ikhtilaf

The recent article on this website, Dr. Usama Al-Azmi seemed somewhat oblivious to the cavalier way the nonprofit corporate sector in the United States treats Zakat.  The article did not do justice to legitimate concerns about zakat distribution by dismissing the issue as one of “ikhtilaf,” or a reasonable difference of opinion, as it ignored the broader concern about forces working hard to make zakat a “wild west” act of worship where just about anything goes.  

It’s essential to identify the crux of the problem. Zakat has eight categories of permissible beneficiaries in the Quran. 1 Two are various levels of poor, distribution overhead; then there are those whose hearts are to be inclined,  free captives, relieve indebtedness, the wayfarer, and the cause of Allah (fisabilillah). The category of fisabilillah, historically,  the majority of scholars have interpreted as the cost of jihad (like actual fighting). However, in recent times, Muslim nonprofit corporations, with support of learned Muslim leaders, have adopted an increasingly aggressive and vague posture that allows nearly any beneficial cause to get zakat.   

The concerns about the abuse of zakat, and the self-serving desire by corporations to turn fisabilillah into a wastebasket Zakat category that could be “incredibly broad” has to do with far more than a difference of opinion (ikhtilaf ) about the eligibility of Dawah organizations. Let’s assume dawah and educational organizations are eligible to administer Zakat funds.  We need to know what that means in practice. What we have is a fundamental question the fisabilillah-can-mean-virtually-anything faction never manages to answer: are there any limits to zakat usage at all?

Show Your Work

We fully understand that in our religious practice, there is a set of rules.  In Islamic Inheritance for example, for example, we cannot cavalierly change the definition of what a “daughter” is to mean any girl you want to treat like a daughter. There is an established set of rules relating to acts of worship. For the third pillar of Islam, zakat, there seem to be no limits to the absurd-sounding questions we can ask that now seem plausible.  

Unfortunately, we have too many folks who invoke “ikhtilaf” to justify adopting almost any opinion and not enough people who are willing to explain their positions. We need a better understanding of zakat and draw the lines on when nonprofit corporations are going too far.

You can be conservative and stand for zakat as an act of worship that contributes to social justice. You can have a more expansive interpretation friendly to the nonprofit corporate sector’s needs to include the revenue source. Wherever you stand, if you don’t provide evidence and develop detailed uniform and accepted principles and rules that protect those people zakat was meant to help, you are inviting abuse and at the very least, opening the door towards inequitable results. 2

Can you feed the needy lentils and rice for $100 a meal, with margins of $99 a meal going to pay salaries to provide these meals and fundraise for them?  Why or why not?

Can a Dawah organization purchase an $80 million jet for its CEO, who can use it to travel the world to do “dawah,” including places like Davos or various ski resorts?  What rules exist that would prevent something like this? As far as we know, nothing at all.

Bubble Charity

In the United States, demographic sorting is a common issue that affects all charitable giving, not just giving by Muslims. The most affluent live in neighborhoods with other people who are generally as prosperous as they are. Certain places seem almost perversely designed to allow wealthy residents to be oblivious to the challenges of the poor.  There are undeniable reasons why what counts as “charity” for the wealthy means giving money to the Opera, the Met Gala, and Stanford University.

The only real way affluent Muslims know they supposed to care about poor people is that maybe they have a Shaikh giving khutbas talking about the need to do so and their obligation of zakat once a year or so. That is now becoming a thing of the past. Now it is just care about fisabilillah- it means whatever your tender heart wants it to mean.   

As zakat becomes less about the poor, appeals will be for other projects with a higher amount of visibility to the affluent.  Nonprofits now collect Zakat for galas with celebrities. Not fundraising at the gala dinner mind you, but merely serving dinner and entertaining rich people. Educational institutions and Masajid that have dawah activities (besides, everything a Masjid does is fisabilillah) can be quite expensive. Getting talent to run and teach in these institutions is also costly. Since many of the people running these institutions are public figures and charismatic speakers with easy access and credibility with the affluent. It is far easier for them to get Zakat funds for their projects.

People who benefit from these projects because they send their children to these institutions or attend lectures themselves will naturally feel an affinity for these institutions that they won’t have with the poor. Zakat will stay in their bubble.  Fisabilillah.

Dawa is the new Jihad

Jihad, as in war carried out by a Khalifah and paid for with zakat funds, is an expensive enterprise. But no society is in a permanent state of warfare, so they can work towards eliminating poverty during peacetime. Muslim communities have done this in the past.  Dawah is qualitatively different from jihad as it is permanent. There was never a period in Islamic history when there was no need to do dawah. Many times in history, nobody was fighting jihad. There was no period of Islamic history when there were there was never a need for money to educate people. Of course, earlier Muslims used zakat in education in limited, defined circumstances. It is not clear why limitations no longer apply.  

Indeed dawah is a broad category.  For example, many people regard the Turkish costume drama “Diriliş: Ertuğrul” as dawah.  Fans of the show can’t stop talking about the positive effects it has had on their lives and their iman. What prevents zakat from funding future expensive television costume dramas? Nothing, as far as we can see.   

No Standards or Accountability

Unfortunately, in the United States, there are no uniform, specific standards governing zakat. Anything goes now when previously in Islamic history, there were appropriate standards. Nonprofit corporations themselves decide if they are zakat-eligible or not. In some instances, they provide objectively comical explanations, which supporters within the corporation’s bubble pretty much always swallow whole. Corporations don’t have to segregate Zakat-eligible funds from general funds. When they do, they can make up their own rules for how and when they spend zakat. No rules make zakat indistinguishable from any other funding source since they can change their standards year after year depending on their funding needs (if they have rules at all) and nobody would be the wiser. It is exceedingly rare for these corporations to issue detailed reports on how they use zakat.  

The Shift to Meaninglessness

Organizations with platforms (like the one that runs this website) are going to be eager to get on the zakat gravy train. There is no cost to slapping a “zakat-eligible” label on yourself, either financial or social. It seems like everyone does it now. Some Zakat collectors are conscientious and care about helping the poor, though they are starting to look a little old-fashioned. For them, it may make sense to certify Zakat administrators like halal butchers.

Zakat used to be about helping discrete categories of human beings that can benefit from it.  It can now mean anything you want it to mean. In the end, though, without real standards, it may mean nothing at all.

Footnotes:

  1. The sunnah also highlights the essence of zakah as tending to the needs of the poor. For example, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) commanded Muadh bin Jabal, when sending him to Yemen, to teach the people that Allah has obligated charity upon them to be taken from their rich and given to their poor (Sahih Muslim).
  2. In Islamic legal theory (usool al-fiqh), sadd al-dhariya is a principle that refers to blocking the means to evil before it can materialize. It is invoked when a seemingly permissible action may lead to unethical behavior. This principle is often employed in financial matters.

Continue Reading

Trending