It’s a concept that few would associate with the 21st century, but the official daily newspaper of the Palestinian Authority has stated that if a Muslim man wants sex from his wife, it’s her duty to provide it “immediately.”
The report was highlighted by Palestinian Media Watch.
Itamar Marcus reported: “Sex on demand ‘at any time’ is a husband’s right – this is what Palestinians were taught in the official PA daily’s religious ruling section … Moreover, a husband’s ‘right’ to ‘enjoy his wife’ sexually ‘at all times’ supersedes the woman’s right to accept upon herself a religious fast.”
The paper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said, “A woman must ask permission from her husband to fast, because the husband has the right to enjoy his wife [sexually] at any time, and it is obligatory [for his wife] to fulfill his right immediately.”
The paper explained that in Islam, fasting includes abstaining from sexual relations, so a wife’s fasting would limit her husband’s activities.
But in the PA daily’s special fatwa section, the question was asked: “Does a woman have to ask her husband for permission to fast six days in the month of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan when Muslims traditionally fast for six days; the fast is optional. Ed.)’?”
The answer, from Dar Al-Ifta, an official PA organization that rules on religious questions, said: “‘The rule is that a woman must ask permission from her husband to observe an optional fast. The six-day fast in the month of Shawwal is a sunnah [a traditional Muslim custom], and a woman must ask permission from her husband to fast, because the husband has the right to enjoy his wife [sexually] at any time, and it is obligatory [for his wife] to fulfill his right immediately…”
PMW reported a similar ruling came a few years ago during Ramadan from PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein.
At the time, Hussein was asked, “A man doesn’t fast and doesn’t pray, but according to Shariah law – if he wants to have sex after the prayer [time] and [his wife] refuses, perhaps for the reason: ‘You don’t pray and don’t fast.’
“Does she have the right [to refuse] according to Shariah?”
He said, “No. It’s his right [to have sex].”