Marital rape is not a crime, and a woman must always submit to a husband’s demand for sexual intercourse, according to a recent fatwa issued by a leading Islamic scholar in Malaysia.
In the fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) issued late last month, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria declared that once a woman is married and the dowry is paid she has no right to refuse sex with her husband unless she is menstruating, sick, or has just given birth.
Insisting that the concept of marital rape does not exist in Islam, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said that men can always have sexual intercourse with their spouses even if the latter do not agree, saying that a Muslim woman has “no right” to reject her husband’s sexual demands.
As a justification for the fatwa, Harussani Zakaria points out that the Prophet Muhammad teaches that a woman must have sex if her husband demands it, even if the couple is on the back of a camel, noting:
The Prophet says even when they’re riding on the back of the camel, when the husband asks her, she must give.
The Islamic scholar also called the idea of marital rape a “Western invention,” declaring
There’s no such thing as rape in marriage. This is made by European people, why should we follow?
The controversial and offensive ruling was issued after a national rape awareness campaign in Malaysia had angered some Muslims who claimed that marital rape does not exist in Islamic marriage. The fatwa confirms this claim.
Marital rape is rarely, if ever recognized as a crime in Islamic society. In January, 2014, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to ratify a bill that sought to partially criminalize marital rape, calling it “un-Islamic.”
Previously, a senior Muslim cleric in charge of the UK’s largest network of sharia courts sparked controversy by claiming that there is no such thing as rape within marriage. Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, argued that men who rape their wives should not be prosecuted because “sex is part of marriage.”
As for Malaysia, currently the law does not recognize marital rape as a crime.