How to Overcome Various Marriage Problems?
By: Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
What is the cure for sexual impotence, and what are its causes?
Question: What is the cure for sexual impotence, and what are its causes? My wife has begun thinking of divorce because I am frigid and impotent.
The answer: There are many causes behind sexual impotence:
1. neurotic fatigue
2. addiction to alcohol, drugs, and smoking
3. practicing masturbation during the period before marriage
5. a defect in the testicles
6. practicing excessive businesses and interests like trade, reading, watching films, and offering excessive individual worships
7. misunderstanding the woman’s sexual need or being indifferent to her need
8. the wife’s weak sexual culture or her lack of beauty or exciting body
9. certain kind of foods
As for the cure, each cause has its own particular cure. Before all, one who is sexually impotent must discern the cause of his case, and then he should try to cure it. Neurotic fatigue, for example, can be cured by strengthening one’s faith in Allah. It is not right to utilize tranquillizers because most of the time they leave dangerous effects on man’s health.
The following foods have great effects in strengthening the nerves: honey with ginger, pepper, saffron, the cooked head of a cow or sheep, beets cooked in milk, mulberries, bananas, eggs with onion, mutton, carrots, pears, grapes, liver, sweet pomegranates, and endives.
As for the cure for addiction, abstaining from its causes can cure it. There are certain methods to assist in this, the key of which is first and foremost the will and determination of the addict himself.
As for masturbation, if a person practices it excessively during his youth, it will be difficult for him to restore his sexual power quickly, unless if he begins practicing morning sports, climbing mountains, and taking cold baths.
Some doctors think that those persons who have practiced masturbation deprive themselves of sexual pleasure in the marital relationship.
As for the rest of the causes, we say that a person should care for himself and cure his state before his problems grow and their complications destroy him.
The wife has to help her husband cure himself because the train of the marital life will not arrive at the stations of happiness and bliss without participation, cooperation, and mutual understanding.
As for thinking about divorce, it is a sign of selfishness and lack of morals, and this does not befit a Muslim woman except when the motives of divorce are legal, like when the husband neglects to cure himself while he is able to do it. Then, divorce is excusable and it is a just recompense for this husband.
Does Islam teach its followers the practical way of practicing sexual intercourse between spouses?
Question: Is there a sexual culture in Islam? In other words, does Islam teach its followers the practical way of practicing sexual intercourse between spouses?My question stems from a discussion with one of my friends who says that Islam is far above such trivial matters!I think that the sexual culture, from which several marital matters arise besides the safety of the offspring, is not considered trivial. What is your opinion about the subject?
The answer: Islam has not ignored the issue of sexual education. In our traditions there are clear talks about this matter. Imam ar-Ridha (a.s.) said, ‘Do not make love with a woman except after you have played with her a good deal and have played with her breasts. When you do that, her lust will be excited and her organs will secrete, because her secretion begins from her breasts and her lust appears on her face…’
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘If one of you wants to sleep with his wife, let him not hurry (in satisfying his lust) because women have some needs (to be satisfied).’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘If someone of you makes love with his wife, let him not withdraw until she satisfies her need just as he likes her to satisfy his need.’
There was a situation with one of the Prophet’s great companions, Uthman bin Madh’oon. Once, his wife came to the Prophet (S) and said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, Uthman fasts during the day and offers worships all night. (It was a metonymy that he did not meet her sexual rights).’ The Prophet (S) went out angrily holding his shoes until he came to Uthman, who was offering prayers. Uthman finished his prayers and then saw the Prophet (S) who said, ‘O Uthman, Allah has not sent me with monasticism, but He has sent me with an easy religion. I fast, offer prayers, and sleep with my wives. Whoever loves my nature let him follow my Sunna, and making love (lawfully) is from my Sunna.’
The traditions reported from the Prophet (S) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) show the necessity of separating the beds of boys and girls and for having everyone sleep in his/her own bed because contact between boys and girls incites the sexual lust and causes premature sexual ripeness.
The traditions also talk about the necessity of paying attention to the suitable age of kissing children. The Prophet (S) said, ‘When a girl becomes six years old, she should not be kissed by a man, and a boy should not be kissed by a woman if he exceeds sevens years old.’
The traditions emphasize the importance of knocking on the door and asking permission before entering the room of two spouses. The spouses also must be careful when sleeping together that no adult or child hears their sighs or other sounds.
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) narrated that the Prophet (S) said, ‘I swear by Him in Whose hand my soul is that if a man makes love with his wife while there is an alert boy or girl in the house who sees them or hears their speaking or sighing, he/she will not succeed at all. If it is a boy, he will become an adulterer, and if it is a girl, she will become an adulteress.’
You notice that sexual education has been mentioned in the teachings of the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) but in polite words and purified phrases, away from indecorousness or incitement of one’s imagination as we find in the Western cultures and books of sex, whose destructive effects are more than their advantages. In fact, what is intended by those cultures are those very destructive effects.
 Mustadrak wassa’il ash-Shia, vol.2 p.545.
 Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.83.
 Kanzol Ummal, vol.16 p.344.
 Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.74.
 Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 14 p.94.
Why do we find prevalence of sexual corruptions even among married people and otherwise religious people?
Question: It has been mentioned in Prophetic traditions that marriage is half of religion and it protects men and women from slipping into sexual corruptions. However, in our present age, we find married men and married women practicing adultery as they like. Is this a defect in the tradition or what?What is strange is that some religious, married men are very lustful. How do you interpret this phenomenon?
The answer: There are several reasons behind this kind of corruption of married persons:
1. Sexual impotence of one of the spouses
2. Excessive lustfulness
3. Leisure, recklessness, and wealth
4. A wish for variety, discovering and tasting different kinds of things
5. A wish for revenge, where, for example, one of the spouses may practice adultery to take revenge on the other because of a quarrel between them or something like that
6. Poverty and need, i.e., a person may practice adultery to obtain some money
7. Dislike for the spouse because of unattractiveness or ignorance in practicing sexual intercourse
8. Seduction and slipping into adultery at a moment of neglect
What is common between these reasons is a weakness in faith or the absence of faith. Therefore, we always insist on strengthening religious motives in man and continuing to instruct, remind, and warn him.
As for the excessive lust of religious people, the matter is different, because a religious person, if he really is religious, can satisfy his sexual lust with his wife; otherwise, religion permits him to marry another wife either in permanent marriage or temporary marriage within the legal conditions of each type of marriage.
If we suppose the opposite that it is the wife who wants to satisfy her sexual lust but her husband is unable to satisfy her (and this is very rare among religious women or may be impossible), here, a religious wife should try to occupy herself with something else and soon her excitement will go out. However, if she cannot satisfy herself with this resolution forever, she has two choices: either to agree with her husband to separate and get married to another man who is able to satisfy her sexual lust, although it is not recommended, or to be patient and satisfied with her fate based on “the important thing and the Most Important,” and this is something praiseworthy.
It is thus if the lust is too strong and cannot be controlled except through these resolutions. But the advice that I would like to give to spouses in religious families is that they, in order to not fall into sins, should lower their sights before the provocations in the television, magazines, and streets and avoid heavy meals, which excite their lust.
Allah says, (Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do, and tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that you may succeed).
A religious man and a religious woman, even if they lower their gazes, may look at something unwillingly, and then their lust would become excited despite their wills. In this case, Islam has recommended the following:
‘If someone of you sees a beautiful woman and he admires her, let him go to sleep with his wife, because the pleasure is the same and what is got from sleeping with that woman is like what is got from sleeping with his wife.’
Islam has forbidden women and girls from displaying their charms even inside the house before their brothers, uncles, and even their fathers. Imam Ali (a.s.) narrates that one day a young man came to the Prophet (S) and asked him, ‘Should I ask my mother’s permission when I want to come in to her?’
The Prophet (S) said to him, ‘Do you want to see her without clothes?’
He said, ‘No, I do not.’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘Then, you should ask her permission.’
Then the young man asked, ‘Can my sister uncover her hair before me?’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘No, she cannot.’
The young man asked, ‘Why?’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘I fear for you that if she displays something of her charms before you, the Satan may provoke you.’
We understand from this story that the Prophet (S) has perceived the power of lust in this young man, as in any other young man, and recommended that before such persons, charms must be covered to avoid excitement and sin.
One who observes social cases, marital treasons, sins, files of the courts, and the news of the terrible events of sexual rapes, even against children, discovers how wide the gap is between Muslims and the warnings of the Qur'an and the Prophet (S). If they were closer to the Qur'an and the Sunna, they would not live in quarrels, corruption, and disgrace.
Dear young men and young women, do not follow the steps of the Satan, because they will lead you to his traps. Fear Allah secretly and openly, and let jealousy, abstinence, and wariness be your dress! Avoid scenes and situations that will incite your lusts to be safe from sins! Occupy yourselves with work, sport, and worships to be close to Allah, the Giver of happiness!
 Holy Qur’an, 24:30-31.
 Rawdhat al-Muttaqeen, vol.8 p.245, the tradition is narrated from the Prophet (s).
 Da’a’im al-Islam, vol.2 p.220.
I am sterile and there is no hope for a cure for me, I find this an injustice for me and my wife
Question: I am sterile and there is no hope for a cure for me. I want to know why I have been afflicted with this injustice, and what the guilt of my wife is that she will not have a child to call her “mama” all her life and be delighted like all other mothers!O sheikh, please, excuse me for this question! I do not object to the wisdom of my Lord, but Satan whispers into my heart.
The answer: Dear brother, since you know that Satan whispers to you, you must seek the protection of Allah against him. You have to submit to the Lord of the worlds because He is aware of you, your wife, and millions of people like you. He is more aware of what benefits His people and what harms them. You do not know; perhaps when you are given a child, it may be born handicapped and then you and your wife will suffer difficulties and insomnia all your life, or when your child grows up, he may be a source of troubles to you and to your wife. Many accidents have happened in this life, any one of which is sufficient to give people big lessons. Many parents wished they had no child after being involved in great troubles because of him.
Then, why should you let the Satan affect your faith even a little? Thus, you will lose your faith and this loss is bitterer than your not having a child.
You should believe in the wisdom of Allah sincerely, adhere to your faith and certainty, shut out the whispers of the Satan who destroys you through your passion, and say, when the Satan begins whispering to you, ‘Perhaps that I have not been given is better for me because my Lord is aware of the ends of things’ and Allah is the Guardian of the believers.
What would you say about a woman who went to the West and adopted unIslamic shameful behaviors?
Question: My friend and his wife, after spending two years in the West, came to their country to visit their families and friends. The shameful clothes of this wife, the exciting colors on her face, and the perfumes she sprinkled on herself inside and outside the house attracted the attentions of all. When she sat with the women, she showed off and became proud to such a degree that she made them laugh at her shape.
Unfortunately, she is from a religious family. She had not been so before she emigrated to the West. All her family disputed with her, but she faced them with pride and haughtiness and spoke to them impudently and with no Islamic morals. The least of her words to them was “you are still reactionary”.
It is said that her husband fears to resist her; therefore, he lets her alone lest she fall into sin as has happened to many women in those countries, which support the independence of women from the economical side and that paves the way for them to go wherever they like.
What is the obligatory way to deal with such a wife, especially when her husband is weak before her?
The answer: This phenomenon results from previous causes. The most important cause is a weak religious education in beliefs and morals. It was obligatory on her family to plant the facts of religion inside her and to teach her the realities of this world and its deceiving faces.
If this woman is submitted to psychologists, they, unanimously, will say that she suffers from an inferiority complex and she, with her behavior, wants to repair her defect and solve her complex according to her illusory imagination.
Since this wife is insolent and throws her silly words impudently, I think it would be better for her husband to treat her with wisdom and good exhortation, but whenever it is possible, he should dispute with her in a wise manner to achieve a good result. But, if it is possible that this may lead her to be stubborn or to fall into sin, it would be better then to be patient with her until Allah will bring forth the fruit of the wise efforts and good exhortation.
It is important in dealing with women like her, that have been dazzled with the West and have collapsed in fancies, to pay careful attention to politeness and to the Islamic morals when repelling evil with good in order to limit their stubbornness and to prevent their fall.
The husband of this wife must not neglect her case, especially not her emotional satisfaction. Let him permit her to wear any kind of clothes she likes as long as it is inside his house. He should prove his love for her in every possible manner. At the same time, he should speak to her frankly that her behavior, which displeases Allah, disgusts him and shakes his love for her. Does any lover like to disgust her beloved and shake his love for her? This husband should realize that the shameless behavior of his wife makes other men covet her and visualize her in their laps. Does this please a husband with jealousy and a wife with abstinence and conscience?
This is besides other problems that she may face from men who she may excite and who may unexpectedly rape her. As for the problems of the grave, the afterlife, and the torment of Fire, the matter is very difficult and the talk is very long!
I hope that this Muslim woman and those like her are criticized with attention to the previous points and with emphasis also on another important point and that is to explain the disadvantages of displaying a woman’s charms before foreign men. Some examples from Western societies can be shown besides showing stories of western girls who have been guided and have believed in Islam and kept to the veil and abstinence.
Here, as an example and to encourage our girls, I would like to mention the story of a Danish woman who was the wife of a young Shiite man from Lebanon. He told me that his wife had become a Shiite Muslim and resigned from her job, from which she gained a lot of money. She made spreading the teachings of Islam her honorable job. She said that she did not want to see Muslim girls and women fall into what the Western girls and women had fallen into.
She always read Islamic books and after reading them, she would give them to other girls for the sake of Allah and to guide those girls to Islam and to its high humane teachings.
He said about his active wife that she offered prayers a lot and she was very devoted to her religion and veil. Whenever she met a Muslim woman who was a deviate or inclined to the Western way of life, she would enjoin her to do good deeds and forbid her from doing bad deeds saying, ‘we have known the emptiness of our material civilization and given it up and become proud of Islam. Why are you so dazzled by what we have tried and desisted from?’
Indeed, this Danish woman is a source of pride. There are millions like her in the Western countries. Allah has made them as a proof for our women and girls who are emigrants in those countries and for those in our Muslim countries who imitate the western fashions and way of life. Thus, Allah gives them His full proof lest they will have an excuse against Him on the Day of Resurrection, the day of painful torment.
I ask this young woman, who is captured by her fancy and who calls her family reactionary, to ponder over the words of Imam Ali (a.s.) when he said, ‘Shyness and abstinence are from the qualities of faith, the natures of the free, and the aspects of the pious.’
Is the bondage to lusts and desires considered freedom or the belief in Allah the Almighty and obeisance to Him?
 In my every travel to Denmark, I would bring with me some Islamic books and present them to her as gifts through her faithful husband.
 Sharh Ghurar al-Hikam, vol.2 p. 584.
What would you say to the wife of a heavy smoker that feels unable to quit, while the house is made to stink and the wife and children, as well as he, are at great risk for health problems and death due to the smoking?
Question: My husband is a heavy smoker. The place in which he smokes is like a chimney. Everything in our house has the smell of cigarettes. Thus far, my children and I have not even felt the smell of perfumes. Doctors say that the harms of smoking are more dangerous to those around the smoker than to the smoker himself. My husband knows well how much we suffer from his smoking, but he often says that his willpower does not help him in giving up smoking. What would you say to me, to him, and to those who suffer like us?
The answer: One’s will becomes strong if he strengthens his culture, which is mixed with piety and caution for the ends. When we read that medical researches and actual experiments have proved smoking to have serious harms for the smoker and for others, we become certain that a smoker is a victim of his desire and his saying that his will is weak is but a justification for his submitting to his desire.
I know a man who smoked for 40 years and then he gave up smoking, and his son smoked for 20 years and then he gave it up. I also know an old man who smoked up until 25 years ago, but then he gave up smoking. When smokers say they have weak wills and determinations, they just uncover the control of their desires over them. I say that because I myself have suffered from the harms of smoking in my larynx because smokers would not abstain from smoking in the meetings where I ascended the minbar to give speeches. I still suffer from this harm and ask Allah to forgive those who have caused me to suffer.
The fact is that cigarette smoking, which is the worst thing Muslims have adapted in their lives, cannot be justified by any rational reason, especially when it causes harms to others and violates their right of breathing pure air.
Therefore, most jurisprudents consider smoking unlawful on the basis of its “harm and harming”, and even if some jurisprudents are lenient to smoking addicts in permitting them to harm themselves, they do not permit them to harm others. The atmosphere is for all, and keeping it safe is obligatory on them. A permitted smoker has to smoke in a place where he shall not harm others.
Hence, it is required of every religious person who smokes to ponder over his act from the legal aspect and the aspect of the moral principles associated with it.
This is in general, but as for this sister and her question about her smoking husband, I would like to present to her a story of a clever wife that she may benefit from this successful experience.
Once, a wife of a smoker said to her husband, ‘Every day you spend a dinar to buy two packets of cigarettes. Would I also not have the right to take a dinar from our expenditures every day if I were a smoker?’
Her husband agreed, and based on this logical evidence, she took a dinar every day. She saved them until there were 358 dinars after a year. Then she called her husband to the yard. She brought the money with a match in her hand to show her husband that she wanted to burn the money.
Her husband cried out, ‘Have you lost your mind? Do you want to prove the saying of Imam Ali (a.s.) that “women have deficient minds”?’
The wife said, ‘Do you see any signs that I have lost my mind?’
He said, ‘Is there a sign clearer than setting fire to these dinars?’
She said, ‘It is my money and I could have burnt it every day like you but I collected them in order to not lose more than one match and in order to not burn with them my health and the health of those living with me who have the right to breathe pure oxygen. And since you take the word of Imam Ali (a.s.) as an excuse, let me tell you that Imam Ali (a.s.), the great leader and the generous man, was far above to mean with his wise words what you and your like interpret, O my dear husband!’
Being defeated before this clear, practical proof of his wife, the husband opened his mind and submitted to the inevitable truth. His intelligent wife went on to say, ‘Imam Ali (a.s.) was afflicted with a woman who was used as a means to fight him by some men who called themselves companions. Imam Ali (a.s.) gave a speech on this occasion, and said those words to reduce the influence of their plot. In this speech, Imam Ali (a.s.) said about those men, ‘O semi men and no men!’
The faithful women understood what Imam Ali (a.s.) meant by these words, and therefore, they did not object to him or ask him about his intention because it was so clear. In fact, those women supported him in all situations and they remained sincere to him and defended him even after his bloody martyrdom when his soul ascended to the Kingdom of Allah and to His great contentment.’
With these words this wife was able to make her husband stop playing with the meanings of the words of the infallible imams (a.s.) and to make him give up smoking.
The husband was enlightened by the intelligence of his wife and her good analysis of religion and history. Therefore, he made his decision to immediately give up smoking.
Soon, his wife decided to give him that money as a gift for his willpower and as a reward for his humbleness.
Dear sister, this is an experiment from which you and others in your position can benefit. I hope that husbands may take lesson before they meet intelligent wives, for the facts show that when some women know the truth of religion, they definitely become more reasonable than men.
Is it wrong to reveal to my daughter, upon her request, the sins of her mother that led to our divorce?
Question: I divorced my wife twenty years ago. Recently, my daughter, who is married, asked me why I divorced her mother. I was confused as to how to answer her. After she repeatedly insisted, I told her that one day I saw her mother commit adultery with my friend who used to visit me in the house. I beat him severely until he fled from me, and then I immediately divorced her mother. I am regretful that I uncovered this secret to my daughter. Am I sinful before Allah and mistaken in my frank answer, for her mother may have repented after that?
The answer: You would have been better off to cover the sin of your wife, for Allah is the Coverer of defects. By your frank answer, you have placed a thick wall between your daughter and her mother who might have repented (God willing), and furthermore, you have made your daughter live with worry about her reputation and suffer continuous psychological suffering, fearing that her mother might be exposed one day. This is a kind of injustice. You could have covered the matter if you had answered wisely.
A Muslim must prefer the principle of covering and being indifferent of others’ defects, except when there is a greater advantage like in reforming or warning. In some traditions, it has been narrated that whoever covers the defects of others Allah will cover him.
As for marital treason, it may happen to anyone besides you; therefore, its causes must be known to prevent the tragedy and its bad consequences from occurring. Being unveiled, incitements, ballrooms, cinemas, movies, and videos, for example, are among the most important causes for committing this sin. Besides this, when some husbands bring their friends to their houses and their wives participate in those meetings with poor veiling, exciting laughter, speaking softly followed by suspicious looks and desires of touching, traitors and traitresses (curse be upon them and upon whoever paves the way for treason) are encouraged to commit their great sin when the simple-minded husband is absent.
What is the guilt of the innocent daughter who lives away from her mother and father? When this daughter grows up, she looks for the reasons why she has been deprived of the warmth of her parents.
Why do people not think of the consequences of their violating the Islamic Sharia?
Yes, for these reasons, Islam has prohibited such preliminaries and imposed the veil, abstinence, and modesty on Muslims.