As adequate and satisfactory sexual relations are very important for maintaining good marriage, both spouses (husband and wife) are expected to give it the consideration that it deserves during their marital life. The husband and wife should prepare themselves physically and psychologically before engaging in any foreplay or intercourse in order to have satisfactory and pleasant intercourse. This is extremely important to keep in mind whenever the couple want to have sexual relationship so they can have maximum enjoyment of their union. Good smelling and clean body gives maximum pleasure during sexual relationship.

Before engaging in any sexual relationship, the couple should avoid anything unhygienic that affects negatively their sexual union. It is important that both husband and wife take light shower, if necessary, treat their bodies with perfume, brush their mouth and teeth, clean armpits and female sexual organ before intercourse as stinking body and bad breath can suddenly turn off sexual desire and fail enjoyment prematurely. Perfume plays an important role in sexual activity as its pleasant smell arouses sexual instinct and increases performance with pleasure.

Anas (R.A) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said: “In this world, women and perfume have been made dear to me, but my comfort has been provided in prayer.” (Sunan An-Nasa’i 3939, Hassan).

Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated: The Prophet (S.A.W) said: “”It is an obligation on every Muslim that he should take a bath (at least) once in seven days.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 898, Sahih Muslim 849).

A wife’s beauty and good smelling contribute greatly to the preparation for intercourse. The wife has to ensure that her body, mouth, armpits (underarms) and private part do not smell bad or give unpleasant odor at any time. She should take bath, treat her body with perfume (or any other pleasant scent), make the bedroom clean and smell good (with incense smoke like Somali uunsi that gives good smelling aroma), change clothes and brush her teeth regularly so that she smells good and make her husband feel pleased and blessed with her. Wife’s softness and gentleness attracts her husband towards her while hard traits, bad smell and roughness turn off man during intercourse.

A wife adorning herself regularly to please her husband is very important in marriage life. A good-smelling, adorning wife owns the heart of her husband and makes him avoid the glances at other women. Similarly, the husband has to make his body, armpits and mouth clean, smell good with perfume or any other pleasant scent, take bath, change clothes, and brush his teeth regularly. His mouth and his armpits should not smell bad. He must present himself handsome and clean in front of his wife. Clean body is important during engaging in sexual relationship as well as during marital life for personal health reasons.

The wife must always present herself beautiful, decorated, and clean in front of her husband. The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) encouraged women to adorn themselves and decorate their body to look different from men.

Aisha, mother of believers, (R.A) reported: A woman made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W). The Prophet (S.A.W) closed his hand, saying: “I do not know if this is a man’s or a woman’s hand. She said: No, it is a woman. He said: If you were a woman, you would make a difference to your nails (meaning treating them with henna).” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4166, Hassan).

It is also important in Sunnah that the husband and wife remove nails, cut their pubic hair and pluck or cut hair from their underarms (armpits) etc.

Aisha (R.A) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said: “Ten matters are from upright natural creation: Trimming the mustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth stick, rinsing out the nose with water, cutting the nails, washing the joints, plucking the hair under armpits, shaving the pubic hair, washing the private parts with water.” (Mus’ab Bin Shaibah (narrator from Aisha) said: “I have forgotten the tenth, but it might have been rinsing out the mouth with water.” (Sahih Muslim 261, Sunan An-Nasa’i 5040, Sahih)

The mutual love between the spouses creates marital foundation that is strong and unshakeable and protected from the dangers of separation or divorce. The good husband always shows love, affection, respect, and kindness to his wife. A good treatment toward his wife is important even in the psychological preparation for sexual relationship. He should use kind words with affection and love to her while they are in the bed together. Some men mistreat their wives by beating them cruelly or using harsh words and insults against them and then, at the same time, such brutal husbands expect their wives to be responsive to them at bed at night.

Abdullah Bin Zam`a (R,A) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said: “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion-camel and then sleeps with her?” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 6042).

Such men are selfish tyrants and do not understand what their wives mean to them. The Muslim husband should always be kind and compassionate to his wife. He must know the rights that his wife has over him. It is an Islamic obligation that he observes and fulfills her rights over him.

When the menstruation period is over and the wife has purified or cleansed her body by taking full bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly her private part, then her husband is allowed to have intercourse with her or the spouses are allowed to engage in sexual intercourse again. It is recommended that wife cleans inside her private part with cotton treated with musk before she takes cleansing bath. It is not an obligation but it is Sunnah to do it.

Aisha (R.A) narrated: Al-Ansari woman asked the Prophet (S.A.W) how to take a bath after finishing from the menses. He replied: “Take a piece of cloth perfumed with musk and clean the private parts with it three times.” The Prophet (S.A.W) felt shy and turned his face away. So I pulled her to me and told her what the Prophet (S.A.W) meant.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 315).

Scientific Research has proved that menstrual blood flow contains certain toxic substances that are harmful. These substances are damaging if they enter into the male body or pushed back into the female body if intercourse is performed while woman is menstruating. Blood-borne diseases can be painful as well as deadly.

[Class Taken From The Book: LIVING IN ISLAM On Marriage and Family]

Presenter: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale