Kissing and Caressing Between the Husband and Wife While Fasting

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Kissing and Fondling Between a Husband and Wife while Fasting

‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) narrated: “Allah’s Messenger would kiss and caress his wives while he was fasting in Ramadan ―however, he was more able to control his desires than you.”[1] This proves that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would touch his wives while fasting ―and what is intended is that he would touch their skin directly without any barrier and he would kiss them. The end of this narration points out that he was more able than others in controlling his desires. Nevertheless, this hadīth proves that it is permissible for the fasting person to touch and kiss his wife as long as it does not lead them to sexual intercourse. If there is any danger of that happening, then they should refrain from caressing and kissing because that will lead them to sin.

It is also established from ‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) that: “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would caress [his wife] while he was fasting, and he would place a garment between himself and her private parts.”[2]

In a narration, Hakeem bin ‘Iqāl (rahimahullāh) said: “I asked ‘Ā’ishah: What is disallowed for me from my wife while I’m fasting?” She (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) replied: “Her private parts.”[3]

Masrūq (rahimahullāh) asked ‘Ā’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā): “What is allowed for a man with his wife during the fast?” She (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) replied: “Everything except sexual intercourse.”[4]

A man came to Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) and said: “I married a pretty daughter of an uncle of mine, and this took place in Ramadān. Am I allowed to kiss her?” Ibn ‘Abbās asked: “Are you able to control yourself?” He replied: “Yes.” So, Ibn ‘Abbās said: “Kiss her.” The man asked: “Am I allowed to caress her?” Ibn ‘Abbās said: “Are you able to control yourself?” The man replied: “Yes.”So, Ibn ‘Abbās said: “Caress her.” The man asked: “Am I allowed to touch her private part with my hand?” Ibn ‘Abbās said: “Are you able to control yourself?” The man said: “Yes.” So, Ibn ‘’Abbās said: “Touch her.”[5]

Ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahullāh) reported from Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) with a more summarised wording stating: “He allowed him to kiss, caress and touch her with his hand as long it does not lead to anything else.”[6]

Ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahullāh) narrated from ‘Amr bin Harim who said: “Jābir bin Zayd was asked about a man who was looking at his wife in Ramadān and ejaculated due to his desire for her. Is his fast broken?” He replied: “No. He must complete his fast.”[7]  

Ibn Kuzaimah prefaced the hadīth[8] with a chapter heading stating: “Chapter: The allowance for the fasting person to caress his wife as long as it is less than sexual intercourse.”[9]

The scholars hold that caressing and kissing were permitted for the older man and disallowed for younger couples because older people are able to control their desires more, whereas younger people have stronger urges.

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “A man asked the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) whether one who was fasting could caress his wife―so he gave him permission. Then, when another man came and asked, he prohibited him. The one to whom he gave permission was an old man and the one whom he prohibited was a youth.”[10]

So, it is not for every person to kiss and caress his wife. Consideration must be given to whether one will be stirred by the desire to eventually break his fast by sexual intercourse. In that situation, he is prohibited from caressing and kissing, to begin with.

Note: This prohibition from sexual intercourse is only during the day while fasting, and not in the nighttime when the people are not fasting.

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[1] Al-Bukhāri (no. 1927), Muslim (1106).

[2] Ahmad in Al-Musnad (6/59), Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahīh (1/201/2), authenticated by Al-Abāni in As-Sahīhah (no. 221).

[3] At-Tahāwi (1/347) with an authentic chain of narration, Al-Bukhāri in assertive mu’allaq form (4/120), see As-Sahīhah of Al-Albāni (1/435).

[4] Abdur-Razzāq in Al-Musannaf, Ibn Hajr grade the chain of narration as sahīh, see As-Sahīhah of Al-Albāni (1/435).

[5] Ibn Hazm stated: “This is the most authentic of chains to Ibn ‘Abbās.” See As-Sahīhah of Al-Albāni (1/436).

[6] Al-Musannaf (2/167/2), Al-Albāni stated: “Its chain of narration is sahīh upon the conditions of Al-Bukhāri.” See As-Sahīhah (1/437).

[7] Al-Musannaf (2/170/1). Al-Albāni stated: “Its chain of narration is good. And Al-Bukhāri narrated it upon ‘Amr in assertive mu’allaq form, and Al-Hāfidh was silent concerning it.” (Al-Fath 4/151). See As-Sahīhah (1/437).

[8] Referring to the hadīth that has preceded: “Allah’s Messenger (H) would caress [his wife] while he was fasting, and he would place a garment between himself and her private parts.”

[9] See As-Sahīhah (1/437).

[10] Abu Dawūd (no. 2387) and declared sahīh by Al-Albāni.

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