Dissolving a Marriage Due to Erectile Dysfunction

23rd November 2022


Question: Almost 10 years we have not had a martial relationship due to my husband erectile dysfunction which has been medically proven and was provided with an artificial rubber penis. I have been married 24 years we have never had a relationship where we connected from the heart for me it was due to lack of support and family pressure and not knowing my Islamic rights. We don’t have any children.  I have spoken to my husband on several occasions discussing that we dissolve this marriage so I can move forward in life without doing any sin. But he is in denial and will not admit he has a medical problem and nor does he want to divorce me.  My question to you is what is the fatwa for a married women in Islām and what is my right in this situation as I have needs which are not being fulfilled?  I do not want to commit zina but my needs are not being met by him.


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



Concerning your case scenario, your Islamic right to demand a divorce depends on a number of factors such as, whether this particular illness falls under the Islamic category of ineen or not, his condition existed before the marriage or occurred after the marriage. If before the marriage then whether you knew about it beforehand and consented to it or not and moreover, whether the marriage was consummated even once with full penetration or not. If the illness occurred after the marriage, then how long after the marriage did he suffer from such condition and to what extent has this mentally impacted you and whether the medical treatment has made any difference to him or not. These are the broad question that the board members of Sharī῾ah Council ask before deciding to dissolve the marriage if the husband is no willing to divorce his wife.[1] Since you are enquiring about the legitimacy of demanding divorce, our detailed answer is as follows.


Erectile dysfunction is a sexual deficiency that is not uncommon amongst men especially above the age of 40 (but some cases less than that) that can be caused by stress, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure or any other medical condition affecting the genital area. It occurs when there is not enough blood flow into the penis to trap the blood for erection during intimacy.[2] Though the doctors have provided your husband with an artificial rubber penis as a safe alternative, it has no legal implication nor can it be deemed similar to an actual penis fulfilling his wife’s sexual right, like an impotent man inserting his finger to satisfy his wife. His condition resembles to what the classical jurists refer to as an inneen – a person who is unable to have intimate relationship nor can he penetrate his wife’s vaginal area. The causes of this sexual deficiency may include old age, black magic, illness, sterilised and so forth. In all instances, he is unable to have an erection for penetration.[3]


When the husband becomes an impotent then his wife has the legitimate right to ask for a divorce. If there is a likelihood fear that she will fall into zina then ethically he should divorce her so to allow her to move on with her life. If he still refuses then she must present her case to a reputable Sharī῾ah Council who upon investigation will dissolve the marriage under the following conditions;


  1. She was unaware of his condition before the marriage.
  2. She did not consent to his condition nor expressed clear consent upon discovering it. If she did consent then her right to divorce is revoked.
  3. The marriage was not consummated at all. If it was consummated and thereafter became impotent then she has no right to dissolution.[4]

The Sharī῾ah Council will then give him one year respite for his treatment and if thereafter, he is not cured then they will dissolve the marriage. The wife’s respite does not count due to not presenting the case in front of the Sharī῾ah Council who are responsible for dissolving the marriage.[5] Thus, despite the medical documentation she provides, the Sharī῾ah Council would in principle still give one year of respite.


Having said the above, there are a few concerns that need to be addressed. The first being the sexual rights of the couple. The jurists such as Ibn Abideen Shami rahimahullah explain that the rights to sexual relationship belong to both the husband and wife. Just as his sexual needs ought to be fulfilled then so should her needs must be met and failing to do so is tantamount to neglecting her fundamental rights to which Islamically she has every right to object. Judicially (qadha’an), he must consummate the marriage at least once otherwise the judge can coerce him to do so, but ethically (diyanatan) compulsory more than once (or as frequent as possible). Some jurists maintain that the judge can even coerce him to be intimate with her more than once if he refuses, thus implying that consummation even more than once is judicially necessary, not just ethically.[6] Hence, the Sharī῾ah Councils can overrule the third condition above by taking her concerns into consideration and dissolve the marriage if he can no longer fulfil her sexual needs even if the marriage was consummated once.


A final point on this is that deprivation of sexual needs despite being married for a long-time can most likely result in tension and discord between the couple which can negatively impact the Islamic spirit of marriage which is built on peace and tranquillity. In other words, peace in marriage comes from heathy sexual relationship and when this is absent then so is the peaceful relationship in marriage. Strict application of the above conditions; consummation at least once and her initial consent, and her husband’s unwillingness to divorce falls contrary to the Islamic spirit of Nikah. Thus, in due consideration of this as Shaykh Khalid Sayfullah Rahmani also maintains is that despite if she initially consented to his condition and consummated, if her sexual needs are being neglected due to the husband’s impotency such as in the above case, her marriage can be dissolved so to safeguard her from further harm.[7]


In summary, it is permissible for you to ask for a divorce and if he refuses then you can present your case to a reputable Sharī῾ah Council who may dissolve your marriage upon examining your condition.





 [Allãh Knows Best]



Written and researched by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed


Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department

[1] For more details, see Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah, Ch. Faskh and Tafreeq, vol 13, p. 273-274


[2] NHS, (2020) Erectile Dysfunction (impotence), at: Erectile dysfunction (impotence) – NHS (www.nhs.uk) [accessed 4th November 2022]


[3] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 3 p. 494

بَابُ الْعِنِّينِ

وَغَيْرِهِ (هُوَ) لُغَةً مَنْ لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى الْجِمَاعِ فِعِّيلٌ بِمَعْنَى مَفْعُولٍ جَمْعُهُ عُنُنٌ. وَشَرْعًا (مَنْ لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى جِمَاعِ فَرْجِ زَوْجَتِهِ) يَعْنِي لِمَانِعٍ مِنْهُ كَكِبْرِ سِنٍّ، أَوْ سِحْرٍ

شُرُوعٌ فِي بَيَانِ مَنْ بِهِ مَرَضٌ لَهُ تَعَلُّقٌ بِالنِّكَاحِ (قَوْلُهُ: وَغَيْرِهِ) الْأَوْلَى وَنَحْوِهِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَنْ لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى جِمَاعِ زَوْجَتِهِ: كَالْمَجْبُوبِ، وَالْخَصِيِّ، وَالْمَسْحُورِ، وَالشَّيْخِ الْكَبِيرِ، وَالشَّكَّازِ – كَشَدَّادٍ بِشِينٍ مُعْجَمَةٍ وَزَايٍ –: مَنْ إذَا حَدَّثَ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْزَلَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُخَالِطَهَا قَامُوسٌ (قَوْلُهُ: عَلَى الْجِمَاعِ) أَيْ جِمَاعِ زَوْجَتِهِ، أَوْ غَيْرِهَا، فَهُوَ أَعَمُّ مِنْ الْمَعْنَى الشَّرْعِيِّ الْآتِي

(قَوْلُهُ: عَلَى جِمَاعِ فَرْجِ زَوْجَتِهِ) – أَيْ مَعَ وُجُودِ الْآلَةِ سَوَاءٌ كَانَتْ تَقُومُ أَوْ لَا – أَخْرَجَ الدُّبُرَ فَلَا يَخْرُجُ عَنْ الْعُنَّةِ بِالْإِدْخَالِ فِيهِ خِلَافًا لِابْنِ عَقِيلٍ مِنْ الْحَنَابِلَةِ مِعْرَاجٌ لِأَنَّ الْإِدْخَالَ فِيهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ أَشَدَّ، لَكِنَّهُ قَدْ يَكُونُ مَمْنُوعًا عَنْ الْإِدْخَالِ فِي الْفَرْجِ لِسِحْرٍ


Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Talāq, vol 3 p. 494

(وَلَوْ وَجَدَتْهُ عِنِّينًا) هُوَ مَنْ لَا يَصِلُ إلَى النِّسَاءِ لِمَرَضٍ أَوْ كِبَرٍ، أَوْ سِحْرٍ وَيُسَمَّى الْمَعْقُودَ وَهْبَانِيَّةٌ (أَوْ خَصِيًّا) لَا يَنْتَشِرُ ذَكَرُهُ، فَإِنْ انْتَشَرَ لَمْ تُخَيَّرْ بَحْرٌ

(قَوْلُهُ: وَلَوْ وَجَدَتْهُ) أَيْ لَوْ وَجَدَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ الْحُرَّةُ غَيْرُ الرَّتْقَاءِ – كَمَا مَرَّ فِي زَوْجَةِ الْمَجْبُوبِ – زَوْجَهَا، وَلَوْ مَعْتُوهًا فَيُؤَجَّلُ بِحَضْرَةِ خَصْمٍ عَنْهُ كَمَا فِي الْبَحْرِ، وَيُشْتَرَطُ لِتَأْجِيلِهِ فِي الْحَالِ كَوْنُهُ بَالِغًا، أَوْ مُرَاهِقًا، وَكَوْنُهُ صَحِيحًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَلَبِّسٍ بِإِحْرَامٍ كَمَا سَيَأْتِي؛ وَشَمِلَ مَا لَوْ وَصَلَ إلَيْهَا ثُمَّ أَبَانَهَا ثُمَّ تَزَوَّجَهَا وَلَمْ يَصِلْ إلَيْهَا فِي النِّكَاحِ الثَّانِي لِتَجَدُّدِ حَقِّ الْمُطَالَبَةِ بِكُلِّ عَقْدٍ كَمَا فِي الْبَحْرِ (قَوْلُهُ: عِنِّينًا) وَمِثْلُهُ الشَّكَّازُ كَمَا مَرَّ (قَوْلُهُ: هُوَ مَنْ لَا يَصِلُ إلَى النِّسَاءِ إلَخْ) هَذَا مَعْنَاهُ لُغَةً، وَأَمَّا مَعْنَاهُ الشَّرْعِيُّ الْمُرَادُ هُنَا: فَهُوَ مَنْ لَا يَقْدِرُ عَلَى جِمَاعِ فَرْجِ زَوْجَتِهِ مَعَ قِيَامِ الْآلَةِ لِمَرَضٍ بِهِ كَمَا مَرَّ،


Ibn Nujaym, Bahr Rāiq, Kitāb Talāq, vol 4 p. 133

بَابُ الْعِنِّينِ

وَأَمَّا عِنْدَ الْفُقَهَاءِ فَهُوَ مَنْ لَا يَصِلُ إلَى النِّسَاءِ مَعَ قِيَامِ الْآلَةِ لِمَرَضٍ بِهِ وَإِنْ كَانَ يَصِلُ إلَى الثَّيِّبِ دُونَ الْبِكْرِ أَوْ إلَى بَعْضِ النِّسَاءِ دُونَ بَعْضٍ سَوَاءٌ كَانَتْ آلَتُهُ تَقُومُ أَوْ لَا كَمَا فِي الْعِنَايَةِ……

وَلِذَا قَالَ فِي شَرْحِ الْمَنْظُومَةِ الشَّكَّازُ بِفَتْحِ الْمُعْجَمَةِ وَكَافٍ مُشَدَّدَةٍ وَبَعْدَ الْأَلْفِ زَايٌ هُوَ الَّذِي إذَا جَذَبَ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْزَلَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُخَالِطَهَا ثُمَّ لَا تَنْتَشِرُ آلَتُهُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ لِجِمَاعِهَا وَهُوَ مِنْ قَبِيلِ الْعِنِّينِ لَهَا الْمُطَالَبَةُ بِالتَّفْرِيقِ وَإِنْ كَانَ يَصِلُ إلَى الثَّيِّبِ دُونَ الْبِكْرِ أَوْ إلَى بَعْضِ النِّسَاءِ دُونَ بَعْضٍ لِضَعْفِ طَبِيعَتِهِ أَوْ لِكِبَرِ سِنِّهِ أَوْ سِحْرٍ فَهُوَ عِنِّينٌ فِي حَقِّ مَنْ لَا يَصِلُ إلَيْهَا لِفَوَاتِ الْمَقْصُودِ فِي حَقِّهَا



[4] Maulana Abdus Samad Rahmani, faskh wa Tafreeq, p. 107


Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Talāq, vol 3 p. 501

(تَزَوَّجَ) الْأُولَى، أَوْ امْرَأَةً (أُخْرَى عَالِمَةً بِحَالِهِ لَا خِيَارَ لَهَا عَلَى الْمَذْهَبِ) الْمُفْتَى بِهِ بَحْرٌ عَنْ الْمُحِيطِ خِلَافًا لِتَصْحِيحِ الْخَانِيَّةِ.

قُلْت: وَوَجْهُ الْمُفْتَى بِهِ أَنَّهُ بَعْدَ عِلْمِهَا بِتَحَقُّقِ عَجْزِهِ وَعَدَمِ عِلْمِهَا بِأَنَّ عَجْزَهُ مُخْتَصٌّ بِالْأُولَى تَكُونُ رَاضِيَةً بِهِ، وَطَمَعُهَا فِي وُصُولِهِ إلَيْهَا يُؤَكِّدُ رِضَاهَا بِهِ


Ibn Nujaym, Bahr Rāiq, Kitāb Talāq, vol 4 p. 135

وَأَشَارَ إلَى أَنَّهُ لَوْ وَطِئَهَا مَرَّةً لَا حَقَّ لَهَا فِي الْمُطَالَبَةِ لِسُقُوطِ حَقِّهَا بِالْمَرَّةِ قَضَاءً وَمَا زَادَ عَلَيْهَا فَهُوَ مُسْتَحَقٌّ دِيَانَةً لَا قَضَاءً كَمَا فِي جَامِعِ قَاضِي خَانْ، وَفِي فَتَاوَاهُ لَوْ كَانَ يَأْتِيهَا فِيمَا دُونَ الْفَرْجِ حَتَّى يُنْزِلَ وَتُنْزِلَ وَلَا يَصِلُ إلَيْهَا فِي فَرْجِهَا وَقَامَتْ مَعَهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ زَمَانًا وَهِيَ بِكْرٌ أَوْ ثَيِّبٌ ثُمَّ خَاصَمَتْهُ إلَى الْقَاضِي أَجَّلَهُ الْقَاضِي سَنَةً، وَلَوْ وَطِئَهَا بَعْدَ التَّأْجِيل سَقَطَ حَقُّهَا وَلَوْ حَائِضًا أَوْ نُفَسَاءَ أَوْ صَائِمَةً أَوْ مُحْرِمَةً كَذَا فِي الْمِعْرَاجِ وَإِلَى أَنَّ الزَّوْجَ لَوْ طَلَبَ أَنْ يُؤَجِّلَ بَعْدَ السَّنَةِ، وَلَوْ يَوْمًا لَا يُجِيبُهُ الْقَاضِي إلَّا بِرِضَاهَا وَلَهَا الرُّجُوعُ وَاخْتِيَارُ الْفُرْقَةِ كَذَا فِي الِاخْتِيَارِ وَقَدَّمْنَا أَنَّ الْمُرَادَ بِالزَّوْجَةِ الْحُرَّةُ



[5] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Talāq, vol 3 p. 497

(أُجِّلَ سَنَةً) لِاشْتِمَالِهَا عَلَى الْفُصُولِ الْأَرْبَعَةِ، وَلَا عِبْرَةَ بِتَأْجِيلِ غَيْرِ قَاضِي الْبَلْدَةِ (قَمَرِيَّةً) بِالْأَهِلَّةِ عَلَى الْمَذْهَبِ وَهِيَ ثَلَثُمِائَةٍ وَأَرْبَعَةٌ وَخَمْسُونَ يَوْمًا وَبَعْضُ يَوْمٍ، وَقِيلَ: شَمْسِيَّةً بِالْأَيَّامِ وَهِيَ أَزْيَدُ بِأَحَدَ عَشَرَ يَوْمًا، قِيلَ وَبِهِ يُفْتَى،

فَالْحَقُّ أَنَّ التَّفْرِيقَ إمَّا بِغَلَبَةِ ظَنِّ عَدَمِ زَوَالِهِ لِزَمَانَتِهِ أَوْ لِلْآفَةِ الْأَصْلِيَّةِ، وَمُضِيُّ السَّنَةِ مُوجِبٌ لِذَلِكَ، أَوْ هُوَ عَدَمُ إيفَاءِ حَقِّهَا، وَالسَّنَةُ جُعِلَتْ غَايَةً فِي الصَّبْرِ وَإِبْلَاءِ الْعُذْرِ شَرْعًا، وَتَمَامُهُ فِي الْفَتْحِ (قَوْلُهُ: وَلَا عِبْرَةَ بِتَأْجِيلِ غَيْرِ قَاضِي الْبَلْدَةِ) لِأَنَّ هَذَا مُقَدِّمَةُ أَمْرٍ لَا يَكُونُ إلَّا عِنْدَ الْقَاضِي وَهُوَ الْفُرْقَةُ فَكَذَا مُقَدِّمَتُهُ وَلْوَالِجِيَّةٌ، فَلَا يُعْتَبَرُ تَأْجِيلُ الْمَرْأَةِ وَلَا تَأْجِيلُ غَيْرِهَا بَحْرٌ عَنْ الْخَانِيَّةِ، وَلَا يُعْتَبَرُ تَأْجِيلُ غَيْرِ الْحَاكِمِ كَائِنًا مَنْ كَانَ فَتْحٌ، وَظَاهِرُهُ وَلَوْ مُحَكَّمًا تَأَمَّلْ. وَفِي الْبَحْرِ: وَلَوْ عُزِلَ الْقَاضِي بَعْدَمَا أَجَّلَهُ بَنَى الْمَوْلَى عَلَى التَّأْجِيلِ الْأَوَّلِ (قَوْلُهُ: بِالْأَهِلَّةِ عَلَى الْمَذْهَبِ) وَجْهُهُ أَنَّ الثَّابِتَ عَنْ الصَّحَابَةِ كَعُمَرَ وَغَيْرِهِ اسْمُ السَّنَةِ، وَأَهْلُ الشَّرْعِ إنَّمَا يَتَعَارَفُونَ الْأَشْهُرَ وَالسِّنِينَ بِالْأَهِلَّةِ، فَإِذَا أَطْلَقُوا السَّنَةَ انْصَرَفُوا إلَى ذَلِكَ مَا لَمْ يُصَرِّحُوا بِخِلَافِهِ فَتْحٌ

(قَوْلُهُ: وَقِيلَ شَمْسِيَّةٌ) اخْتَارَهُ شَمْسُ الْأَئِمَّةِ السَّرَخْسِيُّ وَقَاضِي خَانْ وَظَهِيرُ الدِّينِ، وَهِيَ رِوَايَةُ الْحَسَنِ عَنْ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ فَتْحٌ. وَعَنْ مُحَمَّدٍ أَنَّ الِاعْتِبَارَ لِلْعَدَدِيَّةِ وَهِيَ ثَلَثُمِائَةٍ وَسِتُّونَ يَوْمًا قُهُسْتَانِيٌّ (قَوْلُهُ: وَهِيَ أَزْيَدُ بِأَحَدَ عَشَرَ يَوْمًا) أَيْ وَخَمْسِ سَاعَاتٍ وَخَمْسٍ وَخَمْسِينَ دَقِيقَةً، أَوْ تِسْعٍ وَأَرْبَعِينَ دَقِيقَةً، وَتَمَامُهُ فِي الْقُهُسْتَانِيِّ



[6] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitābus Nikāh, vol 3 p. 202-3

بَابُ الْقَسْمِ

(قَوْلُهُ وَيَسْقُطُ حَقُّهَا بِمَرَّةٍ) قَالَ فِي الْفَتْحِ: وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ تَرْكَ جِمَاعِهَا مُطْلَقًا لَا يَحِلُّ لَهُ، صَرَّحَ أَصْحَابُنَا بِأَنَّ جِمَاعَهَا أَحْيَانًا وَاجِبٌ دِيَانَةً، لَكِنْ لَا يَدْخُلُ تَحْتَ الْقَضَاءِ وَالْإِلْزَامِ إلَّا الْوَطْأَةُ الْأُولَى وَلَمْ يُقَدِّرُوا فِيهِ مُدَّةً.

وَيَجِبُ أَنْ لَا يَبْلُغَ بِهِ مُدَّةَ الْإِيلَاءِ إلَّا بِرِضَاهَا وَطِيبِ نَفْسِهَا بِهِ. اهـ. قَالَ فِي النَّهْرِ: فِي هَذَا الْكَلَامِ تَصْرِيحٌ بِأَنَّ الْجِمَاعَ بَعْدَ الْمَرَّةِ حَقُّهُ لَا حَقُّهَا اهـ. قُلْت: فِيهِ نَظَرٌ بَلْ هُوَ حَقُّهُ وَحَقُّهَا أَيْضًا، لِمَا عَلِمْت مِنْ أَنَّهُ وَاجِبٌ دِيَانَةً. قَالَ فِي الْبَحْرِ: وَحَيْثُ عُلِمَ أَنَّ الْوَطْءَ لَا يَدْخُلُ تَحْتَ الْقَسْمِ فَهَلْ هُوَ وَاجِبٌ لِلزَّوْجَةِ وَفِي الْبَدَائِعِ: لَهَا أَنْ تُطَالِبَهُ بِالْوَطْءِ لِأَنَّ حِلَّهُ لَهَا حَقُّهَا، كَمَا أَنَّ حِلَّهَا لَهُ حَقُّهُ، وَإِذَا طَالَبَتْهُ يَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ وَيُجْبَرُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الْحُكْمِ مَرَّةً وَالزِّيَادَةُ تَجِبُ دِيَانَةً لَا فِي الْحُكْمِ عِنْدَ بَعْضِ أَصْحَابِنَا وَعِنْدَ بَعْضِهِمْ تَجِبُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الْحُكْمِ. وَبِهِ عُلِمَ أَنَّهُ كَانَ عَلَى الشَّارِحِ أَنْ يَقُولَ وَيَسْقُطُ حَقُّهَا بِمَرَّةٍ فِي الْقَضَاءِ أَيْ لِأَنَّهُ لَوْ لَمْ يُصِبْهَا مَرَّةً يُؤَجِّلُهُ الْقَاضِي سَنَةً ثُمَّ يَفْسَخُ الْعَقْدَ. أَمَّا لَوْ أَصَابَهَا مَرَّةً وَاحِدَةً لَمْ يَتَعَرَّضْ لَهُ لِأَنَّهُ عَلِمَ أَنَّهُ غَيْرُ عِنِّينٍ وَقْتَ الْعَقْدِ، بَلْ يَأْمُرُهُ بِالزِّيَادَةِ أَحْيَانًا لِوُجُوبِهَا عَلَيْهِ إلَّا لِعُذْرٍ وَمَرَضٍ أَوْ عُنَّةٍ عَارِضَةٍ أَوْ نَحْوِ ذَلِكَ وَسَيَأْتِي فِي بَابِ الظِّهَارِ أَنَّ عَلَى الْقَاضِي إلْزَامَ الْمُظَاهِرِ بِالتَّكْفِيرِ دَفْعًا لِلضَّرَرِ عَنْهَا بِحَبْسٍ أَوْ ضَرْبٍ إلَى أَنْ يُكَفِّرَ أَوْ يُطَلِّقَ وَهَذَا رُبَّمَا يُؤَيِّدُ الْقَوْلَ الْمَارَّ بِأَنَّهُ تَجِبُ الزِّيَادَةُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الْحُكْمِ فَتَأَمَّلْ


Also see Maulana Abdus Samad Rahmani, faskh wa Tafreeq, p. 108


[7] Khalid Sayfullah Rahmani, Jadeed Fiqhi Masail, Marriage Dissolution due to impotency vol 3, p. 163-172