What Exactly Equals Marriage Dissolution Due to Sexual Relations (Hurmat Al-Musahara) for a Female?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


What exactly equals Hurmat al-Musahara for a female? Men are more specific with a physical reactions, but what about a woman? What exactly is meant by ‘lust within the heart’?

Is a woman meant to feel desire and have sexual thoughts towards the other person, or would a stirring of feelings still count as Hurmat al-Musahara? Or is a physical reaction also applicable for a woman (e.g., heart flutters or, more extreme-Madhy)?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

In the Hanafi school, marriage dissolution due to sexual relations (hurmat al-musahara) is established if one touches a desirable aged person with a strong sexual feeling with direct skin-to-skin contact it could follow with pre-sexual fluid (madhy) later.

Shaytan puts doubt in many people in many matters, from beliefs to worship issues, causing doubts, misgivings, and undue stress. It has to be a genuine conviction of touching taking place. The doubt and anxiety of – the fear of lust, or the suspicion of lust-is not sufficient. Stay firm and cast these doubts away.

Desire in the case of a man is upon contact, direct skin to skin, resulting in an erection. One has to remember erection must occur in the present as a direct result of touching. Thus, hurmat al-musahara is not established if one becomes erect by their thoughts while touching or becomes aroused later on thinking back about the touching. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

As mentioned in a previous answer, we should always maintain decency and modesty in both dress and conduct—for both men and women—within the family. Not looking at one’s family members (besides one’s spouse) with desire, not acting with ill intent, and so on are all obligatory.

If one has ill thoughts about family members, one needs to seek Allah’s forgiveness (istighfar); repent from any active thinking with desire about them; guard one’s gaze and conduct; and—if this struggle persists—must immediately seek qualified counsel, as the personal or familial harm of such desires is devastating.

If one is tested, yet turns to Allah Most High for assistance and takes the means described above, Divine Facilitation is a promise.

I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.