A person telling his wife, "You are...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

A person telling his wife, "You are unlawful to me"


I told my wife: "You are to me like my mother and sister" with the intention of
refraining from conjugal relations with her; in expiation, I fasted for sixty consecutive days. On another occasion, I told her: "If you spend the night at your father's house you will be to me like my mother and sister," again with the intention of not engaging in intercourse with her. What is the ruling for this since she did spend the night at her father's house?


The inquirer's intention on both the first and second occasions may be interpreted as the husband wishing to suspend conjugal relations with his wife on either a temporary or a permanent basis. Zihar (it involves the husband likening his wife to his mother or sister, thus the prohibition of continuing conjugal relations with her such as by saying:
"You are to me like my mother's or sister's back." It does not constitute divorce but requires expiation) has not been affected if he intended to temporarily refrain from engaging in sexual relations with his wife. But if he intended permanency, it is considered zihar.

The expiation for zihar

He must fast two consecutive months. If he cannot, he is to feed sixty poor persons.

The ruling

Since the inquirer made expiation after he uttered the first statement, it is incumbent upon him to make expiation for the second because the act upon which he made zihar conditional occurred. Neither of these two statements is considered divorce.

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