A Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa ordering a woman to
agree to sex with her husband even if they are on the back
of a camel, as he denounces the idea of marital rape as
‘made up by European people’.
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria claims that,
according to the Prophet Mohammed, a wife can only
refuse her husband sex if she is menstruating, sick or just
given birth. Her right to say no, he asserted, was lost the
moment her father handed her to her new husband.
Zakaria told Malay Mail Online :
‘Even the Prophet says even when they’re riding on
the back of the camel, when the husband asks her,
she must give. So there’s no such thing as rape in
marriage. This is made by European people, why
should we follow?’
Unsurprisingly, his religious edict and outrageous
comments have horrified many in his home
country of Malaysia and beyond.
Writing in MalaysiaKini.com, Joshua Teh, an advocacy
officer at the Women’s Centre for Change in Penang, said:
‘Have we not provided excuses for rapists long
enough? We need to recognise that women, both
married and not married, have the right over their
own bodies, and that includes the right to reject
To turn a blind eye to that right is to reduce the
woman’s dignity as a person and to further
normalise the prevalence of sexual crimes in our
However, another mufti has said sex between a married
couple must take place in a ‘harmonious situation so as not
to hurt each other’ – which means rape is not possible.
What’s more, Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin – known as ‘Dr
Maz’ – has said a man is not allowed to refuse sex with his
wife, nor is he allowed to stop without ‘getting consensus
from his wife for fear that she did not have time to enjoy’.
Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria
This is what a camel looks like