It is known that sexual relations with one’s spouse are not allowed during the day when a person is fasting. However, questions have been raised about having engaged in such relations when a person is not fasting because of a legal sanctioned reason (e.g. sickness and travel). The following provides guidance on such matters.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked about the man who has intercourse during the day in Ramadan when he is fasting and about a traveler who is not fasting: He replied that the one who has intercourse during the day in Ramadan when he is observing an obligatory fast has to offer expiation, i.e., the expiation of zihaar (which is to free a slave; if that is not possible then to fast for two consecutive months; if that is not possible then to feed sixty poor persons). He must also make up that day, and repent to Allah for what he has done. But if he is traveling or sick, it is permissible for him not to fast, and he does not have to offer any expiation, and there is no sin on him, but he has to make up the day on which he had intercourse, because those who are sick or traveling are permitted not to fast and to have intercourse etc. Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/307)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked about a man who had intercourse with his wife during the day in Ramadan when he was traveling. He replied: There is no sin on him for that, because the traveler is permitted to break his fast and to eat, drink and have intercourse, so there is no sin on him and he does not have to offer expiation. But he has to fast another day to make up the day that he did not fast in Ramadan. Similarly there is no sin on the woman if she was travelling and not fasting on that day. But if she was not traveling then it is not permissible for him to have intercourse with her if she is observing an obligatory fast, because he will invalidate her acts of worship, so she has to refuse. Fataawa al-Siyaam (344)
In addition to the above, as stated earlier, a person who is in the state of I’tikaf should stay away from having sexual relations. Allah says in the Quran:
“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:187]
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