Oh, boy. So, here’s the short answer: Yes, we can be intimate with our spouses in Ramadan. No, not all the time.
Many people ask what is prohibited for us during the time of Ramadan. The fact of the matter is, we must abstain from acts such as sexual relations, eating, and drinking from dawn (Fajr prayer) to sunset (Maghrib prayer).
Just like how we, as Muslims, can eat and drink after sunset, we can also be intimate with our spouses after that, too. While it is more difficult to do due to the increase in worship through Taraweeh prayers and living in a society that does not adjust work times for Ramadan, sex is in fact recommended.
In Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 187, Allah says:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives [for sexual relations]. They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allah, so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.
There are also many authentic narrations of our beloved Prophet Muhammed S.A.W. saying that he was also intimate with his wives during the nights of Ramadan. However in order to focus on itikaf during the last ten nights — or the practice of staying in a mosque for a number of day to focus on worship and separate oneself from worldly affairs — he would abstain from sex with his wives.
In addition, it has been narrated that other forms of intimacy that do not involve sex are permitted during the day such as hugging and kissing. However if one feels their desires will not be controlled, they should not do so.
Intimacy is, in fact, a form of worship. We all have desires that must be met (in a halal manner) and being intimate with our spouses is a way to fulfill those desires.
We must remember that there are rules and permissions set out by Allah SWT, and the mercy in those go beyond arbitrary interpretations by our local wallah bros who spew out illegitimate fatwas. While the ultimate pleasure is (insha’Allah) in Jannah, we must fulfill our lawful desires in this life as well.
Editor’s note: Tryna to get those good deeds in for Ramadan? We’ve got you, bae!