Abstaining from having intimate relations with the wife before and after traveling

A: What you mentioned about many husbands not going to see their wives to say goodbye to them before they travel and not going to see them on their return from a journey has no basis in the Shari‘ah (Islamic law). Observing this practice as a habit and considering it as being part of the Din (religion) is a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) that should be abandoned. However, it is necessary, if someone returns from a long journey, that he should not suddenly go to his wife and come into the house unexpectedly at night, lest he should find something about her that he dislikes or see something that alienates him from her. He should be patient and tell her that he is coming, so she can prepare herself for him. This is good for intimacy and a propriety of the marital relationship, which helps maintain and protect it. It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he forbade a man [who was absent from his wife for a long time. Trans] from coming to her unexpectedly at night. He (peace be upon him) said, “When any of you is away for a long time, do not return to your wife unexpectedly at night.” It was related by Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (Part No. 19; Page No. 343) (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If you enter (your town) at night (on returning from a journey), do not go to your wife so that the one whose husband is away may shave her pubes and the one who is disheveled may comb her hair.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) clarified the wisdom behind forbidding someone who was returning from a long journey from suddenly coming to his wife at night. It is to enable her to prepare herself and dress up for him, and so he will not see anything about her that displeases him or make him have an aversion to her. Therefore, if a husband writes to his wife before he returns, and tells her of the date of his arrival, he can go to her at any time he likes on the arrival date and it will not be considered as being sudden or coming unawares in the night. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.