Thank you for your interesting question.
First the Qur’anic verse that you mentioned has a completely different interpretation than the one you thought of. It doesn’t mean any sense of sexual exploitation.
Actually, it was revealed on the occasion that some of the prophet’s companions asked him about how to approach their wives sexually. This was because their Jewish neighbors used to tell them that a sexual intercourse should only be made in one particular position.
The verse was then revealed to inform believers that they are free to approach their women in any position they like. Then the prophet (pbuh) added to its interpretation that one is free to have a sexual intercourse with his wife, in any position, as long as it is vaginal, for anal intercourse is prohibited in Islam.
It is clear that such permission aimed at adding more pleasure to both husband and wife. This is by avoiding the monotony of such a relationship.
As for “marital rape”, Islam teaches both husband and wife the understanding of having to minimize the times when they are reluctant to respond to their spouses’ sexual demand. Unless there are really serious reasons concerning, for example, health or mental difficulties, they should not refuse such a demand.
This is not because any side is a “property” of the other or because Islam approves what is called “marital rape”. On the contrary, this is because Islam prohibits adultery and marital infidelity.
This, in fact, is prohibited for both parties. Therefore, Islam urges both parties to be always welcoming to meet the other party’s sexual demands and needs. Both parties are also obliged to make sure that this affair has ended with full satisfaction for ones’ partner.
It seems you have read about this part, which focuses on the rule of submitting to the spouse as “obligatory” to women. This is actually the favorite issue propagated by anti-religion feminists!
Well, it seems you haven’t read about the Islamic teaching that also made it obligatory for husbands to offer sex to their wives. This is due to the fact that the woman might be shy or embarrassed to ask it for herself, every four days. According to Imam Ghazali and other scholars, this is even if the husband does not feel like doing it…
In addition, a ruler should not send soldiers in an army – even if it is wartime – for more than four months, just for this reason! Also, Ibn Magah reported that the prophet (pbuh) has commanded husbands not to start a sexual intercourse, unless they start by ‘flirting, talking and kissing the wife’ till she becomes ‘in the mood’ and capable of sharing the pleasure of these moments.
You need to know, dear Bethany, that the prophet (pbuh) warned husbands against what he called: “falling onto women like animals.”
He also drew men’s attention that women tend to reach orgasm, a short time after husbands do. Thus, a husband should wait till she is fully satisfied. We believe that this prescription of sexual relations in Islam is the furthest it can be from rape!
Simultaneously, Islam urges the Muslim woman that – however busy she may be – she should leave whatever is keeping her busy, if her husband asks her. Here, if the woman refuses to submit to her husband’s desire, for no serious reason, she would be exposed to God’s displeasure. Thus, Islam directs both parties and not men only to observe this rule.
In fact, the wisdom behind such elucidation in describing spouses’ sexual relations and the ideal way to reach full satisfaction – either in quantity or quality – was meant to close the door for any body to find an excuse to commit the major sin of adultery. It is a sin, which is not accepted in Islam under any circumstances.
I really appreciate your interest in Islam. Still, I advise you to read it from its original sources. These are now available through the Internet and many other ways. This is rather than discovering Islam through sources, which deliberately distort its beautiful and comprehensive message.
The message of Islam, dear Bethany, touches every aspect of people’s lives, even their sexual life! Some simply misinterpret this message by focusing on “choosing” specific Qura’nic verses or taking parts of the rulings, that serves their interpretations, and leaving the other parts.
Thank you and wish to hear from you again.