Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have a question regarding marriage. I know that marriage is compulsory for both men and women, but I heard that there are exceptions. A woman was sexually abused as a child, and she developed mental illnesses like depression, social phobia and PTSD as a result. Her illnesses make it difficult for her to get to know anyone, and she is also afraid of intimacy.
Although she knows that intimacy is part of a marriage and that she would be sinning by depriving her future husband of it, she’s also sure that she is not able to do it. Therefore, she would rather not marry. Is this a valid reason not to get married, or is she sinning?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with her situation and I pray that she takes the steps to heal and strengthen her soul and fulfills all of her ambitions and goals in life.
Marriage is not compulsory. Therefore, she should focus on how to better her state of mind, heal, and move forward from her trauma for personal and spiritual growth before entering any kind of marital contract. She must focus on her well-being and be the best Muslim that she can be with knowledge, stability and confidence before thinking of raising a family.
This supplication that was taught to us by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is very beneficial:
يا حَـيُّ يا قَيّـومُ بِـرَحْمَـتِكِ أَسْتَـغـيث أصْلِح لي شَأني كُلّّهُ ولا تَكِلْني إلى نَفْسى طَرْفة عَيْن .
O Ever-Living One, O Eternal One, by Your mercy I call on You to set right all my affairs.
Do not place me in charge of my soul even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). [Hakim]
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[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.