Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I am engaged to be married. Is there a time limit in which the marriage must be consummated? Is a woman sinful for refusing or delaying physical intimacy with her husband, because of the hadith which says a woman is cursed by angels?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay
There is a tremendous amount of pressure on newlyweds about the wedding night. I pray that Allah relieves your anxiety, and helps bring some peace into your heart. You can empower both yourself and your fiancé with authentic knowledge, tempered with compassion and wisdom.
I strongly recommend that you and your fiancé read “The Islamic Guide To Sexual Relations” by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari. Some chapters are extremely detailed and are better left after nikah. Overall, it is informative, balanced, and provides an excellent platform for mutual discussion and consultation.
I also recommend that you read Muslimah Coach Megan Wyatt’s ebooks on marital intimacy.
It is extremely important for you to bring up the fact that you:
1) do not want to consummate your marriage on your wedding night.
2) do not want to perform oral acts.
Although these are deeply private matters, it is extremely important that you clarify this before you get married. Be extremely clear on this. If it is too embarrassing to bring up in person, then please send him an email and ensure that he responds.
The hadith that you mentioned is often used out of context, and misquoted. In short, if you have an Islamically valid reason to delay consummation, then it is not sinful. Marital intimacy is a natural extension of the love between a husband and a wife. Over time, and with patience and practice, it will become easier, inshaAllah. I pray that marital intimacy will eventually become a source of joy and comfort for both of you.
I am unable to give you a black and white timeline in which your marriage, or any marriage, needs to be consummated. That depends on you and your fiancé. Speak about this to your fiancé and perhaps you can both come to a rough idea, while remaining open to change. You may find your heart softening towards him after nikah, or you may need more time than you originally thought.
I pray that Allah grants you ease in this, and blesses you with a tranquil and loving marriage.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.