Is It Sinful If One Fails to Consummate His/Her Marriage?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I was engaged for five years and am now married. I am struggling to accept him since I didn’t get to know him. It was an arranged marriage within the family because we can only marry strictly within our family.

My husband tried being intimate, but we still haven’t consummated because of the short time that I was with him. We live in two different countries. I am worried that I am sinning because I have not let him be intimate with me and I said I wasn’t ready for sex. I avoid visiting him purely for this reason. Am I sinning by not letting him be intimate even though I am not ready? How long can I make him wait? Is it a sin to prolong it, and are angels cursing me?

Answer

Thank you for your question. This is a very delicate situation. This man is your life partner, the father-to-be of your children and you don’t have a connection yet; this can result in a plethora of problems.

Put in Some Effort

Although you don’t feel ready for sex, you are certainly ready to get to know him. Talk to him every day, learn his likes and dislikes, and send him a gift. Open your heart up to getting to know him, and having meaningful conversations with him. Text him every day. Send him a joke. This is the only way to start a healthy and happy relationship.  Ask Allah Most High to put love in your hearts toward each other and thank Allah that you have a spouse.

Living Together?

Is it possible for the two of you to live together? Sooner or later? You can take advantage of being apart and connect with him emotionally until you do it physically. It can be detrimental to a marriage to stay apart too long, so please work on a plan to live together. Living together will quicken getting to know him; eat out together, practice a hobby together, meet friends together, and try out something new together. Connections are only made with effort.

You should Try It

Having intercourse with your spouse will create a bond and intimacy that no other human interaction creates. Allah Most High, in His infinite wisdom, only created this for husband and wife in order to facilitate establishing families. Their love for one another and their children is truly a miracle that can’t be replicated by any other relationship. Also, remember that intercourse is supposed to be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for both parties. Open up your mind to that. Take steps to relax and prepare yourself for it.

Check this link:
How Can I Prepare Myself for My Wedding Night?

Curse of Angels

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “If a woman spends the night deserting her husband’s bed (does not sleep with him), then the angels send their curses on her until she comes back (to her husband).” [Bukhari]

See this link:
Will the Angels Curse Me If I Delay My Wedding Night?

I cannot tell you how long you can prolong the consummation but if you don’t have a good reason (medical for example) you may well be sinning. My advice is to hasten it and work on your emotional connection throughout. Ask Allah to help you and give you tawfiq and pious child from it.

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult a reliable local scholar or counselor about the specifics of the situation.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.