Afraid of Marriage First Night

Question and answer details
A (27-male-Pakistan)
I am going to be married in two months. My problem is that I think I will be afraid of touching my wife on the first night of my wedding without knowing her and developing evenly feelings in her mind. I past my whole life saving myself from wrong doings i.e. zina, rape, touching any unknown women etc. Doing intercourse with wife on the first night looks like the same regretful feeling as zina, sorry to say that. I want to understand it. I also heard that one could not arrange valima ceremony until he had intercourse with his wife. I also want to fulfill the sunnah, but don’t know how??? It is most common that spouses' love starts after intercourse in marriage life. I know Allah has made husband-wife relationship in this way, but there might be some way when one could generate love or affectionate feelings in the opposite sex. Please don’t consider this question as objection to Islamic laws. Kindly, reply me with a suitable answer in reference to Quran and sunnah, if possible. Thanks.
Aliah Azmeh, MSW

As-salamu `alaikum Brother,

Thank you for sending us your question. I first would like to tell you that it is not haraam or disliked to not have sexual intercourse on that same night that the Islamic marriage took place. It is not haraam to post-pone your first sexual contact with your wife.

I would also like to remind you that I am not an Islamic scholar, but a Muslim mental health professional and I will be advising you as a counselor. I advise you to consult the Ask the Scholar section for any Shar`is questions.

Brother, it seems like you have Alhamdulillah refrained from all the types of zina (fornication) or haraam interaction with women throughout your life. This is a blessing from Allah and Alhamdulillah Allah has blessed you with a wife who you will be able to in sha’ Allah have a close, blessed, and happy relationship with.

Islam ordained that our spouses be like our garments and that we protect each other and be close companions to each other. Marriage has its psychological, emotional and physical aspects to it, and each one of them is vital for the marriage to survive in a healthy and constructive manner.

An important part of marriage is the sexual relationship, and it seems like you still have not accepted that idea because you automatically couple haraam zina with halaal sex in your mind. It is easy for some people to go through life being told (and believing) that zina is haraam and anything that has to do with sex is a horrible deed in order to cope with abstaining from any unlawful kind of sexual contact.

Allah created us with sexual desires, and in Islam, there is nothing shameful about that. Islam just puts guidelines for us to follow in regards to whom and when we can fulfill our sexual desires. However, the actual act of sex is NOT wrong. To the contrary, sex, when it is done the halaal way, is a blessing from Allah in which you even get good reward for doing.

The first thing you need to do brother is to change your perception on sex. You first need to accept sex as a healthy and halaal part of life and allow yourself to look forward to having sex with your wife.

The second thing you need to do is to relax and to keep things natural between you and your wife. There is nothing in the Islamic shari`ah that says that a newly-married couple has to have sexual intercourse right after the Islamic marriage takes place.

Don’t pressure yourself because that can cause you to be anxious and uneasy at a time when you and your wife should be happy. Instead, take the time to get to know your wife and spend time getting to know each other and eventually intimate with each other.

Also, let her know that you want to take it easy since she may have the same expectations as you do now about having sexual intercourse right away.

May Allah bless your marriage and grant you both happiness and prosperity.

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About the Counselor:

Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response reflect an attempt from the counselor to deal with the case, based on the limited information provided in the question with no responsibility whatsoever on the website. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.

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