Islamic Marriage: A Handbook for Young Muslims

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Category: Family and Child
ISBN: 81-87793-54-6

Islamic Marriage: A Handbook for Young Muslims

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Allamah Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi
Category: ISBN: 81-87793-54-6
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Islamic Marriage: A Handbook for Young Muslims

Islamic Marriage: A Handbook for Young Muslims

ISBN: 81-87793-54-6

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Islamic Marriage

A Handbook for Young Muslims

Author (s): Syed Athar Rizvi

Presented by World Islamic Network

1st Edition 2001

ISBN: 81-87793-54-6

Table of Contents

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says 4

Introduction. 5

A. Who needs this book? 5

B. Why do we need to know the rules? 5

C. Main Objective of the book. 5

Importance of marriage in Islam. 6

A. Importance of sex in marriage 6

B. Fulfillment of Sexual Urge 6

C. Celibacy and Monasticism is Forbidden. 6

D. Beneficial Effects of a Married Life 7

E. Marriage enhances the value of prayers 7

F. Marriage increases Sustenance 7

When Must we Marry?. 8

Who is eligible to marry? 8

Recommendation for Early Marriage 8

Selection of Spouse 9

A. Religiousness 9

B. Good Nature 9

C. Compatibility. 9

D. Decent Family. 10

E. Reason. 10

F. Physical and Mental Health. 10

G. Whom can you Marry? 10

(a) Restrictions based on Relationship. 10

(b) Restrictions based on Religion. 11

(c) Cousin Marriages 11

The Marriage Ceremony. 12

1. Some relevant points to be noted are: 12

2. Dowry. 12

3. Other Unislamic Customs 12

4. Haraam Acts 12

A. Proposal 12

B. Mahr 12

C. The Nikah Ceremony. 13

D. Time of Marriage Ceremony. 13

E. Permission of the Bride-to-be/Father 14

F. Valima (Dinner) 14

The Wedding Night 15

Days and Times for Sex. 16

A. When is Sex Forbidden? 16

B. Recommended Days and Times for Sex. 16

C. When is it Obligatory to have Sex? 17

Sexual Techniques 18

A. Foreplay is Highly Recommended. 18

B. Techniques of Foreplay. 18

C. Sexual Intercourse 19

D. Anal Intercourse 19

E. Hygiene 19

Dua for Pregnancy. 20

Contraceptives and Abortion. 21


1. Oral Contraceptives 21

2. Depo-Provera 21

3. Intrauterine Devices (IUD) 21

4. Barrier Devices 21

5. Abstinence During Fertile Period. 21

6. Withdrawal (Coitus Interruptus) 22

7. Sterilization. 22

8. A Woman can Practice Birth Control 22


The Major Ablution (Ghusl Janabat) 23




D. Things makruh (disliked) for the junub. 24



1. Ghusl Tartibi: 24

2. Ghusl Irtimasi: 24


Mutual Rights and Behaviou. 26

A. The Importance of Helping one’s wife at home 26

B. Consequence of Ill Behaviour with the Family. 26

C. Rights of the Wife According to Imam Sajjad (a.s.) 26

D. Husband’s rights over his Wife 27

E. The Importance of obeying one’s Husband. 27

F. Stricture Against Foul Language 28

G. A Summary of Mutual Rights 28

Duties of Other Family Members 29

Decency and Privacy. 29

Conclusion. 30

Glossary of ISLAMIC Terms 31

Bibliography. 32

Endnote 33

Notes 34

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says

When a person intends to send a proposal for marriage, he must pray two rakat prayers, praise Allah and recite the following invocation:[1]

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم اَللّهُمَّ اِنِّى اُرِيْدُ اَنْ اَتَزَوَّجَ فَقَدِّرْ لِىْ مِنَ النِّسَّآءِ اَعَفَّهُنَّ فَرْجًا وَّ اَحْفَظَهُنَّ لِىْ فِىْ نَفْسِهَا وَ مَا لِىْ وَ اَوْسَعَهُنَّ لِىْ رِزْقًا وَ اَعْظَمَهُنَّ لِىْ بَرَكَةً فِىْ نَفْسِهَا وَ مَا لِىْ اَنَّىْ اَتْرُكُ فَقَدِّرْ لِىْ مِنْهَا وَ لَدًا طَيِّبًا تَجْعَلَهُ خَلَفًا صَالِحًا فِىْ حَيوتِىْ وَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِىْ.


Bismillah hir Rah’maanir Rah’eem Allaahumma inni oreedo an atazawwaja faqaddirli minannisaa-e- a-’affahunna farjawn wa ah’faz’ahunna li fi nafseha wa maali wa aw sa-a’-hunna li rizqan wa a’-z’amahunna li barakatan fi nafseha wa maali anna atroko faqaddirli minha waladan t’ayyaban taj-a’lahu khalafan s’aaleh’an fi h’ayaati wa ba’da mauti.

Translation: In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. O Allah! I intend to marry. Therefore destine for me the most chaste of women and one who would, for my sake, guard herself and my property. Who shall be most auspicious for increase in sustenance and bounties. Then from her womb bestow a pure son who would be my sweet reminiscence in my life and after my death.


A. Who needs this book?

This book is compiled for those intending to marry in the near future or the newly married people. In this short handbook we have tried to put things in a nutshell. It is recommended to do a detailed reading of other books on Marriage, references of which are given at the end of this book.

B. Why do we need to know the rules?

It is the duty of every Muslim to follow the Islamic laws not only in matters of prayers and fasting but in all his actions. Islam has well defined rules about marriage and sex too. So if you want to follow Islam fully, then you must know the Islamic rules and regulations governing married life. Islam has never repressed the natural feelings of human beings but provides rules which are divine.

This will not only enable you to be faithful to your religion but would also shield you from the barrage of Sex literature that portrays this natural instinct as one that must be left uncontrolled. Western sexual morality permits many things that are prohibited in Islam. The reason for the prohibition of certain actions is not to act as an infringement of an individual’s freedom but because Islam is concerned not only with your physical well being but also your spiritual enhancement. Moreover, we can see the degradation of society where absolute sexual freedom prevails.

C. Main Objective of the book

The commencement of a new life takes place through marriage. If Islamic rules are known and followed, the child born will be chaste.

Insha Allah our progeny can then be capable of being the Imam’s (a.s.) followers.

This is the main objective of the book.


Islamic Marriage is of two types; permanent and temporary (Muta’). Since this book was compiled mostly for those entering into a permanent alliance, the topic of Muta’ has not been covered.

Importance of marriage in Islam

The Holy Quran says,

And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.[2]

The above ayat begins with the wordsWa Ankehoo ( And marry…) The imperative form of the word ‘nikah’ implies that either it is obligatory or highly recommended.[3] According to scholars, though marriage is a highly recommended act, it becomes obligatory when there is a chance of falling into sin.

The Prophet says, “No house has been built in Islam more beloved in the sight of Allah than through marriage.”[4]

On another occasion the Prophet (s.a.) said,

“The best people of my nation (Ummat) are those who get married and have chosen their wives, and the worst people of my nation are those who have kept away from marriage and are passing their lives as bachelors.”[5]

Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) exhorts, “Marry, because marriage is the tradition of the Prophet.” The Prophet (s.a.) also said, “Whosoever likes to follow my tradition, then he should know that marriage is from my tradition.”[6]

A. Importance of sex in marriage

In Islam, marriage is not restricted to a platonic relationship between husband and wife, nor is it solely for procreation. The Islamic term for marriage,“nikah” literally means sexual intercourse.[7]

So why has Islam provided extensive rules and regulation regarding sex? This was because Islam has fully understood that sexual instincts cannot and must not be repressed. They can only be regulated for the well being of human beings in this life and for their success in the hereafter.

Sex in married life has been openly recommended in Qur’an, ‘When they [i.e., the wives] have cleansed themselves [after menstruation], you go into them as Allah has commanded.”[8]

B. Fulfillment of Sexual Urge

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) also encouraged their followers to marry and to fulfill their sexual urges in lawful ways as can be seen from the following: The Prophet (s.a.) said,“O you young men! I recommend marriage to you.” [9]

Imam Reza (a.s.) said, “Three things are from the traditions of the messengers of God: using perfume, removing the [excessive] hair and visiting one’s wife.”[10]

C. Celibacy and Monasticism is Forbidden

Islamic is totally opposed to monasticism and celibacy. ‘Uthman bin Maz’un was a close companion of the Prophet. One day his wife came to the Prophet and complained, “O Messenger of God! ‘Uthman fasts during the day and stands for prayers during the night.” In other words, she meant to say that her husband was avoiding sexual relations during the night as well as the day. The Prophet was angered. He did not even wait to put on his slippers. He went to ‘Uthman’s house and found him praying. When ‘Uthman finished his prayers and turned towards the Prophet, he said,“O ‘Uthman! Allah did not send me for monasticism, rather He sent me with a simple and straight [Shariah]. I fast, pray and also have intimate relations with my wife. So whosoever likes my tradition, then he should follow it; and marriage is one of my traditions.” [11]

D. Beneficial Effects of a Married Life

Various studies prove that married people remain healthier, physically and mentally. Islam, has always maintained that marriage is beneficial for us in many ways.

Islam also regards marriage as a way to acquire spiritual perfection.

The Prophet (s.a.) said,“One who marries, has already guarded half of his religion, therefore he should fear Allah for the other half.” [12] How true! A person who fulfills his sexual urges lawfully would rarely be distracted in spiritual pursuits.

E. Marriage enhances the value of prayers

The Prophet (s.a.) said, “Two rak ‘ats (cycles) prayed by a married person are better than the night-vigil and the fast of a single person.”[13]

A woman came to the Prophet (s.a.) and said that she had tried everything to attract her husband but in vain; he does not leave his meditation to pay any attention to her.

The Prophet (s.a.) told her to inform her husband about the reward of sexual intercourse which he described as follows: “When a man approaches his wife, he is guarded by two angels and [at that moment in Allah’s views] he is like a warrior fighting for the cause of Allah. When he has intercourse with her, his sins fall like the leaves of the tree [in fall season]. When he performs the major ablution, he is cleansed from sins.”[14]

F. Marriage increases Sustenance

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) remarked, “Give spouses to your single ones, because Allah makes their morality better (improves it) (under the shadow of marriage) and expands their sustenance and increases their generosity (human values).”[15]

When Must we Marry?

The proper time and age of marrying is when the individual reaches sexual as well as mental maturity. Mental maturity may mean the capability of establishing a cordial family life and the ability to fulfill rights of family members.

The need of a spouse and family is a natural and instinctive need which Allah through His Wisdom has placed in human beings and is awakened at its particular time and season, and makes its demand. If it is answered on time and its requirement fulfilled, it traverses its natural course and makes the person perfect. If it is delayed or answered in an incorrect and unnatural mode, it deviates from its natural course, and insurges and rebels, and not only becomes corrupt itself, but also corrupts the man.

Who is eligible to marry?

For man to become eligible for taking a woman’s hand in marriage, Islam has several recommendations. According to Islamic laws, when a boy attains the age of fifteen, or becomes sexually potent, he isbaligh , and has attained puberty. But this is not enough for entering into a contract of marriage.

Apart from the laws related to puberty, there is a concept ofRushd [16] which can be translated as ‘capability of a sensible conduct’ or maturity. A husband has to beRashid and a wifeRashidah; so that the responsibilities of married life are sensibly discharged.

Books of Islamic law may be referred to for exact details on physical and mental maturity.

Recommendation for Early Marriage

Islam highly recommends an early marriage. Even those who feel they would not be able to bear the expenses of family are urged to repose faith in Allah, as He is the Giver of Sustenance(Rizq), and go for an early marriage.

Selection of Spouse

Now that we have seen how much importance Islam has accorded to marriage and marital life you would perhaps ask, “How do we select a spouse? What are the guidelines provided by Islam in this regard? Do we look for some particular characteristics or just try to get the best from the worldly point of view?”

Are Pre-Marital contacts Necessary?

Ali Akber Mazaheri writes:

“The notion that a man and a woman must ‘know’ each other before they decide to marry, so that they may then be able to live happily together is an illusion. Had there been any element of truth and validity in this, the divorce and separation rates in societies which practice it would not have shown a steady rise. Similarly, the marriages which take place without such pre-marital contacts would not have been known to last happily.”[17]

The Shariah permits the intended spouses to see each other for the purpose of selection and also permits asking and giving opinions if asked (without it being considered asgheebat under certain conditions.)

We should never resort to deceive the opposite party or conceal a defect during the selection process. Such things can have serious ramifications if exposed after marriage

The school of Ahle-Bait (a.s.) has not left us to follow our whims and fancies. We have been taught the best method of selecting a suitable spouse. The most important criterion is piety or religiousness.

A. Religiousness

The author ofYouth and Spouse Selection says, “The person who does not have religion, does not have anything.”[18]

When a man came to the Prophet (s.a.) to seek guidance for selecting a spouse. He (s.a.w.s.) said,“It is binding upon you to have a religious spouse.” [19]

Knowing the human weakness for beauty and wealth, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) has forewarned, “A man who marries a woman for the sake of her wealth, Allah leaves him in his own condition, and one who marries her (only) for her beauty, will find in her (things) which he dislikes (unpleasing manners) and Allah will gather up all these things for one who marries her for the sake of her faith (religiousness).”[20]

B. Good Nature

The next important criterion is good nature.

Imam Reza (a.s.) wrote in reply to a person who had asked him if it was advisable to marry his daughter to a person known for his ill nature,“If he is ill-natured (bad tempered), don’t marry your daughter to him.” [21]

The same will apply where the bride-to-be lacks a good nature. Such a woman, though she may be beautiful and rich, would make the life of her husband miserable. She can never be patient in the difficulties that arise in married life.

C. Compatibility

The Prophet (s.a.) gave no recognition to class distinction, but in marriage, he stressed upon compatibility. The marrying partners must beKufw of each other, so that there are no unnecessary misgivings later.[22] It is better for a religious woman who is committed to laws and principles to marry a man like herself.

A man questioned the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.), “Whom must we marry?”

He replied, “The suitable (matches).”

“Who are the suitable matches?”

The Prophet (s.a.) responded, “Some of the faithfuls are match for others.”[23]

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, “An intelligent and wise woman must not be matched except with a sage and wise man.”[24]

D. Decent Family

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) has given great emphasis on taking into consideration a good family background when we intend to marry.

He said, “Marry in the lap of a decent family, since the semen and the genes have effect.”[25]

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also said, “Look very carefully and minutely as to where you are placing your child because genes and hereditary qualities are transferred in a concealed and unintentional way and have their effect.”[26]

E. Reason

The Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali (a.s.) strongly forbade marrying a foolish and insane person. “Avoid marrying a stupid woman, since her company is a woe (distress) and her children too get wasted.”[27]

F. Physical and Mental Health

Though religiousness and piety are most important, it does not mean that we totally disregard the physical appearance and beauty of the prospective spouse.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says, “When one intends to marry a woman, he should ask about her hair, just as he asks about her face (beauty), since the hair is one of the two beauties (of women).”[28]

G. Whom can you Marry?

“Islamic law has placed certain restrictions on the choice of your spouse depending upon blood relationships and religious affiliations.” Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi has summarized these laws in a beautiful way:

(a) Restrictions based on Relationship

There are certain blood relations which are consideredharaam for you as far as marriage is concerned. (As a general rule, anyone who is yourmahram is forbidden to you for marriage.) The list of such relatives is given in the Qur’an as follows:

For Man: mother, daughter, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, niece, foster-mother, foster-sister, mother-in-law, step-daughter, daughter-in-law, all married women, sister-in-law (as a 2nd wife) (See the Qur’an, ch. 4, verse 23-24)

For Woman: father, son, paternal uncle, maternal uncle, nephew, foster-mother’s husband, foster-brother, father-in-law, stepson, son-in-law.

(b) Restrictions based on Religion

A Shi’ah Muslim man can marry: a Shi’ah Muslim woman and a non-Shi’ah Muslim woman. However, if there is danger of being misled, then it isharaam .

He can also marry a Jewish or Christian woman in mut’a only. But he cannot marry a woman of any other faith.

A Shi’ah Muslim woman can marry: a Shi’ah Muslim man or a non-Shi’ah Muslim man, although it is better not to do so; and if there is danger of being misled, then it isharaam . But she cannot marry a non-Muslim man.[29]

(c) Cousin Marriages

Though Shariah does not forbid marriage between first cousins, but there are opinions advocating against them mainly due to a probable risk of the offspring inheriting genetic defects/diseases.

The Marriage Ceremony

1. Some relevant points to be noted are:

1. Engagement orMangni does not qualify the future spouses to go out together, even if the parents consent. Man and woman become permissible for each other only after the performance ofNikah .

2. Dowry

The unislamic system of demanding and accepting dowry must be avoided at all costs. Shariah does not make any expense incumbent on the bride/bride’s parents. Even the marriage expenses, it is recommended are to be borne by the bridegroom.

However, the bride can bring whatever she wants of her free will, and it will always belong to her.

3. Other Unislamic Customs

Many other unislamic customs have crept into the marriage ceremony of some Muslims. These customs are either borrowed from non-Muslim cultures or continue because they are established in past generations. One must avoid them if they are against the Shariah, even if some people are displeased. Other customs like the breaking of coconut etc. also do not feature among the Islamic rituals. All actions, customs etc. which show disrespect to Islam or weaken the importance of Islam have to be avoided.


4. Haraam Acts

Some of the rituals in marriage ceremonies are absolutelyharaam like the playing of music. It is also haram for ladies to go for mixed gatherings without proper hijab. Such things invite divine wrath and take away the blessings of this auspicious occasion.

In the Islamic Law, marriage is an ‘aqd , a contract. The components of this contract are as follows:

A. Proposal

In Islam the process of proposal by a man to a woman for her hand in marriage, or for that matter, to her family, is encouraged. Islam considers this natural, and recommends it as an act of respectability and dignity for women.

B. Mahr

And the intending husband is asked to offer aMahr to the bride.

The Quran says, And give women their Mahr as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result.[30]

The following points are worthy of consideration:

Mahr must be agreed upon by the marrying partners themselves, not by parents.

Mahr is her right, to which her husband remains indebted.

It is a free gift and not her price.

TheMahr may be cash, kind or non-material (like training or teaching something). It can be paid up front or can be in form of promise to pay upon demands decided prior to the solemnization of marriage.[31] Moajjal (immediate), Muwajjal and Indat-talab (on demand).

However, it is much recommended to pay it before or at the time of Nikah itself.

C. The Nikah Ceremony

According to Shariah, the wife-to-be says, ‘An Kah’tu nafsaka a’lal mah’ril ma’loom’

“I have given away myself inNikah to you, on the agreedMahr .”

Immediately, the man (bridegroom) says, ‘Qabiltun Nikaha’.

“I have accepted theNikah .”

With these pronouncements, they become husband and wife.

If the marrying partners are not able to recite the formula in Arabic, one or two persons or priests[32] are appointed and authorized to officiate. One who represents the bride would first seek her explicit consent to officiate on her behalf, and so would the other who acts on behalf of the groom. Naturally, there would be a slight variation in the pronouncements, because the persons reciting them are appointees. A person who represents the bride would initiate by saying, “Ankah’tu muwakkilati muwakkilaka a’lal mah’ril ma’loom.”

“I give away inNikah the woman who has thus appointed and authorized me, to the man who has authorized you, on an agreedMahr .”

The groom’s representative would respond, “Qabiltunnikaaha limuwakkili a’lal mah’ril ma’loom.”

“I accept theNikah on behalf of the one who has appointed me, on the agreedMahr .”

It ismustahab to recite a brief discourse orKhutba before theNikah formula is enunciated. In thisKhutba , Allah is praised for His Wisdom in regulating the lawful process of procreation, and then the traditions from the Prophet (s.a.) are also recited.

D. Time of Marriage Ceremony

Though basically marriage is allowed at all times, there are some days on which marriage is not recommended; some of these are based onahadith and some on cultural, historical reasons.

Generally, we can categorize these days into three: (a) There are someahadith which say that it ismakruh (not recommended) to have a marriage ceremony on the days when the moon is in the constellation of Scorpio (this is known asal-qamar fil aqrab orqamar dar aqrab ), during the last two or three days of the lunar months, and on Wednesdays. (b) There are certain days of the Islamic calendar which have become associated with the early events of the Islamic history; for example, the 10th of Muharram is the day of mourning for the massacre at Karbala or the day of the Prophet’s death in Safar, etc. Since such days are commemorated by the Muslims as days of mourning, it is socially and, to some extent, religiously not recommended to have a marriage ceremony on such days.[33]

The Shia Ithna Ashari (Twelver Shias), especially in India and Pakistan, rarely perform marriage ceremony between the 1st of Muharram and the 8th of Rabi al-Awwal as this period includes the mourning days of Muharram culminating in the martyrdom of Imam Askari (a.s.). The 9th Rabi al-Awwal is celebrated as Eid-e-Zahra.

If there is a need, however,Nikah, can be performed at any time.

E. Permission of the Bride-to-be/Father

The girl’s consent is necessary and has to be taken by her representative, directly.

In case of a virgin/spinster the father’s or the grandfather’s permission is also necessary. However if the permission is unreasonably withheld under some conditions or the girl has no father/paternal grandfather it is not necessary.

However, a woman who is not a virgin, does not require any permission in case of remarriage.

F. Valima (Dinner)

Valima is highly recommended on the groom. The relatives, neighbours and friends must be invited for Valima. However, lavish spending is not advisable especially when the same money can be used effectively by the couple.

The Wedding Night

It is highly recommended that the wedding should take place at night. Thehadith says,“Take the bride to her new home during the night.” [34]

When the bride enters the room, the groom is recommended to take off her shoes and wash her feet (in a washbowl) and then sprinkle the water around the room.

Then he should perform wuzu and pray two rak’at sunnat prayer and then recite the followingdu’a:

اَللّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِىْ اِلْفَهَا وَ وُدَّهَا وَ رِضَاهَابىْ وَ اَرْضِنِىْ بِهَا وَ اَجْمَعْ بَيْنَنَا بِاَحْسَنِ اِجْتِمَاعٍ وَ اَنَسِ اِيْتِلاَفٍ فَاِنَّكَ تُحِبُّ الْحَلاَلَ وَ تُكْرِهُ الْحَرَامَ.

Allahummar zuqni ilfahaa wa wuddaha wa riz”aaha bi; warz”ini biha, wa-ajma’ baynana bi ah’sane ijtimaa’in wa anasi i-tilafin; fa innaka tuh’ibbul h’alaala wa tukrihul h’araam.

O Allah! Bless me with her affection, love and her acceptance of me; and make me pleased with her, and bring us together in the best form of a union and in absolute harmony; surely You like lawful things and dislike unlawful things.

Then he should ask the bride to do wuzu and pray two rak’at sunnat prayer.

When they are ready to go to bed, the groom should put his hand on the bride’s forehead and pray the followingdu’a while facing theqiblah .

اَللّهُمَّ بِاَمَانَتِكَ اَخَذْتُهَا وَ بِكَلِمَاتِكَ اِسْتَحْلَلْتُهَا فَاِنْ قَضَيْتَ لِىْ مِنْهَا وَلَدًا فَاجْعَلْهُ مُبَارَكًا تَقِيًّا مِّنْ شِيْعَةِ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ لاَ تَجْعَلْ لِلشَّيْطَانِ فِيْهِ شِرْكًا وَّ لاَ نَصِيْبًا.

Allahumma bi amaanatika akhadhtuha wa bi kalimaatika is-tah’laltuha. Fa in qaz”ayta li minha waladan, faj-’alhu mubaarakan taqiyyan min Shi’ati Aal-i Muh’ammad (s’al-lal-laahu a’layhi wa aalihi wa sallam) wa laa taj-’al lish Shayt’aani fihi shirkan wa laa naseeba.

O Allah! I have taken her as Your trust and have made her lawful for myself by Your words. Therefore, if You have decreed for me a child from her, then make him/her blessed and pious from among the followers of the Family of Muhammad [peace be upon him and them]; and do not let Satan have any part in him/her. [35]

Is it necessary to have sexual intercourse on the very first night after the wedding or can it be delayed? As far as the Shariah is concerned, it is neither obligatory nor forbidden to have sex on the first night. It is a private decision between the newly wed couple; it has nothing to do with others.

Days and Times for Sex

A. When is Sex Forbidden?

Islam has forbidden sexual intercourse during menstruation.

The Qur’an says: They ask you about menstruation. Say: “Menstruation is a discomfort (for women). Do not establish sexual relations with them during the menses and do not approach them (sexually) until the blood stops. Then when they have cleansed themselves, you go into them as Allah has commanded you.”[36]

According to the Shariah, the duration of the monthly period is between three to ten days. If the bleeding was for less than three days, it is not menstruation; if it is for more than ten days, then it is menstruation for the regular number of days and istehadha for the rest of the bleeding during which sex is permitted.

The prohibition of sex during the periods is limited strictly to sexual intercourse; other intimate contact (with the exception of the vagina and anus) is allowed. However, it is better not to play with her body between the navel and the knees.

If a person who is engaged in sexual intercourse with his wife discovers that her period has begun, then he should immediately withdraw from her.

It is clear from the verse mentioned above(until the blood stops) that once the blood has stopped, intercourse becomes lawful even if the woman has not performed the major ritual ablution(ghusl). But mujtahids say that it is better to refrain from intercourse till she performs theghusl or, at least, washes her private parts.[37]

Sexual intercourse is also not allowed during the post-natal bleeding called nifas (maximum 10 days), during daytime in the month ofRamadhan , and when a person is inihram during the pilgrimage to Mecca. At all other times, sexual intercourse is allowed.

Times when Sexual Intercourse ismakruh:

i. During frightful natural occurrences, e.g., eclipse, hurricane, earthquake;

ii. From sunset tillmaghrib;

ii. From dawn till sunrise;

iii. The last three nights of lunar months;

iv. Eve of the 15th of every lunar month;

v. Eve of 10thZil-hijjah;

vii. After becomingjunub .

B. Recommended Days and Times for Sex

We have certainahadith which say that it is better to have sexual intercourse at these times:

i. Sunday night;

ii. Monday night;

 iii. Wednesday night;

iv. Thursday noon;

 v. Thursday night;

vi. Friday evening;

vii. Whenever the wife wants to have sex.

C. When is it Obligatory to have Sex?

It is wajib on man to have sex with his wife at least once in every four months; this is considered as one of the conjugal rights of the wife. This obligation stays in force unless there is a valid excuse or the wife waives her right.