Is fulfilling sexual desire the sol...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is fulfilling sexual desire the sole reason for marriage in Islam?


Assalam alaykum

I have a question regarding marriage in Islam. When ever my nafs tries to over power me in regard to sexual desires, I supplicate and usually fast to keep myself away from doing anything that is not acceptable in Islam but some times I am unable to do so. In this regard I asked few scholars what should I do? They suggested me to get Married. But I\'m a student and I don't have much financial sources to start a family. This has made me think that. Is the purpose of marriage only to fulfill our sexual desires? And if marriage completes half deen of a man then what about women? How does marriage help in gaining the spirituality of divine love of Allah for both man and women? I don't know whether it will be a sin if I don't marry. But I feel if fulfilling our sexual desires is the only reason to marry then I will not marry. Please get me out of this confusion. Thank you very much.


Marriage in Islam is based on mercy and compassion. The term mercy (Ar. rahmah) is an all encompassing term which includes love, intimacy, care, respect, kindness and gentleness. God says in the Quran, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” 30:21

These gentle feelings of love and care which are instilled in the hearts of the couple are divinely inspired and marriage comes as a celebration of their love. For this reason Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “I don’t see for the lovers except marriage” because marriage is the gateway through which the instilled love in the hearts of the couple is nourished. One of the expressions of love and closeness between the married couple is sexual intimacy which has a higher meaning than merely fulfilling one’s sexual desire as this act of love draws the couple nearer together and higher levels of love springs in their hearts.

Marriage in Islam has a higher aim around which the couple’s lives revolve. Both parties are placing God’s content and pleasure right at the center of their lives and aim at reaching this goal through their intimate relationship with each other, through raising their children with the concept of love of the Divine, through being an active participant and a contributor in the larger society in which they live. This higher divine aim which the matrimonial relationship in Islam aims at achieving strengthen the bonds of love, mercy and compassion between the couple and this divine wave of love flows into the hearts of their children as well. In other words, marriage is all about sharing every aspect of your lives and one of these important aspects is religious inspiration and spiritual growth. There is a special bond that grows gradually between the man and his wife when he leads her in prayer and when they both share supplications to God. There is a sense of religious fulfillment which is instilled in the hearts of the couple when they attend Friday prayer together and be an active part of their religious community.

Therefore, it would be totally unfair to say that marriage is merely about fulfilling sexual desires of both parties as boiling down the value of marriage to such mere physical act is a false representation of what marriage is all about and what it aims to achieve. When the Prophet said that by getting married the man has fulfilled his half religion, he meant that God bestowed on him a soul mate with which he can enjoy sexual pleasure without being tempted to fall into prohibited fornication and the same concept applies on women too. Therefore both parties become the safe haven for each other to enjoy sexual pleasure and share intimate love.

In your case you are still a student and lack the financial resources to get married and therefore the Prophet advised the youth who are yet unable to get married to keep fasting and not to eat much in order to decrease the sexual drive. Also occupying yourself with beneficial actions and keeping your day busy is a good way to drive your mind away from sexual thoughts. Finally keeping your spiritual spark ignited through continuous invocation of God and constant salutations to His Prophet will calm you down and drive you away from erotic thoughts.

When the time comes and you find a good girl who you fall in love with, you will realize that what holds you both together is way stronger than simply fulfilling your sexual desire. May God keep you safe and guide your heart to what is best for you in this world and in the hereafter amin.

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