Is sexual attraction an important c...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is sexual attraction an important component for a successful marriage?


Is it sufficient for a woman to have a man with a good character and financial stability? Can attraction grow by time? I believe there has to be some spark in the relationship otherwise I lose interest very quickly even if the person has a good character and some common interest. Am I thinking straight?


Honorable sister,

There is no doubt that one of the objectives of marriage is to gratify one's sexual desire to maintain chastity. Therefore, the prescribed penalty for the married adulterer is severer than that of the unmarried fornicator. Based on this, a person is entitled to reject a marriage proposal if one sees it may not maintain their chastity.

Evidence from Sunnah

'Ikrima (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, The wife of Thabit Ibn Qays approached the Prophet [pbuh] and said, 'O Messenger of Allah! I do not find blame with Thabit Ibn Qays in anything concerning his character or religion, but I do not want to disobey [the teachings of Islam].' The Prophet [pbuh] said, 'Do you agree to return the orchard he gave you as mahr?' 'Yes,' she replied. So the Prophet told Thabit, 'O Thabit! Accept the orchard and grant her divorce' " [Bukhari].

She was Gamila Bint Abduallah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salul. And in another narration, Mu'ammar narrated, “I heard that she told the Prophet, "I hate to disobey my Lord." Or that she said to the Prophet [pbuh], "I am a beautiful woman and Thabit is an ugly man."

However, the criteria for this matter is personal and differs from one person to another. Due to the intense private nature of this matter, one cannot be certain of sexual harmony except after marriage. And this differs from one person to another according to the variety in human dispositions, environments and temperaments. Apart from what has been mentioned, marital life encompasses desires and common pleasures that help spouses do without other aspects.

You should perform Istikhara (prayer for guidance to make a decision) and then decide on what you find into your heart. Ask Allah to grant you content with what He gives you, for verily you may love something which is evil for you, or you may dislike something which entails ample goodness.

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