Is sexual attraction an important c...

Egypt's Dar Al-Iftaa

Is sexual attraction an important component for a successful marriage?

Question

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

Answer

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

Evidence from Sunnah
Ikrima (may God be pleased with him) said: “The wife of Thabit Ibn Qays approached the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of God! I do not find blame with either the character or religion of Thabit Ibn Qays but I do not want to disobey [the teachings of Islam].” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told her: 'Do you agree to return the orchard he gave you as dowry?” “Yes,” she replied. So the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told Thabit: “O Thabit! Accept the orchard and divorce her" [Bukhari]. She was Gamila Bint Abduallah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salul. And in another narration, Muammar narrated: “I heard that she told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon her): "I hate to disobey my Lord." Or that she told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): "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 and for making a decision) and then decide based on what you find in your heart. Ask God The Almighty to make 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 good.
 

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