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Sex MashaAllah | Muslim Vignettes on Female Sexuality

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Disclaimer- this post is meant for a mature audience only as it contains sexually explicit material.

Many men and women in our communities live under the illusion that only men feel desire or have an interest in being sexual, and that women should not or cannot feel attraction, do not experience sexual pleasure, and can live healthy intimate lives without sexual satisfaction for lengthy periods of time.  This leads to misunderstandings and disappointments about wanting sex, initiating intimacy, and/or feeling excitement when sexual stimulation occurs.

This series of articles contains the perspectives of several Muslim women at different stages of life who have grown up and lived in different parts of the world, East and West, and want to share some insights with Muslim men – both married and unmarried – who don’t want sexually repressed, bitter spouses and failing marriages.  This is a look behind the scenes to aid understanding of a universal social issue. For the sake of privacy, each writer is identified only by her marital status. May Allah bless all of us with loving, passionate, and fulfilling intimate lives.

Married 20 Years, On Learning and Teaching Female Sexuality

With all due respect to my beloved and respected shuyukh, to whom I owe much of the knowledge I have gained about my religion, and for inspiring me to higher spiritual goals in my life, I firmly believe teaching female sexuality should be primarily handled by females – especially those who counsel on marital issues, psychologically or spiritually, and are familiar with the extended intimacy problems amongst women.

We already have issues with Muslim women not being sexually satisfied in their marriages, and these issues are exacerbated when women hesitate before approaching a male scholar to discuss their sexual challenges. It is time for us to acknowledge a serious problem we are facing in our Ummah: the issue of female sexuality.

Married 17 years, From the View of a Therapy Couch

Female sexuality is a source of confusion and frustration for many men due to misinformation. As a therapist, I have come across a number of issues faced by couples. Some men believe that women are not interested in sex because they are somehow disgusted by it.  Others think that women are not capable of being fulfilled sexually. Due to a lack of knowledge, experience and know-how, a multitude of men are not fulfilling their wives. As a result, many women experience painful sex without climax.  The majority of the clients I have done therapy with have expressed that sex is either painful or uneventful.

The reason that women are experiencing this level of disappointment is NOT because they are incapable of having fulfilling sexual experiences, rather it is because some men are detached emotionally from their wives and not fulfilling their needs outside the bedroom which prevents women from opening up in the bedroom.  Other men have corrupted themselves through over exposure to pornography and seductive pictures of surgically enhanced, air brushed women which as a result causes them to be overly critical of their wives who in turn feel inadequate and unattractive. When women don’t feel attractive or confident they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable and perform sexually. When men take the time to bond with their wives, nurture their relationship and familiarize themselves with sexual needs of their wives, they can be successful in fulfilling them on a regular basis.

There are Muslim women that report having fulfilling sexual experiences with their husbands. It is evident that individuals who have these experiences usually have a very strong friendship with their spouse. There is mutual love and respect with open communication.  The men have taken the time and effort to learn the techniques (not from porn, but from proper educational sources) while investing in the relationship and making their wives feel like a valuable gem.  This form of consistent affirmation allows the wives to feel nurtured and to open up sexually to their husbands.

In this vicious cycle of confusion and frustration with female sexuality there is hope! In order to improve the sexual experience for both husbands and wives, there needs to be a great effort put forth towards improving the marital relationship. When a couple has good communication, conflict resolution and commitment to excellence on a personal and marital level, then the environment is created which is conducive to romance, fulfillment and joy. Our Muslim brothers and sisters need to focus on increasing their knowledge, skills & emotional know-how in having the best marriage in order to increase their chances of a mutually enjoyable sexual experience.

Married 15 Years, On the Importance of Arousal

 “On the authority of Jaabir bin Abdullah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Jaabir bin Umar, both reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:“All things in which there is no mention of Allah are frivolity, absent-mindedness and idle play, except for four things: a man being playful with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals and teaching another man to swim.” [An-Nisa’ee in al-Ishrah and at-Tabaree] [1]

As someone who has been married for several years and has counseled women about intimacy, I see some core issues that frequently come up amongst those seeking counseling that I would like to share with both, husbands and husbands-to-be.

Arousal 101

love marriage sex muslimA lot of people (even women) don’t realize that when men and women become sexually aroused, their genitals become prepared for sex. In women this normally results in an enlargement of the clitoris and surrounding tissues (comparable to a male erection) and secretion of vaginal lubrication (i.e. she becomes wet).

Why is foreplay so important?

Imam Ibn Qudama [ra] the Hanbali Jurist narrates a hadith that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not begin intercourse until she has experienced desire, like the desire you experience, lest you fulfill your desires before she does.” (AlMughni 8:136)

I cannot stress the importance of foreplay enough. Men who cuddle and kiss their wives and know how to enjoy sensitive foreplay will often find that their spouses will not only enjoy sexual intercourse more, but will also reach orgasm  easier. The method varies from person to person – flirting outside the bedroom, talking, kissing, massage, touching, hugging, fondling, undressing, French kissing (which is from the sunnah [1]), petting – anything to get in the mood and more importantly to reach full arousal and enrich the sexual experience. Most women need prolonged stimulation in order to reach a state of complete arousal, and foreplay will provide them with the required stimulation (some don’t, and only a loving open relationship will let you know what your spouse needs and wants) and she will love you more for it.

Using lubricant is amazing as an aid but cannot be a substitute for natural arousal.

Dear brothers, giving pleasure to one’s spouse is an act of virtue with immense rewards. Ask her what makes her feel good and tell her what gives you pleasure. Listen to her voice, look into her eyes, watch her body –  they all give clues even if she is too shy to say anything. Lest someone thinks that these are all novel, 21st century ideas, many ahadith, classical Islamic books and our pious predecessors[2] paid a lot of attention to the needs of women.

Narrated by Sayyidna Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said  “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Musnad Al Firdaus- Imam Daylami)

“If you would have pleasant coition, which ought to give an equal share of happiness to the two combatants and be satisfactory to both, you must first of all toy with the woman, excite her with kisses, by nibbling and sucking her lips, by caressing her neck and cheeks….Then when you observe the lips of a woman to tremble and get red, and her eyes to become languishing, and her sighs to become quicker, know that she is ready.”Shaykh Muhammad Umar Nefwazi in The Perfumed Garden

Don’t be selfish; it will harm your lovemaking in the long run. Investing in foreplay makes the whole lovemaking experience much more enjoyable. Most women want to please their man. Seeing him reach his climax is very satisfying and gives her a boost, but it is not enough. “Many women need a transition period between dealing with the stress of everyday life and feeling sexual,” Dr. Ian Kerner, Ph.D and certified sex therapist says, “a few minutes of foreplay usually isn’t enough.”

Inadequate or ineffective foreplay (as well as depression, poor self-esteem, sexual abuse, feelings of shame or guilt about sex, stress, fatigue and illness) can impede arousal. Your wife may desire sex but if her genital area fails to respond normally, it makes sex painful and sometimes impossible.

In a healthy relationship, sex is only 10 percent of a marriage, meaning the focus of the marriage doesn’t revolve around the quantity or issues, but when something is wrong, sex becomes 90 percent of the marriage.  Couples start arguing about it and  it causes fractures in marriage.

Married 20 Years, The Woman Behind The Big O

As a community doyen who often hears women’s complaints, is familiar with their struggles with regards to sexuality, feels their sexual dissatisfaction, and listens to their sexual fantasies, let me be very clear: if a woman is not having an orgasm for 1-2 years, she should seek counseling with her husband.



[1] Sayyida A’isha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)

[2] One day while” Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) May Allah be pleased with him) was walking in Madinah during the night, he heard a woman saying: “What a long night! I do not have a lover with whom I can play. By Allah! Unless Allah watches me, there will be someone to make love with me. Accordingly, ‘Umar asked about that woman. He was told that her husband was away from her for fighting in the cause of Allah. Then, he ordered that they must gather together. He sent for the husband to return. He entered upon Hafsa and asked, O daughter! How long can a woman stay away from her husband? She said, Five or six months. Therefore, he issued a command that warriors in the cause of Allah should not be taken away from their wives more than six months.

[3] In another version: Every thing that does not pertain to the remembrance of Allah is amusement except the following four things: 1- Caressing one’s wife,  taming one’s horse, shooting arrows, learning how to swim. [Reported by Al-Nisa’i] [Tuhfatul Aroos]

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  1. Avatar

    married 20+ years

    May 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Excellent article..One thing i did not see mentioned was the difference between vaginal and clitoral orgasm.This should be explained. Also sex can be enjoyable without orgasm, let your husband have a “quickie” on occasion. He will appreciate it.

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        May 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        dude why did so many people dislike this, did they even read it? its not debating whether or not orgasms exist for women but whether there are multiple types!

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        July 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        Don’t need a debate on this. It is evident. But thanks for the post.

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      Iman Abdulaziz

      May 4, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      But it isn’t the man not supposed to take his pleasure without his wife having hers? That is what I have always heard and read!

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        married 20+ years

        May 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        Imam Addulaziz,, sometimes you just are not in the mood but you say yes anyway because he is. Marriage is based on compromise.

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          December 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

          But does it EVER happen the other way around? do men satisfy their wives orally or in other ways without getting any satisfaction for themselves? why should women continue to enable male entitlement?

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            A Muslim Brother

            January 2, 2014 at 6:39 AM

            With due respect sister, because men ARE entitled to sexual pleasure from their wives, and I don’t see why that should bother you. If you could elaborate on why that bothers you, it would be helpful.

            In response to your question though, it rarely happens the other way around it’s because most men, while performing oral on their wives WILL be aroused after only five minutes and want to satisfy their desires as well. The opportunity for them to just get up and walk away after taking the time to arouse their wife just isn’t there. Besides, if a woman is in the mood and puts on something sexy and charms her husband right, he’s usually aroused and will try to fulfil both of their desires. So again, it’s not as often the case that a woman is in the mood and she is unable to get her husband in the mood, it doesn’t take much really.

            Besides, the responsibility of the man is not to consistently reject his wife, where as the responsibility of the woman is to never reject her husband even once (exceptional circumstances aside). That’s because our basic biology is different and we know from ahaadith as well as science that women have more strength in controlling their desires where as men are weaker in this area.

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        October 13, 2015 at 1:02 PM

        @ A Muslim Brother, Husbands and wives are supposed to satisfy each others needs equally. Not inconsistently for the woman and consistently for the man.

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      September 29, 2016 at 1:30 AM

      I really liked the post and will be looking forward top see more post from you in the future

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    May 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Good article, masha’Allah. It’s great to read not only a number of these misconceptions on female libido for men, but women as well.

    One thing I do hope to see in future articles in this series is coverage of where the responsibility lies in terms of overall well-being that leads to sexual satisfaction i.e. women taking responsibility for themselves and not waiting for (or depending on) their husbands to make them happy.


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      May 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      I agree with what you’re saying. Though unfortunately some women are “imprisoned” nearly in marriages that make them miserable regularly, many women do not pursue endeavors outside of their housekeeping and childcare responsibilities. I think women often blame men, and in some cases this IS true as some men are too controlling, but in many cases I have seen women have taken a defeatist attitude and have stopped allotting time to workout, read, write, or pursue a hobby. Many times women could be more vocal, organized, or proactive about finding time for these things but they dont and say “i just don’t have time” and wonder why they have mommy burnout.

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        Anila Nakrawala

        May 4, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        I agree 100% with both the above mentioned comments. I feel women go into marriage looking to be happily fulfilled by their spouses, and soon find out, its not “all what its made to be”, because they relied on the wrong source of “happiness”.
        At the same time, this article emphasizes a lot on confidence and self esteem, which most of the time does rely on the husband’s response to his wife and with that being said, theres a lot to learn on both ends of the spectrum prior to and throughout marriage.

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      October 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Assalamu alaykum brothers and sisters.
      Alhamdulillaah for this article, it’s been sooo long and overdue! I have been searching and asking around about this for a very long time. And because everyone (in our ummah) seems to be very shy about it, I am not getting proper response. I thought of writing an article about this, but I was weighing whether I would either get a reward for it or punishment.
      While it is true that most men are more sexual than women, at least this is what most people think, it is also true that because men have less to think about or responsibilities than women. So they have spare time to think about sex or women especially when they want to relax. On the other hand, women need to look after their homes, children, husbands, families outside their own homes, community services and most of all themselves. Notice I put “themselves” last? Not that they don’t think about sex and relaxation also, but they think that they need to priorities other things first before thinking of resting…this is just women for you in general (for the most part of the world). I really could write a whole article about this alone. To make my long reply short, because women are created by Allaah Subhanahu wa ta’ala differently than men and more capable of multitasking and juggling 5 or more things at a time, this does not mean we, women, should forget that our bodies long for rest and pleasures as well. When we are tired, we tell our bodies to get some rest. The same thing with when the body is asking for pleasure, we should tell our bodies to get some. Now…I don’t know about you gals,”but gurls…you gotta do what you gotta do because ain’t nobody gone give it to you, ya hear?” Okay, don’t wait for your tired-from-work men to initiate the love that you’re longing for. There are many ways to make them give you what you want from them. But the best way, and I always say this, “what you give is what you get!” Like we Muslims say all the time, “it is better to give than to receive”; “give more and you will get even more”; “give in charity and Allaah will give you 700x more”…so if you want “romance”, then give it to them and you will get more back inshaa Allaah. The bottom line is “DO NOT BE SHY AND DO NOT THINK THAT THEY THINK YOU’RE…hmmm, what would be a nicer word than a S–T with an L next to S?

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        June 30, 2015 at 5:03 PM

        When there is true love, Either can get the other aroused with a look………

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    Megan Wyatt

    May 3, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    “This notion that sex is a trade-off for women in exchange of provision, protection and emotional love in a marriage doesn’t make sense to me and to most women I know. It objectifies the man as a cash register and denies his needs for emotional love. The idea of this trade-off may motivate some women who do not have any sexual desires (a VERY low percentage of women, and this cannot be used to make a general ruling for all women).”

    Thank you for the above – I also feel the same way and teach many of the notions expressed in this article to women and for couples. I think comments suggesting “trade off” is not only detrimental to the well being of a marriage, but it’s one of the level categories many relationships fall into, which we call “bartering” and that is considered a place to NOT remain in as a couple. There is a greater level of love, intimacy and connection when a couple moves out of that state. The whole “I did this so you should do that” mentality.

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    May 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Excellent and highly important topic of discussion.

    ps. Get ready for an onslaught of snarky comments about the author/MM :P

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    May 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    OMG -Asta’gh fir Allah- talking about sex on MuslimMatters…..LOL.. Is it really a Muslim matter? Yes/No , may/be..WOW…anyway a good try having this kind of articles, because I know some of our Muslim bros/sis think that having sex with your wife is….. what?what?.Should be “shy” bro.

    Anyway a good article, especially the approach author took to make it sound a normal thing for a normal human being who happen to be a Muslim (Al Hum Du Li Allah) and one is not breaking the laws of the religion by having intimacy with the spouse. At the end I like this sentence on the page 4: “…Something that is often missing from these discussions is the spiritual component. I like to think of it in this way: everything that we do – love, bear children, have sex, feel good – has to take us higher spiritually and closer to Allāh…”

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      Iman Abdulaziz

      May 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      There is no topic that is off limits in Islam. When things are about important matters of life, it can an should be discussed. Of course, tastefully and with respect and keep it clean and to the point.

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        October 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        Extremely important topic. The idea that sex is a forbidden or haram subject to talk about publicly is one of the main reasons why muslim women remain unhappy and frustrated. In 5 years of marriage, I’ve orgasmed once with him though I love him with all my heart. I cannot stress on the importance of a female climaxing and reaching an orgasm with her husband because this has saved our marriage. It brings a couple so much closer. To all you ladies who think sex is a chore, I can guarantee none of you have ever had an orgasm. Had you had a true orgasm, you would be pulling him to bed. It’s the best physical feeling ever and melts away the stress.

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          Abu Musa

          May 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

          Dear Samana jazakALLAH for the clues. Also all the sisters should know that men get arroused so soon and need no special treatment. So the sisters should try to get arroused themselves and help the husbands in getting orgasm, as time matters. If they will behave active in the bed with husbands. it will be more intense relationship. And from the first night the women should not be shy as husbands are husband their legal spouse. if wife will shy in these matters then how the relation will proceed and will result in unsatisfaction of husband. as wife is a need of husband , also wife should make husband her need. this is compromise. not a single side matter.

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    bint deen

    May 3, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Assalaamu Alaykum,

    MashaAllah an extremely informative and much needed article for our Muslim sisters. I really benefited myself. I was wondering if there can be something added under the Sex after Kids section possibly in a future article. I have a question in regards to that. How do you make time for sex with kids in the picture? Not that we don’t love them, I am so grateful for my beautiful babies, my blessings from Allah Alhamdulillah. But many nights we try to become intimate but because a kid wakes up or a baby cries, we get interrupted and can’t “get back into it.” It seems to really hurt our sex life. And I want to please my husband many nights and love being intimate with him sexually but it feels so hard to go all the way because of these interruptions. This is especially the case when you have a new baby that wakes up every few hours in the middle of the night and sometimes it takes a while to get the baby to go back to sleep. Any advice or a possible solution in a future article will be very very helpful. Again jazaakum Allaahu khayran to all the writers, it was a great read.

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      mom of 7

      May 3, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      Get a babysitter on occasion, it is worth it. Meanwhile, continue being sexually active, even if it has to be quick and quiet. One day it might be his “turn” one day it will be your” turn” for him to pleasure you. Having a baby makes having orgasms much easier in my experience, you feel more comfortable with your body.

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      May 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Get a white noise app and see if you can get your kid to stay asleep for extended periods (iphone, android, etc). Our third child loved the white noise app, put her to sleep and kept her asleep

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    umm sulaym

    May 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Jazakum Allahu khairan for this insightful article. i pray that it become of immense benefit to married couples everywhere.

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    May 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    oh wow! your explanation for the tilth verse has completely changed my understanding of the verse. I used to struggle with my view of it as a license to kill for a man and the woman to be submissive, but your explanation is 180 degrees opposite!

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      May 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Are Sarah from the goatmilk blog ?

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    May 3, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I wish the article would have also provided links to proper educational material regarding this topic.

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    Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    May 4, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    JazakumAllahu Khairin to all those who took the time out to educate us on this extremely important topic. We often think of sex as an “unislamic” topic and it is really the culture of certain countries which has led to this. I hope this would be the start of a series of articles on similar subjects that seem to have become taboo in our culture and thus when we are confronted with them in the contemporary world we feel that our religion is “backward” and “closed”. The classical texts never shied away from this topic (albeit always maintaining a proper decorum).

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    May 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Excellent and well needed article, jazak Allahukhairn for this initiative!

  12. Avatar

    Married 1.5 years

    May 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Jazakallah for this article. It is really helpful. I have been married for a year and a half and I have a great relationship with my husband alhumd. wE engage in foreplay and flirt etc outside the bedroom too. He tries to satisfy me too but I don’t think I have ever really experienced the big O. It’s not that I am not comfortable with him or don’t love him and we have a great emotional connection too. I can talk to him about this too and about anything, but although I feel aroused at sometimes more than others, I dont feel like I have ever climaxed. But very rarely if ever, do I end up feeling unsatisfied. There isn’t too much of a high but I enjoy the foreplay and the connection and being able to satisfy him. Is there something wrong? What should I do to be feeling that climax? I did come from a sexually repressed culture though as a lot of us do so I did struggle with coming to terms with somethings in the start of marriage but Im grateful to have a supportive husband. What I would want to know is how can I improve, how can I experience what I havent. Does every woman experience it. This is also something you could cover in future articles esp on the newly wed ones.

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      married 20+ years

      May 7, 2013 at 7:19 AM

      Married 1.5 years, just be patient. Some sex therapists would recommend touching yourself, discuss this with your husband. Maybe try it in front of him.

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        married 7 plus years

        May 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        some sex therapist say some women never get an orgasm. My question is what if you are not attracted to your husband(anymore or ever?) how do you counteract that problem?

        • Avatar

          Man from the Dark Side "The Undertaker"

          June 5, 2013 at 3:21 AM

          *Comment Removed by Comments Team*
          Attention “The Undertaker” – you have been banned and your comments are not welcome here.

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        June 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        You are advising self-masturbation which is against Islamic principles. A more Islamic alternative is if the husband manually stimulates the wife. Masturbation is not acceptable

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        November 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM

        Actually I beg to differ. According to Yasir Qadhi masturbation is permissible, not a very good practice but isn’t something to be called impermissible. The evidence used is imam ashawkani

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      December 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      feel comfortable touching yourself. Most women get orgasm when a man touches them or orally stimulates their clitoris. Ask your husband to try that. Sexual pleasure is one of the joys of life and you should be ashamed of wanting it and every human being deserves a healthy respectful mutually satisfying sexual experience

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        October 23, 2015 at 5:07 PM

        Is oral sex allowed in Islam?

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        November 26, 2016 at 11:01 AM

        Yes oral sex is permissible. When it comes to sex everything is permissible unless states otherwise (anal, and during wife’s period)

  13. Avatar

    Married 10+ years

    May 5, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    Assalaamu alaikum,
    JazaakumAllah khairan MM for this initiative. I am sure it’ll be appreciated by many Muslimahs worldwide. Sadly we are living in a culture where it really doesn’t matter if the wife is satisfied in bed or not. All the importance goes to the husband’s pleasure be it in terms of sex, food or any other stuff.
    Being married for 10+ years Alhamdulillah with 3 kids it’s a journey of pain and frustration in terms of sexual life. Being married at 21, I never knew till some 4 years of marriage that there is something called ‘Orgasm’ for females. When I realized and discussed with my husband he too was surprised. Till this day he isn’t keen on satisfying me though I do my best to be proactive and attractive before making love. I also approached for divorce, but due to family pressure I had to retract. Though he fails every time to satisfy me in bed, he expects his food, clothes etc. to be ready on time. If not he really gets mad. But he is Allah fearing,well behaved and a good person. He has fulfilled basic needs like clothing, accommodation etc . I am grateful to him for his spending on us. May Allah reward him for his goodness and guide him for his ignorance. Aameen.

    I simply cannot explain the emptiness it leaves when he just sleeps calmly leaving me aroused once he is done. He feels hurt when I say I too want to be satisfied. I have taken it as Allah’s will to continue in this relationship for the sake of Allah, kids and family…
    for this Duniya was not meant to be Jannah. I will try my best till my death to keep him happy in bed, though at times I wonder if my days in this duniya will ever come to an end.. It is far better to remain a spinster than to live in a hollow, lonely and unsatisfied marriage.

    Females do have strong sexual appetite. There might surely be ups and downs in that depending on the circumstances, hormonal levels etc.

    Also recently I started realizing how did Imam Shafi’ee’s mother live without remarrying? If any other women can do it, I too can do it inshaAllah.

    But my requests to all the brothers out there…’Don’t be selfish no matter how tired you are. If you want to be satisfied every single time of making love, make sure so does your wife too. Remember before she is your wife, she is a Muslimah. And it is your duty to fulfil the right of another Muslim’. Your wife will never be emotionally attached to you if you do not satisfy her with your own love and willingness in bed.
    May Allah grant us all righteous, loving spouses. May He keep us chaste. Aameen

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      May 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Even though I read all of this article, and yes I had some reluctance in accepting weather articles like these should be openly be viewed on blog sites, but then again with all the smut out there on Muslim blogs, I trust the judgment of MM.

      And after reading your entry sister, I say first of all you are martyr for you are living for the sake of Creator. And second of all, if I may be blunt, infusing male ego and libido, I mean why wouldn’t you want your girl (i.e. your Muslim wife) reaching a climax? Wouldn’t it be that her satisfaction is part of your satisfaction? Again I suppose internet anonymity can allow me to be impetuous (but not impolite) that part of male ego is that his wife is sexually satisfied, ergo he knows how to get the job done! Never understood why men would only take “their” pleasure only.

      May God keep us from fitna, and May he give us the reward in the Next Life for He is Just.

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        June 6, 2013 at 4:47 AM

        Ever thought about making an effort urself too ?? A man gets satisfied in the end bcs he is the one doing everything i.e making an effort to satisfy himself . What most women do is lye in bed like a lifeless doll and expect the man to do everything i.e satisfy himself too and the woman too .. How much more different is it having sex with a girl like this or having sex with a sex doll ? In the end both are gonna lye in bed like a dummy. So unless women are not willing to make an effort to get involved in sex, they shouldnt complain about it either.

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          December 15, 2013 at 3:42 PM

          when a man goes inside a woman he get the stimulation he needs to climax. Women on the other hand need to have their clitoris or g spot stimulated to achieve an orgasm. Why should a man be allowed to use a woman’s body for gratification without giving her anything in return?

      • Avatar

        Abu Musa

        May 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        PLease Married 10+ years and Sameena with due respect in this situation I advise you all sisters pls pls do inform your husbands and tell them openly about your needs, what you like, what you dont, how you can he can satify you. please as husbands dont know really because of their wives shyness. in this way inshALLAH husband will help his wife in great sense.

    • Avatar


      May 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Is he unable to sustain himself long enough for you to climax?

    • Avatar


      May 8, 2013 at 7:18 AM

      Why don’t you and your husband make a visit to a proper marriage counselor/sex therapist? The idea of it may sound awkward to your husband but it should work, iA.

    • Avatar

      Married 10+ years

      May 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      @ hyde, JazaakAllah khair for the comforting words. May Allah accept it.

      @ Siraaj, at few occasions he is able. The fact is I am not emotionally attached to him. That really makes it difficult to concentrate. There are continuous thoughts going on in my mind about the previous time spent in bed or outside the bedroom, the conflicts. My mind is already set that I am going to be left alone unfulfilled. It isn’t so easy to climax with intercourse alone. Also many a times there is no foreplay.

      @ MZN I don’t know of any counsellor in the place where I live. Few years back I did take my husband to meet my gynec. It wasn’t of any help though.

      SubhanAllah brothers and sisters this Ummah is in chaos. Matters within many couples are not like how they appear to the outside world.
      It is very comforting to know that there are Muslims in this Ummah who want to lend a helping hand. My voice is the cry of thousands of other women as well who are going through this dilemma. Please do remember all of us in your du’as.

      Ignorance and unwarranted bashfulness are the main causes of our pathetic condition. We don’t shy away to sin in secrecy forgetting Allah SWT is watching us. But we are shy to learn about intimacy from proper sources and also be open about it with our spouses. All this leads to injustice and then society wonders why there is increase in extramarital affairs. May Allah save us.

      MM has done a wonderful job in creating awareness about ‘Female Sexuality’ which is often brushed under the carpet. May Allah azzawajal bless you and your families immensely. Aameen.

    • Avatar


      December 15, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I am not surprised at the CRUELTY of your husband. I have heard this story from Muslim women again and again. Muslim culture teaches a very toxic understanding of male/female relations where sex is not about intimacy but about putting the woman in a one-down position. The pain and hurt you feel has been felt by many Muslim women. My truthful advice to you as a woman, is not to stifle your anger, not to listen to the nonsense that tells you to suffer “patience” – it is because our mothers and grandmothers put up with such cruel men without letting their anger out, that we still have to deal with this very deep-seated hatred of women. If you want a better world for your daughter and granddaughters, dont let him shame you about your sexuality and dont be afraid of divorce if you can afford to live independently. Life is too short and too beautiful to spent unlived, stewing in sexual starvation. May you have a chance to live your life, truly LIVE your life.

  14. Avatar


    May 5, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I will be honest, i have mixed views about the article. Its good that someone took the courage to discuss such a sensitive topic and i appreciate it. However i have reservations on some of the content of the article. one, though this is for adult readers only, Islam does not support such topics to be discussed so openly. If you take Quranic verses regarding husband-wife relationship, they have been narrated in a shell; using metaphors and i think it is expected from us to do the same. Also, one of the hadith by Hazrat Ayesha regarding physical contact while she would be fasting is contradictory to Quranic verse Surah Baqrah Verse 187 where it is clearly mentioned that one cannot maintain intimate relationship during fast.

    • Avatar


      May 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      @Asma – Well, to be honest, as uninteresting and irrelevant this topic is to me as an unmarried, still-in-his-teen-years guy, I don’t think this could harm anyone. I mean it’s not like explicit details were elaborated nor is it possible that a kid who is ignorant to the whole issue could understand what it’s talking about. And this could actually be helpful to those who are shy to inform themselves more about the sexuality of their partners in Islamic light.

    • Avatar


      May 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      @Asma – Oh, and regarding the contradiction you claim exists between the fact that the Prophet (SAAWS) kissed his wife while fasting and the command in the Quraan in which we are told not to have sex with the partner while fasting, I’d like to remind you of the Narration (don’t remember which so if someone could point out its details, I’d be glad) in which the an elderly man asked the Prophet permission to kiss the man’s wife while fasting and he allowed him but when a younger man asked the same thing, the Prophet rejected, explaining to his companions how the first man’s kiss is unlikely to develop into having sex, which is what is actually prohibited, while the younger man could get tempted into having sex while fasting if he starts with a kiss. So, kissing does not break one’s fast but if someone feels like he might end up having sex from merely a kiss, he should avoid it. Hope it’s clear now.

  15. Avatar


    May 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I don’t find any reason to object to such a topic. For people who are bashful and ignorant about such things, find some other reading material on the site, others may improve their relationships with those whom they are contractually obligated, and it (the relationship) might even become enjoyable for them. The Muslim experience is different for everyone and the sahabah (radiaAllahanhu ajmaeen) were wonderful examples of the various facets of Islam mashaAllah. JazakAllah khair to the author for sharing.

  16. Avatar

    Umm Hadi

    May 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Masha Allah, Tabarak Allahu fii. The article is very useful and beneficial, especially with soo many Muslim men and women who are shy as well as ignorant.

    May Allah add barakah in your work. Ameen

  17. Avatar


    May 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    We woman are here on this earth to fill the desire of the male. We have the feelings too but ultimatly we have to please our man. So he can carry out duty of good muslim. This we should be explain the all society.

    • Avatar


      May 11, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      What nonsense. We are not here to fulfill anyone’s desire. We are here only to serve Allah SWT.

      • Avatar


        May 11, 2013 at 2:02 AM

        One of reason women are here is because they fulfill mens desires in a halal way and likewise one of the reason men are here because they fulfill womens desires.

      • Avatar


        May 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        MARITAL SEX IS AN IBADAH…only Allah (SWT) could come up with such a win/win scenario. Masha’Allah. Why do we, Muslims especially, have to make it so much harder than it has to be…???

    • Avatar


      November 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      As a Muslim man about to get married (inshaAllah) I would have to respectfully disagree. Marriage isn’t just about compromise, it’s about giving and receiving. Talk to your spouse tell her or tell him how you feel. If he’s a decent person inshAllah he’ll do the right thing. Part of his duties as a husband is to satisfy his wife in bed.

  18. Avatar


    June 5, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    in islam its not permissible to for men and women to discuss sex in this manner you are not married to these sisters and sisters you are not married to these men fear Allah and refrain from such things in the name of mordenity,the angels are writing this down and haraam will always be haraam no matter how you try to justify it

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 6, 2013 at 4:57 AM

      Dear Michael:

      JazakAllahu Khairin for your concern. Can you please elaborate further on your point with evidence that such a discussion is “haraam”.

      Best Regards

  19. Avatar


    June 6, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    islam forbids us from mixing with the opposite sex and so how can you justify talking to each other online about sex ?

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 7, 2013 at 5:32 AM

      Islam does not forbid discussion of issues relating to society – there is no restriction on the interaction between sexes but on “free mixing”. Yes certainly decorum must be maintained in all discussions but there is no prohibition in interaction. And Allah knows best.

      • Avatar

        islam is the best

        June 7, 2013 at 5:56 AM

        i dont know what you mean by ” there is no restriction on interaction” and here you have women discussing explicit sexual details with strangers ,if the shoe were on the other foot and it was your wife/husband discussing your sex/private life you wouldnt like it so how are you protecting your partners/fellow muslims honour by engaging in such activities?

        • Avatar

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          June 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM

          1) The comments are anonymous
          2) We ran it by our scholars and did not find any objection
          3) Some of the people commenting are MM staff / authors

          JazakAllahu Khairin for your concern on this subject. If you feel uncomfortable by the content, we request you read other content on the site that may be better suited for you.

          Best Regards

          • Avatar


            June 7, 2013 at 7:51 AM

            ok its fine as long as its done anonymously?thats good..the last thing i want to ask is who are your scholars ?

          • Avatar

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            June 8, 2013 at 3:09 AM

            We have several scholars that we consult on different issues are Dr Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, Abdul Nasir Jangda, Yahya Ibrahim who are also authors for MM.

            This particular has been reviewed by Shaykh Abdullah Hasan. Here is a brief bio on him from his website.


            Abdullah Hasan graduated with an Imam Diploma, BA and Ijaza Aliyah in Islamic Studies from the European College for Islamic Studies (Wales). He holds a diploma in Arabic from Zarqa Private University ( Jordan ) and studied with some of the Scholars of Jordan including Shaykh Ahmad Hawwa [son of the late Scholar Syed Hawwa , Syria ], and Jamal Ud Din Basha.

            He is a founding director of Spring Foundation (SF), which is a scholarship charity for students of the Islamic sciences. Abdullah Hasan has been involved with grass roots da’wah organisation in the UK since 1998 and has been active in the community.

            Abdullah Hasan is a Imam/Khateeb of Masjid Ibrahim, London U.K, and is an Islamic advisor at Nour Domestic Violence charity. He also delivers talks on various Islamic issues at university campuses, mosques and Islamic centres here in Britain and abroad.


            My point on it being anonymous was that the sharing is being done for an academic purpose and not to divulge bedroom secrets. In addition, it is anonymous so you do not know whom this person is and not getting to know a specific someone’s personal details. The purpose is to help address issues faced by the community.

            Once again thank you for your concerns.

            Best Regards

    • Avatar


      December 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      If you have a problem with the article then go elsewhere some people are here to gain knowledge

  20. Avatar


    June 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Nice one sir. The explanation is worth it. If one is can’t get information form a Muslim website, then go where ? Chat rooms, the girl down the street, friends ? And in a modest, respectful manner, there is nothing wrong with writing about discussions of sexual intimacy and whatnot.
    Some neo-orientalatists, i.e. islamaphobes then to think the Muslim women are some sort of one dimensional creatures, who just lay there while their husbands enjoy themselves. That they do not have feelings or whatnot.

    None of the females are discussing one night stands, or having raffia or anything to with per-martial sex. so inside a marriage what is wrong with bringing up the subject ?

    Having sex with women (& otherwise around) is halal and an act of worship, so why not discuss it in a halal way ?
    (If one is troubled by this blog, then perhaps they should do a Google search to see what so called Muslims are really up to when it comes to sex)!

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      June 26, 2013 at 3:02 AM

      JazakAllahu Khairin. I know personally when I was about to get married, I looked around but I didn’t find much contemporary relationship advice in an Islamic light. Most books dealt with the fiqh points, the nikah, the simplicity, the duas, the criteria but once you are past that if you have to rely solely on off-the-shelf books from a non-muslim perspective then it is hard to separate the wheat from chaff.

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar


        June 26, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        Yes I know what you mean. A lot of rulings, but the nitty-gritty seems to be vacuous.
        Let’s be honest most men growing up in the west have a good amount of knowledge about sex, but where is the halaal and where is the haraam ? Perhaps someone should write a halaal version of the kuma sutra.

  21. Avatar


    July 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    it is weird, but i have been married for a short time and it seems like i have to beg my husband for sex. our foreplay is sad. and i have no idea what to do or think. i have gotten myself in a notion that i will not beg or ask, i will wait for him to want, which is hard to do. because it is sometimes two weeks or longer before he touches me, even-though he hugs me every night we sleep. He says it is because he is tired and work long hrs, but he does that on his own, not because he has to. i am not high maintenance, i am not an ugly woman, i am kinda overweight, but never had any issues, in my previous marriage.

    • Avatar


      December 16, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      Maybe your husband is a passive aggressive abuser :

    • Avatar

      Abu Musa

      May 21, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      pls do inform your husbands and tell them openly about your needs, what you like, what you dont, how you can he can satify you. please as husbands dont know really because of their wives shyness. in this way inshALLAH husband will help you inshALLAH. dont be sad overweight is not the issue , the thing is love, how much you love him and how much he. as he should some by kissing you means he cares about you. but try to attract him towards you.

  22. Avatar


    July 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Salamalaikum wrwb i’m really shocked at the explicit title of the post and then all the brothers and sisters discussing such intimate matters with each other. Subhanallah. Really, is this the way to discuss this issue?

  23. Avatar

    Yusuf Abbas

    July 20, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Allah tells us in Qur’an that there is no altering His creation, and this includes the jewish / pagan ritual of circumcision, which removes something that Allah has designed, and has many good reasons to have. Further, there is NO hadith except by Abu Hurairah that states that the Prophet supposedly promoted circumcision. It is in the man-altered Torah however, and now we can see where this narrator got his information from, as with adam’s rib, sulaymon, days of creation, etc.

  24. Avatar


    August 1, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Such great insight! I believe all women should enjoy their sexual health with their husbands and should have an open and honest discussion. This article gives women the confidence to do so.

  25. Avatar


    August 21, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    I found the information helpful and presented in a respectful manner. It should be helpful to many, no matter what faith. Thanks

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    September 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Concerning the hadith:

    “[1] Sayyida A’isha raḍyAllāhu ‘anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would kiss her whilst he was fasting (m, refer to the fiqh of kissing during fast) and he would suck her tongue.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 2378)”

    I tried to find this hadeeth in Bazl’ul Majhood the commentary of Sunan Abi Dawud by Maulana Khalil Ahmad Sahanpuri, which has the matn (text) as well as sharh (explanation) and did not find the part “and he would suck her tongue.”
    There is only mentioned in the last hadith of the chapter “Kissing for a Fasting person” (under hadeeth 2385 in my copy) that a man came to Rasullullah s-w-t and said (translation from arabic)
    “Oh Rasulullah, I have commited a great thing (meaning sin)”, I kissed while I was fasting”. He s-w-t said: “Do you not consider if you had washed your mouth with water while you were fasting?”
    The commentary then says : meaning it is of no ordeal to kiss in sawm just as there is no harm in washing the mouth or gargling with water.

    Please check the sources of this hadith again if possible and the info of the copy of the book from which it is derived.

    Jazakumullhu khairan

    • Avatar


      September 6, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      By the way Excellent article. very helpful, all Muslims should read it esp ones who are married or are planning to get married. Its kinda sad though, because many Muslim women find it extremely embarrassing to seek help from professionals, and sometimes they want to but they don’t know how, and don’t know who to turn to, because non-Muslim psychologist just do not understand the way of the Muslims. i know from experience.
      That is why i hope that Inshaa-Allah i shall one day become someone like Sister Umm Reem, and help the Muslim community here in Australia.

  28. Avatar


    December 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    this is the right way to discuss.

    why shouldn’t husband and wife celebrate their love? {perhaps there is no love..}

    inshaaAllah they get blessings, Allah SWT looks upon them in mercy. and they have a good time, release stress, become close and fondness grows between them at all times of day.

    teach your kids.. well, maybe not about explicit sex ok, but the intentions, that being about showing you care, being considerate, patient, loving, gentle, about not being overlay demanding, not being selfish. use hadits and ayat to give example. teach them its ok to let your hair down with your spouse, because, if not your spouse then who else?

    just a note, i guess for a person who has never learned warm loving intimacy from their own parents/ family, the very idea could be very terrifying, so be patient with your spouse and try to sell the idea of mutual enjoyment.. inshaaAllah we all have improvements in our relations.

    inshaaAllah if kids understand that it can translate into a good relationship later when they marry.
    thats my holistic view anyway..

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  31. Avatar


    January 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    As a man – I’d like to apologise for all the sexual
    frustrations of muslim women due to misinformation some men have about

    Islam is a very open religion when it
    comes to sex and heavily emphasised mutual pleasure satisfaction and
    foreplay 1400 years ago, as a point of order. its conservativeness
    extends only to taking responsibilties for your actions – i.e one night
    stands bf/gfs etc.

    unfortunately some men have a holier than though attitude which has no basis within the laws of Islam.

    communicate with your partner, be open, be freaky. have fun. Islam want you to have fun during sex. why miss that opportunity.

    Why not show your wife appreciation from the moment you wake, kiss her despite morning breath, show her shes perfect whatever time it is. also theres various views on this but Men – dont be shy to give your wife oral pleasure.

    what happens between a huband and wife is private and the aim should be to please each other. Men we need to be more considerate to her pleasure which we do forget sometimes.

    • Avatar


      November 4, 2016 at 10:21 AM

      Look, Im tired of men apologizing like this to women. Why are you “apologizing for men that are misinforned about sex”? When almost all women dont even realize the sexual frustration that men endure all throughout their life. Why don’t women apologize about that first before sincere hearted men like you apologize on our behalf and make women feel as if only their needs arent being met.

      Ever since teen years men have to endure the increase of strong sexual urges. Does anyone even recognize that? Do people like you even realize how hard it is to be a muslim man growing up in the west? Where you have urges for sexual climax as soon as you hit puberty at 12-13 or even earlier. The majority of women have absolutely no sexual desire until their first time with a man, experiencing some level of sexual intimacy. And as one of the women in this comment thread even stated, (paraphrasing) that if a women felt an orgasm she would draw her man to bed more often. Meaning women truly dont know what that pleasure is like or have that desire only until after they lose their virginity. Whereas men have to live with that all their lives. Allah has created us diifferent, and if women cant apologize-which they shouldnt-its about damn time they start recognizing a mans desires at the very least!

      And after marriage one thinks its the light at the end of the tunnel after years of abstaining from pre marital relations, lowering the gaze, and avoiding pornography/illicit images, abstaining from haram such as masturbation, but it isn’t. Then men have to face practically begging their wives due to their innate desires which makes many men feel almost animalistic that their desires arent mutual. And even if he does get it, it’s reluctantly. On top of that the feeling of rejection hurts a man like no other. Even if they don’t get rejected, the sheer fact that men have to ask and initiate it more often in it of itself is incredibly demeaning to a husbands ego. And for a husband to have an ego and feel loved by his wife is a good thing, it will in turn enable him to express his love with his wife which would please them both.

      So Im sorry, but as a man I will not apologize for my desires that Allah has given us to test us with and allowed us to enjoy. Its a part of womans test to understand the pain men have to go through from an early age, and whether they can relate to it or not if they love their husbands they will go out of their way to satisfy him and initiate sex. Women need to be more empathetic to a mans desires. Through doing so, their husbands will feel loved, desirable, masculine, and capable to fulfill their wives desires out of sheer for them. And they themselves will want to see their eives reach climax and be satisfied.

      Allah knows best, may he put barakah in this ummahs marriages

  32. Avatar


    January 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Mashallah, such a respectfully written, to-the-point article! Based on the Quran and hadith used in the article it seems that Muslims nowadays are much more prudish than our Prophet (SAW) and his companions and wives. We all want to have good sex regardless of our religious beliefs, and it’s a blessing that our religion gives us such great information and guidance on how to get it. May Allah bless the writer and contributors!

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  36. Avatar


    February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Most of the Muslim couples I know have s#x once every 3-6 months (once a month in rare cases). From what I know about them:
    -they all have children,
    -some of them are dual income and some not,
    -the wife generally decides on when to have s#x,
    -the more religious couples seem to generally frown upon oral s#x and s#x for pleasure, especially the wives even when the husband seeks to pleasure them only
    -they are generally a busy bunch in activism and religious engagement,

    I recently learned that Muslims can’t go to sleep in a ‘janabah’ state. Considering they also have to wake up early every day for dawn prayers and that most couples have s#x at night when children and or other family members like in-laws are asleep, I wonder what time of the day they even have s#x… I imagine some of those couples, perhaps the wives more than husbands, often opt for sleep over s#x as a result of this alone.

    Despite the low frequency of s#x, they “seem” generally happy. How often do other Muslim couples in similar situations have s#x?

    • Avatar


      February 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      I failed to mention that most of the couples, especially where the wife does not work, live in flats because they believe it’s haram to take out conventional mortgages.

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    May 24, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    I understand the responsibility of women. One thing that baffles me is when if wife is in complete no mood to have sex , does she not have any right to say no.. I mean if she is not ready how will she be able to do it and satisfy husband. And, it will ofourse be painful for her.

    • Avatar


      January 8, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      In fiqh, the right of sexual satisfaction goes both ways but there is a difference and undoubtedly more focus on men and more requirements for the women. This is because Allah(swt) has himself said that men are created weak. The tafsir of this by ibn abbas(ra) points out to the lack of self control that men have in this matter. This is also a reason for polygamy. So men have the 2 privelleges that women don’t have. One is that his wife is obliged to satisfy him sexually in a more strict manner. Given that we understand the hadith of Prophet(sa) in a classical manner instead of some minority opinions. The second privellege is polygamy. Women on the other hand have only one outlet if they can’t be patient on not being sexually satisfied which is to seek separation from Qadhi.

      Now this obviously does’nt mean that men should’nt be patient if their wives are not in mood. Ideally, they should’nt be too strict in this demand. But at the same time, it has to be said that this situation should not occure frequently that is a husband wanting sex and wife not being in the mood.

      Regardless, some solutions of this problem could to that a husband seduces his wife to get her into mood. Or he uses lubrication to not cause pain. Or if wife is ill or something then at the least, she can masturbate for him. After this the only option for a man is to be either patient and if he can’t be patient then look for polygamy. A Muslim cannot in anycase fall for Zina and every effort has to be one to prevent it.

  44. Avatar


    October 5, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    No experience, little experience from this article may Allah SWT reward all the contributors

  45. Avatar


    January 6, 2016 at 12:43 AM

    Appreciate the effort and the courage.
    I wish someone enlightens us on a situation where the husband doesn’t like to have sex, who doesn’t think it’s important. I am 2 years in this marriage and I’m highly dissatisfied. Because I’m outspoken I have told my husband clearly many times that even if he doesn’t want I do. But it only led to fights and more dissatisfaction. He tried to improve but after it had done enough damage already.
    He loves me, he kisses and cuddles a lot but his appetite for love making is very poor. I don’t feel desired.
    We so often hear that we should not deny intimacy to the husband but why is it not the other way round too?

    • Avatar


      January 8, 2016 at 5:53 PM

      If he tried to improve and he loves you otherwise then it means he does want that to happen but there could be some issues. So if you deal with the situation wisely then perhaps it could solve the problem. Like for example, ask him if he has stress then he needs counselling or if he is feeling a loss of libido then advise him to eat special diet or supplements. Plus making the overall atmosphere of the home harmonious would also help.

      The reason I want to stress this is because by your own words, your husbands looks a reasonable man and if kisses/cuddles then he should’nt be the one who is doing it due to loss of interest in marriage. By standards of men, its rather odd to not want do intimiacy after cuddling etc. Which may mean that your husband needs assistance by diet or by mental counselling. However Men are usually protective about these issues and will not discuss it openly. So you need to tackle this wisely and ask him to be more open about the issue.

      About your question, I believe that the obligation of satisfaction of sexual needs goes both ways although it is more stressed in case of men for natural reasons. But not all women are same, some might have desire to the extent that they might fear for falling into haram if their husbands don’t satisfy them. In that case, its better to ask a counsellor about what should be done.

  46. Avatar


    April 14, 2016 at 5:21 AM

    It’s a god gift for human being.

  47. Avatar


    August 6, 2016 at 1:35 AM

    The comments where more enlighting to me. So many different viewpoints. I learned alot mainly that Islam religion somehow convinces more people to do things that end up hurting them in long run. Example being women, many naively believing whatever they are told all because its in Quran or a religious leaders, family members say it is correct. Im just sadden that it continues to happen

  48. Avatar


    August 17, 2016 at 12:13 AM


    Thank you for this article. It touches on very important issues that are not spoke enough sufficiently in our community. I would just like to point out to the editor that it is not only the man who faces rejection when he initiates sex – the wife does as well. This goes both ways, so if “constant rejection” is a sin, it’s a sin for either spouse to reject sex for “no reason”, not just when women do it.

    However, why would anyone reject sex for “no reason”? I would suggest that there is always a reason, whether the person rejecting it is the husband or the wife, and that the reasons are often commonplace, e.g. they haven’t been enjoying sex, or not enjoying it sufficiently; they’re tired and this is bad timing; they’re stressed, and they haven’t seen sex as a good de-stressor (likely because the husband/wife has not been doing a good job of making it enjoyable, whether out of negligence or ignorance); their partner is underestimating how busy/stressed they are (this could go either way, when either partner has a busy job or non-career related obligations/expectations…I hold that women in particular often fall into this category when the husband leaves all/most of the housework and child rearing to her (or she takes it upon herself), because she then she basically never has time off); they have issues with the marriage causing an emotional barrier; they don’t feel their spouse is sufficiently attracted to them or they don’t feel sufficiently attracted to their spouse (negligence of one’s sexual attractiveness and making one’s partner feel undesirable can go both ways); they’re gotten bored with sex due to lack of variety; they have low or decreasing libido (which can also go either ways – it’s more commonly expected of women because of acculturation, or because previous experiences have been unsatisfying, but it’s not that uncommon in men either, and can sometimes be a result of health issues or medication side effects (e.g. blood pressure medications can cause sexual side effects) or simply age (especially when the husband and wife are from different generations). Of course the above list is for even God-fearing couples, and doesn’t begin to address issues like disrespect, infidelity, pornography, etc.

    As to the wife naturally wanting to flirt with the husband, this assumes again that they managed to maintain variety and desire in their relationship, rather than settling into a rut. The responsibility for this goes both ways, and many Muslims have to be first exposed to this concept, and then taught how to do it (because they probably haven’t seen it modeled while growing up, except for inaccurate depictions on TV). And of course, thinking men or women are easily manipulated creatures is disrespectful, and in Islam the emphasis is on respect for all.

    I would strongly suggest that Muslims have (tailored) sex ed beginning at least from their high-school years so that they get a more accurate understanding of biology, married life, and also so that they know when they should seek professional counseling or a sex therapist.

    • Avatar


      August 17, 2016 at 12:15 AM

      *spoken of sufficiently (please excuse the grammatical mistakes)

  49. Avatar


    November 4, 2016 at 1:15 AM

    Yes the article is needed for many men, however whenever making any of these points it’s important to establish the pillars and basics as they are. Men have higher libido. Men have a significantly higher desire for sex and stimulation. The sheer fact that many women dont even know prior to years of marriage that such a thing as female sexual stimulation exists is proof enough that a mans desires are more significant. There’s a reason that the hadith are for the wives to never decline their husbands desires, because a man will rarely ever decline having sex. Whereas women themselves often have to fight it to fulfil the sunnah and increasingly say no altogether, whether they reach orgasm or not. And that leaves the man feeling unwanted, incapable, undesirable, and that the desires for sex are one sided. It belittles his desires and makes him feel as though he has to beg his wife, up to which point it isnt nearly as fulfilling because he didnt feel loved throughout the process. Personally I have met many men going through this problem in extended family and friends. Many of which whose wives have even experienced climactic intercourse from their husbands. If women only showed more interest for sex, and initiated it just as much as their husbands, if not more, it would in turn give the love and attention to men that they seek but are far too shy to admit and ask for, and after feeling that attention and love, and the feeling of being desired by their wives, will a man then do whatever it takes to satisfy his wife.

    The number one reason that men in the United States alone are found to have affairs is due to the fact that they dont recieve the attention and feeling of being desired from their wives. So instead of first and foremost having your husbands asking for sex and initiating it the majority of the time, then in turn expecting him to fulfil your desires, try giving him the feeling of being desired by his wife by initiating intercourse yourselves, and watch how he will try to please you out of his love for you. There’s a reason why the hadith didnt say “a man should get down from his camel when his wife desires him” because women wont naturally desire their men, as much as men desire their women. Take his feeling into accord next time. It goes against society’s notion of masculinity now a days, but why do only women reserve the right of being called sexy or attractive? Husbands want to feel the same love, desire, and attention from their wives. It’s a two way street. And sadly just because men still reach climax, and are too shy or afraid of feeling emasculated, these issues don’t get out under the spot light. And instead these men are portrayed as ‘selfish’ or ‘unwilling to satisfy their wives’. And just because women are more emotional and voice each and every one of their concerns and problems, do we see this as a problem only for women.

    There’s a big difference in having your husband initiate intercourse the majority of the time, and then also expecting him to fulfil both yours and his own desires. As opposed to at least initiating it equally as much, making him feel wanted and desirable, for him to be more passionate in the process. And many wives fail to address this concern.

    “is a husband punishable for not coming to his wife when she asks for sex? Should he drop what he’s doing to fulfill her needs?” Tell me, when has a man declined a womans offer to sex. There’s a reason why 1 of the 7 people granted shade under Allahs throne on Qiyamah will be a MAN that rejected zina offered to him by a beautiful woman.

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Convert Story: To Ask Or Not to Ask, That is the Question

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“How did you convert to Islam” is a question that is commonly asked to those who convert to Islam. While the short answer to this question is, “I said shahada”, the long (and more detailed) answer is one that is commonly expected.

It is important to acknowledge that the majority of “born Muslims” who ask this question do such out of good intentions. For this reason, I wrote this piece out of a place of love and not out of a place of judgment or hatred. While it is important for “born Muslims” to be mindful of how they ask this question, it is equally important for converts to not hold ill will towards born Muslims who ask this question. Due to the fact that Islamophobia is rampant in both the media and political discourse, many “born Muslims” are naturally shocked and emotional when they meet people who accept Islam. Some “born Muslims” have also had limited interactions with converts and therefore, to them, it is not only shocking for them to meet converts, but they are genuinely unaware of certain etiquettes when it comes to asking a convert for his or her story.

In this piece, I am going to write about a pet peeve that is shared among many Muslim converts. While I cannot speak for every single convert, I can say that based on innumerable conversations I have had with fellow converts, there is one thing most of us agree on and it is this; it is rude to ask a convert about his or her conversion story when you haven’t built a relationship with the convert. This piece will explain why many converts consider such a question to be intrusive. The purpose of this article is to better educate the “born Muslim” community on how they can do a better job in support of converts to Islam. In this piece, I will break down the reasons why this question can come off as intrusive if it isn’t asked in a proper manner. I will also include personal anecdotes to support my position.

I would like to conclude by saying that I do not discourage “born Muslims” from asking this question entirely, rather I am merely arguing that this question should be asked with the best of adab.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:  “Part of a person’s being a good Muslim is leaving alone that which does not concern him.” (Tirmidhi) For this reason, such a question should be asked for purpose and it should be done with the best of manners. This is supported by the fact that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “I have been sent to perfect good character.” (Al Muwatta)

Note: For the sake of avoiding confusion, the term “born Muslim” is defined as anyone who was brought up in a Muslim household.

To ask a convert “Why did you convert?” is to ask about the person’s personal relationship with God

Within the context of a friendship, it is generally understood that friends will share personal details with each other. However, it is also generally understood that it is rude to ask people you just met personal questions. To ask a new acquaintance a personal question in most cases comes off as intrusive. This is especially the case in which you ask a person about his or her relationship with God.

For example, there are women who do not wear hijab. Even if we do (for a moment) ignore the Islamic ruling concerning hijab, we should all agree that a woman’s reason for wearing (or not wearing) hijab is a personal matter that is between said woman and God. If one was to ask a woman who doesn’t wear hijab why she doesn’t wear it, that would be intrusive because such a question would involve interrogating said woman about her relationship with God.

Another example concerns a married couple. If one was to meet a married person for the first time, it can be considered rude to ask said person about his or her relationship with his or her spouse.

When one asks a convert about his or her choice to convert, one is literally asking said convert about his or her relationship with God.

I am not saying that it is wrong in all cases to ask such a question. However, one should be mindful of the fact that because this is a personal question, one should have at least have built some form of a friendship with said person before asking.

convert friendship hugs

To ask a convert “Why did you convert?” is another way of asking, “Why do you believe in Islam?”

Many people identify to a faith tradition because it was part of their upbringing. If you were to ask a person who was born Muslim, “why are you Muslim?” you might hear said Muslim respond with, “I am Muslim because I was raised Muslim” and you wouldn’t hear a detailed answer beyond this.

In most cases, a convert to Islam (or any other religion) did such after research and critical thinking. To convert to a new religion involves not only deep thinking but a willingness to step into the unknown.

I have on many occasions told my story to people. In most cases I will ask the person “why do you believe in Islam?” I am then disappointed when I find out that the only reason the person is Muslim is due to upbringing. While I am not saying that said person’s faith is invalid or less than mine, a person who only identifies with a religion due to upbringing is a person who didn’t engage in critical thinking.

Any relationship should be built upon equality and mutual benefit. If I as a convert am able to provide a well thought out answer as to why I believe in Islam, I expect a well thought out answer to the same question from the person who initially asked me.

Again, while I am not saying it is wrong in all cases to ask, a born Muslim should ask himself or herself “why do I believe in Islam?” In my opinion, there are many who are born into Muslim families who don’t truly believe until later in their lives. Those Muslims in my opinion (and mine alone) are similar to converts.

To ask a convert “Why did you convert?” is to ask the convert to perform labor.

In some cases, “born Muslims” expect converts to tell their stories. I can remember a few incidents in which I have been asked to tell my story and I politely declined. In response, the person became angry. This to me is a symptom of entitlement. Nobody is entitled to know anything about anyone else (aside from people with whom one has a natural relationship with).

In addition, one should be cognizant of the fact that converts typically get asked this question repeatedly. Thus after a significant amount of time, a convert is prone to get tired of repeating the same question over again repeatedly. Naturally, it can become exhausting eventually.

While I do not believe it is wrong to ask this question in all cases, one should not ask this question to a convert from a place of entitlement. I can think of cases where I have been asked this question by “born Muslims” and when I have refused to provide an answer, they have gotten angry at me. This is entitlement.

To ask a convert “Why did you convert?” is to ask the convert to explain his or her personal life.

Backbiting is one of the worst sins in Islam. Another major sin is to disrespect one’s parents. Thus we can conclude that backbiting about one’s parents is a huge sin.

This is evidenced by the fact that Allah has said (ﷻ) “We have enjoined on humankind kindness to parents.” (Quran 29:8)

A typical follow-up question to “Why did you convert?” is “How did your parents react?” This in many cases puts the convert in a position where one may feel pressured to mention some negative details about his or her parents. In Islam, parents are to be respected, even if they aren’t Muslim.

Before asking a convert this question, one should be mindful of not putting unnecessary pressure on the convert to commit this injustice.

convert friendship

Cases when it is appropriate to ask

However, I do maintain a firm belief that in any true friendship, things will be shared. I don’t think it is wrong in itself to ask a convert about his or her story provided that there already exists a relationship where personal information can be shared. It is highly suggested to hang out with the person first and then ask the convert for his or her story.

As a personal rule of mine, unless I have hung out with the person one on one at least once (or a few times in group gatherings) I don’t tell any born Muslims my conversion story. Naturally, I only share personal details with people I consider to be a friend. If I would hang out with the person, I consider that person to be a friend.

The reason I am also hesitant to share my story with just anyone who asks me is because I can think of countless cases of when I have shared my story to people I have never seen or heard from again. I choose to exert my agency to share personal details of my life to people who I consider to be part of my life. While many Muslims are happy when people convert, many Muslims also fail to provide any form of support for said convert after conversion. I have seen too many cases of when a person recites shahadah, people pull their phones out to record it, but very few will give the convert his or her number. I genuinely believe that many “born Muslims” fail to see the big picture in this regard.

Before asking a convert for his or her story, you should ask yourself if you are comfortable sharing personal details of your life to that person. If you are not comfortable sharing personal details of your life to that person, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you shouldn’t expect the convert to share personal details if you aren’t comfortable sharing personal details. Even if you have built a close friendship with someone, you still aren’t expected to share every detail of your life to someone. Even if you consider a convert to be a close friend, you should still respect a convert’s wishes to not share his or her story.


While I have addressed concerns about the tendency of “born Muslims” to ask converts about their journeys, I want to acknowledge that most people have good intentions. In Islam, the natural state of any person is one of righteousness.

I firmly believe that a friendship that isn’t built on trust and the sharing of personal information isn’t a genuine friendship. Therefore the key term in this context is “friend”. If you wish to ask a convert his or her story, please make sure the following conditions are met:

  1. You are already friends with the convert to a point where asking a convert about his or her relationship with God isn’t an intrusive question. Ask yourself, “Are we close enough where we can share other personal details of our lives with each other?”
  2. You have a well thought out reason as to why you believe in Islam.
  3. You don’t feel entitled to know about the convert’s journey and that you will allow the convert to choose not to share such information if the convert doesn’t wish to.
  4. You don’t probe into the convert’s relationships with other people.
  5. You aren’t just asking the question to somehow feel validated about your belief in Islam.
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Dawah and Interfaith

10 Lessons I Learned While Serving Those in Need

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I have spent about a decade serving the impoverished domestically and recently, abroad. I don’t work for a major charity organization, I work for my community, through grassroots efforts. It was something embedded in me while learning Islam. Before starting a charity organization, I started studying Islam with Dr. Hatem Alhaj (my mentor) and various other scholars. The more I studied, the more I wanted to implement what I was learning. What my community needed at the time was intensive charity work, as it was neglected entirely by our community. From that, I collected 10 lessons from servicing those in need. 

1. My bubble burst

One of the first things I experienced was the bursting of my bubble, a sense of realization. I, like many others, was unaware of the hardship in my own community. Yes, we know the hadith and see the events unfold on the news and social media, but when a father of three cried before me because a bag of groceries was made available for him to take home, that moment changed me. We tend to forget how little it takes, to make a huge difference in someone’s life. This experience, made me understand the following hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy, who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524. I

t is simply an obligation, due to the amount of good it generates after you do this one action. I then realized even more how beautiful Islam is for commanding this deed. 

2. Friendships were developed on good deeds

Serving the poor is a great reward in itself. The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498. But it is better done with a team, I began building a team of people with similar objectives in serving the needy. These people later became some of my closest friends, who better to keep close to you than one that serves Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) by helping the neediest in the same community you reside in. Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” [reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee] This is turn kept me on the right path of pleasing Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Working with a team removes a lot of the burden as well and the depression that might occur seeing the saddest stories on a daily basis. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “Indeed the believers are brothers.” (49:10). Sometimes there is a misconception that you have to have a huge office or a large masjid in order to get work done. But honestly, all you need is a dedicated group of people with the right intention and things take off from there. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 'If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.' - Al-Tirmidhi,Click To Tweet

3. Made me thankful

This made me thankful for whatever I had, serving the less fortunate reminded me daily to turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness and so be thankful. This kind of service also puts things into perspective. What is truly important in life? I stepped further and further away from a materialistic lifestyle and allowed me to value things that can’t be valued by money. I learned this from the poorest of people in my community, who strived daily for their family regardless of their situation — parents who did what they can to shield their children from their harsh reality. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376. They had a quality about them, despite their poverty status. They were always some of the kindest people I have known. 


4. People want to do Good

I learned that people want to do good; they want to improve their community and society. I began to see the impact on a communal level, people were being more engaged. We were the only Muslim group helping indiscriminately in our county. Even the people we helped, gave back by volunteering at our food pantry. We have schools where small kids (under adult supervision) partake in preparing meals for the needy, local masajids, churches, and temples, high school kids from public schools, and college organizations (Muslim and nonMuslim) visit frequently from several cities in neighboring counties, cities, and states. The good spreads a lot easier and faster than evil. People want to do good, we just need more opportunities for them to join in. United we can rock this world.

“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” Malcolm X. Click To Tweet

5. Smiles

Smiles, I have seen the wealthiest smiles on the poorest people. Despite being on the brink of homelessness, when I saw them they had the best smile on their faces. This wasn’t all of them, but then I would smile back and that changed the environment we were in. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98. Smiles are truly universal.

6. It’s ok to cry

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah said: “A man who weeps for fear of Allah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder, and dust produced (when fighting) for the sake of Allah and the smoke of Hell will never coexist.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasaa’i. There are situations you see that hit you hard; they fill your heart with emotions, but that never swayed my concrete belief in Allah’s wisdom. Crying before Allah, not just out of fear, but to be thankful for His Mercy upon you is a relief.

7. Learning to say no

It was one of the hardest things I had to do, a lot (if not all) of the requests I received for help were extremely reasonable. I do not think anyone asked for anything outrageous. Our organization started becoming the go-to organization in our area for help, but we are one organization, with limited resources, and a few times we were restricted on when or how we could help. This is where learning to say no became a learned skill. Wedid do our best to follow up with a plan or an alternative resource.

8. It is part of raising a family and finding yourself

How so? Being involved in your community doesn’t take away from raising your family, it is part of it. I can’t watch and do nothing and expect my children to be heroes. I have to lead by example. Helping others is good for my family’s health. Many people living in our country are consumed with their busy lives. Running out the door, getting to work, driving the kids to their after school activities, spending weekends taking care of their families, etc. So people have a fear of investing hours in doing this type of work. But in reality, this work puts more blessings in your time.

One may feel they are taking time away from their family, but in reality, when one comes back home, they find more peace in their home then they left it with. By helping others, I improve the health and culture of my community, this in turn positively impacts my family.

I enjoy being a softie with my family and friends. I am a tall bearded man, and that image suited me better. I am not sure what made me softer, having kids or serving the poor. Either way, it was rewarding and defined my role and purpose in my community.

I learned that you make your own situation. You can be a spectator, or you can get in there and do the best you can to help. It gave me an opportunity to be a role model for my own children, to show them the benefit of doing good and helping when you can.

It came with a lot of humility. Soon after starting I realized that all I am is a facilitator, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is giving an opportunity of a lifetime to do this work, a line of work very little people get to engage in regularly. My advice to my readers, if you can serve the poor do so immediately before you get occupied or busy with life.

Helping others is good for my family’s health.Click To Tweet

9. Dawah through action

As I mentioned before I did spend time studying, and at one point developed one of the top dawah initiatives in the country (according to IERA). But the reality is, helping the less fortunate is my type of dawah, people started to associate our food pantry and helping others with Islam. As an organization with one of the most diverse groups of volunteers, people from various religious backgrounds found the environment comfortable and hospitable. I began working with people I never would have worked before if I had stuck to traditional dawah, studying, or masjid involvement, all of which are critical. This became a symbol of Islam in our community, and while serving, we became those that embodied the Quran and Sunnah. For a lot of those we served, we were the first Muslims they encountered, and Alhamdulilah for the team we have. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) also says in the Quran: “So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159). It is our actions that can turn people away or towards Islam.

10. Once you serve the needy, you do this for life

I wasn’t volunteering on occasion,— this was an unpaid job that was done regularly. I got requests and calls for emergencies daily at times. It took up hours upon hours every week. As a charity worker, I developed experience and insight in this field. I learned that this was one of the best ways I could serve Allah [swt. “They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travelers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.'” – The Holy Quran, 2:215

I believe the work I do with the countless people that do the same is the best work that can be done in our current political climate and globalization. My views and thoughts have evolved over the years seeing situations develop to what they are today. This gave me a comprehensive outlook on our needs as a society and allowed me to venture off and meet people top in their fields like in social activism, environmentalism, labor, etc.

I want to end with three sectors in society that Muslims prosper in and three that Muslims can improve on. We strive on individual education (noncommunal), distributing and organizing charity, and more recently being politically engaged. What we need to improve on is our environmental awareness, working with and understanding unions and labor rights, and organizing anti-war movements. 

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Looking To Get Married? Here Are A Few Tips

will you marry me?
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that single young Muslims, despite not being in possession of any fortune, are always in search of a spouse.

However little prepared these people may be to undertake this ordeal is given little thought, and they are thrust out into the world of modern Muslim matchmaking. The generational divide in the community has meant that young people have received little training at home to navigate the process of finding a spouse. These individuals are seeking high-quality relationships, but few have the skills and emotional intelligence needed to find one. They are left to learn on their own through trial-and-error, and often a lot of pain.

With hopes of making this journey a little easier, we’ve compiled a few principles to keep in mind as you tread these cold uncharted waters.

You won’t attract what you want, you’ll attract what you are. Do you find in yourself the qualities that you seek in another?Click To Tweet

1. Work on yourself

You won’t attract what you want, you’ll attract what you are. Do you find in yourself the qualities that you seek in another?

Aspire to be self-fulfilled and complete on your own, rather than hoping for someone else to do that for you. Operationally, this entails refining both your inner and outer self. On the outside this could include basic things like being well-groomed (especially for men), knowing how to cook a healthy diet, exercising regularly and supporting yourself financially. You should also ensure you have good relationships with loved ones – do the people you care about love you back? Admit any wrongs you may have done to them and make amends to improve ties if they are strained. The state of your current relationships can be a good indicator of future ones.

On the inside, you should make a moral inventory and work to address your shortcomings in character. You must work on your selfishness, your anger, your dishonesty, your lust, your pride, your stinginess, your harshness, your resentments, your stubbornness, your fears, your jealousy, your self-righteousness, your vanity. This list is never ending and it’s a lifelong process; the sooner you get started the better off you’ll be.

You must also get help for any serious problems that you fear might affect a relationship – instead of hoping these problems will go away with the ‘right partner’. If you have a pornography problem, seek out help and don’t be deluded into thinking marriage will solve that for you. If you have no control over your desires before marriage, you won’t magically gain control afterward. If you have a substance abuse problem, join a 12-step program. If you feel you are emotionally unhealthy, get help from a professional. Bottom line is, have your house in order before you decide to build a new one.

2. Maintain good mental health throughout the process

Be purposeful in your search but don’t make it the purpose of your life. The process of finding a spouse can become emotionally draining and overwhelming if you don’t do it in a healthy fashion. Understand that this process entails too many factors that are completely out of your control; things won’t always go your way, so don’t be too attached to the outcome.  The only things you control are your responses and actions, so just focus on putting your best foot forward.

A common mistake people make is they give themselves a timeline e.g. ‘I want to be married by X age, or by X year’. This only results in unnecessary pressure that can lead to anxiety and poor mental health; it can also force one to make imprudent choices. Everyone has a different timeline; have trust in God’s plan for you.

Anytime mental health is disturbed, stop and revaluate. Some signs of poor mental health include: obsessive thinking, inability to focus on your everyday affairs, compulsive attachment and clinginess, disturbed sleep, anxiety, difficulty making decisions, inability to multitask, feeling overwhelmed, panic attacks, depression, irritability, changes in eating habits, and a loss of inner serenity. It is best to get help from counselors, such as those at Naseeha, if you feel stuck in this situation.

3. Adopt a mindset of giving

The measure you give is the measure you get back. Instead of worrying so much about what you want, focus on what you have to offer.

While you should certainly express your interest in someone you like, don’t taint it with desperation and neediness. If you’ve implemented the first point mentioned, you are already a confident and self-sufficient person. You will be fine no matter what. Focus on giving without expectation and building a healthy companionship. Be a giver and you’ll be surprised how easily you will attract the right people towards you. The ‘mindset of want’ is a self-defeating mindset: you might not find all the things you want in someone, and even if you did, there is no guarantee they’ll want you back!

4. Don’t overthink it

Living in a capitalist society, we’ve developed the bad habit of picking out people the same way we go shopping for a new product. We like to explore the market, do a cost-benefit analysis of various options, try to make sure the product isn’t damaged and hope to pick out the best possible item. We are careful about how we ‘invest our time’ and we try to ensure we can get an appropriate return on our investment. If we could, we’d ask for a money-back guarantee on people too!

Human hearts, unfortunately, cannot be picked out the way we choose commercial products. Each has its flaws and its strengths, you have to accept both the good and the bad; the pro-con list approach won’t work here. When we start taking this reductionist approach to relationships, we naturally get into overthinking, feel anxious and overwhelmed. With the widespread use of online dating, the choices seem limitless and it can seem impossible to try to figure out how to find the right person.

Marriage is a decision that’s to be taken with the heart; you have to rely on your guts and your instincts to steer you towards the person most suitable for you. This doesn’t mean throwing rational thought out the door, it means looking to your inner-self as the source of motivation for your decision making. It takes emotional intelligence and self-awareness to be able to determine what kind of a person you’ll be able to build a future with; it’s not always someone that looks best on paper. There are very few people with whom you’ll find compatibility and reciprocity, so don’t obsess over exploring as many possible ‘options’ with hopes of marking off all the items on your checklist.

We ultimately find the most fulfillment in caring for and taking responsibility for someone we sincerely love. So, look instead for the ingredients that will act as the foundations of love in your marriage. These could include the fact that you: enjoy someone’s company, find them beautiful, admire their character and kindness, respect them, find reciprocity in your interactions, have shared values and compatible temperaments. You are looking for that certitude, that good feeling in your heart; focusing on these factors will hopefully give you that and will get you out of the common mistake of overthinking and worrying.

One of the unique challenges Western Muslims face when looking for a spouse is finding religious compatibility. The diversity of our community, coupled with the individualized nature of faith in the West, has given rise to a plethora of ‘brands’ of Islam. Click To Tweet

5. Work to bridge religious differences

One of the unique challenges Western Muslims face when looking for a spouse is finding religious compatibility. The diversity of our community, coupled with the individualized nature of faith in the West, has given rise to a plethora of ‘brands’ of Islam. Personal levels of observance can vary vastly, even within members of the same family, so it can be challenging to find the right fit.

You will always find differences in religious observance and views between spouses. It is impossible, and foolish, to try to seek out someone at the exact same level. Some people might be more conservative than you, some might be more liberal. Do you really have to turn someone down because they don’t agree with your views on conventional mortgages? What if you like dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating, and they’re opposed to it? What if they don’t eat zabiha halal like you do? What if they don’t pray all the five prayers on time like you were raised to do so?

Given the unique circumstances we live in, we must be flexible and open-minded about resolving such differences. We ought to be careful when making a judgment about someone’s beliefs; we don’t know what’s in someone’s heart. Some of us were taught to honour God through worship and observing His law, some of us were raised with an emphasis on serving His creation with good character. People have their strengths and their weaknesses in faith; sometimes these are apparent, sometimes hidden. Your relationship with God is not perfect and neither will be your partner’s; we are all a work in progress.

If approached with kindness, mutual respect and a willingness to compromise, these differing religious views could be resolved in many cases. While sometimes people really are on extreme ends, most of us fall somewhere in between and can find a comfortable middle ground. It is often our stubbornness, self-righteousness and a parochial understanding of religion that gets in the way. Good people are hard to find, so don’t let suitable matches go because they don’t follow your exact flavor of religious observance. This is certainly a sensitive topic and needs to be dealt with tact and wisdom; it is advisable to seek counsel of more experienced people.

6. Don’t expose your past and don’t pry about someone else’s

If you have a past you are not proud of and it doesn’t concern your future relationships, you should not feel obliged to expose yourself. In fact, if this relates to sins of the past, it is actually prohibited to reveal your sins to someone else – even in the context of marriage. Shaykh Nuh Keller summarizes this pitfall well, “In Islam, to mention a sin is itself a sin. How many a person has been unable to resist telling a friend or a spouse of the wickedness they did in their previous life, and Allah punished them with disgust and contempt in the other’s heart that could never quite be forgotten! There is no barakah in the haram”.

Similarly, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be prying about someone else’s past and trying to dig up details on their misadventures. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) commanded us to have a good opinion of people; he warned against the destructive nature of suspicion and spying. He told us, “Beware of suspicion for it is the most deceitful of thought. Do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; Rather, be servants of God as brothers”

7. Istikhara is not a solution for indecisiveness

The prayer of seeking guidance, or Istikhara, is oft cited by those considering marriage. The mistake many make, however, is that we are really wishing for someone else to make the decision for us. We are so afraid of making the wrong decision that we find it difficult to make any. We hope for a divine sign or a miracle to happen that tells us that the other person is right for us and that we will live happily ever after with them.

Making big life decisions, emotionally prudent ones, is an important life skill that must be learned. These decisions come with inherent risks, uncertainties, and unknowns; there are no guarantees. If you habitually find yourself having a hard time deciding, it is likely due to external factors. It might have something to do with you, it might have something to do with the person you are considering. It is advisable to seek counsel if you are in this situation.

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