Marital Relations – Consummation
Ml Yusuf Karaan
13 March 2023
For how long after nikāḥ, if consummation (vaginal intercourse) doesn’t take place, does the nikāḥ still stand? Is there any time limit? Especially if the couple is comfortable and have an understanding?
I also wanted to know if intercourse wearing a condom qualifies as a consummation after nikah and makes the full mahr wājib on the bride?
If for some medical condition that has been understood prior to nikah, the couple enjoy each other in ways other than vaginal intercourse, is there any problem with that?
A marriage contract will persist, with or without consummation, until such a time that divorce (ṭalāq), annulment (faskh), or dissolution (by death) occurs. To put it briefly, there is no time limit. Furthermore, even if the husband’s lack of consummation is owed to the like of emasculation (jabb) or overly large penal growth (ʿabālah), the wife will not be afforded the choice to maintain or dissolve the marriage, as she married him under no illusion. We do exclude the case of impotence (ʿunnah), where she is afforded this choice, even having been priorly aware. This exclusion is the carried (rājiḥ) view within the madhhab, though its rival (that no choice will be afforded) too holds considerable weight.
Yes, intercourse with a barrier still qualifies as a valid consummation, and all resultant injunctions from ordinary consummation are brought into effect, from major ritual impurity (janābah) to the forbiddance of marrying the wife’s daughters. With respect to dowry (mahr), this too is to be paid in full, as was agreed to in the contract, due not to consummation, however, but rather the marriage itself. Consummation, or the lack thereof, only influences the dowry in the case of divorce.
Marriage permits not only vaginal intercourse, but any pleasure sought from any part of the spouses’ bodies within their discretion, excluding the following things:
- anal intercourse
- vaginal intercourse during menses or post-natal bleeding
- anything involving the body’s impure waste, i.e. urine, faeces
And Allah knows best
DUAI Fatwa Department