Fatwa: # 19800
Category: Character & Morals
Country: South Africa
Date: 11th June 2020


My wife is too shy. It is causing frustration in our relationship. Please advise.


Assalamuailkum Mufti Saheb,

I Have a problem. I am married for a few months, and shukr Alhamdulillah,to very nice pious girl from good family. Prior to marriage there was no interaction between me and my wife to be. She is very shy quiet girl. Her shy and reserved nature has led to problems between us. To this date we have not consummated the marriage due to her being so shy and scared. Moreover, she avoids me and communication between us has become a problem. There is also no inclination from her side to be intimate. I have approached her parents who are very supportive of both of us and assisted in seeking counseling. It’s been 2 months since I approached her parents and there has been very little progress. I’m becoming very frustrated and doubt whether she even loves me. What do i do?



In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We take note of the contents of your email.

At the outset, we commend your patience thus far. We do understand your frustration in this ordeal. Marriage is a very fragile institution. Marriage is enacted between two parties and the foundations are laid out by both the parties. Every action towards laying the foundation of this institution has to be with the utmost care. It is like a bird that builds a nest on a tall tree. If the foundation is not made proper, the security and safety of the nest as well as the future generation of the bird itself comes into danger.

In marriage too, one has to be extremely cautious how one lays down the foundation. Love, compassion, care and patience all play a vital role. It is possible that while your wife is receiving all this and more, she has not come to a point of trust where she can confide in you. At the same time, she must realize that her shyness is becoming a destructive factor for the marriage.

There are two major reasons for marriage in Sharīah. Allah makes two people halāl for each other through marriage so that they may procreate and increase the ummah of Nabī salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, and secondly so that they may fulfill their desires and safeguard themselves from the fitna and attacks of shaytān. In the current situation which you have informed us of, both these purposes of marriage are being defeated. Your wife must realize that although shyness is a noble trait, it becomes a test of Allah if it is not kept within its bound.

There are barriers of Hayā’ which are withdrawn between husband and wife so that the of these two souls can become a means of happiness and contentment in this life. Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam has counted a good obedient wife among the best of worldly treasures one could hope for. Rasulullah Salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

“All of the world is treasure and the best of this world’s treasures is a good wife.”

(Sahīh Muslim 2/1090)[1]

Observing hayā’ from one’s spouse to the extent that even the integral rights of the husband are not fulfilled is a sin. The wife is puts herself in great danger of curses from angels. Consider the magnitude of depriving the husband of conjugal relationship. Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

If a husband calls his wife to his bed (desirous of fulfilling his intimate needs) and she does not responds (to his call) and the husband spends the night in anger, then the angels curse that woman until dawn

(Riyādhus Salihīn Pg. 99)[2]

This right of the husband is so important that the wife has been ordered to leave aside other duties so that she may fulfill this particular right of the husband. Rasulullah salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

When a husband calls his wife to fulfill his need then she should respond to him even if she is in the kitchen (i.e she is busy with some other important work).

(Sunan Tirmidhī 3/457) [3]

Once the problem is identified and recognized by your wife, then it becomes easy to take steps towards the solution. Recognition of problem is the key to the realization of its solution. There are two ways to approach the issue. One can either try to pressurize the party into accepting their role as a spouse, or one could employ persuasion.

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam mentioned that women are created from a crooked rib and such is their nature. Trying to straighten them with force will result in breaking them. Hence a better approach is to use persuasion. This option may take some time, but its results are long lasting as well.

First and foremost, speak to your wife. Most of the marital issues are resolved by simply talking them out. Explain to your wife the difficulty you are facing and that the current situation is affecting negatively on the marriage. Once she is on the same page as yourself and realizes that there is something wrong in the marital relationship, then propose her to take some steps in the right direction.

We commend your initiative to take marital counseling. Emphasize the need for it to your wife and take appropriate steps towards it. Enter these counseling sessions with an open mind to make any amends to fix the marriage seeking the pleasure of Allah. A few guidelines towards increasing interactivity between yourself and your wife are given henceforth.

Sit with your wife and read through books like “An Ideal Muslim Husband” and “An Ideal Muslim Wife”. Make sure that the issues do not play out to be her faults. The problem is in the marriage, and a marital problem is to be solved by both parties involved. Hence, you should mutually try and find ways to progress yourself to be the ideal husband, which inshallah will motivate her to drive herself towards being an ideal wife.

If you see any shortcomings on your side, then make sure that you recognize it, apologize from your partner for being negligent in it and make a firm intention to resolve it.

Treat your wife to a vacation or an outing and spend some quality time with her. Find out what she likes and organize some activities with her. When taking such vacations, remember not to let your other family and jobs intervene. Let her feel that this time is especially for her. This will encourage her to confide in you.

Similarly, allot a family time in your daily routine. This time should be spent with her alone. Find some games to play with her, or read some books with her that she likes.

Best of all, talk to her. Communicate with her about your day to day life. Remember, that both you and your wife are rewarded immensely when you engage in chit-chat, joking, playing etc. as long as they are void of un-islamic activities (e.g backbiting etc.).

We hope and pray to Allah that by providing her quality time, she will open up to you and the trust will build to a level where you both can start to enjoy and cherish a blissful and prosperous marriage. Ameen


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faisal bin Abdul Hameed
Student, Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1]  64 - (1467) حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ الْهَمْدَانِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ يَزِيدَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَيْوَةُ، أَخْبَرَنِي شُرَحْبِيلُ بْنُ شَرِيكٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْحُبُلِيَّ، يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ، وَخَيْرُ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْمَرْأَةُ الصَّالِحَةُ» صحيح مسلم (2/ 1090 - دار إحياء التراث العربي)

[2] 281- وعن أَبي هريرة - رضي الله عنه - قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امرَأتَهُ إِلَى فرَاشِهِ فَلَمْ تَأتِهِ، فَبَاتَ غَضْبَانَ عَلَيْهَا، لَعَنَتْهَا المَلائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبحَ» . مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ. وفي رواية لهما: «إِذَا بَاتَت المَرأةُ هَاجِرَةً فِرَاشَ زَوْجِهَا لَعَنَتْهَا المَلاَئِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبحَ»  - رياض الصالحين (ص: 99) - دار الريان للتراث

[3] 1160 - حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُلَازِمُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ بَدْرٍ، عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ طَلْقٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ طَلْقِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَا الرَّجُلُ دَعَا زَوْجَتَهُ لِحَاجَتِهِ فَلْتَأْتِهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَتْ عَلَى التَّنُّورِ» : هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ - سنن الترمذي (3/ 457) - شركة مكتبة ومطبعة مصطفى البابي الحلبي - مصر

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