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Question

My parents have selected a man for my marriage. He is capable to bear my expenses, but neither he nor I wish to have children right now. His earnings are not enough to comfortably bear the expense of children, and I wish to complete my studies. We have reached to the conclusion that we will be married to comply with the demands of our respective parents, but we will not have sexual intercourse for the next two years until we reach our goals. Are we commiting some mistake in Islam by doing this?

Answered by

Sheikh Sâmî al-Mâjid
One of the main objectives of marriage in Islam is for the husband and wife to satisfy their natural desires in a lawful way. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O young people, whoever can afford it let him marry, as it will help him to lower his gaze and protect his chastity.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1905) and Sahîh Muslim (10/171)]

However, having intercourse is not something obligatory after executing the marriage contract. You have the right to postpone intercourse by mutual agreement, although I strongly advise you against doing so.

You also have the right to use birth control if both of you agree. Jâbir said: “We used to practice coitus interrupts while the Qur’ân was still being send down.”

Therefore, you may postpone pregnancy for some time using more modern means of birth control until the time that the two of you wish to have children.