We live in a hypersexualised world. Yet, when that hour beckons, many of those who have lived a chaste life would admit to being quite clueless about how to spend those first few jewelled moments in intimacy together.
As a complete mode of living, it should come as no surprise that Islam offers solutions for this time and all other occasions and eventualities that may come with marital life.
And fully cognisant of the psychologies of both husband and wife, and the natural reservations and inhibitions of two individuals who have barely met each other, Islamic guidelines for the first night pay more attention on confidence building, psychological bonding and nurturing the spiritual foundations of the sacred union of Nikah, than sexual relations itself.
“It is important to note that engaging in sexual relations on the first night is not necessary,” writes Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al Kawthari in his Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations.
“The husband should not hasten in taking his wife’s virginity, but rather he should approach the matter with extreme calmness, even if it takes a few days. The newly married couple have all their lives before them for sexual relations, and there is no need to make haste in this regard. Much of the time during the first night should be spent in getting to know one another, sharing each other’s outlook on life and how their marital life should be lived in accordance with Islamic teachings. They may, however, begin to be intimate with one another, if they feel comfortable.”
Here are 4 practical Islamic guidelines for what you can do as a couple on your first night of Nikah:
1. Give a Gift
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Al-Bukhari].
Regarding the first night of marriage, there is no stipulated gift – it could involve anything permissible, big or small, according to one’s means.
A husband could also offer his wife something to drink as is found in the hadith narrated by Asma’ bint Yazid ibn As-Sakan (radhiyallahu anha) who said: “I beautified ‘Aa’ishah for Allah’s Messenger, then called him to come to see her unveiled. He came, sat next to her, and brought a large cup of milk from which he drank. Then, he offered it to ‘Aa’ishah, but she lowered her head and felt shy. I scolded her and said to her: “Take from the hand of the Prophet.” She then took it and drank some. Then, the Prophet said to her, “Give some to your companion.” At that point, I said: “O Messenger of Allah, rather take it yourself and drink, and then give it to me from your hand.” He took it, drank some, and then offered it to me. I sat down and put it on my kness. Then, I began rotating it and following it with my lips in order that I might hit the spot from which the Prophet had drunk.” [Musnad Ahmad]
2. Read Salaah Together
It is desirable for the husband and wife to pray 2 rakaat together on their wedding night. This has been narrated from the earliest generation of Muslims:
‘When your wife comes to you, pray 2 rakaat. Then, ask Allaah for the good of that which has come to you, and seek refuge in Him from its evil. Then it is up to you and it is up to your wife.’” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah]
It is also narrated on the authority of Shaqeeq who said: “A man named Abu Hareez came and said: ‘I have married a young girl, and I am afraid that she will despise me.’ ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said to him: “Verily, closeness is from Allah, and hatred is from Shaitaan, who wishes to make despicable that which Allah has allowed. So, when your wife comes to you, tell her to pray behind you 2 rakaat.’” [Ref: Ibn Abi Shaybah and at-Tabaraani and ‘Abdur-Razzaaq: Saheeh]
3. Sprinkle the water of love and make Dua‘ for each other
On the first night of marriage, when in seclusion with one’s wife, hold the forelocks (hair of the forehead) of her head, sprinkle water upon her and recite the following Du’a:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهَا وَخَيْرَ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ
(O Allaah, I ask You for the goodness within her and the goodness that You have made her inclined towards, and I take refuge with You from the evil within her and the evil that You have made her inclined towards) [Bukhari/Abu Dawud]
The wife should also make dua for her husband, just adapting the wording of the Dua’ above:
Allahumma inni asaluka khairahu wa khaira ma jabaltahu alayh; wa a’oothu bika min shari-hee wa shari ma jabaltahu alayh
Besides this stipulated Dua’, one can make any other Dua’s from the heart and also include Qur’anic Duas for marital bliss such as:
4. Seek the protection of Allah Ta’ala from shaytaan
If the couple decide to get intimate, the couple should recite the following before involving themselves in relations:
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبْ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا
In the name of Allah, O Allah, distance shaytaan from us and distance shaytaan from that which you grant us. [Bukhari]
We make Dua’ that your union be a blessed one, where not only the bodies meet, but the hearts meet as well