In view of Is it permissible for a gay man to marry a woman? question, is it permissible in Islamic views, for a man who cannot perform (for whatever reason), to marry?

In old Christian views, those marriages would be canceled (called "void", as if never have happened).

What is the Islamic view on that?

As of the tags, I'm not sure with the Arabic terms. Correct me it the tag is wrong or there are better or additional tags.

  • 1
    In brief, it is permissible for him to marry as long as his wife (or the woman he's going to marry) is happy with that; as intercourse is the wife's right. Jan 13 at 0:12
  • @SeekerTruth and what she is not happy with it and did not know before, was not told about? Jan 13 at 0:17
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    He's required to declare his condition before the marriage. If he doesn't, it's a sin and deception on his part. However, the marriage contract remains valid. She then has the options of either coping with the situation, asking her husband to divorce her, or taking the matter to the court and seek annulment. Jan 13 at 0:31

2 Answers 2


The ruling on marriage depends on the circumstances, marrying can be either obligatory, recommended, permissible, discouraged or forbidden. See Is it permitted to not get married?

As for a man who can not have coitus due to some reason (العنين) such as because of disease or old age or lack of sexual desire, or lack of interest in a certain woman etc. Then marriage is still permissible for him. Some have even stated that it is recommended.

من لا شهوة له، إما لأنه لم يخلق له شهوة كالعنين، أو كانت له شهوة فذهبت بكبر أو مرض ونحوه، ففيه وجهان؛ أحدهما، يستحب له النكاح؛ لعموم ما ذكرنا. والثانى، التخلى له أفضل

Those who have no desire, either because they were not created with any desire, such as one who is impotent, or they had desire but it has disappeared due to old age, sickness and so on. There are two opinions: First: It is recommended to get married because of the general meaning of what we have discussed. Second: It is better for him to remain single

al-Mughni translation from islamqa

The disposition of the man may change after marriage or his ailment may be cured. Or the couple might desire other benefits of marriage such as companionship, assistance, provision of accommodation and financial maintenance or intimacy other than intercourse etc.

However the wife should be informed and have agreed to it. That is because intercourse (at least once) is a right of the wife and can not be taken away from her against her will, see Sex deprivation: How long is it permissible for a husband to not have sex with his wife?. If the situation is not known and discovered later then the following can happen:

  • the wife can voluntarily choose to remain with the husband
  • the wife can ask for khula' (divorce) from the husband if he agrees to it
  • the case will be brought to a court who (according to the majority) will give the husband a grace period of one year to get treatment etc. If he is still unable to perform and the wife still demands separation then the judge will cause a separation between them by commanding the husband to give divorce or by invalidating the marriage if he refuses. Note however that the case of a man who can not have intercourse because his penis has been cut off (مجبوب) is different as that can not be changed with time. In this case the separation can be immediate.



Whether a man can perform or not, he can know only after marriage because he would not have tried intercourse with another woman before as it is fornication, which is forbidden in Islam. Many consider masturbation as forbidden in Islam (I do not agree on this is true), so there is no way to know if he can perform or not before marriage.

After marriage if he cannot perform, he can try to treat his condition as there are number of treatments available now. He can consult with urologist or sexolist. If there is performance issue, the spouse should be supportive and should not blame husband as this will only make things worse. If there is fear in mind, problem will only increase. So take treatment and wait till things get improve.

As mentioned in comments, Marriage will still hold as long as Husband and wife is happy because there is no rule in Islam that intercourse should happen. There are only rules on when intercourse should not happen, like while in Hajj, during day time in Ramadhan etc.

  • There are cases where it can be decided if a man can perform before a marriage, for example, if he has married before (or even sinned). There can be medical conditions, too. And, a healthy adult man has urges and desires, which, present or absent, give a strong indication. Jan 14 at 16:28

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