Suffering From Psychological Problem: Fear of Marriage

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I want to marry. I wish I have a good wife to live with in happiness and satisfaction, to have a loving relationship with, to pray at night with, her to be my source of comfort and I be her shelter. I am a man who lives with a big fear of marriage and women. I live in shyness and timidity. I feel I need to marry for some time now, my parents are persisting but I am too shy to say I want to marry. Although I feel like I want to scream and say I want to marry.
I feel that I have made my shyness and doubts about my sexual abilities a barrier between me and marriage. Yes, I would love to get married. I do not know why I run away from marriage, is it because I fear failing a lot or because I am not confident? I am a hesitant person as for the matters of buying and selling. I grew up in a conservative family; I rarely hear any talk about sex or even references to it. Although I hear a lot how our relatives talk to their sons about sex and make jokes, and the sons feel free to express themselves about sex and marriage.
I fear a lot I fail sexually in my marital life; I even went to have a fertility test, blood tests and other similar things. I do not know if it is my fear of marriage or my desire to stay away from it. Some of the investigations made me doubt myself even more, yet, I still feel it is not the investigations that make me hesitant to marry, it is my fear of it more than anything else. Every time I intend to talk to my family about my marriage I feel terrified.
Since my childhood, to be honest, I have convinced myself that it is impossible for me to marry, and that I will stay lonely until I die.
If anyone asks me about when I intend to marry, I immediately answer saying: “in paradise”. I feel that this has been imprinted onto my subconscious.
I want to marry, by Allah I want to marry. My fear of women and failing stays as a barrier between me and marriage. Also I cannot imagine that I am having intercourse with a woman, I cannot imagine that I am sleeping and travelling with a woman, all these matters stay as barriers between me and marriage.
I encouraged myself some time ago and talked to my family, and they engaged a girl to me and her family approved. But when the time to meet her came, I felt big fear from the whole matter, and then said to my family that I do not want to marry this girl.
I am over thirty years old now. I feel helpless although the hope is there. I feel hesitant although I have a great desire to marry. I am badly affected by my problem; I saw many psychiatrists complaining from my great worry and depression. They all said to me I have to take tablets, while they do not feel my suffering.
Except the last psychiatrist, he really put his hand on the root of the problem, which is my great fear of women, marriage, failing, and sex.
Please guide me. I need your advice and guidance. I want to destroy these barriers between me and marriage. Any word, negative or positive, will affect me a lot. I need who takes my hand to rest, comfort and marital happiness.
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Praise be to Allah

You may be certain that we understand your problem and feel your pain, and that any Muslim in this world is our brother and what befalls him affects us too. We feel his joy if he rejoices and we feel his sorrow if he grieves. We will try to offer you a solution because we share your pain, so that you may be rid of this problem quickly, in sha Allah. 

You should realize that you are not the only one in this world who has problems and suffers worries, anxiety and depression. Right now you are facing a test from Allah, and this test requires you to do some things so that you may learn from it and emerge from this calamity with many great benefits. These things include the following: 

1 – Think positively of Allah, for He has only decreed this thing for you for a reason that is known to Him. He wants good for you so long as you adhere to His commands and guidance, and obey His commands and avoid overstepping His limits and falling into that which He has forbidden. You do not know, perhaps this calamity has befallen you so that Allah might ward off thereby something that is even worse; perhaps Allah has warded off thereby some major sins and some destructive calamity without you realizing. So think positively of your Lord and believe that He will bring you forth from this calamity as a hair is pulled out of dough. 

2 – Trials require patience and seeking reward. Allah has praised those who are patient in His Book and has prepared for them a reward like no other, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account. (39:10)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also praised patience and those who have the characteristic of patience. He said – in a hadeeth (prophetic tradition) whose authenticity is agreed upon – as was narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him): “…whoever is patient Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.” Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim . 

So you have to be patient, for it is your provision at times of calamity and times of ease. 

3 – Medical doctors say that diagnosis is two-thirds of the cure. From examining what you say about your situation in your question, it is clear that your problem is neither physical nor psychological, something that can be treated by a psychologist; rather it is persistent waswas (satanic whispers) that is affecting you in an important aspect of your life. Waswas is a serious disease, which if it takes hold of a person may lead to his doom and may put some people beyond the pale of Islam – we ask Allah to keep us safe and sound. But, praise be to Allah, your waswas does not have to do with ‘aqeedah (creed) or basic matters of Islam, or with acts of worship or the pillars of Islam, rather it has to do with your hesitation to get married and in buying and selling, as you say. Although this seems to you to be a big issue, it is in fact minor, if you compare it to the waswas experienced by other people about taharah (purification). For some people may do ghusl (bathe) several times, after which they are not certain that they are now in a state of purity, or they may do wudu (ablution) more than ten times and still not be certain that they have wudu. Perhaps a person catches up with the opening takbeer (of prayer) with the imam but he misses the first rak’ah (unit of prayer) because he is trying to do the opening takbeer (Allahu Akbar), then he completes his prayer and does not know whether he has done it or not. Praise be to Allah, no such thing is happening with you.  

Hence your cure will be achieved in the following steps, in sha Allah. 

1 – You should understand that waswas comes from the shaytan and, in fact, Allah calls the shaytan the waswas (the whisperer) in Soorat al-Nas, as is well known.  This means that you have to declare war on the shaytan and remember that he is the one who started it with you and that he is the one who transgressed against you and tricked you and wanted to deny you your rights, so do not turn your back to him or show him your weakness, for he is weak and defeated, and withdraws easily. So be of good cheer, and be certain that you can overcome him so long as you are with Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

… and hold fast to Allah . He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper. (22:78) 

2 – You should read Soorat al-Baqarah a great deal, and complete it every three nights, and if you do that while praying qiyam al-layl (voluntary night prayers), that is better. It is proven that our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Read the Quran, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection interceding for its companions. Read the two bright ones, al-Baqarah and Soorat Al ‘Imran, for they will come on the Day of Resurrection like two clouds or shadows, or like two flocks of birds in ranks, pleading on behalf of their companions. Read Soorat al-Baqarah, for reciting it regularly is a blessing and forsaking it is a loss, and the magicians cannot withstand it.” Narrated by Muslim.  

The devils cannot bear to hear Soorat al-Baqarah; they flee from it and weaken before the one who recites it, and they are afraid of it. It is proven in a hadeeth that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not make your houses into graves, for the shaytan flees from a house in which Soorat al-Baqarah is recited.” Narrated by Muslim (780). 

3 – Always recite the dhikrs (words of remembrance) for various occasions, such as the dhikrs for morning and evening, the dhikrs for going to sleep, entering the mosque or the home, entering and leaving the wash-room, dhikrs for eating, drinking and putting on clothes, and so on, for in all of them there is a great benefit for you and they will prevent the shaytan from reaching you. 

4 – Engage in a lot of du’a. Turning to your Lord with du’a will bring you relief and deliver you from this trial. You should seek out for that the times when du’as are likely to be answered, and allocate a time for du’a every night during the last third of the night, in the last part of the day on Friday, and following the prescribed prayers. Pray for everyone who is afflicted with calamity, for the angels say ameen to your du’a and say “May you have likewise.” Pray a great deal for forgiveness and repent to Allah, for Allah has promised a great deal of good to the one who prays for forgiveness. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

{And said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.

He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers

And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.} (71:10-12) 

5 – In all of that, it is essential for you to do your utmost to ward off the waswas and treat yourself by convincing yourself that you are normal and that you do not have a problem; you should ward off all thought that may weaken you. You should remember that all of this stems from one source, which is the waswas, and overcoming it is easy, by Allah’s Leave. 

6 – Seek the help of Allah and go ahead and get married. Seek the help of your family and sincere friends to do that. We know – personally – someone who had the same problem, whose situation was exactly the same as yours, or worse. Then some of his brothers and sincere friends forced him to get married, after they had made sure that he was not suffering from a physical problem. Then Allah helped him and relieved his distress, and his marriage became normal like anyone else’s. 

7 – There is nothing wrong with consulting a psychologist and using some psychological treatments that may help in this case, because waswas is also a kind of mental illness that is well known to the specialists. So there is nothing wrong with combining the remedies that we have referred to above with psychological treatment. 

I ask Allah, the Almighty, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal you and to hasten your relief and bring you happiness, for He is All-Hearing and Ever Near. 

And Allah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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