How Do I Deal with the Guilt of My Extramarital Affair?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


As a Muslim woman, I committed zina 4.5 years ago, but postpartum depression intensified my guilt. Despite sincere repentance and daily prayers, the guilt persists, causing suicidal thoughts. Should I confess to my husband, and how do I cope?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being sincere in your tawba, admitting your mistakes, and transforming yourself into a better believer.


Anas bin Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah, Blessed is He and Most High, said, ‘O son of Adam! Verily, as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me. I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi]

Allah is the Best to forgive those who want to be forgiven, and He is the Best to accept repentance for those who want to repent. Always ask for forgiveness, and remember that Allah loves to forgive and never despises Allah’s mercy. When you feel guilt or shame, simply put your feelings into action and do a good deed. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up an evil deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.“ [Tirmidhi]

Informing him

It is not permissible for you to tell him about your past as this is a sin that Allah has covered up, and it must stay that way. A couple must not speak about their past sins with one another and disclose what Allah chose to keep hidden. They should not ask each other, nor do they have any right to. Their only obligation is to repent, regret, and never repeat that sin. He does know the real you, knowing your sins are not part of the real you, and he doesn’t need to know it.

Abu Hurayra, Allah be pleased with him, reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “All my community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under cover of Allah, and they rent asunder Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

Suicidal thoughts

Please say the du`as below when you get these thoughts and see a therapist to help you conquer them. Of course, continue your devotion to your religion, but seek to study more and increase your knowledge; you will especially find healing in the Quran in sha Allah.

Allahumma Salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin

Tibbil qulubi wa dawaa’iha
Wa nuril absari wa diya’iha
Wa `afiyatil abdaani wa shifaa’ha
Wa `ala Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Sallim.

اللهُمّ صَلِّ عَلَى سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ طِبِّ القُلُوبِ وَدَوائِها وَنُورِ الأَبْصَارِ وَضِيَائِهَا وعَافِيَةِ الأَبْدَانِ وَشِفَائِهَاوَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ وَسَلِّمْ

O Lord! Send blessings on our master Muhammad,
The medicine of hearts and their cure,
The light of eyes and their illumination,
The health of bodies and their healing,

And upon his family, companions, and send peace.

And say this du`a:

للّهُـمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ
الهَـمِّ وَ الْحُـزْنِ،
والعًجْـزِ والكَسَلِ
والبُخْـلِ والجُـبْنِ،
وضَلْـعِ الـدَّيْنِ
وغَلَبَـةِ الرِّجال

Allahumma, inni a-udhu bika mina l-hammi wa l-hazan Wa l-azji wa l-kasal Wa l-bukhli wa l-jubn Wa dala-i d-dayn Wa ghalabati r-rijal.

O Allah, indeed I ask seek refuge in you from worries and sadness, from inability and laziness, from cheapness and cowardice, from the weight of debt, and from the overbearingness of men. [Bukhari]

Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.