How to Seek Forgiveness after Committing Rape and Fornication?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

Last year I was forced into committing zina with this girl; I could consider it rape. I am a practicing Muslim and never imagined committing such an act. I was so ashamed that I couldn’t even see myself in the mirror without crying or feeling embarrassed. Since then, I have gotten closer to Allah, praying regularly in the masjid, reading Quran, and praying tahajjud, begging for forgiveness.

A few months later, I met this one Muslim girl and fell in love with her. We were both serious about each other and had kept matters halal. Recently, the first girl contacted the second girl and told her I had committed voluntary zina with her.

The second girl could not accept that I had committed such an act as she was a virgin herself. She told me she was unwilling to marry a non-virgin man and left me for good. I am heartbroken. I still make dua that Allah Most High that he sends her back to me. After committing such a filthy mistake, I feel I don’t deserve to get married. Please advise.

Answer

Keep turning to Allah Most High. Never feel that your repentance or efforts to rectify and improve yourself are wasted. Allah Most High will take care of you in the best of ways. Perhaps something even better is awaiting you-maybe with the same person-and, this was necessary for particular wisdom.

Undoing Oppression

Your description of the initial act of zina was vague. Did someone force you to commit zina or rape this lady? If this were consensual fornication, it would have been up to both parties to repent, and they would most likely have found Allah accepting of repentance and forgiveness.

Here, however, you have a case of zulm (wrongdoing/oppression). Both, redressing this wrong in this life is a significant problem. It could bring a lot of pain and difficulty your way. You need to approach the lady in question, seek forgiveness, and see if there is anything you can do to rectify the matter.

Due to the heinous nature of the crime, there may be legal consequences. Be prepared for them. Whatever it is in this life, it will be far lighter than what you could face in the next life.

The jurists have a profound maxim: repelling harm is a greater priority than attaining benefit.

Realizing the Extent of One’s Harm

After speaking to many traumatized people and reading literature in the field by experts, such as Dr. Gabor Mate’s ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts,’ one thing dawned on me: many people do not realize the extent of the harm they can cause others. Someone who has undergone a traumatic experience often has to re-live it or suffer the pain and consequences of it for years.

In many cases, it is multiple times a day. That is why drug addicts, for example, are dependent on their substance abuse. Many try to bury the pain they feel inside. Running away from what they think – even for ten minutes at a time- is something they give up living in society for.

This lady is hurt. Do what you must to rectify the situation. If there is nothing, then all you can do is spend your life trying to compensate for her pain through deeds, the reward you donate to her. After that, the matter will be in the hands of Allah in the Afterlife.

Keep Repenting and Rectifying Yourself

Don’t stop turning to Allah. May Allah will inspire you with the means to significantly improve the lives of many others as a way of compensating for what you did. Allah will bring about a good situation for everyone in this series of events.

Everyone makes mistakes. Just because you made a mistake does not mean you do not deserve a second chance or an opportunity to be happy. Ask Allah Most High, be the best person you can be, and you’ll see good come to you in your life.

May Allah Most High facilitate all matters for you and heal the pain of everyone involved.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.