Is It Advisable to Disclose One’s Past Sins to the Partner?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My cousin and my husband’s cousin were married for eight years and just divorced. Before they married, he told her he was not a virgin but wanted to marry a virgin but later found out that she was not. He also found out that she was masturbating. He then started having dirty chats with other women.

Eventually, he started an entire illicit relationship with a non-Muslim divorcee. She didn’t tell him the truth about her past, as she had stopped her promiscuity years before they married and had repented to Allah. She said she grew up in the West and didn’t know masturbating was haram. But then she worked on herself to stop, and she did. He wrote a letter to her family exposing her past and the divorce. His family knows too.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that this situation has occurred with your cousin. People can be unforgiving while holding a double standard. May Allah give her the best.

Trust in Allah

The best thing that you can do for your cousin is to advise her to continue practicing her religion and trust in Allah. She should not abandon Islam now because this is the only route to happiness and salvation. I commend her for eliminating her habit of masturbating.

Disclosing a Sin

Also, ask her to make tawba for revealing her past to her husband (if she did so) because one may not uncover that which Allah has covered. The blessing of discretion is tremendous, and one should be discreet about one’s past sins.

Please see this link:
Marriage and Troubled Past

Allah Forgives all Sins

Her tawba is good enough for Allah; why is it not good enough for her husband? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.” [Ibn Maja]

Allah says in His book, “Say, ˹O Prophet, that Allah says,˺ “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

Consider this Marriage

She should pray istikhara about whether she should pursue continuing this marriage or leave it altogether. I understand that she is broken-hearted and attached to him, but she should consider that he has easily committed adultery without a nikah and had a significant faith issue before that, even online. Not fearing Allah when one is angry is a dangerous quality for a man to have, and I wouldn’t want her children to suffer. Let her pray the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to help her and guide her to the right thing. May Allah give her ease and wisdom, and patience. She is very lucky to have a concerned cousin like you. May Allah bless both of your families.

[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.