Question: I am engaged to someone who has just reverted to Islam. I am a revert too and I am homeless so I live with him. I feel guilty because we hang out together alone and sometimes we hug and kiss (no intercourse) and the situation is tricky because we have to wait a little bit to do the nikah because of his family situation. We know we are getting married, but is this still zina? What should we do to be halal until marriage?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, but I commend that you are asking about what is correct according to your new religion and that you are striving to do the right thing. May Allah reward you eternally.
Gender interaction with the fiance
According to Islam, it is impermissible for you to live with your fiancé. Specifically, you may not touch him and you may not be alone with him. See the rules of gender interaction here. These same rules apply to interaction with a fiancé because a nikah has not yet occurred:
The situation that you describe, and that the fact that you are both reverts, makes me feel that you must do your nikah as soon as possible. As you are both reverts, parental permission is not needed, but they should be informed, involved, and included with respect and love throughout the process. It seems to be a trick of the Devil, who is telling you to delay your nikah and not making you worry about incurring major sin on a daily basis.
Waswasa (baseless misgivings)
Ignore any misgivings or doubts, do what is beneficial for your hereafter, and avoid that which is sinful, for Allah’s rights are more deserving to be fulfilled than a need of the family’s. It is a direct command in the Qur’an not to approach zina (Qur’an, 17:32) and although this is not fornication, this is zina of the eyes and tongue, as you are both hanging out like partners, looking, touching, and getting close. Please get yourselves to a local mosque with two witnesses and start living like a married couple who can fulfill each other’s rights. See the conditions here:
Move-in with a female
If you are unable to have a nikah soon, I recommend that you move out and find a Muslim girl, even non-Muslim, to live with as soon as possible. This will be much better for you in every way. And if you tell him that you are serious about leaving, he may take doing the nikah more seriously.
May Allah guide you through this and facilitate your every affair and bless you in your future marriage.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.