Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja
Question: After an illicit relationship with a non-Muslim, I met a good Muslim brother for marriage. I told him about my past, and he is still interested in me, but his family is against it. I am also concerned regarding the ayat 24:3. Does this mean I should marry an idolator despite having made sincere taubah for my past sins?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Allah Most High says, “And He is the one who accepts the repentance of His servants and forgives misdeeds.” [Qur'an, 42:25]
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah accepts the servant’s repentance until they take their last breath.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, and Ahmad]
You should have conviction that Allah has forgiven you since you have made repentance. He has guided you to see your error and make repentance, and this is a sign that He wants good for you inshaAllah. As a Muslim woman, you are honored with being permitted to marry only a Muslim man, regardless of your past. The verse 24:3 is interpreted by the overwhelming majority of scholars as other than a literal prohibition. Please see the links below for more about this verse and other related topics.
What you should do about marrying someone whose family is against the marriage depends on your particular circumstance. Please seek advice from a local scholar to whom you can explain the complete situation.
Also, please be aware that one should not reveal their past sins to anyone, including prospective spouses. Allah has blessed us with the gift of repentance, which effectively wipes away the sin. And He has also blessed us with His concealment of our sins, and we should not disregard this by divulging our mistakes and bad deeds. It is against the the prophetic instruction, and it diminishes one's honor and as well as the natural disgust that people hold towards sins.
On the verse of fornicators -- Is it Prohibited to Marry Someone Guilty of Adultery/Fornication?
On revealing past sins --Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?
On repentance -- A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani