Should I Marry Someone Who Has Committed Fornication in the Past?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I love someone, but I discovered he committed zina (fornication). I know Islam says good men are for good women, but I can’t stop loving him and thinking about him. ‘

What should I do now?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting to follow Islam to the best of your ability and for putting Allah’s pleasure before your own.

Virtuous Men for Virtuous Women

The Quranic verse that you mention is this: “Wicked women are for wicked men, and wicked men are for wicked women. And virtuous women are for virtuous men, and virtuous men are for virtuous women. The virtuous are innocent of what the wicked say. They will have forgiveness and an honorable provision.” [Quran, 24:26]

Please see the explanation of this Quranic verse here:
Does the Quran Prohibit the Marriage of a Fornicator and a Non-Fornicator?

As explained in the link above, this verse is not considered a prohibition by most scholars but rather general counsel or recommendation for suitability.

Fornication

It is permissible to marry this person, but I urge you to keep the relationship halal and to marry him not just because you love him but for piety. Picture how you want your spiritual and religious life to look in twenty years and see if his thinking is aligned with yours. Pray istikhara for guidance, and if he is the one, have your marriage contract (nikah) soon, having studied and prepared yourself for this enormous responsibility.

Heed the advice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), which applies to both genders, who said,  “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or her piety. Select the pious, or your hands will be covered in dust!” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Please see these links as well:
Important Traits to Look for in a Prospective Spouse
Will the Consequences of Fornication Affect One Who Has Repented?
Is it Prohibited to Marry Someone Guilty of Adultery/Fornication?

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 aqidah, 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.