How to Deal with the Fact That My Wife Was Sexually Abused before Marriage?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My wife and I have been happily married for four years and have a son. I recently found out that she committed zina with her school teacher about a dozen times when she was 17-18 years old. He molested her at school, and she never told anyone. She cried every day and was confused because he manipulated her into thinking they were doing the right thing, and she believed him. She felt that the teacher was right and trusted him. She knows it was a mistake and tells me she was under his influence and did not love him. I can’t forget her past now. Save my relationship.

Answer

I am so sorry that your wife went through this abuse, and I pray that I can help clear up the confusion. May Allah Most High strengthens your bond.

Victim

Your wife was an innocent victim who was sexually abused, nothing more. She trusted her teacher and was too young to understand what was going on. She was too scared, embarrassed, or confused to speak up and was under his compulsion. This is not called fornication (zina) because it was not deliberate. This is called abuse, and it’s haram in our religion and is illegal in every country.

The Teacher

If I were in your shoes, I would bring legal charges against the teacher and try to get him imprisoned for a year or fined 13000 USD, which is the punishment for sexual abuse in your country. He may have had other victims and will probably continue this predatory behavior. You can pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance to see if you and your wife would like to take that route. He should pay for his crimes.

Moving Forward

If you decide not to charge him, you should ask Allah Most High to facilitate moving forward. After learning this information, it can be very difficult if you place it in the wrong context. But, if you look at it for what it is, it should be easier to move forward.

Your wife was not at fault. She confided in you, and you should be grateful for that because there was no obligation on her to tell you. Believe what she says and ask Allah to help you support her and love her. Ask him to take hate, doubt, or suspicion out of your heart about this.

Build your relationship by worshipping, learning, and spending time together. May Allah Most High reward you for striving to do the right thing, and may He bless your family, strengthen you, and unite you all in Paradise.

Check this link:
Victim of Sexual Abuse: Should I Confess it to my Husband?

[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.