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Because I Committed Zina in the Past, Will I Ever Get Married to a Good Muslim Man?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I met a good Muslim guy. He asked me if I had been with anyone else, so I told him the truth. He ended our relationship. He said he won’t change his mind. Do I wait for him?

I get anxiety attacks because I feel like no good Muslim guy would want me. Will I ever marry a good Muslim man?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Disclosing sin

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “All my Community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such, while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under the cover of Allah, and they rended Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

It is actually impermissible for you to reveal past sin. It is blameworthy for him to have asked you about your past. You have made your repentance, and repentance gives you a clean slate. Moving forward, please do not tell anyone about your past zina. You are permitted to deny having a past.

If you were previously married and currently divorced, then it would be obligatory upon you to tell a prospective husband the truth about your marital status. Marriage and divorce are halal, and can be spoken about. Zina is a major sin, and must remain hidden.

Moving forward

To help give you closure, please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times about what to do. Observe how life unfolds to give you an idea of what is best for you. If this young man does not contact you and moves on, then that is a sign for you to move on too. If he contacts you again and is willing to give you another chance, then that is a sign for you to pursue marriage. Don’t wait for him after you have completed seven istikharas.

Dear sister, please be honest with yourself. He has already made it clear that he is devastated and will not change his mind. This is heartbreaking for you, so please do what you need to to heal. Grieve your loss, and after that, I encourage you to move forward and trust that Allah has someone even better in store for you. Nothing is difficult for Him.

Anxiety attacks

Make dua for Allah to cure your anxiety. See a culturally-sensitive counsellor to help you learn coping strategies. Also consider downloading this hypnosis track: Overcome Fear and Anxiety.

Marriage

If Allah wills, then it is absolutely possible for you to marry a loving and righteous Muslim man. Have a good opinion of your Merciful Creator. Please do your part by making regular istighfar, guarding your prayers, giving in charity, performing the Prayer of Need and asking for a loving and righteous spouse. I encourage you to save up money to perform umrah and Hajj. Ask Allah for everything that you wish.

When registration reopens, I encourage you to do this course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. This course will give you a clear idea of how to pursue marriage, and the spirit and law behind a successful Islamic marriage.

Trust in Allah

Place all your hopes in Allah and trust that He will never let you down. His Decree overcomes all of our weaknesses.

I pray that Allah grants you the blessings of a loving, righteous husband and children who will be the coolness of your eyes.

Please see:
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?
Some Prophetic Supplications for Difficulty and Distress
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,
I have been sexually abused during my youth, somewhat tolerating this situation. I regret it a lot. My husband keeps asking me about my past, wanting to know if I had previous relationships with other men. Should I confess my sins to him to avoid displeasing him in this life or in the hereafter when he will know about it?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, you should not disclose anything to your future husband.
Your remorse is a clear sign of your repentance. The Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The one who repents from a sin is like the one who has no sin.” Repentance wipes away the sin and its traces. [see also: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]
Allah Most High says: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 39.53]
See also: Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them? and: Should I Tell My Spouse About My Relationships Before I Got Married?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Discussing Intimate Details in Therapy Sessions

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: As a psychologist I am privy to a lot of personal and private information in sessions with clients, this occasionally places me in situations where people (i.e. who are not my clients but know my profession) open up to me and seek advice.

1) Is it permissible for me to find out about my client’s private/intimate life if it will assist in the therapy?

2) If someone who is not my client has called for general advice on a situation which involves sharing private information about a specific person/place, is this classified as a form of backbiting?

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your service in counseling others!

Discussing Private Matters for the Sake of Therapy

1. Is it permissible for me to find out about my client’s private/intimate life if it will assist in the therapy?

Although it is usually discouraged to discuss the details of one’s personal life, this discouragement is lifted when such discussion has a clear benefit. This falls under the general rules of speaking outlined by the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak [that which is] good or be silent” [Sahih Bukhari].

Since disclosing intimate details is an important part of therapy, then the benefit from such disclosure makes it permissible and in fact encouraged if it can improve the patient’s health. Of course, this permissibility is limited to that which is beneficial: you should only pry into your patient’s private life to the extent needed for the therapy.

Is Disclosing Private Information About Others a Form of Backbiting?

2) If someone who is not my client has called for general advice on a situation which involves sharing private information about a specific person/place, is this classified as a form of backbiting?

Backbiting, as defined by the Prophet (peace be upon him), is to “say something about your brother [or sister] that he [or she] would dislike” [Sahih Muslim]. Muslim scholars ruled backbiting to be haraam except when there is a clear benefit sanctioned by the shari`ah, such as when one is demanding their rights in court, consulting others about a potential spouse or business partner, and similar situations [Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha].

Therefore, the sharing of private information depends on this rule of necessity and benefit. You must ask yourself: Is there a clear and beneficial purpose in disclosing this information? Is there any benefit in speaking about this specific person and what he/she did, or can I keep the person anonymous and speak in generalities?

Use your own professional judgment in deciding what is necessary and what is not, keeping in mind that the health of your patients is of utmost importance.

The Need to Speak About Personal Issues

As a closing remark, I want to emphasize the need for Muslims to have an outlet to discuss their personal issues. Mental and emotional health are often neglected in our communities, thereby causing great harm to many individuals and their families.

Alarmingly, many Muslims think that Islam sanctions such neglect. Rather, what Islam teaches us is that all problems, even those of an intimate and personal nature, can and should be discussed, but in an appropriate setting. The Prophet (peace be upon him) famously praised the women of the Ansar for asking him detailed personal questions and not letting shyness prevent them from learning the details of their religion [Sahih Bukhari].

It is therefore important for professionals like yourself to offer your invaluable services to your local Muslim community. Speaking about private matters might not be appropriate in a public setting, but it is absolutely necessary when counsel is sought. May Allah reward you for your efforts!

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Should I Tell My Spouse About My Relationships Before I Got Married?

Are There Valid Reasons to Reveal Sins?

Should I Tell My Spouse About My Relationships Before I Got Married?

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: Assalaamu alaikum, My doubts are as follows:
1) Before marriage, I had a relationship with a Christian boy. Finding it, my parents forced me to marry a Muslim which I did. Later I repented for having a relationship with the
Christian boy. Although before marriage itself, I told my husband that I love a Christian, I didn’t give all the details. Should i reveal all my past to my husband? Kindly note that I have only been with my husband. But, details like love letters & he touching my hand,face etc., I am hiding. Will Allah punish me? After marraige, I have never allowed any other man in my life other than my husband.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I hope you are doing well inshaAllah. The Messenger (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “The one who [sincerely] repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.”  Since you have repented from your sin and stopped all contact with the person, you do not need to worry about being punished inshaAllah. Please look at these answers on repentance and sin:

Regarding disclosure of this previous relationship to your husband, it is not necessary — it is actually prohibited. It is sinful to speak about sins, including one’s own, unless there is a shari`a countenanced reason.

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, ” All my community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night while his Lord covered it, and then to wake up and tell someone that they did such-and-such yesterday, while Allah had concealed it for him. He slept under the cover of Allah, and he rended Allah’s covering from himself in the morning.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Please see this detailed answer about speaking about past sins:
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Wassalam,
Sulma

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: If one commits some sin, lets say he/she killed someone or committed zina.  The person is truly sorry and makes sincere istighfaar and never does this again.  Is it true that if asked sometime in the future if has ever previously committed murder/zina he can say NO? So in other words, does making sincere istighfaar wipe your slate clean so that if asked about it one can answer as if he/she has never done the sin in question?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Sins are wiped out by sincere repentance. However, if they relate to the rights of another, this right has to be returned. Killing is especially dangerous because taking the life of another is a wrong which cannot be returned in this life. As such, one’s repentance should be coupled with a true turning to Allah, lest the one killed demand requital on the Day of Judgment.

Talking About Sins

It is prohibited (haram) and sinful to talk about sins, whether current or past, except when there is a Shariah-countenanced reason. Even when such a reason exists, if it is possible to mention something general (such as not mentioning oneself or any particular type of sins) then mentioning specific sins would remain sinful. This is because it is:

(1) obligatory to avoid vain talk [defined below] and

(2) obligatory to conceal one’s sins.

Imam Barkawi said in his al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya,

“Talking about the vain is to talk about sins [K: one’s own or others’], such as talking about gatherings of drinking, or the fornicators, without there being a valid reasons. This is because it is revealing sin, whether one’s own or another’s, without a [K: religiously valid] reason.” [al-Bariqa al-Mahmudiyya Sharh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya, 3: 224-225]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “All my Community will be excused except those who are blatant. And it is from blatancy for one to perform an act at night and to wake up and tell something that they did such-and-such, while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under the cover of Allah, and they rended Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

What if I am asked whether I did such and such?

Given this, if someone asks one whether one used to do drink, for example, in the bad old days, one cannot answer in the affirmative. Rather, one should answer by an indirect answer, like, “Why would any Muslim drink?” Or, “Alhamdulillah, Allah protected me from that,” intending that Allah protected one after one stopped. If such an indirect answer does not come to one’s mind, it would be permitted (or, rather, necessary) to lie and deny this.

Why?

The reason why it is so important not to talk about sin is because of what sin is: it is that which Allah hates, and may punish its doer for in the Hereafter. Sins go against the very purpose of the creation of humanity, which is to know and worship Allah. If you examine sins, all of them either entail or lead to social harms.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Believers see their sins as if they were sitting at the foot of a mountain and feared that it may fall on them, while the corrupt see their sins as if they were a mere fly that flew by their nose.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Sins are something extremely grave. The believer fears even getting close to sinning, because of their firm belief, sincere devotion, and true love.

When people start talking about sins, they lose their gravity and people start thinking (even if only subconsciously) that it is not all that bad to sin. For example, if one missed praying Fajr, one must feel remorseful. This remorse would lead to repentance and a determination not to make the same mistakes again. However, if one went to the breakfast table, and everyone was talking normally about how they didn’t get up for Fajr, this sin would feel less grave. Eventually, it would just be the way things are.

Taking Care of One’s Eyes and Ears

This is also why it is important to avoid seeing and hearing that which is not permitted. This is not only the obvious sins, but also reading and seeing things that may affect one’s beliefs or understanding of Islam.

We have been instructed by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that, “From the excellence of a man’s Islam is to leave that which does not concern him.” [A sound (hasan) hadith, transmitted by Tirmidhi and others]

The great Hanafi hadith expert, jurist, sufi, and expert in Qur’anic recitations, Mulla Ali al-Qari (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his expansive commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih:

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“From the excellence of a man’s Islam is leaving that which does not concern him.”

That is, to leave that which is not important or befitting of him, whether in speech, actions, or thought. Thus, the excellence of a man’s Islam is its perfection, such that one remains steadfast in the submission to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, and surrenders to His rulings in accordance to His destiny and decree (qada wa qadr). This is the sign of the heart having been expanded by the light of its Lord, and the descent of quietude (sakina) into the heart.

The reality of that which does not concern him is that which is not needed for a worldly or next-worldly necessity, and dos not aide in attaining his Lord’s good pleasure, such that it is possible to life without it.

This includes excess acts and unnecessary speech. This hadith may well be taken from Allah Most High’s saying, “And who shun all vain things.” [Qur’an, 23: 3;  f:  Imam Baydawi explains vain things in his Tafsir as being: “that which does not concern them of speech and actions”]

And it has been related in a Prophetic hadith that, “The people of the Garden will not remorse except for moments that passed them by without remembering Allah.” [Tabarani from our master Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him)].

So glad tidings to one who takes himself to account before he is taken to account!

Allah Most High has said, “O you who believe! Observe your duty to Allah. And let every soul look to that which it sends on before for the morrow. And observe your duty to Allah! Lo! Allah is Informed of what you do. And be not you as those who forgot Allah, therefore He caused them to forget their souls. Such are the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, 59: 18)

Awza`i said, “`Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz wrote to us, ‘Whoever is frequent in remembering death is content with but a little of this world. And whoever counts his speech from his actions speaks little except in that which benefits him.'” [Mulla Ali al-Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih, 8: 585 #4840]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani