Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I became like a brother to a married and pregnant woman, then her husband became jealous and divorced her. I never intended for this to happen. Do I need to ask forgiveness from him?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
SubhanAllah. May Allah heal the broken hearts of this woman’s household, and guide all of you to what pleases Him.
This tribulation is a painful reminder about the importance of observing the strict gender rules in Islam. Even though your intention was to help, you are not this woman’s mahram. It was a mistake for you to treat her like your older sister.
Yes, you must seek forgiveness from her husband. What he did to her was cruel, but you overstepped your boundaries with her by being an emotional support for her.
This woman’s former husband sounds like a standard abuser: a jealous bully. Despite that, his anger is based on fact. His wife was emotionally involved with you. A healthier husband would have seen this as a red flag for his marriage and sought help through counselling. Unfortunately, he chose to act on his anger and lash back at her, instead of seeking help.
Take responsibility for your contribution to this, apologise to him, make a sincere repentance, and move forward. Learn from your mistakes.
It would have been much wiser for you to connect her with other Muslim sisters, instead of taking on that responsibility yourself. It sounds like she was lonely and she found solace in your companionship. This is how extra-marital affairs begin, as unimaginable as it may seem to you right now. Please see The Cheater’s Cascade and 5 Ways To Prevent Infidelity.
Unless you are sincere about marrying this woman, please end your relationship with her. It sounds like you were very close to her and even got to know her mother.
Marriage is the natural next step for you to make this relationship halal. Please enrol in and complete Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
It takes a real man to be a good husband and a loving stepfather. If you are not up to this, then end this chapter with apologising to her and her husband, and please do not contact her again. Each time you think of her, make istighfar, and make dua for her and her family.
I pray that Allah helps you make a sincere repentance, and grants all of you that which is pleasing to him.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.