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Seeking Forgiveness for Premarital Relationship and Informing One’s Spouse

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I was in a relationship with a guy but we didn’t end up getting married.  I feel really guilty for being in a relationship and my parents don’t know about it.  I knew it was wrong but I justified it by saying we will get married one day.   I feel really guilty and I can’t forgive myself.  How can I seek forgiveness?  Also, do I owe an explanation to the person I’ll be getting married to? Will it be wrong to hide it? It seems that telling the truth would create more problems.  Thank you.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question.

When God has concealed a sin, it’s not correct to reveal it. Be thankful you were able to move on from this relationship without suffering serious consequences.

You have to consider the culture in which you live, a culture that often does not look favorably upon women with a past, no matter if those women have repented.

If asked about prior relationships, you don’t have to disclose anything unless there might be some physical consequence (for example, a sexually-transmitted infection, etc). If you feel uncomfortable hiding the details, then discreetly say that you’ve made some mistakes in the past, but that you have learned from them, made your repentance, and have got right with Allah Ta’ala. All of this depends on the level of tolerance shown by your prospective husband.

As far as feeling guilty is concerned, strike a balance. Feel remorse for the past, but don’t allow it to overwhelm you to the point where you can’t function. Thank Allah for concealing your sins but don’t be cavalier about them.

May Allah make things easy,

Zaynab Ansari

Should I Marry Someone I Had a Premarital Relationship With?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I made a mistake by doing unisamic actions with a girl I really liked. Afterwards, I felt guilty and did not want to see her anymore because it reminded me of the bad things we did. I see her as a bad influence even though I fully participated and initiated a lot of things. She is upset but wants to marry me. She is more religious, (prays regularly and is willing to make more changes) but i feel like it’s fake and just to get me. Is it wrong that I question her intentions? Or could this be the time Allah brings her back to Him? Am I wrong for letting go and not trying to marry her? I wanted to marry her initially.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum,

Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question.

There was a time in the United States, in the not-too-distant-past, when a man would “do the right thing” by a woman and marry her if they had had intimate relations and particularly if those relations resulted in a pregnancy. Although this was viewed as the honorable thing to do, it did not always ensure the longevity of the marriage since the marriage’s very foundation was shaky. Sometimes, however, strong marriages did arise from an unfortunate start, particularly if the couple were determined to look forward.

What you have to do is figure out if there’s the possibility of a strong marriage after this, or a lifetime of mutual resentment.

Speaking according to the strict letter of Islamic law, you are not required to marry the young woman if you have repented. That is, you do have the option of trying to start over with a clean slate and marry someone with whom you share less baggage.

From a human-relationships standpoint, though, you should probably consider her predicament. After all, both of you consented to the actions and it is wrong to blame her for a sin that you both committed.

If your negative opinion of her outweighs any good you see in her, despite her remorse, then it’s probably best to move on. If you see a future with her, then you need to leave the past and accept her repentance, just as you would hope she accept yours.

Please pray on it (salat al-istikhara).

May Allah make things easy,

Zaynab Ansari

Longing to Marry Someone I Had a Physical Relationship With

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: I am a teenager and I had a physical relationship with a brother. We want to get married as soon as we are old enough but we got caught by parents. Now our families hate each other and the guy has been sent away. I can’t even think about being with anyone else. Is there any dua i can read or do anything for us to be together again, and for our families to accept our relationship?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

As difficult as it is to accept, you are better off without this person in your life. A man who truly values a woman will marry her before having a physical relationship with her. A soulmate is supposed to lead you to Allah, not entice you to commit sin. It would not be appropriate to ask Allah to bring someone back into your life who encouraged you to commit a major sin. Instead, you should thank Allah this person has been removed from your life. You should focus on repenting to Allah and reevaluating your life. You’re only a teenager and have many years, God willing, in store. Why weigh yourself down with a toxic relationship? You should move on with your life and let him move on with his. If he had wanted to do right by you, he would have married you. Period. Trust me, he will recover from this; men almost always do. You, on the other hand, might have a longer road to travel, hence my insistence on repentance and getting things right with God.

May Allah Ta’ala give you healing from this,

Zaynab Ansari