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Ahmad H
05-03-2013, 04:15 AM
As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Dear brothers and sisters, I wish that someone can give me some clarification based upon the Qur'an and Sunnah, on this issue. Can a Muslim man marry another Muslim woman who committed adultery (sex outside of marriage) or vice versa? I don't see how this is the case. I have seen some Muslims see no trouble with this issue, and they seem to find no reason to think anything wrong with someone having a boyfriend or girlfriend and then marrying them!

The Qur'an says:

24:3 Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden.
(Yusuf Ali translation)

Yusuf Ali commentary:
Islam commands sex purity, for men and for women, at all times, before marriage, during marriage, and after the dissolution of marriage. Those guilty of illicit practices are shut out of the marriage circle of chaste men and women.


Having said that, I really find this outrageous that Muslims do not know of this rule in Islam. I find there to be a lot of beauty in this teaching. Those who kept themselves pure deserve those who also kept themselves pure. I will admit, I have never committed adultery in my life. Allah Himself warned me of it a long time ago, and by Him I would never want to disobey Him after He warned me personally to never go in the direction of getting a girlfriend.

As a man, I see women and I really crave for them out of this intense desire and passion. Keeping it hidden and locked away is extremely difficult. I have been successful so far in my life and I have tried my level best to not fraternize with women. In fact, I have made myself anti-social when it comes to women and made it such that I only talk to them for work or business purposes and nothing else. I end up sometimes being more friendly than I have to, and then I find I have to keep away from them and avoid them. I wonder if that's wrong or not? I know as a Muslim we have to be good towards humanity, but it is so hard to find that balance with women. I feel wrong keeping any of them as friends in the first place.

And then there comes marriage. I really don't know what to do about that. I have been doing my level best to avoid women my whole life because I realized that is the only way to keep myself from having a girlfriend. I have never had a girlfriend, and have spoken to women outside of my family very rarely. I mean, how am I supposed to deal with getting married when I have lived this way until now? And above all, how am I supposed to know if a girl had a boyfriend before and she would actually be faithful to me? How do I know she isn't too friendly with other men and fraternizes with them too often? I am really uncomfortable with the idea of a woman who fraternizes too often with men. It just seems wrong. How would I know she is chaste or not? Do I get to know her, waste my time thinking I would marry her and find myself facing the fact that she is unchaste after a long time and start all over in finding someone else? How should I find out chastity or not? There is the issue of the girl's honor as well as the family's honor. I really don't know how I would deal with this.

Advice needed brothers and sisters. I know I put a lot out there, but I really trust you to help me out with some of these issues and share some of the ways in which you know how to deal with these. These perplexing questions are keeping me from wanting to get married. I wonder if being a monastic at this point is better than getting married to an unchaste woman. No offense sisters, I just don't know who is trustworthy these days in Western society. I don't mind a woman who is secretive about the kind of passions she might have, as long as she hasn't been with a man before me or gets friendly with men beyond what is allowed by Islamic tenets.
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*charisma*
05-04-2013, 08:54 AM
Assalamu Alaikum brother,

I think shaytan is playing a lot with your head. The reason I say this is because you say that you have a desire for women, yet at the same time it's as if you're making them forbidden to you for marriage simply because of doubts--not certainty, but doubts. This is not right, my dear brother.

What you're feeling is natural because I know that you want to be with someone is working as hard as you are to remain chaste, and maybe you are not willing to lower your standards more than this when it concerns chastity. However you need to realize that a woman's chastity is not her only reflection of iman. Protecting ourselves from zina is important, but not everyone was raised the same way, not everyone lives in a state of islamic knowledge or has a person to remind them or guide them away from evil and towards good. Everyone commits great sins and little sins, but the difference between those who are loved by Allah and those who are hated by Allah is true, sincere repentance. If a woman commits zina before marriage and repents, steps away from her days of jahileeya and does everything she could to be a better muslimah, and she is able to conceal it from you, then that is best for her and for you. It's really none of your business what sins she commits before marriage as long as those sins do not carry into marriage.

Also, there are reverts who have had premarital sex before they became Muslims, so should muslim men see them as inferior to born muslim women just because they aren't virgins?? I'm not saying this to make you feel like you have to marry someone who's not a virgin or to even accept them for marriage, but rather to change your perspective about seeing chastity as the only trait that makes a good Muslimah.

You keep asking "how will I know...?" Well, don't be so concerned about her past and learn the features, characteristics, mannerisms of her present, and you will know what you need to know to have a beautiful marriage inshallah. If her virginity is a real big issue for you, then be honest and tell her that it's a big deal to you and you refuse to marry someone who isn't a virgin. Some women will also tell you if they are or aren't because they feel guilty about it and don't want to feel like they've cheated you. Either way, a person who is taking marriage seriously, will not try to lie to you about who they are because they will be spending the rest of their life with you.

To be honest with you, while you are proud of your chastity and see it as a great quality to be a potential husband, (well, actually, you see it as so great of a quality that you will refuse to marry a God-fearing non-virgin and feel proud of that decision,) your way of thinking reveals how unprepared for marriage you truly are. There could be a muslimah who has done something wrong in her past, and her repentance has made her higher than you in the eyes of Allah. This really has nothing to do with chastity, let's be truthful here, it has more to do with the great amount of jealousy that you carry inside of you and controlling tendencies of you having to know every little thing about her life before you can evaluate how worthy she is for marriage.


fi aman Allah
w'salaam
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~Zaria~
05-04-2013, 10:53 AM
:wasalam:

^ MashaAllah ukthi, that was beautifully said!


I just have a few thoughts to share:

When we are young, our expectations in life are almost 'idyllic' - we want everything to be perfect: our spouse should be chaste, righteous/ God-fearing with a good sense of humour (and good-looking!)
I think most of us held such expectations and hopes, and to some degree, this type of 'fairytale' thinking is fuelled by the Hollywood/ Bollywood romances that we consume......in fact even starting before this - e.g.the types of bed-time stories our parents may have read to us (e.g. Cinderella, Snow White, etc. - "and they all lived happily ever after").

As we mature, and life throws us challenges in our way - and our own lives end up not being as 'perfect' as WE had planned, we realise how important it is, to let go of these types of notions.

e.g. We may end up widowed/ divorced, or we may not marry young at all.
In these cases, its not practical or logical to hold onto some of our past expectations.

It may be only then, that we realise that the notion of 'virginity' is actually over-rated, and often doesnt really mean too much.
We may also realise that EVERYONE has a past - because everyone makes mistakes.
BUT, not everyone is regretful/ remorseful for their past short-comings.
And as sister charisma has mentioned, this is actually what distinguishes between people.

It is normal to desire a pure and chaste partner in life. Indeed, this is what we are encouraged to consider when marrying a prospective spouse.

However, one should also realise that we should not be requesting another to reveal his/ her sins.
And that, what matters, is a persons relationship with Allah Taa'la and His Nabi (sallalahu alaihi wasalam) at this point in time.

We realise that not everyone has the 'psychological make-up' to be able to over-look anothers indiscretions in his/ her past life.
Even for the most understanding person, there are some 'mental barriers'/ standards that we may have in place that prevents us from accepting certain past habits - e.g. not many may be able to over-look someones past of having had a looong string of affairs previously, no matter how pious he/ she appears at present.

This is understandable, and we all have our own individual 'thresholds' from this point of view.

However, we should be able to be a little compromising in shaa Allah, and be able to consider each person on his/ her individual merit, rather than shunning a whole class of people, who may have slipped up momentarily/ are only human.

If not, we may be missing out on someone who has made soo much istigfaar and tauba, and may be standing each night in tahajjud, begging for forgiveness - that now he/ she has become so very beloved to Allah.
In fact, Allah (subhanwata'ala) may have even completely blotted out that persons previous sins from his/ her book of deeds - such that, it is as though they did not even exist!


So, I think we should avoid the following types of statements in shaa Allah:

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
As-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I have seen some Muslims see no trouble with this issue, and they seem to find no reason to think anything wrong with someone having a boyfriend or girlfriend and then marrying them!......


Having said that, I really find this outrageous that Muslims do not know of this rule in Islam.

The interpretations of the quoted ayaat in the OP needs to be taken in more context, and not in isolation.


I think if someone appears to be pleasing to you, and they are objectively making efforts to LIVE their lives for Allah - in their efforts in ibaadat, following the sunnah of the prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasalam) and giving up that which attaches our hearts to this dunya, then read istikhaarah and, He will guide you towards that which is beneficial to you.


:wasalam:
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Ahmad H
05-04-2013, 05:06 PM
Jazakallah sisters. I just have a few concerns though:

Originally Posted by *charisma*
To be honest with you, while you are proud of your chastity and see it as a great quality to be a potential husband, (well, actually, you see it as so great of a quality that you will refuse to marry a God-fearing non-virgin and feel proud of that decision,) your way of thinking reveals how unprepared for marriage you truly are. There could be a muslimah who has done something wrong in her past, and her repentance has made her higher than you in the eyes of Allah. This really has nothing to do with chastity, let's be truthful here, it has more to do with the great amount of jealousy that you carry inside of you and controlling tendencies of you having to know every little thing about her life before you can evaluate how worthy she is for marriage.
I don't see my chastity as being the one thing which qualifies me as a good husband. I don't think I could ever be a good husband. There are a lot of traits I have which women would not like. Neither am I jealous of an unchaste woman either. The very reason why I posted my concerns here is because I have a major problem with the idea of marrying an unchaste woman. Islam regards adultery as one of the worst social crimes. I guess if a woman lapsed once and repented immensely after that, then she would be okay. But anyone who takes fornication lightly and doesn't see wrong with what they have done is clearly not worthy of being married to someone who is chaste. That kind of unchaste person is definitely of a low standard and doesn't deserve to be in the respectable Muslim society. Nevertheless, it just seems so wrong for someone to commit adultery. Is it wrong as a Muslim to think this way?


Originally Posted by ~Zaria~
It may be only then, that we realise that the notion of 'virginity' is actually over-rated, and often doesnt really mean too much.
We may also realise that EVERYONE has a past - because everyone makes mistakes.
BUT, not everyone is regretful/ remorseful for their past short-comings.
And as sister charisma has mentioned, this is actually what distinguishes between people.

It is normal to desire a pure and chaste partner in life. Indeed, this is what we are encouraged to consider when marrying a prospective spouse.

However, one should also realise that we should not be requesting another to reveal his/ her sins.
And that, what matters, is a persons relationship with Allah Taa'la and His Nabi (sallalahu alaihi wasalam) at this point in time.
I don't know if I agree with you on these points sister. Virginity is not overrated. Any Muslim who commits fornication is sentenced to one hundred lashes in public. This isn't a light matter at all.

As for revealing sins, that is definitely not allowed in Islam. But when it comes to marriage, both the man and woman must tell each other their major shortcomings and any majors things which they have done in the past, if they are to know they would want to marry one another. I would think only in the case of them both being dead serious they should tell each other these kinds of things. You don't just hide that you slept with others in the past and get married. How would the chaste spouse know that their life partner is worthy of raising children teaching them that that kind of thing is wrong when they take it so lightly as to say that nothing is wrong with committing fornication?

Fornication is wrong either way. I realize either one gets over it or not. That I understand from what you both have written and I thank you two for that. But telling me that fornication is a light matter doesn't seem right. It is serious and it has to be known before marriage. Would any of you be fine with not knowing something as big as that and get married to someone? I would be very surprised if you were.
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*charisma*
05-04-2013, 06:29 PM
Assalamu Alaikum

I'm not saying you're jealous of the unchaste woman, I'm saying you as a person seem to have a jealous personality.

Neither one of us is taking fornication so lightly. It's no doubt that it is haram in Islam and one of the major sins. However, you are making it a big concern for yourself when it doesn't need to be. You are doubting women's chastity on a wide scale, when it's wrong to do so, it's actually a little insulting. There are women who remain pure for marriage--there are MANY women.

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
But when it comes to marriage, both the man and woman must tell each other their major shortcomings and any majors things which they have done in the past, if they are to know they would want to marry one another. I would think only in the case of them both being dead serious they should tell each other these kinds of things.
If a woman did commit fornication before marriage and repented, she should not have to tell you and you should not make it a requirement to do so. Allah has concealed it from you and protected her and it would be shameful for her to reveal it. Even the prophet (pbuh) turned his ear away when a woman confessed to him about fornicating so that her sin will remain concealed, and this was the prophet pbuh, a man who is better than you. What have you gained from knowing, and what has she gained from telling you? If she tells you and you refuse her, she has to live with another soul knowing of her sins. If she tells you and you accept her, it will always be in the back of your head and you will be forever judging her or wary of trusting her faithfulness to you. If she tells you later on after marriage, you may divorce her. If she is a changed person, then it will be enough of a burden for her to know about the great sin she carries. It's unfair of you to make her confess her sins to you, it's really none of your business and is strictly between her and Allah. If she chooses to on her own, then that's up to her in the end.

If someone takes fornication lightly, you will easily know it. It's not an issue about "finding out." Obviously if someone wanted to fornicate, they wouldn't look towards being married and remaining with one person. They also would probably not seek out a virgin to be with.

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
Fornication is wrong either way. I realize either one gets over it or not. That I understand from what you both have written and I thank you two for that. But telling me that fornication is a light matter doesn't seem right. It is serious and it has to be known before marriage. Would any of you be fine with not knowing something as big as that and get married to someone? I would be very surprised if you were.
Personally, I wouldn't ask about his past UNLESS there was something about him that made me ask. For example, if I noticed he was being flirtatious with girls or things like that. Otherwise, if he was a God-fearing muslim who is better than me in worship, then I don't really care about his past.

You don't have to marry an unchaste woman, it's really as simple as that, but pointing out that you don't accept virgin women or that you see them as inferior has no point. It's just a matter of your opinion and you will have varying opinions concerning this, and we can talk about opinions all day, but facts are facts, and the fact is you could marry a nonvirgin and have the most wonderful marriage, or a virgin and have the worst marriage. It's all in the hands of Allah in the end. You're not in the position to judge a person in their private matters, and you most definitely have no right to see yourself above anyone that you don't know. Allah may punish you for this kind of pride, so be wary of that.

fi aman allah
w'salaam
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~Zaria~
05-04-2013, 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
The very reason why I posted my concerns here is because I have a major problem with the idea of marrying an unchaste woman....


I guess if a woman lapsed once and repented immensely after that, then she would be okay......
^ Do you see what just happened there? : )

Your initial sentiments on this thread was that, marrying someone who may have had an extra-marital relationship will never be an option for you.

I see that you are lightening a little on your load : )

Akhee, its only normal that we ALL would like our spouses to have an absolutely un-tarnished past.
And alhamdulillah, there are many people out there, like yourself, who strive to save themselves from these types of fitnahs, and will continue to keep their chastity even if marriage never comes their way.
We should indeed place a persons piety and love for Allah, before any other criteria in marriage.

However, as you may be realising - there are those who may have made major mistakes in life, and they possibly even struggle to forgive themselves for it.....but they trust in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, no matter their past transgressions.

Allah (subhanawata'ala) says in the Quraan: "And who can forgive sins EXCEPT Allah?" (3:135)

Which reminds us again that Allah is THE MOST Forgiving!

Sometimes if you really think about it - Our Book of Deeds are kept with Allah.
Yet, He is prepared to erase the deeds of His servants who engage in sincere repentance......whereas we, find it so difficult to let go.

Truly, memories and negative thoughts can bring you down, and steal away from your own future.....if you let it.

As mentioned, we each have different 'thresholds' when determining if we can 'see past' anothers short-comings.
There are certain things that I myself would not be able to psychologically over-come....while for others they may be able to see past it more easily.

The point being made is not that we consider adultery/ fornication lightly - indeed these are serious transgressions of commands of Allah.
But instead, to be able to realise (as you have just did), that people do make mistakes, and they do repent, vowing never to repeat the offense again.
And if you are able to release some of your own barriers (if possible), you may invite into your life a person whose imaan is soaring, as a result of learning from past mistakes.

And often you will be able to recognise the signs of someone who has done a '180' ' - by the manner in which they are living their lives.

Sometimes, the ones who have faulted in the past, and are soo remorseful, are the ones who are working extra hard to earn the pleasure of Allah Taa'la (vs the one who considers himself to have 'minor sins' and so is in a more complacent position in developing their imaans).

I have seen people who were 'having fun' back in campus (Allah knows best the extent of their transgressions)......who are completely changed - from their way of life, appearance, etc.
And I have seen muslims turn their back on this great gift of imaan, towards atheist/ agnosism. (A few weeks ago, a collegue presented a topic on evolution.....40mins on how we share development similiarities with fish and other animals! From a muslim, who has now turned atheist).

So, we should try hard not to look at where a person has come from......but instead, look at where he is going.

Ibn Taymiyyah once said: "What matters are good endings, not flawed beginnings."


:wasalam:
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Ahmad H
05-05-2013, 01:36 PM
Jazakallah Zaria and Charisma,

You are both very wonderful in your words and very forgiving people. I think I learned a lot from the both of you. Again, I don't think it is pride which I have in being chaste, I just had a different understanding which may have been too rigid come to think of it. I was trying to be as careful as I possibly could. I have very good reasons for being this way. Since you two were so nice to answer my issues and resolve them, I feel I can share them with you both.

One reason is that I have a very strict cultural background. I know many Muslims will say they share the same type of background, but unless they were Pukhtun like me, they would not really know what being truly segregated and conservative means. Our culture is very much like that. The second reason is that I read verse 24:3 in the Holy Qur'an years ago, and my impression then was the same as now (until I researched and had both of your advice), that a virgin cannot marry a non-virgin no matter what. I was under the impression that non-virgins were forever banned from marrying those who kept themselves pure. But this verse does refer to only those who shamelessly fornicate and don't repent for their sins, not those who have only done it minimally and repented enough to repent for a whole city of people. Another final reason why, and this basically cemented my strong conviction over all of this time, was Allah Himself telling me to keep away from having a girlfriend. He told me it is harmful that these people (He was referring to Western society) are having children outside of marriage. He then advised me to never do any of that. This was in a dream. It is so vivid that I remember it all the time. Whenever I get the feeling of wanting to be with someone no matter what, I am stopped by this very thought that if I disobey Allah, I am definitely going to Hell. It's not that I have pride, you see, I am just extremely afraid of disobeying Him. I mauled over whether or not I have pride in being chaste, but then I realized I really don't since I am acting out of fear all of this time. If it was pride, then who am I being prideful towards? These people in the West have pride in how many women they sleep with. I'm talking about guys here. I am sickened whenever I think of them doing this. These boys defile other girls and then take pride in that. if I were to show any pride, which is something I would want to have displayed, I would have the be the complete opposite of what I am.

This dream i had is the reason why I stay far away from women. Let me put it this way. Imagine envisioning the idea of yourself being thrown into Hell for disobeying Allah, in your mind, every time you had the thought of approaching someone to get to know them better from the opposite sex out of fear of heading the wrong way with them.

I also wanted to clear this up as well. I do not in any way think most girls are unchaste. I know most guys are. But i don't know women. It seems possible that a lot of them are considering the type of behavior which is displayed sometimes. I see sisters who are nicely reserved and speak to other women and hesitate to speak to men. I see that a lot.

Here is why I also had this concern. I remember when I was in High school, this one girl would be dropped off by her dad, and she would be dressed being covered properly. When I got to school, her locker was not too far away from mine in the hall. I noticed that she would remove those outer clothing of hers and then be in a different kind of dress. I wondered to myself then as I do now. Just how many Muslimah are deceiving their parents in this way? It's not just girls, its guys who are also sleeping around and then speaking about it to others. Unfortunately, two Muslim friends of mine in high school told me about them doing this sort of thing. I was shocked. I couldn't think well of them after that and I made sure to never keep in touch with them. They were pretty vile in their speech anyways, so I never missed being their friends.

As a person living in the West all of my life, I still see problems with this. I wonder, why can't others see things this way as well? I don't think this is opinion, it is a matter of seeing the right and wrong. The least they could do is admit when they are wrong but instead I see people like this taking pride in their actions. It's not me who has pride. i am just concerned. i don't think it is wrong to be concerned. I still can't wrap my mind around this kind of behavior.

But anyways. I think starting this thread was well worth it. You two have dispelled my doubts and reminded me that Allah ascribes purity to people and not us. I see that confessing sins would be more harmful than good in a marriage situation. You two have described that scenario very well.

Should either one of you still find I said anything wrong here and that my understanding is off somewhere, please point it out. I don't want to make any silly mistakes in the future that would cause me and others harm.
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ardianto
05-05-2013, 02:18 PM
Assalamualaikum, brother Ahmad H

Okay, notice from your ethnicity I understand if you are very very conservative and expect a wife from the same background.

So, .... how about looking for a wife from Northwest Pakistan?. Maybe you have relatives there who can find a right girl for you?

:)
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Ahmad H
05-05-2013, 02:34 PM
Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Much appreciated response ardianto. However, I don't think I'll be looking for a wife soon. I want to be able to grant my parents more grandchildren, but there are a lot of reasons why I couldn't possibly try now.

Yes, considering my cultural background, someone from the same background would work better just because of how we Pukhtuns are so different. I'm not saying we're better. I like my cultural background and definitely would enjoy marrying amongst my own people. I don't know what the future holds though. As the sisters said above, it is righteousness that counts for it all in the end. Even though I would want to marry someone from the Northern areas in Pakistan, things could turn out different.

To be honest, I would probably aim for someone here in the West. Considering immigration policies are much more strict against Pakistanis now, if I were to marry a woman from northwestern Pakistan, you could see how much trouble it would be to bring her here. Just look at the global situation and how the West is viewing Pakistan with a more strict attitude. So even though I wish I could do that, in practice it is much too difficult. It's very unfortunate. Even more so that my very same people who are Taliban are those who speak my language and are the same ones the U.S. hates so much...
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IbnAbdulHakim
05-05-2013, 05:56 PM
this intense desire and passion it what allows a beautiful marriage to be sustained.

although perhaps maybe we should cool the intensity a bit :)



Everything has its purpose, just as anger has its good parts when used for the sake of Allaah, if Allaah never got angry imagine what the world would be like.
this can be said for jelousy and many other things when used wrongly can lead to sinning.


I think your over thinking things a bit too much (Something I do all the time myself so forgive my hypocrisy)

Best to take a step back - breathe and see what the scholars say eh bro :)




personally I congratulate you on your aversion towards freemixing and your desire to have a wife with similar aversions. May Allah grant you good things for good intentions
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~Zaria~
05-05-2013, 07:27 PM
MashaAllah brother,

You may find the following advice beneficial as well in shaa Allah:

http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/17628


:wasalam:
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tigerkhan
05-06-2013, 02:28 AM
Dear bro :sl:
don't be deceived by satan...cz i think for woman to keep her chastity is not for her husband but on the top its for Allah. So let say in the worst case scenario u got the married with the woman who was not virgin, i mean she has done this mistake, i think its the matter btw her n Allah. u cant do anything cz if she a girl is not chaste, only she know it and if she didn't tell anyone none can judge it. in islam u r not allowed to suspect her or judge her (tajjasus or guman). so basically this type of judgmental mind frame and attitude for being resurrecting other, i thinks its not good. Allah SWt has given us no authority to take account of ppl sins and mistake, its Allah who has this authority.
2ndly about marriage, there are guidelines in sharia for choosing spouse so its not very big issue.
from Pakistan, the pbm is these guys r mush more traditional and they prefer marrying inside tribe, same caste, etc etc so that will be not easy for u.
2ndly keep in mind when there was blame on Aisha RA, prophet PBUH didn't divorce her and there r many other stories from life of Suhaba RA..so yes man is obliged to take care of chastity of his wife but it doesn't mean he should behave like a God..there r limits.
i will suggest simply marry from ur locality, any compatible girl who have good repu for her piouty and hopefully rest of things will be ok when u got married.
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Ahmad H
05-06-2013, 06:11 PM
Jazakallah. I appreciate these responses. I guess i can`t know this type of history from someone since Allah has concealed it for them.

As per the website link above, that was very helpful. One of the first things I thought about a long time ago was if a girl had gotten an STD, would she ever let me know if I had to get married to her? As long as I can know this at least, then I know I am safe. As long as that is mandatory for someone to tell, then I completely agree with the attitude of confidentiality.

Again, I was not aiming at making judgmental calls on someone to potentially marry by rejecting them for their past. I really believed that anyone who had pre or extra marital sex relations were not permissible to anyone who was chaste altogether. This was perhaps a narrow-minded perspective. I now realize that there are Ahadith which explain this matter more clearly as well as scholarly explanations which clarified the explanation regarding verse 24:3 - which was what I had understood differently.

I can see though that someone who converted to Islam would make a change from this adulterous attitude for sure. Don't know about the other cases, but I definitely notice that converts have a big shift in their perspective on life - in a very good way.

I appreciate all of the responses. I think my understanding of this issue is resolved: A woman who repented of her past is considered chaste despite being unchaste before. I cannot know this because Allah concealed this matter from others. An unchaste person then, according to verse 24:3 is then someone who doesn't repent of their fornications and continues them. That person cannot marry a chaste person because they are only worthy of marrying an idolater or another unchaste person. They are forbidden to the pure people who are sincere towards Allah and repent of their previous ways or keep away from these major sins altogether.

After this, I will then say Allah knows best about my future. I'll just resign myself to His decree. I can't get away from it anyways. At least I understand what He said a lot better now.
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