Tag archive for ‘zinaa’

Is it Prohibited to Marry Someone Guilty of Zinaa (Adultery/Fornication)?


Two parrots on a fence in Brooklyn

Reprinted from SeekersGuidance.org
Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question:

A girl and I committed zina a few months back. We are in the process of getting married very soon. Is it permissible for me to marry the girl I committed zina with? Is it obligatory for her to repent before we get married? She will definitely repent but I want to know if its required in order us to marrry. I read this on islamqa.com.

Answer:

All praise is to Allah Most High who has shown us right from wrong, in order that we may benefit both in this life and in the next life.

Zina (either illicit fornication for those never-before-married, or adultery for those who have been married) is one of the vilest and gravest sins a Muslim can commit, after ascribing partners with Allah, murder, and disobedience to one’s parents. In the Qur’an, right after the prohibition of killing one’s children, Allah Most High says:

“And do not even go close to Zina! Truly, it is a gross obscenity and an evil path (to go down).” [al-Quran, 17:32]

This verse is not just about prohibiting the act of zina itself, rather, we are told not even to go near it through anything that may lead or invite to it. This is why the pre-marital contact of an unrelated man and woman for unnecessary reasons is not allowed in Islam, even if marriage is the eventual goal.

However, if anyone has fallen into committing this act (and may Allah save us), know that Allah is so Merciful and He is ready to accept the repentance of those who are truly remorseful and commit themselves not to repeat the act again. He, Most High, says:

“And those who, after they had committed a gross obscenity [ie. zina], or wronged themselves [by what approaches it, such as kissing], remembered Allah, and then sought forgiveness for their sins – and who forgives sins except Allah? – and they did not continue in committing it, knowing fully-well [it was a sin]:

For those people, their recompense is a great forgiveness from their Lord! And gardens underneath which rivers flow! They will be in there forever! What a wonderful reward for those who act for Allah!”

[al-Quran, 2:135-136, interpretation from Jalalayn and Tabari]]

It is definitely a step in the right direction that you both have turned away from this and are now working to get married soon. Both of you, not just the woman, should repent from what has passed and make a firm commitment not to come near to a situation where it might happen again. However, the direct answer to your question is that it isn’t a legal requirement that one repent (which is an inward act between a servant and Allah) in order for the marriage to be valid (which is an outward action).

That being said, it is still obligatory to repent in any case, and to do so before marriage is not so much of a technical requirement as some opinions say, but rather something strongly encouraged for the couple get on the right footing with Allah Most High as they embark on the sacred journey of being husband and wife. Now, we’ll look at the reasons why the majority of scholars say this, and the verse of the Quran which concerns the issue.

The Verse Concerning Marriage With Those Who Commit Zina

Allah Most High says:

“A man guilty of adultery or fornication does not marry other than a woman guilty of adultery or fornication, or an idolatress, and as for a woman who committed adultery or fornication, no one but a man who committed adultery or fornication, or an idolater, marries her. And that has been prohibited for the Believers.” [al-Quran 24:3]

The opinion that you read (on islamqa.com) says that this verse is a prohibition against the marriage of a Believer with someone guilty of zina, until the adulterer repents, thereby being cleansed of the sin and no longer being an adulterer. This is based on the taking the statement “it has been prohibited” at one of its literal and apparent meanings and applying it to marriage. Some Hanbali scholars held this view.

However, the majority of scholars have said that this is not a prohibition in terms of validity of marriage, but rather they interpret the verse in many different ways.

Al-Suyuti in Tafseer al-Jalaalayn points out that the beginning of the verse speaks about who is appropriate for marriage to another due to their character; that the only person who would want to marry an adulterer is one who has similar inclinations or makes light of the sin of zina, or a person who is not a Muslim and therefore does not see zina as being unlawful and sinful in the first place. The suitability of a man and woman of this nature is repeated twice to show emphasis on how detestable the act and its consensual perpetrators are, and it also highlights that this stigma is not attached only to the male or female alone (as is sometimes sadly observed in some cultures).

Al-Suyuti goes on to say that the prohibition on the Believers was initially meant to address a situation in which some very poor Muslim Emigrants to Medina had wanted to get married to women who were pagans and known prostitutes, so that they might benefit from those women’s earnings to survive. Hence, the verse was revealed to prohibit this, and he says that the prohibition of marrying anyone who had once committed adultery was abrogated by a later command which said “and marry the single ones from amongst you.” [al-Quran, 24:32]

That does not mean however, that it is of no consequence to marry someone who is unrepentant about their adultery, nor that a chaste person should marry such a person.

Al-Shaukani in Fath al-Qadeer lists 7 different interpretations, one of them being that the verse is simply commending the most commonly observed trend, which is that a chaste person would not usually want to marry someone who was unremorsefully unchaste. He also mentions that the verse is in reference specifically to people to whom zina has become a way of life and even a way of earning. Some transmissions of prohibiting the marriage of two fornicators to each other exist from some Companions, but conflicting narrations from some of those same Companions and the rulings of many of the Imams of the Salaf (such as al-Shafi’i and Abu Haneefa) who knew the Companion’s opinions better than we do today, show that this prohibition was not conclusive or absolute.

Ibn Katheer in his tafseer quotes a narration attributed to Ibn ‘Abbas which indicates that the word “to marry” in this verse (yankiHu) actually takes its other literal meaning, which is “to have intercourse”, so that the verse reads “(illicit intercourse) is prohibited for the Believers”. Al-Tabari says that the verse was revealed to speak about a specific brothel which was frequented by non-Muslims and adulterers, and that the Muslims were forbidden from visiting houses the likes of those. Al-Baghawi even mentions specific people for whom the verse was revealed initially. To summarize, a casual glance through many other tafseers will reveal that while most mufassireen (commentators on the Qu’ran) reported a variety of reasons and interpretations of the verse, the most common interpretations were either one compatibility and censure, or a prohibition that was later abrogated in that same surah.

Some Reports on this Issue

Reports of the sayings of the Companions and Followers on this issue are plentiful.

Daraqutni reports, in part of a hadeeth, from Aisha that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about a man who committed zina with a woman, and then wanted to marry her. Part of the reply was, “Something unlawful (zina) does not make prohibited that which is lawful (marriage)…”

He also reports that Ibn Abbas, regarding a man who had committed zina with a woman and then married her, said, “The first part of [the relationship] was fornication (al-sifaah) and the last part of it was lawful Islamic marriage (al-nikaah). The first part was unlawful, and the last part was lawful.” In another riwayah, he said “there is no harm in it”, and that a similar meaning had been reported from ‘Umar, Abu Hurayara and Jabir (may Allah be well pleased with them all), though saying there is “no harm in it” doesn’t necessarily show that it is liked or recommended.

‘Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf also relates from Ibn ‘Abbas, on the same issue that a man committed zina with a woman then married her, that he said, “Then that (marriage) is better”, and in another narration, “Now he did the right thing!”, and “What’s disliked about that?”

He goes on to report that Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) said, “There is no better repentance than that he marries her- (after all) they both went from fornication to Islamic marriage.” [This last report contains an unidentified narrator but its concept and wisdom is amply supported by other reports]. Although there are fewer reports about ‘Aisha and Ibn Mas’ud not allowing such a marriage, perhaps they can be interpreted as recommendations rather than laws, or that the wisdom is for both people to start fresh with other people rather than build their marriage on wrong actions or to discourage the validating of pre-marital relationships. Either way, repentance as a technical requirement to validate the marriage is not established according to the majority.

Amongst the Sunni schools of law, the Hanafi school (as well as the Shafi’i and Maliki schools) rules the permissibility of the marriage of two adulterers [Tabyeen al Haqaiq, al-Zayla'i]. One proof says that the verse in the Quran intends to prohibit intercourse rather than marriage with an adulterer, as it would otherwise seem to recommend that a fornicating muslim can actually marry a non-believing idolater, and there is no such valid marriage between the two as is decisively established in Islam, and so the meaning is carried upon intercourse in order to outlaw zina, and not marriage, to an adulterer. However, the opinion of some Hanbali jurists that repentance is required is good in its meaning because it forces the two people to recognize their wrong and repent to start their marriage on a fresh footing.

One might say however, that the intention to make up for the wrong one has done by doing in its place what is good and chaste, by getting married, is itself a commendable act that shows regret for what was done in the past, though correcting a wrong must be joined by sincere taubah and a promise never to return to the sin again. It should also be clear that there is also no obligation for the two parties to continue on with marriage after an illicit relationship; rather, one should marry someone who they feel has a good Islamic character and a desire to live a righteous life.

And Allah knows best, and His help is sought,

Abdullah Misra
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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Rights of Children Born Out of Wedlock

Baby sleeping in a shoe

Okay, the photo is not directly related to the article, I just thought it was very funny, this baby who fell asleep on a shoe. - Zawaj.com Editor

Date: 05/Aug/2003

Name of Mufti: Group of Muftis

Topic: Rights of Children Born out of Wedlock

Name of Questioner: A Muslim from USA

Question: Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I am a Muslim male convert from USA. I have two children from before I accepted Islam and they were both born out of wedlock in an unlawful relationship before I met my wife.

Since accepting Islam I gained custodial rights over them but not custody. They live with me and my wife who also have two children and of course I care for and maintain them. I call them son (6) and daughter (5) and they call me father. My wife calls them step-son and daughter and they call her step-mother.

I have learned that in Islam, children of zina are not ascribed to the father and that there is no parent/child rights between them. They are considered orphans and there is no term as step-parent. Having said all of this back ground info., my question is what are the relations between us according to Shari`ah? Should I allow them to know they are orphans? If their birth mother wants them back though she refuses acceptance of Islam should I allow them to leave my home to live with her? If I am not considered their father than what is our duty to them and them to us? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we commend your pursuit of knowledge and your keenness to seek what is lawful and avoid what is not. We earnestly implore Allah to bless your efforts in this honorable way.

First of all, it is to be stated that adultery and producing a child out of wedlock is indeed an enormous sin in Islam. However, a non-Muslim who embraces Islam should be assured of the promise of the Messenger of Allah who said,“Islam wipes out all of one’s past sins.” In other words, on becoming a Muslim every single sin you had committed in the past, no matter how enormous and ugly they were, will be blotted out, and thus once again you will become like a new born baby, and hence free of all sins. Furthermore, Allah’s infinite compassion is such that while, upon embracing Islam, you are absolved of all of your past sins, you carry over to Islam all of the good deeds you ever happened to do in the past: It is indeed a double mercy.

Secondly, as for the child born out of wedlock, like every other child, he or she is born sinless; it does not carry the stigma of the sin of the father or mother or both. A basic principle in Islamic justice is that no one bears the blame for another’s fault. A child born as a result of an illegitimate relationship suffers no adverse discrimination on account of his parents’ sin.

Responding to the question in point,Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

“The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that Islam removes the sins of the past. Since you accepted Islam, Inshaa’Allah you will receive the forgiveness for your past sins.

Since you acknowledge that those children are yours, you are their father and they are your children. They are not orphans as long as you are alive. If you want to take care of them, then you should do that, but if their mother wants them, that is acceptable.

Most importantly, try to raise them as Muslims. Because this thing happened before Islam, these children will inherit from you if they are Muslims, but if they do not accept Islam, then they will not have the rights of inheritance from you. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that a Muslim doesn’t inherit from a non-Muslim and a non-Muslim doesn’t inherit from a Muslim. However, you are allowed to give them a share from your will, which should not be more than 1/3 of your assets.”

In this respect, the prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and Former Professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, adds:

“The children born out of wedlock deserve all the care they need as children; thus you should provide them with all the requirements and elements to make them succeed in this life.

They are not responsible for the past deeds of their parents. However, the attribution of the child’s name to the father is based on the acceptance of the father. If he approves of it, then he/she can be named after him.”

– IslamOnline.net

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Looking With Desire at the Opposite Sex

Comic strip eyes

Reprinted from IslamOnline.net, Ask the Scholar

Date: 16/November/2005

Name of Mufti: IOL Shari`ah Researchers

Topic: Relationship between sexes in Islam

Name of Questioner: Mohanad from Eritrea

Question: As-Salamu `alaykum! I hope you could shed light on the issue of looking with desire at the opposite sex. Jazakum Allah khyran.

Answer:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother in Islam, we commend your eagerness to become well-acquainted with Islam and its teachings, which is the way Allah has chosen for the welfare of His servants.

As for your question, you have to bear in mind the fact that Islam cares for the welfare and honor of people to the extent that it prohibits the mere look at the opposite sex with lust.

In his well-known book, “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam”, the prominent Muslim scholar, Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:

What Islam prohibits in the sphere of sex includes looking at a member of the opposite sex with desire; for the eye is the key to the feelings, and the look is a messenger of desire, carrying the message of fornication or adultery.

This is why Allah Almighty has commanded the believing men and the believing women alike to lower their gazes together with His command to guard their sexual parts: (Tell the believing men that they should lower their gazes and guard their sexual organs; that is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is well-acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women that they should lower their gazes and guard their sexual organs, and not display their adornment, except that which is apparent of it; and that they should draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or male servants who lack sexual desire, or children who are not aware of women’s nakedness; and that they should not strike their feet in order to make known what they hide of their adornment.) (An-Nur 24: 30-31)

Several divine injunctions are contained in these two verses. Two of them pertain to both men and women, namely, the lowering of the gaze and the guarding of the sexual organs, while the rest are addressed exclusively to women.

A difference is to be noted here between the expressions, ‘lower their gazes’ and ‘guard their sexual organs,’ signifying that while the sexual organs must be totally guarded without any leeway, the lowering of the gaze is only partial, because necessity and the general interest of the people require that some looking at members of the opposite sex be allowed.

‘Lowering the gazes’ does not mean that in the presence of the opposite sex the eyes should be shut or that the head should be bowed toward the ground, since this would be impossible; in another place the Qur’an says, ‘Lower your voice‘ (Luqman 31: 19), which does not mean sealing the lips. Here, ‘lowering of the gazes’ means to avert one’s gaze from the faces of the passers-by and not to caress the attractive features of the members of the opposite sex with one’s eyes. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told `All ibn Abi Talib, ‘Ali, do not let a second look follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.’ (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) considered hungry and lustful looks at a person of the opposite sex as ‘the zina (adultery or fornication) of the eye,’ according to his saying, ‘The eyes also commit zina, and their zina is the lustful look.” (Reported by al-Bukhari)

He termed the lustful look zina because it gives sexual pleasure and gratification in an unlawful way. This is also what Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said in the Gospel of Matthew: You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt. 5:2728)

Indeed, such hungry and lustful looks are not merely a danger to chastity but they also result in agitation of the mind and disturbed thoughts.

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