Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I am having evil thoughts about the girl I wish to marry due to her past and can’t decide what to do? Please help


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

Asalamu Aleykum brothers and sisters,

I am a new Muslim, and 20 years of age and I am having some issues concerning relationships. I am French so if some of the sentences I say dont make 100% sense, please bare in mind that my English is not so good because I am French. Anyway, back to the issue. I've known this girl for about nearly all my life and its beeen 3 months now since we confessed our love for each other but we've been in love for more than a year and I knew she loved me and that I loved her. I want to have a Halal relationship and thinking about marrying her in the near future, InshaAllah. I know her parents and she knows mine and we've all agreed on this. Anyway, here's the story:

So like all relationships; I've told her about my darkest secrets and and she did the same but she told me about soemthing that really shocked me. Now, I've never had sex in my life even though I wasn't Muslim all my life and have been in several relationships but she told me just recently that she did have sex before with her previous "boyfriend" and he forced her. He constantly seduced her and took her to his house and made her sleep on the same bed. So I didn't know how to react to this and I know it took her alot of guts to tell me this. She was crying to me on the phone for hours and telling me how much she loved me and how much she wants to be with me and that she didnt want to hide anything from me since we want to be with one another. I told her that the past is past but, I keep thinking about it. The types of things she done with that guy. She told me she's never had full sex just was pleasured by that guy using other means but I know that it's not the case and that she did go further and whenever I think about it, I just feel so disgusted and I feel like I want to throw up but sad at the same time but I still want to be with her.

I love this girl, and I want to complete half my deen with her. I cry every night asking for Allah's help and every time I think about leaving her my heart aches and I just cant do it. I've never loved anyone like this in my life, to the point I would fall sick whenever I don't communicate with her. We have not seen or met up with one another ever since we've confessed and I told her that; its for the best but its killing me inside. I want to marry her but at the same time, thinking about her doing that stuff with another man is just, very upsetting. I wanted to be her first and her last but now I know I will just be number two. Oh, and she keeps telling me how dirty she feels inside of her and dissapointed and she cries every night thinking that Allah will never forgive her for that sin. She also called herself a female dog 🙁 I really feel bad and she also made me cry when she said that.

Before you say try to move on and find someone that is "clean"; I want to say that, I did try but I can't. My heart won't leave her and I cant get her off my mind. I am seriously confused and I don't know what to do? What is the best advice you can give me because I don't know what to do anymore but I really want to be with her and can't think about leaving her. Please be kind because of my english is not so well and sorry for the certain words I used that didnt sound very "professional". I don't know the exact words to use so I just used what was on my mind.

Asalamu aleykum and Barakallahu feekum

- Alain


Leyla's Answer:

Salaam Alain,

I am sorry that you are feeling the pain of jealousy towards this young lady's past relationship, and I am sad about the effect that this is having on you.

The issue here is one of jealousy, and you are very jealous about something that has been and gone from her life. On many levels, she never had to tell you this information - but she did - and now you have to deal with the emotional barrage that comes along with it. I think what is causing all of this is that you build up a relationship on a particular view of this lady (that she was as chaste as you are, that she was untouched and so on and so forth), you have then bonded and fallen in love with all of this information and then, right at the end, you have found out that what you knew was not the case. The feelings related to discovering something in this way are feelings of being lied to, decieved, there will be feelings of jealousy toward the other guy and there will be feelings of anger and resentment.

Before we go further on how to manage these emotions, I would like to state clearly that: pre-marital relationships are forbidden in Islam. The reason that it is very important that we do not engage in a relationship before marriage is because entering a relationship interferes with reasonable , clear, rational thinking. Therefore, once somebody has pursed love and got to a stage of the relationship where they feel that they love a person - it is then very difficult for them to make a good decision after that point, because they believe that they cannot live without the person with whom they think they love.  This is where you are right now - you feel as though you cannot live without this person, and you are feeling emotional agony trying to accept and get some understanding of what you really want and what you really feel - however all of those feelings are being dominated by a different, powerful emotion which is "the desire to have another person in your life".  The truth about love is that love is a very peaceful emotion of mutual respect, trust and friendship which gets stronger and stronger over time, it is not (as is so commonly believed by young people) the emotion that you cannot survive without this person in your life. Feeling that one cannot survive with someone in their life is "desire" and it is characterised by an all-consuming need to have this person (similar to greed & lust). Because there are emotions and psychology involved in human emotions, these feelings of desire and lust are often misunderstood as being "love" - often because there are two people who are feeling it toward each other at the same time. Lust is like a craving for something: you think about it, you think about it - the more you think about it, the more you want it. Then: you have it. The feeling disappears, your lust has been satisfied, and therefore it diminishes. Love - is completely different to this emotion - so I just wanted to make that clear. If you feel a greater desire for something when it is not available and a lesser desire when it is available: this is desire / lust. When you feel a desire to see something happy, want to see it be the best that it can be, want to ease pain and share laughter, be there for them, have an instinct towards protecting them from harm: this is more like love.

On the subject of the young ladies historical behaviour - really, this is for you to decide if you can be at peace with this or no. Statements such as "I'm second", "I'm not the first" - these are  negative and self-defeating sentences that you are using, which indicates a negative perspective. Perspective is important: a different statement could be "she chose me not him" or "he was not good enough - I am" and statements like this. She has, after all, parted ways with this other guy and seeks to marry you - which (in my opinion) means that if there is anything to be won here - you have won it. I will speak more about perspective later on.

On the subject of jealousy regarding her past relationship, this is a natural feeling, however it is important for you as an individual to be able to successfully master the skill of knowing which battles to fight, and where to invest your time and energy. The best place to invest your time and energy is the place where your actions can have a long-term, and positive impact which leads to a positive outcome. Investing your time and energy into fighting what cannot be defeated (such as the past) is not going to result in any kind of peaceful future: "Beware of jealousy; for it eats up good deeds as fire eats up wood"  (Abu Dawood).

On the subject of perspective. At the moment, you are what can be described as "in a whirlwind" - the whirlwind of emotion. You are up, down, spinning, dizzy - you are feeling all of these things at the same time - you are feeling feelings of withdrawal from this girl - crying, pain: a whirlwind. What would be healthy for you at this point is to step outside of the whirlwind and try to see what is really going on here. It is very important that you can connect with reality  - even in the midst of deep and troubling emotion. Here is what has actually happened:

1. Girl tells boy some information

2. Boy has negative reaction and tells girl he doesn't want to see her for a while

3.Girl goes home and cries and pleads

4. Boy goes home and cries and pleads

Everything else that is happening in your relationship with this girl, the crying, the emotions, the agony and the pain: you are generating all of this and adding it to the storyline. It may be that you feel it is not true love if it is not so dramatic, or it may be that you feel that you must react powerfully like this for it to "mean something". It may be that this is your understanding of love, and that demonstrating pain to this level is in some way romantic, it may be that you enjoy these feelings - that these feelings are exciting and that (even though they are negative) you would rather feel them than not feel them. However, what has really happened here is that she told you something you are not happy with, and you need time to assess whether you can accept it or not - everything else is what you are generating.  In truth, if there is love here - you can take all of the time you need - without the emotional agony that you are going through - and simply give yourself some space to think. You don't have to cry and feel that the world is coming to an end because you are in pain. The key to a successful life is not to have a life without negative emotions - but rather, to master yourself so that when negative emotions occur - they do not disable you, destroy you, lead you up the wrong path, and make you do something that is outside of the rules that you live by. Islam is about self discipline and it is important to keep yourself under discpline and not obey your every emotion - as this is a very destructive habit that will lead you to recklessness and harm.

My first and most important advise to you therefore is to bring yourself under discipline before you go any further. "And as for him who fears to stand in the presence of hisLord and forbids his own soul from its whims and caprices then surely Paradise is the abode". (79:40 & 41), "O David! …do not follow the whims of your own soul for they will lead you astray from God's path. (38:26).

Second, it is important for you to return to a state of worship and take time away from this lady and return to a state of purity and pray to Allah for forgiveness, and for guidance. This will assist you in returning to discipline and it will help you to see more clearly.

Next, it is essential for you to practice faith, which is the act of being content with whatever happens as a result of following Allah's commandments.  You state to yourself clearly and firmly: "Whatever happens I am happy with it" and you submit yourself to consequences and you stop telling yourself that you cannot live without this or that, which is completely out of line with faith. Faith and acceptance of consequences (good and back) is part of faith: “And among mankind is he who worships Allaah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter” [al-Hajj 22:11]. Instead of falling into despair when something has gone wrong - accept it: “Say: ‘All things are from Allaah’” [al-Nisa’ 4:78], i.e., everything happens by the will and decree of Allah, which applies to the righteous and evildoer, to the believer and disbeliever, alike. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas. And recognise that everything that is causing you pain right now, is being generated by your own self as I have explained above in the perspective section, and "“ whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself”.

The absolute best thing for you now is to have faith, that if it is Allah's will that you marry this lady - then it doesn't matter what time you take out to contemplate your feelings. Therefore, take some time out and assess the situation and ask yourself if you would have started this relationship knowing what you know. If the answer is "yes" then approach her family in the correct manner, ask for her hand and let all that is past go. If the answer is "no" then stop the relationship and do not try to force yourself to be comfortable with what you are not. It is better for you long term if you are absolutely and completely sincere in your decisions and that you never agree to what you are not comfortable with, because the truth will win in the end.

So my advice to you is to come out of the whirlwind and regain a clear perspective. Bring yourself under discipline, and return to Islam practice and faith. Take time away from the situation and practice these things until you have cultivated a clear mind, and a clear thinking. Once you are in a state of clear thinking, you may pray to Allah for guidance and seek within yourself to find out what choice you would have made if you had known everything from the beginning. Once you know the answer to that question, proceed in the Islamic discipline, rules, spirit and faith.



Editor, Islamic Answers




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11 Responses »

  1. Don't marry her.

    You'll end up living a life of hate and misery. We can see and you know yourself that it's eating you up. So rather than make her life miserable and yoru own, force yoruself to end it with her.

    It'll take several weeks and perhaps a few months, but eventually you'll forget her and move on in life.

    Do no under any circumstances marry someone, if their past hurts or angers you, as this clearly does. It's not fair on either party.

    • John,

      If that's true for men, would this be same in your dictionary for a girl. You know how men have sex with prostitutes before they get married, should the girl get married to this guy then? Or close pictures with girls or flirtatious comments on facebook. These things also hurt! So should women marry such men!!

      • You know how men have sex with prostitutes before they get married, should the girl get married to this guy then?

        The guy didn't had sex with prostitutes . The boy is innocent . Next time , try to read the question carefully and then comment .

  2. Salam, everyone has given you very good advice, but just wanted to share some thoughts which you may/may not agree with. Unfortunately we are human, and we will always make mistakes, some which will have lasting consequences. Personally, she probably should not have told you of her past, whats done is done and life goes on. However, I feel that the fact that she has told you shows that she feels very guilty of the sin and does not want to decieve you. This is probably a sign that she wants to repent and start her life again in a halal manner with you. You say that you love her and cannot get her off your mind, then why not try to forget about her past and move on with her to grow stronger in your faith. Focus on her positives, she has sinned but everyone sins, she feels guilty for the sin, she has been honest with you..these are all good qualities.

    However, I do agree with Leyla and John...if what she has told you is too big for you to forget, then perhaps it is a good idea if you end things here rather than forcing yourself to marry her and then live a miserable life. Have a good think, perform istikhara and then make your final decision.

    I hope Allah swt gives peace to your mind and enables you to make a decision that will be good for both you and her, ameen.

  3. Maybe if you marry a pure girl you can be happier than if you marry her. There are a lot of virgin woman and they are definately better, than why will you not even think about marring one of them? Just talk to your parents to find a bride who is pure and simple. Insha allah you will be happy with a good girl.

  4. I feel you should put the past behind you as can't change the past and instead just marry her and be with her and live with her happily ever after. In Islam it is permissible for a man to have four wives and therfore many women go through the same pain where the man they love more than any other is sleeping with other women and they have to accept that situation. They know on certain nights whilst their sleeping alone in bed that their beloved is sleeping with another woman. You have it relatively easy in comparison as you know that she wont be sleeping with other men whilst being your wife so my advice is if you love her and if she loves you get married and put the past behind you.

    May Allah remove all your pain and suffering and fill your heart with peace and happiness.

    • Cloud14

      I feel your answer does not help Alain. Male psychology is very different to female psychology. Even the thought that your wife was ever touched by another man, be it in the past, is enough to make many men shudder. We can't just 'forget'. That's just the we are wired. This one is always a deep emotion. Women often don't seem to understand this.

      If the brother is having such depression already, there are good chances he will never get over being haunted by her past. In my opinion it would be best if they called the whole affair off and moved on.

  5. Alain,

    I personally think that you should not proceed ahead with this relationship and I’m not saying this due to this sister’s past. I’m saying it because you are unable to accept her because of her past. This is why I sincerely believe that one’s past should remain in the past, period. As humans no one is perfect—we all commit sins and each of us has our own share of regrets.

    What this sister has done before you entered in her life is indeed a grave sin but it should have remained between her and Allah swt. I personally believe she shouldn’t have disclosed her past if she sincerely repented from it and never went back to it. The fact that she did speaks volumes of her character and her innocence—she wanted to be honest with you but should of thought a million times that once such things are shared they stain a relationship—a stain that cannot be removed.

    You are having an extremely hard time accepting her and thus causing yourself and her enormous amount of pain. The way I see it as, is that you are not able to chew down the truth and I am by no means judging you—I can understand the pain you must be feeling. That’s why I’m suggesting that you end this for your and her betterment because even if you were to precede ahead with her this very thought is going to linger in your mind and will most probably come up in future arguments, etc. You may also begin to trust her less thus inflicting her with more pain as I’m sure she wants to forget her past but won’t be able to by being constantly reminded.

    You are in a situation where you feel pain being with her and pain being without her—but you need to think long and hard before you make a decision. If you decide to go forward with her you have to realize Alain that you cannot bring up her past again, you will have to let it go and forget it—can you do that? If you cannot then you have your answer. The pain you both will experience of leaving each other may seem unbearable but it will dissipate with time. However the pain of living with each other and constantly being haunted by her past will torture you both to bits and you both will be extremely unhappy.

    Let this woman go and allow her to be with someone who will be able to accept her the way she is and look for a woman that you feel you are truly content with—this is in the best interest for both of you.

    Stay strong brother.

    -Helping Sister

    • Helping sister and a A LOT of people will disagree with me on this, but I am a guy and I was 28 when I got married. I basically worked 6 years in billable hours, in three years (80-100 hour work weeks with almost no vacation). I lived away from home a third of my life by the time I got married. Not once did I committ zina or drink alcohol.

      It seems like men (acknowledged in their patriarchy) and women (who seem to actually play the, I'm a good girl, when they are often not) can go out, with the express intent of knowing what they are doing is wrong (clubbing, drinking, zinaa) and just expect that their Tawbah will be accepted. Now I'm not going to talk about the wisdom of whose Tawbah is accepted (none of us can do that) but in the vast majority of such cases...I doubt people truly repent since they knew what they were doing was initially wrong.

      The advice I would give here to boy or girl, to a non-muslim marrying a muslim or whatnot is...if you know someone who so easily compromises on such fundamental values right now...what is to stop them from doing the same thing after marriage....and hence why such people often do such things after marriage...

      Most criminals have a record.

      I'm playing devil's advocate here.

  6. Don'y marry her . Put a stone on your heart and move on .

    You are selling your self cheap . Why do you want to marry some one and then regret it through out your whole life .

    Ruhijarifa is right . Find some one good who is like you .

    You are not insecure and don't let those comments bash you in any way . You have your own requirements as you protected yourself .

  7. Alain,

    You say that he forced her. Doesn't that mean that it's not as bad as you think? Yes, she put herself into that situation by getting so close to zina, but still, it wasn't complicit. Perhaps you shouldn't be as hard on her as you have been. The people in the comments have just assumed that this girl is a 'fornicator' and so on, but if it's true that she was 'forced', as you say, then we cannot know whether she is to be blamed in full, and Allah knows best. As I said, however, she still put herself in that place.

    On the other hand, as people have been saying, as difficult as it may be to believe right now, 'love' is a malleable thing. You CAN survive without her, and perhaps giving yourself some time to get over her will replenish your mental state and resuming religious observance with regards to the opposite sex should cure you. Allah's help is to be asked of everyday.


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