In this counseling answer:
• Seek forgiveness from Allah.
• Talk to your husband about the situation and ask for his forgiveness.
• As well as trying to understand his perspective, try to also help him to understand yours.
• Avoid being alone with non-mahram men.
• Consult with loved ones, especially your husband when faced with such a dilemma like seeking a spouse for your sister.
As-Salamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa barakatuh sister,
You began with the words that you have committed a sin. As difficult as you may feel your situation is right now, simply admitting that you committed a sin is the first step in moving forward and overcoming the consequences.
Your intentions regarding your interactions with this man were not bad. You were looking for a spouse for your sister which is not a bad thing. However, you went about it the wrong way which let you committing a sin. It is quite clear that you are aware of this, but be kind to yourself in remembering the Mercy of Allah when it comes to how you will be judged based on your intentions.
On the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from what he has related from his Lord: Verily Allah ta’ala has written down the good deeds and the evil deeds, and then explained it [by saying]: “Whosoever intended to perform a good deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended to perform it and then did perform it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds up to seven hundred times, up to many times multiplied. And if he intended to perform an evil deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended it [i.e., the evil deed] and then performed it, then Allah writes it down as one evil deed.” [Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]. (40 Hadith Nawawi 37)
Seek forgiveness from Allah
Whilst your intentions were pure, unfortunately, you did commit the sin of talking alone with another man of which you had a history with. You clearly feel bad for what has happened and can find comfort in seeking the forgiveness of Allah. Remembering that Allah is the Most Merciful and loves to forgive, turn to Him time after time and beg for His forgiveness and He loves to forgive.
And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an, 6:54)
Talk to your husband
As well as seeking forgiveness from Allah, talk to your husband about the situation and ask for his forgiveness also.
Try and see things from his perspective. He probably feels betrayed that you engaged in this all without his knowledge. This type of secrecy can open the doors to suspicion and sow discord between the two of you. This is most likely why he has taken your phone for fear that you will don’t the same thing again.
As well as trying to understand his perspective, try to also help him to understand yours. It may seem quite irrational that he took your phone, but if he doesn’t understand why you did what you did then he may feel this is the only solution to prevent you from doing the same again.
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Explain why you did it as a means to seek a spouse for your sister. If he can understand why you did it, he is more likely to forgive you. Let him know that you are truly sorry for what happened, that you made a mistake, and that you know you should have gone about helping your sister in a different way.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has wronged his brother, should ask for his pardon (before his death), as (in the Hereafter) there will be neither a Dinar nor a Dirham. (He should secure pardon in this life) before some of his good deeds are taken and paid to his brother, or, if he has done no good deeds, some of the bad deeds of his brother are taken to be loaded on him (in the Hereafter).( Sahih al-Bukhari 6534)
Learn from your mistakes
You are understandably very distressed by the whole scenario for so many reasons and right now you are feeling sad. However, there are positives that can be taken out of this as difficult as that might seem.
Firstly, avoid being alone with non-mahram men. This will prevent any potential influence of Shaytan to commit sin in private and will avoid any difficulties between you and your husband.
It will also encourage you to consult with loved ones, especially your husband when faced with such a dilemma like seeking a spouse for your sister. This way you can get further advice from others who may have other ideas for you and offer more viable solutions or impartial advice.
For example, in your present situation, perhaps your husband could have even suggested or located a brother that would be a good spouse for your sister. After all, as a man, he is open to contact any other brother in the matter without facing a potential sin.
Even though you have committed a sin, it is evident that you are feeling much remorse for what happened and this places you in the ideal position to take the next steps in correcting what’s happened and moving on successfully. Remembering that your intentions were good; to find a spouse for your sister, seek the forgiveness of both Allah and your husband.
Understand how your behavior made your husband feel, whilst explaining to him why you did what you did. Ultimately, try and take a positive from all this by learning from what has happened and avoiding being alone with non-mahram men as well as consulting with others before making such decisions.
May Allah forgive you and bring happiness into your marriage once more making you the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.
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