As-Salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Bararkatuhum,
I am glad that your haram relationship was started on a marriage note—that helps, but not much. You have a much bigger problem that is your marriage choices. You need to make a huge tawba for your past huge sin of zina. If I were the brother wanting to marry you and I found out about your past, I would not want to marry you until I had determined that you had made huge tawba proving that you were gravely sorry for your past and had repented big-time and done a bunch of stuff to make up for it, like charity and prayer and even hajj—realizing how serious it was. Then, and only then would I talk to you about marriage.
If you want to marry a good Muslim brother, you have to respect him by never marrying him unless you are someone who would never commit zina again. And, someone who did a deep and sincere process of repentance about doing it in the past, and did a bunch of stuff to make up for it, like charitable works, like volunteering at a hospital or a nursing home, or giving a lot of money in charity, if you can afford it, or cleaning the masjid, including the toilet … etc. Your charity should start at home—does your mother need help with your siblings? You see my point. Prove to Allah that you are sorry and you want to do things to counterbalance your sin, inshaAllah.
If the brother is like you (has also committed zina in the past), then you are equal, but, in that case, you need the same thing from him – to know that he has not only repented but mended his ways and changed his worldview such that he would never ever commit zina again!
However, if he does not have a past history like yours, you have a really big responsibility to him to “clean up your act”! You may really want to consider what the consequences might be if he has never committed zina, ever found out that you had. He may reject you and not love you anymore—if you are already married. Most good Muslim men are not good enough to forgive zina in their wives’ pasts—I am not saying that that is “right” to think that way, but humans are humans and you have to take that fact into serious consideration when marrying someone who is religious—or not. Most men think that way—it is a rare man that can forgive zina, even when it is in their wife’s past.
One way to find out ahead of time is to ask him—which means you would have to tell him about your past. I am not advising that. Or, you could ask him hypothetically what he would think about something like that – but he will probably catch on that you are talking about yourself.
Beyond this problem, if you can get past this hurdle, then, I say yes, you should marry the man for whom you feel affection. But, like I said, think seriously, and find out ahead of time, about what would happen if he found out. How would he take it? How would he act? It may cause him to divorce you and if you have children with him, that would be a very serious problem then.
InshaAllah, Allah forgive you and guide you to the Straight Path and help you and make it easy for you going forward, fi sa bili Lah (for Allah’s sake). May He strength your resolve and enlighten you about the tricks of the shaitan and humans so that you learn from your mistakes and never fall into any mistake as bad as this ever again, inshaAllah.
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