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Should I Tell Fiancé About My Secret Marriage?

Questioner

J

Reply Date

Jul 16, 2017

Question

As-Salamu 'Alaykum. I am trying my best to lead a good Islamic life, and in sha' Allah I hope to marry soon. My question is regarding my past. I was legally married before in secret for some months but later divorced. Only a couple of people knew about it, excluding my family. I want to know if I should tell my fiancé about it. I told him I never had anyone in my life before. I don't want to disappoint him and ruin my chances of ever getting married. What is your advice? I am really worried; I made a huge mistake before. I am a young girl, and I hate that I have ruined my opportunities.

Counselor

Answer


Should I Tell Fiancé About My Secret Marriage?

Answer:

As-Salamu `Alaikum,

Thank you for writing to us. Here are some thoughts for your consideration.

First, Allah Most High knows best what you have done at such a young age. It is important for you to remember that He is a merciful God – one who wants us to turn to Him if and when we have committed sins. The verse in the Qur’an which comes to mind as most appropriate for your situation is this:

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah ? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.” (3: 135)

You really need to be sure that you have recovered and have healed your wounds from the previous marriage. Work on your relationship with Allah (swt), draw closer to Him, turn to Him in repentance, and let Him know that you are relying on Him alone to set all of this right for you. Truly only Allah (swt) knows how your fiancé will receive the news if you do disclose to him that you were married before in secret.

Second, you really need to think through all of the consequences of speaking publicly about your secret marriage. Before you talk to your parents at all, you have to consider how you will disclose your past secret marriage to your parents. They deserve to know about this from you. More importantly, if you tell your fiancé first, and he decides to end the engagement, he could, in a moment of anger or frustration, tell your parents, and it would be such a shock to them to hear about your first marriage from him and not you.

On the other hand, if you talk to your parents, admit to them your mistake, and you all work through this issue as a family, then at least you could face your fiancé knowing that you have your parents’ support, and it is now up to him to decide what to do. Given that you are not obliged to talk about your past, one of the conditions you should emphasize to your fiancé is that he should never hold your past against you, but leave it behind forever.

Finally, we urge you to take this process slowly. Tell your fiancé that there are some personal issues you wish to work out and that you will need some extra time to do so. Tell him not to worry and that you are not having second thoughts about the marriage, it is just that you want to have some time for yourself. Hopefully, he will be understanding and give you the flexibility to work out your issues. Make lots of du’aa’ throughout this process. Be sure to turn to Allah (swt) regularly through prayers, voluntary fasting, and giving charity. When you are ready to move ahead with the marriage, make the Istikhara prayer seeking the guidance and assistance from Allah Most High.

And Allah (swt) knows best.

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