Salam Dear Salman,
It took me a long while to sit down and answer your question. I did not know exactly how to clarify matters to you because the picture you have in mind about what is right and what is wrong seemed to me to be very up-side-down.
Feeling the need, want and attraction towards a person from the other sex is never what God has designed to be the love upon which marital life is to be built. What you have described to me is simply “need, want and attraction”. You have not given me one single reason about why you think you “love” this girl and why you want to marry her. Whatever you have mentioned to me seems to be based on fragile premises that might alter by the change of circumstances and time.
Quite a harsh beginning, my words seem to be. Doesn’t it?
Let me go back first to your essential question, before I elaborate on my idea. You are mainly asking me if you can marry your girl whether she has practiced non-marital sex or not with your brother.
Well, according to Islam, if she has repented and is sincere in her repentance, then you can marry her. If for example she was your brother’s wife and then they got divorced, you can always marry her as well. Some scholars are of the opinion that a person who practices non-marital sex is not permitted to marry a pure person who does not. But, if any of the parties has been involved in such drastic sin, then has repented sincerely, he or she is to be treated as a pure person and is permitted to marry another pure person.
As for your situation, I do not see that this should be the issue of worry. I see that the issue of worry is that you do not see things very clear. It is a good and respected thing that you and your girl have separated for the time being and that you are only sharing “Islamic emails”. That is a step towards a better life.
But what I see to be worrying is that you see that you “never expressed your feelings to her” at the beginning of your relation, while you did “commit sins like kissing and touching”. Then, what was that? What were you expressing then at this stage?
Salman, please notice that I am not trying to blame you for whatever attitude or acts you made in the past. It is for Allah to judge His servants, not for me. What I am only trying to do is to help you see and analyze the situation.
Now, if the situation is as follows: You and this girl sinned together, then repented deciding to let go for the sake of Allah. This is really courageous and highly respected. If you are strong enough to stay distant for a long while till you are ready to get married, you would want to pursue marriage after a while, whether long or short. What would happen then?
Are you sure you would feel comfortable marrying a woman who was once involved with your brother? I am not saying that this is not Islamic. I am just drawing your attention to the fact that life will not be as easy and rosy as you would want it to be. You have to have a thorough look into how life would be like.
Will you be comfortable having a wife and a mother to your children who was once involved with their uncle? If you trust her that much, do you trust your brother?
A normal Muslim family should be established on the basis of love, trust and honor. Nothing should ever shake the premises of such values within the family institution. A family member should trust his wife and brother alike. I understand that your girl might be sincere and honest, and seriously in repentance. But, you were talking about that “you were the first to touch her”, then again you mentioned that she was somehow physically involved with your brother.
I am not sure matters are clear to you my friend. I guess that you are simply emotionally involved and that your emotions cause an unclear vision that commands your intentions.
Again, it is not clear to me why both you and your girl are emotionally involved. She once was interested in your brother and now she is more interested in you. What is it in common between you and your brother that had her attracted to both of you? Is it a certain positive trait or value that both of you resemble? Or is it simply the attention that both of you gave her?
I am not hinting that your girl is bad, but I am hinting that she might not know what she wants. I am hinting at the same concerning you. In your age, sometimes the vision of life is not clear enough to make life-time decisions. Emotions overcome logic and make the person mix-up concepts with values.
Life is tough my dear friend and needs strong faith, along with sound values to be survived. The value of true love that can really survive this life can never be based on emotional passion and physical attraction alone. Yes, these two points are genuinely important to nourish any man-to-woman relation, but alone they are never enough. Real strong love that really lasts in the face of daily difficulties for twenty or thirty years to come needs to be based on strong bonds of common values between the partners.
I suggest that both of you go for examining the value of your love. To do this, you need to give it some time, real time. During this time, both of you work on getting closer to Allah and on never going back to the sinful aspect of your relation. Make sure never to meet alone or in an environment where you can get trapped in any level of physical involvement. You’d better limit your relation to a very superficial level and make an agreement that you both need the time to check if you will still want to share life.
Give it a long time, for example a year or two, or even more. Make sure to graduate and work in order to mingle with other people and see different examples of girls and for her also to meet other men. Maybe after the long while of being distant from one another, you will find someone else who you would prefer to share life with and who was never involved with your brother.
Maybe she would also meet someone else with whom she would prefer to share life and whose none of his family members would be a consonant reminder of her previous mistakes. Maybe she would like to start over without shades from the past.
I suggest that both of you pray Istikharah (supplication for guidance in making a decision) and ask God to show you the way. I suggest you ask God more for forgiveness and to study your religion more in order to get a clearer vision of your message in this life. Be serious, both of you, about your repentance, seeking God’s pleasure and studying your religion. Agree upon doing this, but do not do it together; separate.
Then, after a long while, like a couple of years, if you find that you still want to share life, then go for it. If your feelings towards one another survived the time, the distance and if you have asked God for forgiveness and to show you the right choice, then you still kept your wanting of one another, this would mean that your love is true and will survive. In this case, make sure to hold on to one another and to start a lawful life together.
I hope, despite my being a bit hard on you Salman, my advice would be useful to you. I hope you would make use of it and I pray Allah would take good care of you. In case you ever need any more advice, please to not hesitate to email us again.