In this counseling answer:
• None of you acted with self-respect, and it is not right to blame it on your sister-in-law because still, the choice was yours.
• Always remember that honesty and truth are the valued virtues in Islam and that deeds are according to intentions. Remember that Allah (SWT) knows the truth whether you hide it or not.
• Allah accepts true repentance and forgives all sins except shirk, so renew your repentance and ask Allah for forgiveness.
• Don’t tell your husband about it.
As-Salmu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that should be respected and cherished despite the bad times. Just because there are bad times, one should not take it for granted that the marriage has ended, or even that the marriage is weakened beyond repair.
We are only human after all, and many aspects can contribute towards giving our best at any given time, besides a lack of commitment.
You were responsible for your own actions when you chose to talk to your relative about the situation with your husband, just as he was responsible:
“No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the presence of a Mahram.” (Al Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Anyone who incites a woman against her husband or a slave against his master is not one of us.” (Abu Dawud)
By talking to your distant relative in this manner, you helped him towards making a judgment on the marriage and to take advantage of the situation. None of you acted with self-respect, and it is not right to blame it on your sister-in-law because still, the choice was yours.
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Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Allah has a sense of ghira (self respect), and Allah’s sense of ghira is provoked when a believer does something which Allah has prohibited.” (Al Bukhari)
It is not apparent as to what took place between you and your sister-in-law’s brother-in-law, but because the “relationship” did not decline into sex, it does not mean that nothing serious has taken place, for fornication in Islam begins with the eyes, speech, and the hands. These are not precursors to fornication but are forms of fornication themselves.
Also, it is not apparent as to how your husband found out about the affair, but you have to ask yourself if that which or who informed him also has the capacity to inform him of the details of the affair. Only you are aware of this, and as you wrestle with what you did, it is acceptable to invent good news that can help mend many broken bridges.
“He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things is not a liar.” (Al Bukhari)
But in context, “inventing good news” can be a useful tool in the hands of those who love to exploit others. Always remember that honesty and truth are the valued virtues in Islam and that deeds are according to intentions. Allah (SWT) knows the truth whether you hide it or not.
Allah accepts true and forgives all sins except shirk, so renew your repentance, sister and ask Allah for forgiveness.
We advise you sister not to tell your husband about what happened and try to keep your marriage if you truly repent this sin.
May Allah (SWT) help you,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.