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May I Ask About My Fiancée’s Past?

29 April, 2018
Q Is it permissible to ask a prospective spouse if they have ever committed zina? Or are questions that have the potential to make the other person reveal past sins inappropriate? Also if the other person reveals they have committed zina, is it permissible to still marry them?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- When looking for a spouse to marry, a Muslim is highly encouraged to concern himself with the morals and religious commitment of the prospective wife.

2- In doing so, one may question close friends or family members about the characters of the perspective spouse.

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3- You are not allowed to spy or dig into the past life of anyone.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Muslim scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, states:

While you have a right to find out whether a person you are considering marrying has had a decent and pious background, you are not allowed to spy or dig into the past life of anyone.

However, you can definitely ask for a medical test in order to see if the person is positive for sexually transmitted diseases in order to protect yourself.

You should also be willing to undergo a similar test for yourself.

To go beyond that to ask such specific questions whether he or she has committed zina is not warranted in Islam.

If the person has revealed to you of his or her sinful past, then you definitely need to make sure that he or she has sincerely repented before considering marriage.

 Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.