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Marriage to a Former Sexual Partner: Is It Permissible?

09 April, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Can a man marry the woman with whom he had sex before?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

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- We have to assure the total impermissibility of adultery in Islam and the severe punishment stated for it in the Shari`ah.

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2- After repentance, it is allowed for both persons who committed adultery to marry each other.

Answering your question, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, the Imam and Director of The Prayer Center of Orland Park and representative for Dar El Fatwa of Lebanon in the US, states:

I actually urge, when counseling individuals who committed zina (adultery) after they repent to Allah and ask for forgiveness, to get married for many benefits and reasons.

It is a valid marriage Islamically (Imam Ahmad did not approve it until they repent) as many declared that when all conditions of marriage are met like acceptance, presence of wali (guardian)mahr (dowry), witnesses and making it public (ishhar).

It is also a way to heal from the haram that both committed. A person who committed zina, especially a female, can have big mental stress to feel pure for another person.

So the best way is to seal the past by marriage and start afresh with repentance, insha’ Allah.

Finally, at one time the two persons involved may want to marry. While a man can hide his past of zina because it is hard to discover that, it is not fair for a female to take the burden alone! They both committed it and both are liable and the best way to handle it is by marriage from each other.

Almighty Allah knows best.

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