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Having a Relationship with a Married Woman: A Major Sin?

05 November, 2018
Q As-Salamu `alaykum! I had an un-Islamic relationship with a Muslim woman, but we did not cross the limit (i.e., intercourse). Our intention was to marry. The woman was already married, but wanted to leave her husband, but now she is compelled to live with him. However, she is not happy with him, and still wants to marry me. I want to rectify this sin, which I have committed with getting so close to her. What should I do according to Islam?


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.

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In this fatwa:

1- It is imperative that you bear in mind the fact that you have violated the rules of the Shari`ah by developing such a relationship with a married woman and so you have committed a grave sin.

2- Therefore, you have to cut all relations with this woman and sincerely repent to Allah.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

You have committed a major sin by developing relations with a married woman. To get close to a married woman is loathsome, disgraceful in Islam, and is a most heinous sin that brings the wrath of Allah.

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The woman involved in this relationship is guilty of an even greater offence because she has not only betrayed the trust of Allah but also the trust of her husband.

As a Muslim, you must immediately put an end to this most heinous sin and never return to it. If you marry her, it is like two adulterers marrying each other. You must, therefore, sincerely repent to Allah by earnestly seeking His forgiveness.

Repentance is not complete unless you feel a deep feeling of regret and sorrow for the violation and disobedience you have committed.

Refrain from all such associations and relations immediately, and make a firm resolution never to do it again.

If a woman, or man for that matter, has marital problems, she/he must find solutions through positive channels that are healthy and lasting; the remedy does not lie in forming illicit relations with another man/woman while still in the bond of marriage. One wrong does not justify another.

As far as you are concerned, it is important for you to safeguard yourself against such temptations through marriage. No respectable Muslim or decent person would ever chase after a married woman to take her out of the marriage bond only to marry her instead.

May Allah protect us from our evil inclinations and make our hearts steadfast on His obedience, amen.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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