Recently, I started to repent to Allah for all the sins I’ve done. I got engaged but my partner does not know I had affairs several times a few years ago. I realized my mistakes now and I sincerely regret them. Should I confess my past sins before marriage, or should I repent privately and hope that Allah conceals my sins? Does it mean I am deceiving my partner into marrying me if I do not tell him?
I know that Islam says we should conceal our sins. However, I was also looking for mental help, so I confessed to my therapist what I had done. Now I am so scared. Did I do the wrong thing? Should I have kept this to myself?
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
You do not have to share anything that happened before you marriage with your spouse. This is not his business. Until you are married to him you have no commitment to him and neither does he to you. Perhaps he has done things in his past too that are simful and he is not proud of too, but he is not obliged to tell you and neither are these matters to be discussed after getting married. Any such sins should repented for and left in the past.
The good thing is that you are feeling sorry for your previous actions and are seeking forgiveness from Allah. This severe guilt that you are experiencing will deter you from doing the same again to avoid having to go through such feelings again. This may even make you a better and more faithful spouse than you would have been otherwise as you will be even more conscious of falling into sin and will observe your hijab more strictly which is essential when you are married.
Regarding having confessed your sins to your therapist, whether it was the right or wrong thing to do there is nothing you can do to take it back now. Ruminating over whether it was a good choice or not will only cause you more turmoil. Whilst it is not seen as a good thing to reveal your sins, your therapist is bound by a code of ethics that means unless what you are revealing to her indicates that you will harm yourself or others she cannot share information with anyone else without your consent. In this respect the information you have shared should be safe. Since it is a matter that is causing you so much distress aside from taking it to Allah, the only way you can process it and get help in moving in is to share it. If such information must be shared that someone then a neutral party bound by confidentiality is the better person to open up to.
There is nothing you can do to change what has happened in the past so it’s important to move on from it so that you can have a happy and successful marriage. The mistakes of your past are haunting you until now so do continue to take the matter to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Allah is the most forgiving and makes it very clear that He loves when His slaves turn to him in repentance. Turn to Him in the last third of the night, shed tears of repentance and beg Him for forgiveness and trust in His Mercy. Confidence in His mercy will help you to forgive yourself too. This is the key to moving on. If you cannot forgive yourself then you will remain stuck in your past mistakes.
Beyond this, use this as an opportunity to purify yourself from past sins by bettering your character by adhering to the things that Allah tells us to, especially when it comes to interactions with non mahram men. If you abide by Allah’s commands then this task will be much easier. Do not talk with other men except when necessary. Only engage in talk relevant to the reason for transaction between you and avoid pointless talk. Never be alone with another male. Should it be necessary to be with another male then make sure to have a mahram with you and be in a open place with other people around. Avoid mixed gatherings where men and women open mix with each other. This rules should even apply in the online space too. Some of these things might seem a little extreme and people can easily question the harm in such interactions trusting themselves not to slip into zina, but Shaytan works in deceptive ways and quickly and easily turn something seemingly innocent into something far more sinful.
So, whilst what you did in the past was sinful, you can turn things around and use your experience to reform yourself and improve yourself for the sake of Allah and for the sake of your marriage.
May Allah forgive you and may you find contentment in turning to Him. May Allah bless you with a happy and successful marriage that will please you in this life and the next.
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