Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Allāh says in the Qurʿān,
“No man guilty of adultery or fornication does not marry other than a woman guilty of adultery or fornication, or an idolatress, and as for a woman who committed adultery or fornication, no one but a man who committed adultery or fornication, or an idolater, marries her. And that has been prohibited for the Believers.” [24:3]
So, if I meet a pure man, can he marry me, an impure woman who has made repentance? Or will he be doing wrong? I actually met a pure man and felt guilty about my sin, so I told him about it. He talked with someone at his masjid and said to him that he should marry a pure woman. Can this man marry me, an impure woman who has repented?
Jazak Allah Khayr / Thank you for your question.
May Allāh accept your repentance and shower His mercy on you.
If the fornicator has repented, then it is permissible to marry a virgin.
“The one who repents is like the one who has not sinned.” (Ibn Mājah)
There are various interpretations rendered by the mufassirūn (scholars of Qurʿānic exegesis) regarding the verses of chapter 24, which you have given reference to. Muftī Shafi’ (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) writes,
“In this verse the common principle is stated that Allāh has created a connection between the people of the same nature. Thus, vulgar and unchaste women are inclined towards vulgar and unchaste men and vice versa. Similarly, pure and chaste women show inclination towards pure and decent men and vice versa. Therefore, everyone tries to find the spouse according to one’s inclination and liking, and in a natural way one does find one to suit him or her.” (See: Maʿārif al Qurʿān)
Thus, when one has repented, they will incline towards pure, pious and righteous partners.
And Allāh Knows Best