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Repentance: Keep Erring, Do I Have To Tell?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I keep falling flat on my face. I was not practicing, and used to have relationships with girls. Now, Alhamdulillah, I am practicing, but now and then I keep falling into the same old errors and… To protect myself, I have convinced my parents to let me marry. But do I have to tell the girl about this problem? It feels wrong not to tell her. And how do I deal with my situation, in general….

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam, 

In the name of Allah, the inspirer of truth. All praise is to Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate, and all blessings and peace to our Master Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

1. To err is human. To repent is slavehood. To forgive is a Divine promise.

2. In such matters, one should cover oneself with the cover that Allah covered this matter with. There is absolutely no reason to tell the girl or her family about what happened. Even if asked point blank, “Have you ever xyz…?” the right answer, Islamically, is to say no.

3. You are absolutely right in marrying to save yourself from repeating such sin. However, you should have the highest of intentions in marriage, not simply to ‘shield’ yourself (which is a very noble intention, too). I would highly recommend that you read Imam Ghazali’s book on marriage (translated into English by Sidi Muhtar Holland and published by al-Baz Publications), Ustadha Hedaya Hartford’s excellent, Islamic Marriage book, and Ruqayya Waris Maqsood’s Muslim Marriage Guide.

4. The most important things when it comes to dealing with sin, along with repentance, are prevention and protection. If you do not do both, you may well fall into the same problems again, even after marriage.

As for prevention:

You should carefully break down how and why you fell into the sin. What were the causes? Was it something(s) you did? Was it the company you were keeping? If you can understand this, you can then take reasoned, intelligent steps towards avoiding falling into the same errors.

As for protection:

a) You have to find good Muslims to keep the company of. Go out of your way to spend time with righteous, spiritually-inclined Muslims. Avoid being alone, as the devil preys on lonely souls;

b) Find weekly circles of learning and/or dhikr that you can attend. Knowledge and dhikr are light, and they dispel the darkness of lowly desires;

c) Read the Qur’an daily, without fail, even if only a couple of minutes. Whenever you come across verses that mention the good, stop and ask Allah for it, from the depths of your heart. Whenever you come across verses that mention the bad, stop and seek protection from Allah from it, from the depths of your heart;

d) Get a sibha (prayer beads). Carry it with you at all times. Do dhikr with it, even if completely absent minded. Being absentminded during the remembrance of Allah is far superior than remaining absentminded from the dhikr of Allah. Dhikrs like la ilaha illaAllah and (especially) sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) are especially effective. A short form of the latter is Allahumma Salli `ala Sayyidina Muhammadin waAalihi waSallim. [See the attached article about the meanings and reward of this.];

e) Above all, realize you absolute need for Allah Most High. If He had not guided you, you would not be Muslim. If He does not protect us, we are all lost. So turn to Allah in absolute need.

After all, He has said, “Call upon Me; I will answer you.”

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam ,
Faraz Rabbani

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.