Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I have a question concerning marriage: I have attended college with a brother and we (all the Muslims on campus) have worked a lot together. I never considered marrying him because he is from a different nationality. As time passed, I came to see what a good Muslim and person he is and that I could consider him regardless of nationality. I began speaking to this brother casually then we considered speaking for marriage. We got to know each other a lot and we then made mistakes with each other. We deeply regret what we did (not adultery but unIslamic behavior) and we decided to start afresh and to forget about the past and that it was a mistake.He has not come to ask for my hand yet because we are not sure what to do yet but my deepest concern is that if he does ask and my family does accept, if I should accept then I fear that in the future he will throw it back in my face that we did unIslamic things together and hold it against me and make my life miserable.He is a good Muslim and said that he is not that type of person and I don’t see him being evil like that but I don’t know. Should I go through with it and make istikhara prayer or say no to him for that reason? I don’t want to fight for this marriage and in the end have it go bad.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah shower upon our Beloved Messenger.
There are several issues to consider:
1. Both you and the brother should make tauba, or repentance, for these actions. Allah willing, once you have sincerely repented, it’s as though you have a clean slate. There is no need to dwell on the past, except to know what leads to sin, and to avoid those situations at all costs. Please see this link on tauba for more information:
What is Sincere Repentance?
2. That you and the brother have made mistakes together shouldn’t set the tone for your future marriage. Both of you sinned and both of you repented. There is no need to hold anything over the other’s head. Why should he remind you of the past? It’s his past too, and you did not force him to do anything, correct? He says he won’t bring it up, so why not trust him? If you’re truly concerned that this will come up again, you can both make a written oath between the two of you that you will not speak ill of each other, either when you’re married, or to anyone else. Make sure you both understand and sign this oath.
3. You should make istikhara, whether or not you have a past with this brother.
Turn to Allah in sincere repentance, make istikhara, and look to a good future insha’Allah.
May Allah bless you in your marriage.
Allah knows best.
Umm Salah (Zaynab Ansari)
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.