My last article, “Pre-Marital Relations, Teens, and Islam” got A LOT of readers and feedback, Alhamdulillah. Opened my eyes to how many people really struggle with the issue. One particular question I received stood out to me most, inclining me towards sharing it with all of you.

The Question:

okay, about that marital affair thingy, what if someone has done something that according to your post is wrong and that someone wants to make things right? is there any chance they can do things right? if they are still in that relationship and they regret doing what they did?

The Response:

Assalaamu alaikum,

Often, we find ourselves feeling as though we are unable to turn back, or have no chance at repentance, but the truth of the matter is, repentance is always an option. As Allah says in the Quran:

“And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity (i.e. commit Shirk) or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated – Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” – (25:68-70)

Notice that in this verse alone, you see that Allah promises His Forgiveness and Mercy for those who do three things:

  1. Repent: to repent is to not only seek forgiveness, but to make a sincere effort to not repeat the action that inclined you to repent
  2. Believe: it is one thing to claim that we are strong in faith, and it’s another to apply all that we know and to make it a part of what makes us who we are – ensure that worship and obedience of Allah is the core of your existence, and that every aspect of your life including your career, your relationships (with family, a potential spouse, friends, etc.), your health, etc. are all tailored around your faith.
  3. Do righteous work: taking steps towards making an effort to do righteous work through following the examples and guidelines in the Quran and Sunnah – doing righteous work is a way of showing Allah that you want to get closer to Him, want to increase your good deeds to outweigh sin, and that you want to make a change in your lifestyle

I am not a sheikh or scholar, and this explanation is not one of Tafseer that I have studied. It is rather, my understanding on the topic based on what I have learned of Islam over years of attending Halaqas, discussing the topic with scholars and students of Islam, and counseling.

What I would suggest to you is to do what I mentioned above, based on the verses. If you and the person with whom you committed zina are interested in pursuing marriage, cleanse the situation by keeping your distance from each other, meeting only in the presence of a mahram, and take steps towards marriage in a way that is in accordance to the Quran and Sunnah. If this is something that the other person is not pleased with, remember that there is no value in the obedience of the creation if it leads to the disobedience of the Creator. Also, this will bring clarity to you as to how good this person would be for you in the case of marriage. Remember, marriage in Islam plays many roles, one of which is to be a source of inspiration and support as the couple works towards righteousness and ultimately, a place in Jannah.

I hope this answers your question. If you’d like to follow up, you’re more than welcome to email me at mail@nadirkeval.com and we can set up an appointment to discuss things more. I look forward to hearing from you, insha Allah. Take care of yourself.

Wassalaamu alaikum,

Nadir Keval (www.nadirkeval.com)