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Question: I am a divorced woman who has been in a relationship with a married man for months or so. I have slept with him and am now deeply ashamed and repentant of my acts. He still wants to marry me but I am having second thoughts about it due to the fact that I have already committed adultery with him. Would a marriage to him be lawful? I have cut off all contact with him although as I said, he still wants to marry me.

You have been guilty of a grievous sin by forging an illicit liaison with a married man; if you marry him, it is not different from an adulterer marrying an adulterous; you must, therefore, immediately repent your sin and cut of all relations with this man; both of you are indeed playing with fire. So cut your relationship altogether with him; and never look back; you must never contemplate marrying someone who has committed infidelity; such a relationship is doomed from the beginning.

I advise you to use the blessed month of Ramadhaan to seek forgiveness of Allah and do your utmost to expiate your sins through sincere repentance and by engaging in good works to the best of your means. Remember your repentance is not complete unless you cut of all relations with him and until you are firmly determined never to pursue such relations in future and until you have taken practical steps to change yourself for the better. The Prophet, peace be upon him, says, “Allah does not wash away filth/dirt with dirt, He washes them away only through what is better.” In other words, sins are expiated by good works. Such good works include: sincere repentance, lots of istighfaar (invocation of Allah’s forgiveness), charities, and all virtuous acts.

In order to motivate yourself to cut off your relations with this man and others like him, you must constantly think of the grievous nature of the sin you committed and cry over your state and visualize standing before the Lord of the worlds when all our hidden secrets will be exposed. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “A person’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection until he/she is questioned about their life-span how they spent it, about wealth how they earned and spent it; about knowledge what they did with it, and about youth how they used it!” The Prophet, peace be upon him, also said, “Each and every one of you will be questioned by Allah directly without any intermediary; they will then look at their right side; where they see only hell fire; they look on the left, they see only hell fire; they look to the front, they see only their own actions.”

Once you have sincerely repented and expiated for your sins and lived a clean life, pray to Allah to give you a lawful spouse; you can use the following du’a (supplication) on a regular basis to help yourself keep away from the unlawful and ask Allah to grant you sufficiency in what He has made lawful and pure for us.

Allaahumma aghninee bi halaalika an haraamika, wa bi ta’atika an ma’siyatika, wa bi fadlika amman siwaaka

(O Allah, grant me self-sufficiency in the things You have made lawful for me so that I am not forced to turn to that which You have made unlawful for me; make me self-sufficient with Your obedience so that I do not need to disobey You; make me self- sufficient with Your favor so that I do not need to turn to the favors of anyone else).

Besides this, you should also be consistent in seeking the help of Allah to keep yourself chaste and pure as long as you live; you are advised to read the following du’as for this purpose:

Rabbi qinee sharra basaree, rabbi qinee sharra sam’ee, rabbi qinee sharra lisaanee, rabbi qinee sharra maniyyee

(My Lord, save me from the evils of my eyes; my Lord, save me from the evils of my ears; my Lord, save me from the evils of my tongue; my Lord, save me from the evils of my private parts).

Allaahumma tahhir qalbee wa ahsin farjee
(O Allah, cleanse my heart of all impure thoughts and help me to remain chaste!).

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