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Question: I have been courting a sister for months, and I have asked her about her sexual history. She lied and said that she was a virgin. Last night, I have spoken with her in the middle of the night, and she admits to losing her virginity in a previous relationship with her boyfriend. Now, I feel hurt, bothered, and betrayed. I am sure that some trust has been lost. I really like this girl, but I do not know what to do? Do you have any advice for me?
Answer:

If by courting you mean dating in the ordinary sense of the word as used and practiced in this society, then certainly we are not allowed to do that, for in Islam we are not allowed to be isolated with a member of the opposite sex (except those we are closely related to in blood or marriage) ; neither are we allowed to indulge in free, indiscriminate mingling and mixing with members of the opposite sex. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “When a man and woman become isolated they are joined by a third companion (who may whisper evil suggestions to them).” It is therefore only becoming of a believer to avoid such situations. Allah orders us not only to refrain from fornication altogether but also to stay as farthest away from it as possible. This is because of the fact that human nature is treacherous as evil is kneaded with it in such a way that only those who are helped by Allah can be protected from the evil whisperings of their carnal souls. It is due to Allah’s infinite mercy upon us that He has warned us against our own nature so that we may not end up dragging ourselves into perdition. Hence, according to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence, that which leads to haram is also considered as haraam. Therefore, since dating leads to sin, it is considered haraam.

If, on the other hand, by courting you mean getting to know a woman for purpose of marriage, then that is allowed when practiced within the bounds of Islamic ethics-- as long as you avoid the things we have mentioned above, and as long as your contact with her does not entail the forbidden isolation or intimacy.

If, therefore, during the course of your conversations with her, she revealed her past life to you, then you have one of two choices: Either to leave her alone, and never divulge her secrets to anyone else; or if, if you are reasonably sure that she has been remorseful and has repented, cover her faults and help her maintain chastity through a lawful marriage union with her. After all, Islam teaches us that a person who has repented of a sin is like someone who has never sinned.

If, however, you find it hard to bring yourself to forgive her, and you have a strong suspicion that her unpleasant past is bound to haunt you in your marital relationship, then you are best advised to leave her sooner than later; close the chapter with her and never divulge anything of her secrets to anyone else for that matter.

May Allah help us all to remain chaste; may He cover our faults and wash us clean of all of our sins, both outward and inward, major and minor-aameen.

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