Is it allowed for somebody who has committed adultery to marry somebody who has not committed it?
Details of the QuestionAssalamualikum, I have committed Zina and i have repented since. Now i have a proposal drom a chaste Muslimah. But as per Qur'an i have 2 marry a mushrik or Zani. Please clarify
Submitted by on Mon, 22/09/2008 - 13:26
Dear Brother / Sister,In the Surah An-Nur, in the third verse, it is stated: “Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman.” But if somebody who mistakenly fell into such a sin repents sincerely, then what is the judgment?
We can summarise the explanations about this verse in Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır's Qur'an Explanation as follows. Firstly we give the differing views and state the result in 6th article:
1. Some said: “In this verse, the intention is not to explain the regulation of marrying, but to explain how bad adultery is. Here nikah-marrying means making love and for this reason what is forbidden is adultery.” However, this is not meaningful, because, as in the Qur'an nikah-marrying always refers to the marrying aggreement, it is not appropriate to take it as making love. Moreover, with this meaning the verse would have shown no benefit, which is not the case.
2. It is narrated from the Prophet's wife Aisha, may God be pleased with her: “If a man commits adultery with a woman, he cannot marry her; this is forbidden in the verse. When he begins the act, he has committed adultery...” In Abu Hayyan's Quran explanation, it is stated that Ibn-u Mes'ud and Bera b.Azib (may God be pleased with them) from the Companions of the Prophet were of the same opinion.(1) However, this issue was asked to the Prophet and it is narrated that he said: “The beginning (of adultery) is stupidity, (in this case) the end is marrying; something forbidden does not make forbidden the thing that is allowed.”2 (If someone performs adultery, s/he has done something forbidden; if then marries according to Islamic law, then s/he has done something allowed.). It is allowed according to the view narrated from Abu Bekr As-Sıddık, Ibnu Omar, Ibnu Abbas and from Jabir and Tavus, Said b. Musayyab, Jabir b. Zayd, Ata, Hasen and from the four Imams.(3) However, as is mentioned in the Qur'an explanation of Fahrur Radhi, that the man and the woman who have performed adultery are forbidden to marry chaste man and woman, and that chaste man and chaste woman are forbidden to marry adulterer and adultress is the view of Hadrat Abu Bakr, Omar, and Ali as well as Hadrat Aisha and Ibn-i Mesud, may God be pleased with them all.(4)
3. According to Hasen's view, this prohibition is about the man and the woman who have definitely committed adultery. The adulterer who got clubbed as a punishment can only marry an adultress. It is narrated that Hadrat Ali rejected the marriage of such a person.
4. According to the narrations from Abdullah b. Omar, Ibnu Abbas (may God be pleased with them), from Mujahid, Said b. Jubayr and Said b. Musayab, the reason of this verse's revelation is as follows: In the age of darkness before Islam, there were brothels there. When Islam came, in Medina there were famous prostitutes like Ummu Mahzul and about nine brothels. These prostitutes were all idolaters. Some of them had accumulated fortunes. As adultery is forbidden in Islam, some of these prostitutes proposed to some newly-become Muslims and wanted to provide their sustenance, and these Muslims asked permission from the Prophet on account of their poverty; thereupon this verse was revealed and it is stated that this marriage is forbidden to the Believers.
And the outstanding characteristic of these prostitutes was accepting adultery as allowed or taking it lightly, which means unbelief. With the command of Islam spreading there those brothels which were the remnants of the age of darkness before Islam vanished and the regulation of the punishments for adultery prevented new cases; for this reason, as such cases were limited to those specific instances and persons, some also said that the verse was addressed only to those specific persons.
5. According to the views of the majority, this prohibition stated in the verse is intented to dishearten and prevent the Believers from marrying people who have committed adultery, because it is ill-advised and not allowed to follow the corrupted people who are known as adulterer and adultress. For the spouse, the adulterer husband or the adultress wife would be a cause for corruption, imputation, and for many such mischiefs. Even when present in a group of sinful people, how big is the danger to commit sins! Then how would it be to marry women who indulge in adultery? In the command in the Quran: “Marry those among you who are single (whether men or women) and those of your male and female slaves that are righteous (and fit for marriage).” (An-Nur Surah, 24:32) the stipulation of 'that are righteous' also calls attention to this point. However, if a Believer performed this marriage, which is forbidden and thus is to be avoided, would it be counted as a marriage? Or would it also be adultery?
6. Let us now summarise the issue and try to grasp the meaning of the verse: Here there are three groups: a. the idolaters, b. those who accept adultery as allowed and take it lightly, c. the ones who are not like that.
a. The marriage of any believing woman or man with an idolater or idolatress is not allowed and is categorically forbidden; this would be adultery.
b. If the adulterer and the adultress are from the group of people who accept adultery as allowed and take it lightly like brothel dealers and the women they use to make money, they are taken as idolater and idolatress as it is unbelief to accept as allowed or take lightly something which is forbidden by Quran or by the Prophet's statements. And since they are taken as idolaters and idolatresses, they could not be married by Muslims; the marriage would be illegitimate and forbidden. For this reason, in the verse, an adulterer and adultress are equated with an idolater and idolatress, and it is said: “This is forbidden for the Believers.” The verse is a proof for the prohibition of the marriage of these two, but except those who have sincerely repented.
c. If somebody who has not ever married till then is found guilty of adultery without any sign of unbelief like accepting it as allowed or taking it lightly, it is religiously detested with a degree of closeness to prohibition for decent Believers to marry those people, but the marriage is legitimate. There some doubts that the prohibition in the verse also includes this group. This led to ijtihad, infering judgments in secondary matters from the Quran and the Prophet's statements and practice. The disagreement mentioned is about this group. Only Hadrat Aishe, Ibu Masud and Bera b. Azib did not find the marriage appropriate in any one of these groups and accepted all these three groups equal in being forbidden.
To sum up, those who take adultery as permitted should marry only those who perform adultery. To marry somebody who has not commited adultery is allowed for a Believer who accepts that adultery is forbidden and who commits adultery by following the desires of his evil commanding soul. Moreover, sincere and heartfelt repentence is accepted, God willing.
(1)Abu Hayan, the work mentioned, VI, 430
(2) Alûsi, the work mentioned, XVIII, 88.
(3) Kurtubi, al-Camiu li Ahkami'l- Kur'an, XII, 169; Suyuti, ad-Durrul-Mansur,VI,126-130.
(4)Fahru'r Razi, the work mentioned, XXIII, 151.
(5) Alusi, Ruhul Meani, IX, 87
(6) Fahrur Razi, the work mentioned, XXIII,152
(7) Suyuti, ad-Durrul-Mansur,VI, 128, 130.
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