Fatwa n°: 179

Category: Fatwas of marriage

The ruling concerning marrying a woman who repented of committing fornication


Honorable Sheikh! can I get married with the woman with whom I had illegal sexual intercourse? Knowing that she repented to Allah. But she committed fornication with another man before she repents, and this led to the loss of her virginity. May Allah reward you with good.


All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

It is not permissible to marry a woman with whom we fornicated save with two conditions:

The first condition: the sincere repentance for each one, and this, by leaving this sin and the other sins and to regret this sin and all other previous sins, and to resolve to not do it again in the future in accordance with Allah’s عزَّ وجلَّ saying:

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ﴾ [التحريم: 8].

The meaning of the verse:

O you who believe! Turn to Allâh with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)﴿ [At-Tahrîm (The Prohibition):8]. If they repent, they are no more called fornicators, as the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “The one who repents from sin is like the one who did not sin”(1), but if they do not repent, it is forbidden to a believer to marry a fornicatress and it is forbidden to marry one’s daughter to a fornicator. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ says:

﴿الزَّانِي لاَ يَنكِحُ إِلاَّ زَانِيَةً أَوْ مُشْرِكَةً وَالزَّانِيَةُ لاَ يَنكِحُهَا إِلاَّ زَانٍ أَوْ مُشْرِكٌ وَحُرِّمَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾ [النور: 3].

The adulterer marries not but an adulteress or a Mushrikah and the adulteress none marries her except an adulterer or a Muskrik [and that means that the man who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan or idolatress) or a prostitute, then surely he is either an adulterer, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater, etc). And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress, etc.)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism)﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 3].

The second condition: wait one menstrual cycle in order to ascertain that she is not pregnant before concluding the marriage contract. If it turns out that she is pregnant, it will be not permissible to conclude the marriage contract until she gives birth to the baby. Besides, according to the majority of scholars’ opinion, the illegitimate child is not attributed to the fornicator, contrarily to Ibn Taymiyya رحمه الله; in accordance to the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم hadith: “The child goes to the (owner of the) bed(2), and the fornicator gets nothing but deprivation (lit., stones)”(3).

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

(1) Reported by: Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Asceticism” (hadith 4250), Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 21150) and At-Tabarâni in “Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabîr” (hadith 10281) from the hadith of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه. Ibn Hajar said in « Fath Al-Bâri» (13/557): “Its chain of narration is Hassan (good)”. Al Albâni judged it as Hassan (good) in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`” (hadith 3008).

(2) Bed is used metaphorically to indicate a woman. Translator’s note.

(3) Reported by: Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Commercial transactions” (hadith 2053), Muslim, chapter of “Suckling” (hadith 3686), Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Divorce” (hadith 2275), An-Nassâ'i, chapter of “Divorce” (hadith 3497), Ibn Mâjah, chapter of « Marriage » (hadith 2082), Mâlik (hadith 1424), Ahmad (hadith 25717) and Ad-Dâraqutni (hadith 3895) from the hadith of `Aicha رضي الله عنها.

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