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Topic #30: Can a man or woman who committed adultery or fornication (zina) marry someone?

Can a man or woman who committed adultery or fornication (zina) marry someone? [zani aurat se nikah; zinakar se nikah; zani mard se nikah]

Though Zina (fornication), in Islam, is a major sin, one should not get despaired of Allah's mercy as he says in the Qur'an:

“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” [Ta-Ha 20:82]

They must also conceal themselves with the concealment of Allah, and not tell anyone about that, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Avoid these filthy things that Allah has forbidden. Whoever has done any of them, let him conceal himself with the concealment of Allah, may he be glorified and exalted.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 663.

It is not permissible for a man or woman who has committed Zina to get married until after he or she has repented, because Allah says (interpretation of meaning):

“The adulterer — fornicator marries not but an adulteress — fornicatress or a Mushrikah; and the adulteress –fornicatress, none marries her except an adulterer — fornicater or a Mushrik [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 — fornicator, or a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater). And the woman who agrees to marry (have a sexual relation with) a Mushrik (polytheist, pagan or idolater) or an adulterer — fornicator, then she is either a prostitute or a Mushrikah (female polytheist, pagan, or idolatress)]. Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism)” [al-Noor 24:3]

If one sincerely repents to Allah and decides not to indulge in any such activity again, and one regrets the forbidden (haram) things that one had done, then he/she can marry someone else provided that that "someone else" has also repented if he/she had Zina and have decided not to do it again.

And Allah knows best!

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