Question: She is pregnant, can I marry her?

I have commited adultery many times with the same woman. Now, the woman is pregnant. I would like to know if I can marry her in order to solve the problem (I mean to cover the scandal) so the baby will find a father and gets the name. Actually, unfortunately, I would prefer abortion and I wish to convince her to do that, but don’t know if this is considered killing a person. If so, I would feel guilty because of that. I believe the embryo is about 6-8 weeks.

ANSWER: Praise be to Allaah. Firstly, my brother in Islam, I offer you my condolences for the faith that you lost during the times when you were committing adultery, For the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it. and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery.' (Bukhaari)

IN THE TANOOR OVEN: Have you not read what your Lord says in His Book?

"And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to Hell unless Allaah forgives him)" (Q17{Israa]:32)

Do you not know that Allaah sees you wherever you are, and He hears you when you speak? Do you not remember the great blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon you? For He is the One Who heals you when you are sick, the One Who feeds you when you are hungry and gives you to drink when you are thirsty. And He has given you the greatest blessing that He has bestowed upon mankind, the blessing of Islam.

"Is there any reward for good other than good?" (Q55[al-Rahmaan]:60). 

My brother, ask yourself: 'Whose dominion do you live under? Whose provision do you eat from? By Whose command do you live? Is It not the dominion of Allaah, the provision of Allaah, the command of Allaah? So how can you disobey Allaah?" Perhaps you have forgotten the hadeeth of the Mi’raaj, in which the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“... then we proceeded and came to something like a tannoor (a kind of oven)." [The narrator] said: "l think he said, 'in which there were clamouring voices." He (the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi  wa sallam)] said: “We looked into it and there we saw naked men and women. Flames were coming to them from the bottom of it, and when the flames reached them, they made an uproar. I said to them [i.e., the two angels who were accompanying him], 'Who are these?' They said, ‘Proceed, proceed!' ... I said to them, 'I have seen strange things this night. What is this that I have seen?' They said, 'We will tell you .... The naked men and women in the structure that resembled a tannoor oven are the adulterers and adulteresses:" (Bukhaari).

HASTEN TO REPENT: So you must hasten to repent sincerely before death overtakes you, for the gate of repentance is open until the sun rises from the west or before the soul reaches the throat [at death]. Allaah rejoices over the repentance of HIS slave, and He will change his bad deeds (sayi'aat) into good deeds (hasanaat). Allaah says:

"And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance (Q25[al-Furqaan]:68-71)

DO I HAVE TO MARRY HER?”  Secondly, with regard to your question, "Do I have to marry her?" this is the issue of the adulterer marrying the woman with whom he committed adultery. The answer is that it is not permissible for him (the adulterer) to marry her, or for her to marry him, until the label of adultery no longer applies to them. That label can only be removed through repentance. If she is Jewish or Christian, it is not permissible for you to marry her permanently, because she is a zaaniyah (adulteress) and is no longer chaste as required in Q5:5. Note that the door of repentance is only open to the Muslim.

Even if she is Muslim; it is not permissible for you to marry her because she is a zaaniyah. And it is not permissible for her to accept you as a husband because you are a zaani (adulterer).' Any such marriage contract is void because it would have been made without fulfilling it’s necessary conditions. One of these conditions is the readiness of the womb. This means that the woman whom is to get married must have her womb unoccupied. For example, a man may not marry a woman who was divorced until she is out of her idd'ah (a period where a widow or a divorced woman may not marry). In the same manner he may not marry a woman who is pregnant.

See Q24:3. Allaah concludes the verse with:

Such a thing is forbidden to the believers (of Islamic Monotheism)" (Q24[al-Noor]:3)

and this phrase indicates  that this marriage is forbidden. A man may not marry a woman he has been having intercourse with until they both repent and she gets her monthly period. This is a sign that her womb is clean. The Prophet forbade Muslims to have intercourse with female slaves they bought recently until they are certain that their wombs are clear from any pregnancy. Waiting for the monthly period does this. In your case, if the marriage contract has taken place, then it must be renewed. This is not a difficult thing to do.

REPENTANCE: It is essential that both of you repent to Allaah, give up this sin, regret the evil actions that have occurred in the past, resolve not to return to them, and do many righteous deeds, so that Allaah may accept your repentance and turn your bad deeds (sayi'aat) into good deeds (hasanaat). If you want to marry her, you have to be sure that she is not pregnant by waiting to see if she menstruates before you do so. If it becomes apparent that she is pregnant, it is not permissible for you to marry her until after she delivers the baby, in accordance with the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), in which he forbade a man to use his water to irrigate the crops of another." (Fataawa of the Standing Committee in al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah magazine, vol. 9, p, 72)

WHO’S NAME FOR THE BABY? Thirdly, you say, “So the baby will find a father and gets the name”. This is the matter of attributing the child of adultery: who is he to be named after? The answer is that the majority of scholars said that the child of adultery should not be named after the adulterer, because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said

"The child goes to the owner of the bed and the adulterer gets nothing but the stones (despair, i.e., to be stoned to death). (Bukhaari).

ABORTION IS NOT AN OPTION: Fourthly, you say, that you would prefer the woman to get rid of the baby. This is the issue of abortion, and the ruling on that is as stated in the report of the Committee of Senior Scholars (Hay’at Kibaar al-‘Ulamaa’), no. 140, dated 20/6/1407 AH, which is as follows:

1. It is not permissible to abort the pregnancy at any of its various stages except for a legitimate shar’i reason, and within very narrow limits.

2. If the pregnancy is in the first stage, which is forty days, and aborting it will serve a legitimate shar’i  interest or ward  off some harm, then it is permissible to abort it. But aborting it at this stage for fear of difficulty in bringing up children or in providing for them or teaching them, or fear for their future, or because the couple feel that they have enough children, or fear of ridicule as in your case this is not permitted.

3. It is not permissible to abort the pregnancy once it has become an 'alaqah (clot) or mudghah (chewed lump of flesh) [i.e., after 40 days' gestation] unless a trustworthy medical committee has stated that allowing the pregnancy to continue poses a danger to the health of the mother, such that there is the fear that she will die if the pregnancy continues. In this case it is permissible to abort the pregnancy, after exhausting all other means of trying to ward off that danger.

After the third stage, and after the completion of four months of pregnancy, it is not permissible for you to abort the pregnancy unless a group of trustworthy specialist doctors decide that leaving the foetus in his mother's womb will lead to the death of the mother; this is after exhausting all possible means of keeping the foetus alive. Performing an abortion subject to these conditions is permitted in order to ward off the greater of the two harms, and to preserve the greater of the two interests." .

(Quoted from al-Fataawa al-Jaami'ah, vol. 3, p. 1055)

We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound and to accept our repentance. May Allaah bless our prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

CHOOSING A SPOUSE

A peaceful and happy home is the desire of everybody that aspires to get married. The major hurdle however is finding the partner who will make the desire a reality. A major step towards overcoming the hurdle is having clear idea of that kind of partner and the pointers (qualities) that you know him/her when you see him/her.

WHO TO MARRY

Islam is clear on the kind of spouse you should be seeking. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and, her religion; so try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed ." (Bukhari)

A man may be married for these qualities just as well. This specifically defines just what kind of a companion we are seeking, for if we marry him/her for anything other than his/her religious piety, our marriage is bound to fall into misery.

True, beauty and charm are hard to resist, yet they do not last forever and do not guarantee her obedience and piety. His charm would not guarantee his kindness and respect for, you as woman either. Wealth and status are dynamic, but piety strongly establishes a good household. If your desire to marry is based on piety, the rest may be given to you anyway.

In another hadlth, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said;

"The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman." (Muslim)

Imagine! Nothing in this world is as valuable as a pious woman! The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said;

The best thing to be treasured is the devoted wife who causes pleasure when seen, obeys orders instantly and takes full care of herself and her husband’s property when he is away" (Abu Dawud)

How can a man live unhappily with such a person?

About the prospective husband, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said:

if one comes to you seeking marriage, and you are satisfied with his deen (religion) and character, marry him; otherwise, a fitnah (harm) and great destruction will become rampant on the earth”. (Tirmidhi)

Sure no woman wants her home to be a haven of fitnah and destruction!

QUALITIES OF A GOOD SPOUSE

Alright, you say, you’ve convinced me, but what actually makes her a pious woman? The answer is simple: Allah Himself has described them as,

"Muslims (who submit to Allaah), believers, obedient (to Allaah), turning to Allaah in repentance, worshipping Allaah sincerely, given to fasting or emigrants (for Allaah's sake) previously married or virgins."  (Q66[Tahrim):5)

But remember, you also must have these qualities for Allaah says:

"And women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity"(Q24[an- Nur):26)

So, my dear brother, choose her for the following attributes:  A Muslim, Mu'min (sincere believer), devout, truthfulness, patient, humility, charitable, fasts, safeguards chastity and one who engages much in Allah's praise.

HOW DO I GET TO KNOW WHO S/HE IS?

To find that pious person, there are some steps you need to take. The first is to get to know her nature through people who are close to her (family, friends etc.) and your own personal observation. Look for strong points, and don't stress on the weak ones.

Consult your heart: listen to your Inner voice, what do you feel about-him/her. It is not for nothing that Allaah says:

 "Fankihuu  maa taaba, lakum” (Marry whatever pleases you) .(Q4[anNisaa]:3)

Don’t go on ego trip, you want to feel real  good when your friends come to know who you are going out with? It does no good to you in the end.

Enquire: Find out the reason why this man wants to marry you. Is he interested in you as an individual or will just any person do? Ask yourself why you are interested in him as well. If it is for convenience (money, property, etc.), forget It. This spells trouble.

Get to know your prospective partner: Within the limits of what is permissible in Islam, get to know your spouse before deciding on marriage. Just seeing someone once or twice in the company of others, who may be anxious for this marriage to take place, is simply not enough under today's conditions, where two persons of totally dissimilar backgrounds are meeting each other without the safeguards of families.

Talk to several people: Particularly those who know your prospective partner, not just one, or have someone whom you can trust do this for you. Ask about him from various people, not just from his friends because they may conceal facts to do him a favour. And ask not only about his back, round career Islamicity etc: but about such crucial matters as whether he gets angry easily; what he does when he is 'mad'; whether he is patient, polite, considerate, Find out how he gets along with people; how he relates to the opposite sex; what sort of relationship he has with his mother and father; whether he is fond of children; what his personal habits are, etc. Find out about his attitudes toward money and possessions and the like, If you can't get answers to such crucial questions from people who know him, ask him yourself and try to make sure he is not just saying what he knows you want to hear.

Find out about his family: Particularly his relations with his parents, brothers and sisters, What will his obligations be to them in the future? How will this affect where and under what conditions you will live? What are the character and temperament of each of his parents? Will they live with you or you with them? And are they pleased with his prospective marriage to you or not? Such issues are often crucial to the success or failure of a marriage, and answers to these questions need to be satisfactory to ensure a peaceful married life.

Understand each other’s expectation: Try to get a sense of your prospective partner’s understanding of the marriage relationship, how he will behave In various  situations, and what he wants of you as his spouse, These are issues which should be, discussed clearly and  unambiguously as the negotiations progress, not left to become sources of disharmony after the marriage because  they were never brought up beforehand, If you are too shy to ask certain questions have a person you trust do it for you.

Compatible Islaam: Find out what his understanding of islam is and whether it is compatible with your own, Is his aqeedah that of Ahlus-Sunnah wa Jama'ah? Does he strives to obey the Prophet’s (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) command or does he raise his own voice and opinion above that of the prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his companions? This is a very important matter, is he expecting you to do many things which you have not done ,up to this point? Or does he have a personal ceiling beyond which your Islamic growth must not go? Let him spell out to you clearly how he intends to practice islam and how he wants you to practise it as his wife so there will be no misunderstandings later.

One last question: Ask yourself, do I want this man/woman to be the father/mother of my children? If it doesn't feel just right to you, think it over again. Remember, marriage is not just for today or tomorrow but for life, and for the primary purpose of building a family, If the person in question doesn't seem like the sort who would make a good parent that will help to guide the family to Al-Jannah, you may be in for a tough married life!

Above all, Trust in Allaah: Yet, after all this, we still have to come to the most important topic. You can look all you want at her, set a private investigator to track his/her movements, read his/her diaries (all of which are extreme and unislamic), yet, my dear brother and sister, no-one knows what the heart harbours, no-one knows whether he/she will turn sour or more religious, or whether you are suitable for each other, except Allaah. True, we are choosing our spouse for his/her permanent values; religious devotions, moral integrity, character etc. But in all sincerity, if we try ourselves to contract a marriage, we are almost sure to fail, because we have no knowledge.

Istikhaarah: Allaah will no longer reveal a verse for you but there's still Istikhaarah, It is related on the authority of Jabir ibn 'Abdullah (RA) that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to teach his companions to seek, through a special du'a (known as istikhaarah), the guidance of Allah in all matters which affected them, The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"When you are confused about what you should do in a certain situation, then pray two rak'at of nafl salaat and read the following du'a (du'a of istikharah), " (Bukhari) (Check P, 16)

Many wrong notions exist concerning Istlkharah, many Muslims will pray, read the du'a, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them their future wife, what her favourite colour is, and some other weird fantasy, That is not the purpose of this salaat, The results of an istikharah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you, Finally, as a wonderful gift from Allah, you may be blessed with a dream.

If everything checks out favourable, well and good, best wishes for happiness together here and in the Hereafter. If not, better drop the matter and wait. Allaah, your Lord knows all about you, His servant, and has planned your destiny and your partner for you, Be patient until He opens a way for you even as you actively explore various marriage leads and possibilities. Allaah says:

Put your trust in Allaah, for Allaah loves those who put their trust in Him” (Q3[aal-Imran]:159).

The Fiqh of the Contract

 The marriage contract is a formal bond that turns two individuals from strangers to husband and wife. Allaah refers to it as a strong covenant (mithaqun ghalithun) (Q4:21). As a result of the contract, many rights and obligations become imperative and many fruits become anticipated. As in any other contract in Islaam, there are certain guidelines which are considered essential to its existence. Each of these should be understood in order to ensure that the marriage has been performed in the proper manner.

GENERAL CONDITION

With respect to marriage, one general condition is that none of the various aspects of the contract must be carried out in jest. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)said:

"There are three matters in which it is not permissible to joke: marriage, divorce, and emancipation of slaves." (Tabarani)

Thus, neither party can say "I was joking or I was not serious" once they have uttered the offer/acceptance. It is immediately binding.

Aside from the general guidelines, the following are various specific conditions that a marriage contract must fulfill.

CONDITIONS REQUIRED FOR INITIATING THE CONTRACT.

The Eligibility Of The Couples

The Bridegroom: He must be a chaste Muslim male who has attained full puberty and mental ability. It is not permissible for a non-Muslim man to be married to a Muslim woman.

“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to AI-Mushrikun till they believe (in Allah Alone) and verily, a believing slave is better than a (free) Mushrik (idolater, etc.), even though he pleases you." (Q2 [Baqarah}:221)

The Bride: She should be chaste, preferably a Muslim but could be a Christian or Jew with full mental ability. She must not also be currently married to another man i.e. her womb must be free.

No forbidden relationship: Both the intending husband and wife must not be related within the following forbidden marital bracket (i.e. she [or he] or she must not be one of the following to him [or her]):: mother (father), grandmother (grandfather) from both sides; daughter (son), granddaughter (grandson) and further down; sister (brother) either full or half; maternal and paternal aunt (uncle).

Moreover, they must not have been breastfed by the same woman. She [or he] must also not be related to him (or her) in any of the following ways: wife of father (husband of mother) and upward in the lineage, the wife of son (the husband of daughter), the wife's mother (the husband's father) or be a daughter of his wife with whom) sexual intercourse has been enjoyed.

CONDITIONS REQUIRED FOR THE VALIDITY OF THE CONTRACT

The Permission of the Bride: Being one of the two main parties to the marital contract, the bride reserves the right to decide with whom she wants to spend the remaining part of her life. It is not permissible to give a woman in marriage without her knowledge and approval of it. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"When one of you wants to give his daughter in marriage, he should take her permission." (Tabarani) 

This permission comes in various ways depending on the woman involved. It could be through her silence, if she is a virgin, or a verbal permission. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Take the women's permission in regard to themselves (i.e. marriage). A non-virgin expresses herself with her tongue; and a virgin's silence is (a sufficient proof of) her acceptance." (Ahmad)

If she introduced the bridegroom in the first place as the person she would like to marry, then that suffices' as her acceptance of him.

The Consent of the Wali: A woman cannot herself away in marriage. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali." (Abu Dawud)

Abu Hurairah (RA) added:

"For, indeed, it is an adulteress who gives herself in marriage (without her wali's consent)." (Ibn Majah)

Who is a Woman's Wali?: In a normal situation, the wali of a woman is her father, if· for any reason, he cannot discharge this role, the role devolves on next closest of her mahram (grandfather, son, brother, uncle etc.) A wali must be Muslim for Allaah says:

“Allaah will never grant to the unbelievers a way (of authority) over the believers." (Q4[Nisaa): 141)

The next Muslim in her lineage takes over as the wali. A woman, no matter her position in the family, cannot be a wali. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“A woman may not give another woman in marriage." (Ibn Majah).

 It is not permissible for a woman to appoint a wali for herself if she does not have one. Only a constituted Muslim authority can appoint a wali for her. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"The (Islamic) authority is the wali of the one who does not have a wali." (Ahmad).

In the absence of a Muslim authority, then the imaam of masjid may be consulted. An appointed wali's position is not permanent, his role has ended once he discharged his obligation in the marriage contract.

Witnesses: Another condition for the validity of marriage contract is the presence of two Muslim witnesses. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

A marriage contract is not valid without a wali and two trustworthy witnesses." (Ahmad)

The witnesses should witness and hear the entire contract's details and should, not be under any compulsion to disclose the fact of the marriage.

CONDITIONS REQUIRED FOR THE SOUNDNESS OF THE CONTRACT

The Mahr (Dowry): It is obligatory upon the husband to give his wife a marriage gift which is often referred to as mahr or sadaaq. Allaah says:

“And give the women (upon marriage) their dowry as a free gift." (Q4[Nisaa]:4).

Even though the dowry is a significant aspect of the marriage contract, the most accurate position is that it is not a condition for its validity. A marriage can be done without specifying a mahr at the time of the contract but to be paid at a later date. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to a man:

 "Do you agree that I marry so-and-so woman to you?" He replied, 'Yes.' The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) then said to the woman, "Do you agree that I marry you to so-and-so man?" She replied, "Yes." So he married them to each other without naming a mahr for the bride or giving her anything. When he approached death, he said: "Indeed, Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)  gave me so-and-so in marriage but I did not then give her anything. Be my witness that I now give her as mahr my share from Khaybar." So she took it and sold it for one hundred thousand dirham." (Abu Dawud)

Who takes the mahr: It is the sole right of the wife and no one can or should take it away from her. She may however remit part of it to anyone she chooses, even her husband if she desires.

Kinds of Dowry: The dowry can be in money, jewelry, clothes, or other material things. It could as well be non-material such as teaching her Islaamic knowledge. It must be something that is beneficial to the woman.

Amount of the dowry: The amount of the dowry should be in accordance with the husband's financial ability and with the bride's social status. This should be negotiated between the man and the woman (or her wali). There is neither an upper ceiling nor a lower ceiling for dowry, but it is recommended that the woman be easy on the man. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"The best of marriages (or dowries) are the easiest." (Abu Dawud)

THE CONTRACT'S PROCEEDINGS

It is recommended for whoever is conducting the marriage to begin by reciting the khutbat ul-Hajjah. The most important aspect of the marriage proceeding is the Ijab wal Qubul (offer and acceptance). The wali offers her ward in marriage to the man in words that conveys the meaning that is intended and understood accordingly by participants in the contract. The acceptance must correspond to what is being offered. If the guardian says: "I marry you to Khadijah", a response of "I accept Fatimah as my wife" would not constitute a valid contract. An exception to this is if the wali mentions a specific dowry amount and the groom responds with a higher amount. It is regarded that there is no reason for dispute since it is assumed that a higher dowry will be acceptable. The marriage must be effective immediately. If the wali says "I will marry her to you after one month", there is no marriage and the two remain unmarried.

ANNOUNCING THE COMPLETION OF THE CONTRACT

This is done by inviting people to walimah (feast)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited