Repentance and Marrying One's Girlfriend

آحمد صبحي منصور Ýí 2016-09-24

Repentance and Marrying One's Girlfriend

Published in Arabic in July 13, 2016

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

He said to me: A young man wants to marry his girlfriend, but does this Quranic verse applies to his case: "The adulterer shall marry none but an adulteress or a female polytheist; and the adulteress shall marry none but an adulterer or a male polytheist. That has been prohibited for the believers." (24:3)?

I said to him: Let us read 24:3 in its context: "A chapter that We have revealed, and made obligatory, and revealed in it clear Verses, that you may take heed. The adulteress and the adulterer-whip each one of them a hundred lashes, and let no pity towards them overcome you regarding God's Law, if you believe in God and the Last Day. And let a group of believers witness their punishment. The adulterer shall marry none but an adulteress or a female polytheist; and the adulteress shall marry none but an adulterer or a male polytheist. That has been prohibited for the believers. Those who accuse chaste women, then cannot bring four witnesses, whip them eighty lashes, and do not ever accept their testimony. For these are the immoral,except for those who repent afterwards, and reform; for God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24:1-5)

He said: What is meant by the opening verses of this Quranic Chapter 24?

I said: This is a miraculous prediction that denial and non-application would occur to this Quranic legislation; 24:1 asserts that the Quranic Chapter 24 relates to legislation to be remembered, considered, and applied by believers in clear verses, but the exact opposite has happened: Middle-Ages and many modern-day Muslims has invented and applied the so-called stoning as punishment for adultery. 

He said: How come that they have ignored such clear verses in order to apply stoning until now?!

I said: One is to remember that most human beings are misguided and errant, and even had prophet Muhammad followed them, they would have misguided him for sure: "If you were to obey most of those on earth, they would divert you from God's path. They follow nothing but assumptions, and they only conjecture." (6:116). This applies to Muslims of today, whom we call the Muhammadans, who are more than 1.5 billion persons now all over the world, as the vast majority of them believers in satanic diabolical hadiths and discourses described by God in the Quran as Taghut (i.e., utter tyranny and injustice) to be avoided by true believers in the Quran and in God.

He said: You conclude then that the only punishment for male and female fornicators is to be flogged 100 lashes?

I said: That is not all; the other punishment for fornicators is not to marry, as per 24:3.

He said: But does this make sinners despair of acceptance of their repentance by God? Such loss of hope of getting married might be regarded as encouragement of more fornication, right?!

I said: On the contrary, this legislation encourages repentance and urges sinners to begin a chaste life, and it prevents the application of flogging as a punishment.

He said: How is that?!

I said: All punishments mentioned in the Quran are not applied once sinners declare their repentance in public. We read the following about the crimes of fornication and slandering others with sexual infidelity: "Except for those who repent afterwards, and reform; for God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24:5), accordingly, those fornicators who declare their repentance and their intention to reform themselves are not to be flogged and are not to be prevented from getting married.

He said: Why has God ordered in the first place that male and female fornicators are to be flogged 100 lashes?

I said: This is referring to fornicators who never repents and continue to commit this sin of adultery (fornication or illicit sex), and those who do not repent deserve this punishment.

He said: Is there a punishment in the Quran for those forced to being raped?

I said: Of course not.

He said: Does this apply to both women and men?

I said: Certainly; a woman can force a man to have sex with her, and therefore, such a man cannot be punished for fornication; the opposite happens more frequently: when a man rapes a woman, and such victim is not to be punished for fornication of course. Punishment is linked directly to intentional sinning, whether such punishment is exacted in this life of in the Hereafter: "…There is no blame on you if you err therein, barring what your hearts premeditates. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (33:5). "…Do not compel your girls to prostitution, seeking the materials of this life, if they desire to remain chaste. Should anyone compel them-after their compulsion, God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24:33).

He said: Do punishments get annulled or revoked concerning other crimes or sins apart from fornication?

I said: Certainly.

He said: Give me examples, if you please.

I said: The worst type of punishments mentioned in the Quran is for highwaymen and their likes, but it cannot be applied in cases when such sinners/criminals repent: "The punishment for those who fight God and His Messenger, and strive to spread corruption on earth, is that they be killed, or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off on opposite sides, or be banished from the land. That is to disgrace them in this life; and in the Hereafter they will have a terrible punishment. Except for those who repent before you apprehend them. So know that God is Forgiving and Merciful." (5:33-34).

He said: What is the point behind all this?!

I said: Punishments in Islam, mentioned in the Quran alone, do not aim at retribution or revenge; rather, they aim for reform in this life before the advent of the Last Day, so that sinners would avoid eternal suffering in Hell by repentance in this world before they die. Thus, such punishments aim to encourage repentance and to start a pious life, and we discern this from the following verse: "O you who believe! Be conscious of God, and seek the means of approach to Him, and strive in His cause, so that you may succeed." (5:35). That is why the very next verses remind readers of eternal suffering in Hell whose dwellers will never get out of it: "As for those who disbelieve, even if they owned everything on earth, and the like of it with it, and they offered it to ransom themselves from the torment of the Day of Resurrection, it will not be accepted from them. For them is a painful punishment. They will want to leave the Fire, but they will not leave it. For them is a lasting punishment." (5:36-37). Within the same context, we see corporeal punishment for thieves by having their hands cut off, unless sinners/thieves repent and declare their being reformed: "As for the thief, whether male or female, cut their hands as a penalty for what they have reaped-a deterrent from God. God is Mighty and Wise. But whoever repents after his crime, and reforms, God will accept his repentance. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (5:38-39).

He said: And likewise, this punishment of theft might be applied to those thieves adamant in their sticking to thefts and never repent.

I said: Exactly, and thus, this punishment for theft is for the sake of deterrence; thieves would readily repent for fear of losing their hands that might be cut off. If thieves would steal again after declaring their repentance and being reformed, they deserve to be called as thieves and deserve to have one hand cut off.

He said: But anyway, cutting hands off is a very terrible thing; do not you see what ISIS terrorists do?!

I said: We are not talking here about ISIS terrorists; rather, about a real Islamic country that applies Quranic values of justice, citizenry rights, human rights, social solidarity, and providing for the needy, with no tyranny, corruption, or despots who think they own lands and people on it, with no one superior over other people; i.e., if high-rank officials steal, they will be punished, and hence, no excuse will be accepted for theft and robberies. Likewise, there is no excuse for those who escapes punishment by being given a chance to repent but would steal again.

He said: I discern here that you mean to tell me that male and female fornicators and thieves can lose such temporary negative descriptions by repentance, right?

I said: Yes, such descriptions of people are temporary, as they are mentioned in the Quran using definitive articles in Arabic and NOT using terms that imply frequent and repeated acts. Such negative descriptions change and vanish by real faithful repentance. Repeated asking and imploring God for attaining acceptable repentance is exemplified in Abraham: "Abraham was gentle, kind, sincere penitent." (11:75). "…Abraham was kind and clement penitent." (9:114).

He said: I discern then that if fornicators commit the sin of fornication and then repent, they are no longer described as fornicators, right?

I said: Certainly.

He said: What evidence could you cite from the Quranic verses to prove this view?

I said: Let us ponder on the following verses: "And those who do not implore besides God any other god, and do not kill the soul which God has made sacred-except in the pursuit of justice-and do not commit adultery. Whoever does that will face penalties. The punishment will be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will dwell therein in humiliation forever. Except for those who repent, and believe, and do good deeds. These-God will replace their bad deeds with good deeds. God is ever Forgiving and Merciful.Whoever repents and acts righteously-has inclined towards God with repentance." (25:68-71)

He said: Could you further explain to me?

I said: This means that those who commit major, big sins like fornication, polytheism, disbelief, murder/killing of the innocent, etc. can repent and their repentance be acceptable if they repent faithfully and sincerely by correcting their faith and beliefs as well as doing so many good deeds to implore God to forgive them their sins and replace them by the good deeds, to be among winners in the Last Day.

He said: I think I need further Quranic evidence.

I said: Let me pose this question to you: do you know the meaning of how to perform prayers faithfully?

He said: Yes, it means to keep performing prayers in time devoutly and piously while keeping away from sins as much as one can: "…and perform the prayer. The prayer prevents indecencies and evils. And the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows what you do." (29:45). Hence, piety and devoutness are a must during performance of prayers, and faith in prayers means to keep away from sins in the times between the daily five prayers, as the major aim of all acts of worship in Islam is to attain piety: "O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those before you, that you may attain piety." (2:21). Therefore, performing prayers aims at piety and one achieved piety as long as one performs prayers regularly and this would lead one to piously avoid sins in fear of Our Lord the Almighty.

I said: Does this mean that all performers of prayers do not commit sins and mistakes?

He said: Of course, not, no human being is sinless; to be human is to err inevitably.

I said: What would be the case if one performs prayers faithfully and regularly in piety but commits sins and mistakes inevitable by all people?

He said: I do not know; you tell me, if you please!

I said: The answer is found in the following verse: "Perform the prayer at the borders of the day, and during the approaches of the night. The good deeds take away the bad deeds. This is a reminder for those who remember." (11:114).

He said: Can you explain this verse to me?

I said: Those who perform prayers faithfully and piously as long as they are awake perform good deeds that have many rewards granted by God. The same people might commit some mistakes or small sins, but the rewards of good deeds must be so many so that they would take away and the bad ones and make them vanish. This verse talks about small sins, mistakes, and mishaps only, to be replaced by good deeds and their rewards in the Last Day (the Day of Judgment). This applies to those who committed major, grave sins but repented faithfully and spent the rest of their life in doing good deeds enough to wipe out and to outnumber their sins. Those whose have true faith in the Quran alone and perform great amounts of good deeds are sure to be rewarded by entering Paradise in the Hereafter. This meaning is repeated several times throughout the Quranic text.

He said: Let us return to the original question: when a man has a girlfriend with whom he has sex, as her only boyfriend, is that a type of marriage or a type of fornication?

I said: Surely this is fornication. There are two types of fornication/adultery: 1) promiscuous, indiscriminate illicit sexual relations with different people as in cases of one-night stands for satisfying carnal pleasures and lusts, with or without money, and 2) there are steady and regular sexual relations between one male and one female who are involved romantically with each other. Both types of fornication are prohibited in Islam.

He said: But people in the West allow this.

I said: This is among the many contradictions of the West; people there prohibit by law polygamy which is allowed in the Quran, while allowing fornications by taking up lovers.

He said: Let us suppose that I have a girlfriend with whom I have sex regularly, what am I to do when I want to get married to her? What she is to do if she is willing to marry me?!

I said: Both of you must repent from the sin of fornication faithfully and sincerely.

He said: How is that?

I said: By stopping to have sex to prove repentance for a while; repentance is linked to piety and fear toward Almighty God. After this period of time, both of you can get married.

He said: what if the girlfriend had previous one-night-stand sexual partners or boyfriends; in that case, how should we get married in the Islamic way?

I said: Also by repentance first, and in this case with a period of consecutive three months of stopping having sex to make sure her womb contains no pregnancy. This period might be longer than that if she is pregnant; both of you cannot get married until after she gives birth and the enfant must have the name of his biological father in the birth certificate.

He said: What if we made sure she is made pregnant by me; what in the case if I am sure I am the biological father of her embryo?

I said: I that case, repentance is enough without specifying a certain period before marriage but both of you, as I have said before, must stop having sex for a while specified by both of you together to repent piously and faithfully before getting married.

He said: What is the duration of such period in your own opinion?

I said: Until both of you feel real remorse and resolved not to sin ever again, with an ardent desire to start a new, pure life of repentance, faith, and good deeds.

He said: What is next?

I said: You are welcome to come to me with your bride to draw your marriage contract in the Islamic way, with dowry and witnesses, registered formally in Fairfax, VA.    

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