Had a previous scam marriage
Fatwa No: 89962

  • Fatwa Date:15-5-2005 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 7, 1426
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Question

I am getting married soon, Inshaa' Allaah, to a pious and chaste sister in my home country, which is Muslim. I happen to have lived in one of the western countries and back then I was not a good Muslim. I have done many sins and Al-Hamdulillaah I have repented from all of them and I regret having committed them. May Allah forgive me. One of these sins was fornication. I use to have a couple of girlfriends one of which accepted to marry me so I could get my residency. So I married her with the intention that it was just a scam. The marriage lacked the requirements of an Islamic marriage: Wali, Mahr, qualified witnesses, etc. Although we broke up and each one of us found a new partner, she stayed married to me because my case was not over with the immigration services. After things went through with this later, we divorced. I have two questions I hope you could answer:
1) When filling the forms for this coming marriage should I let them know that I was previously married and divorced; knowing that if I do so I have to go through so much bureaucracy, including translations of marriage and divorce certificates....etc., all of which cost time, money, and stress.
2) If my bride asks me if I ever committed fornication or if I was married in the past, should I tell her the truth or could I lie to her, with the intention of not hurting her feeling.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

You have to know that your marriage to that woman was nothing but fornication as it did not meet the conditions of a correct marriage. However, you did well by repenting. Even if we suppose that your marriage to that woman was correct and fulfilled the conditions of a correct marriage, you do not have to inform this woman whom you want to marry that you were already married before. So why would you tell her since it was not a correct marriage? It is an obligation for whoever has committed adultery or fornication to conceal his sin and not inform anyone about it. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Avoid this filthy thing [fornication and/or adultery] that Allaah has forbidden, and whoever has committed it has to conceal himself." [Al-Bayhaqi]

Even if we suppose that the woman you propose to for marriage or any other person asks you about it, you can use Tawriyah (saying something which has more than one meaning and intending a meaning different from what the listener is likely to understand). For instance, you can tell her that you were not married before, intending to mean that you were not married in correct marriage before, and you can tell her I did not commit fornication, meaning that you did not commit fornication after having repented. So a Muslim uses this method of Tawriyah when needed.

Finally, it should be noted that in order to be grateful and thankful to your Lord for the blessing or repentance, you should avoid any means that could lead you to committing fornication or adultery again.

Allaah knows best.

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