Fatwa ID: 01621
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Sorry for asking this indecent question but it's very important as it's a matter of marriage. My friends family want my friend to marry a girl who had an affair with his elder brother many years ago. (Allah knows the extent of their relationship – maybe they committed a big sin). Of course, both families don't know about this relationship. My friend is in big trouble if he refuses to marry because then both these families may separate forever because they have decided the marriage. Please tell us if it is allowed for him to marry that girl? Is this marriage valid according to shariah?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Before I answer your question, I will mention a couple of things with regards to the importance of Hijab and also the impermissibility of intermingling between men and women.
Hijab is fardh upon every woman who is close to the age of puberty or has reached it.
Hijab means a screen or a curtain. In Shariah, it means to completely cover one’s self from the view of the non-mahram. (With whom marriage is permissible).
In the Holy Quran Allah has said:
وليضربن بخمرهن علي جيوبهن
“They should draw their veils over their bosoms”
The word “Khummr” means veil. And the veil means a piece of cloth, which covers the face. (Al-Mawrid)
In another verse Allah has stated:
يايها النبي قل للازواجك وبناتك ونساء المؤمنين يدنين عليهن من جلابيه
“O’Nabi say to your wives, your daughters and the believing women that they should suspend over themselves the “Jilbaabs”.
Jilbaab is the outer sheet or cloak. At the time of the Prophet this sheet was so large that two women would easily be covered by it. The women used to wear it in such a way that it would not reveal their shape.
Ibn-Abbas has said that the word jilbaab means a woman should be wrapped, from her head to her feet and that her face and nose should be hidden-leaving only the eye uncovered to see the way.
There are also some Ahadeeth, which tells us that women should observe pardah and conceal themselves from strange men. One of them is:
المراة عورة فاذا خرجت استشرفها الشيطان
“A woman is an object of concealment, thus when she emerges, Satan uses her a means of spreading evil.” (Mishkat, Tirmizi)
We must remember that hijab is an obligation that Allah has enjoined on the Muslim woman. This has been proven through the aforementioned verses of the Holy Quran and the hadith of the Prophet of Allah ; the Ummah is agreed upon it and the application of hijab has been the practice of the Ummah throughout the centuries.
It is the duty of every Muslim to adhere to the obligations of his religion and strive to make Allah happy.
Allah in the Holy Quran has said:
“And whoever obeys Allah and His messenger achieves great success.” (Surah Ahzab v.71)
There are many Ahadith on the prohibition of men and women intermingling.
Jarir ibn Abdullah narrates that I asked the Prophet about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. (Muslim, 1015)
Uqba bin Amir narrates that the Prophet said, "Beware of entering upon the ladies." A man from the Ansar said, "Allah's Apostle! What about the in-laws of the wife?" The Prophet replied, “The in-laws of the wife are death itself." (Bukhari, Vol7, 159)
The above verses of the Quran and the Ahadith of the Prophet indicate the importance of observing segregation. A person is instructed to turn the gaze away when a glance is cast on a non-Mahram.
In another hadith, Aaisha, Ummul Mu'minin narrates: A woman made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for the Prophet. The Prophet closed his hand, saying: I do not know if this is a man's or a woman's hand. She said: No, a woman. He said: If you were a woman, you would make a difference to your nails, meaning with henna. (Abu Dawood, 1938)
This is a very delicate situation. The brother should try all means possible to live separately. In the Hadith, the Prophet of Allah has resembled the in-laws to death, meaning extra care should be taken with in-laws with regards to Hijab. Try moving out and have a fresh start. Even they may have been some unlawful contact between them, if she is willing to change then try to forgive her.
Finally, in the Hanafi Fiqh, it is permissible to marry an adulterer. (Maariful Qur’an p.343 v.6)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham