I am a Muslim girl living alone in a kaafir land, after my family refused everyone who came to propose marriage to me and I suffered a great deal. I am trying to avoid temptation and maintain my religious commitment but four years of being away from my homeland has made me sick and I am suffering from psychological problems, because of my regret for having travelled without a mahram. I cannot go back to my homeland and my family are not letting me keep chaste by getting married. Even though I still wear hijab and have taken part in da’wah, I have grown weak and have almost fallen into zina, and from there my situation got worse and worse.
I thought of suicide but knowing how serious this crime is prevented me from doing anything. I travelled for my work and met a young man from my country who seems to be pure and committed, and he lives in the same city where I am studying.
I cried throughout the trip and prayed to Allaah that I would die on the trip, because I felt that I had grown weak and had lost the ability to resist. When I returned from the trip I felt that something had changed in me. And I renewed my trust in Allaah and cut off all ties with those who had corrupted me. I announced it as repentance that I had been unable to do for a long time. I prayed to Allaah asking Him for guidance (istikhaarah) and asking that this young man would be my husband. By Allaah, this young man continued to get in touch with me asking me to marry him on the basis that I would adhere to sharee’ah. I told my family but they refused again and upset me because they are not thinking of what I am suffering. By Allaah, I do not want to disobey them, but they are putting me under unbearable pressure. I thought of asking the imam to be my wali (guardian), because this young man is one of the best I have seen in terms of religious commitment and good character. By Allaah, I only want to keep myself chaste for the sake of Allaah. What should Ido?
My second question is: I feel guilty with this young man because of my past sins. Should I tell him of what I did in the past even though I have repented sincerely? I am in touch with this man by phone to work things out, and Allaah is witness that he has never transgressed the limits with me. Please advise me, may Allaah reward you, for my heart is breaking.
We ask Allaah, may He be exalted, to relieve your distress and worry and to protect you from falling into the way that leads to doom and destruction and slipping into sin, for He is able to do whatever He wills.
Listen to this divine call (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: O ‘Ibaadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
Listen to the call of Allaah to His believing slaves (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)”
Allaah accepts the repentance of His slaves, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do”
What is it that made you leave your family and travel to a kaafir land and live there? No one can trust himself even in a Muslim country because there are so many doubts and whims and desires!
So how about in a land where anything goes, and where the doors to sin are open wide?
Because of that, and because of his keenness to protect his ummah from falling into the like of that which you have fallen into – we ask Allaah to keep you safe – the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade living among the kuffaar and settling in their lands. He said: “I disavow myself of any Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2645) and al-Tirmidhi (1604); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (1207).
Settling in a kaafir country is unhealthy and hard, a life of anxiety and stress. Their life – I mean the people of that land – is an unbearable hell, by their own admission, because they have lost spiritual discipline and the connection with God; their life has become purely materialistic. Mental illness has become widespread among them, and they have resorted, in many cases, to exiting from this life by means of suicide.
Our advice to you is to look for the reasons why your family took this attitude towards you and refused everyone who came to propose marriage to you. Try to find out what it is and try to do something about it, so that you will be able to resolve the matter and come up with an appropriate solution so that you will be able to reconcile with your family.
If that is not possible and things remain as they are, and you find out that the reasons that have come between you and your family are not legitimate, then in that case your guardian is the ruler or the shar’i qaadi (judge). Since you are living in a country where there is no Islamic legal system and it is not a Muslim country, there is nothing wrong with the director of one of the Islamic centres or the imam of one of the mosques acting as your wali. See the answer to question no. 7989.
If you feel that you have sinned because of what you have done in the past, and have turned back to Allaah and repented sincerely, meaning that you regret what you did and resolve not to go back to it, and give up the sin, and ask for forgiveness, and do a lot of good deeds, that will make up for what you did and will purify you. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But whosoever repents after his crime and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allaah), then verily, Allaah will pardon him (accept his repentance). Verily, Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
“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)”
“And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allaah with true repentance”
Whoever turns away from sin and turns to his Lord and submits to Him, Allaah will accept his repentance and make the consequences good, and He will make him one of those who inherit Paradise. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As‑Salât (the prayers) [i.e. made their Salât (prayers) to be lost, either by not offering them or by not offering them perfectly or by not offering them in their proper fixed times] and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.
60. Except those who repent and believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught”
Repentance opens a new door from which he may start a new life, filled with faith, ihsaan and hope.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who repents is like one who did not sin.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah (4250); classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
I advise you not to tell him about that, because after repenting it is as if it never happened. Start a new life with him, filled with hope, love and happiness, and surrounded with worship, piety and righteousness, following true guidance. Our advice to you is to hasten to marry this young man, because his getting in touch with you and forming a relationship before marriage is haraam, and may open the door to temptation. We ask Allaah to protect us from slipping.
And Allaah knows best.