Praise be to Allah.
People keep coming up with false justification for wrong deeds and the Shaytaan encourages them to do that and makes people’s deeds appear attractive to them, approaching each person in the manner that is appropriate to him. So he pushes the lazy person further into negligence, and with one who is resolved and ambitious he pushes him towards exaggeration and extremism. He is always causing trouble to people. This is what Allaah has decreed in this world.
The same applies to relationships between people, especially a relationship between a man and a non-mahram woman. The accursed one (the Shaytaan) tempts the one who seeks beauty and makes a particular woman seem beautiful to him until he is trapped and in his eyes she becomes the most beautiful of women, although she may be one of the least beautiful. Similarly in the case of one who prays or has memorized the Qur’aan, if the Shaytaan is not able to make him fall into the trap of forbidden relationships with women because his religious commitment protects him and makes him reluctant to behave like the immoral people, then the Shaytaan uses the idea of love for the sake of Allaah and brotherly/sisterly relationships among Muslims, and calling people to Allaah with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
We do not know whether you need us to tell you that you have ignored the doors which the laws of Allaah have opened for you to meet your needs and have entered the houses from the back. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is not Al‑Birr (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back” [al-Baqarah 2:189]
You should not need to be told this.
Do you need us to tell you that a mere meeting between a man and a non-mahram woman is an evil action of which Allaah and His Messenger do not approve, because it involves being alone with a member of the opposite sex, which is haraam, and entering upon women, and looking at them in haraam ways.
Even if it did not involve the evil action to which you refer, then just as there are degrees of righteous deeds, so too following the footsteps of the Shaytaan of the Shaytaan varies in wickedness.
You – since you pray and have memorized the Qur’aan – should not need to be told this.
If you had asked us before you went ahead and followed in those footsteps, as you should have done, we would have said to you: What do you have to do with undisciplined girl? No one would accept a girl who is astray except one who is himself astray. Forget about her, and if you cannot keep the wolves away from her then do not be a wolf yourself, until her Lord bestows His kindness upon her and enables her to repent to Him and helps her by means of her mahrams or other women who can guide her to the right way.
But what has happened has happened, and praise be to Allaah Who has concealed you both and that nothing has happened between you of what usually happens in such relationships. Praise be to Allaah that He has enabled you to end this relationship, but you should complete that by repenting to Allaah from what you have done and foiling the traps of the Shaytaan that he has set up to ensnare you and stir up the flames of desire and sin in your hearts. We ask Allaah bless us and you with acceptance.
If you do that, and take measures to set things straight between you, and you give up the evil actions that you did before, then pray istikhaarah to Allaah concerning the marriage that you seek. Perhaps this step may be a confirmation of following the path of success.
“So enter houses through their proper doors, and fear Allaah that you may be successful”
But you – and she – should both try to find out about each other’s lives – before this mistake – find out about each party’s behaviour and attitude and the way the families live, as is usually done by anyone who wishes to propose marriage. If it turns out that what happened between you of meeting and getting to know one another in a manner that is not approved of in sharee’ah, and Allaah protected you from it being any worse than that, then go ahead and get married as soon as possible.
Yes, the beginning was a mistake, but it is not wise, nor is it prescribed in sharee’ah, to forsake a drowning man when we are able to save him, on the grounds that he is the one who took the risk and set out to travel by sea.
Warning against evil and telling people not to do it is one thing, and dealing with mistakes and those who have deviated from the path is something else. The people of the Sunnah, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, know what is right and what is wrong, but at the same time they are compassionate towards people.
What we advise you to do is to marry his girl with whom you are in love, after praying istikhaarah and asking Allaah for guidance. Pray to Allaah and beseech Him to help you both to do that which Allaah loves and is pleased with. It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “We do not think that there is anything better for two who love one another than marriage.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1847. al-Busayri said: Its men are thiqaat and its isnaad is saheeh.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If Allaah has decreed that you should get married after that, this is good, in sha Allaah. If He has not decreed that then that is also good, in sha Allaah.
We also advise you to read question no. 36618.
We ask Allaah to make our affairs and yours easy, and to guide us all and grant us success.