Praise be to Allaah Who has guided you to Islam. Allaah has chosen you to be one of the followers of this great message, which is one of the greatest means of attaining goodness and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. You must always remember this great blessing of which many are deprived, and express your gratitude to Allaah both inwardly and outwardly.
Praise be to Allaah Who has blessed you with a Muslim husband, although we wish that it was a marriage in which your husband is not far away from you, and that his family knew about it. The fact that your husband has hidden this marriage from his family and has kept away from you played a major role in what happened to you. You must hasten to set this matter straight, by asking him to make your marriage known and to hasten to tell his family; he should also stay by your side to help you to obey Allaah, may He be exalted. He should fear Allaah with regard to you and not expose you to temptation. He should pay attention to this responsibility which rests on his shoulders.
Praise be to Allaah Who has enabled you to repent and turn back to Him before you became immersed in sin or did anything worse than that. The Shaytaan makes sin appear attractive to the one who does it, but if you remember the punishment for doing it and the reward that is with Allaah for not doing it, and remember what Allaah has prepared in the Hereafter for those who are obedient, you will realize that what is with Allaah is better and more lasting, and that no matter what pleasure a person may get from sinning, it will end up in distress and hardship in this world and punishment in the Hereafter. So continue to repent and regret what you did, and resolve firmly never to go back to it. Do voluntary acts of worship to make up for what you have missed and to draw closer to Allaah and earn more reward.
It is essential for you to close the door to the temptations which led you to sin. What we mean by that is those chats. You have to keep away from those sinful chats with men altogether. It is not permissible for you to enter chat rooms or correspond with them or talk to them. If you have their names on “Messenger” then you must hasten to erase their names.
If you fear that logging onto the internet will lead you to chatting with them, then you must keep away from the internet altogether and content yourself with useful audio tapes, reading useful books, and looking for righteous female friends who will guide you to what is good and keep you away from evil.
Another requirement of sincere repentance is that it should be accompanied by regret and resolve not to go back to that sin; you should also keep away from other tempting sites and sites that are haraam or that promote idleness and immorality.
If you devote your time to listening to useful tapes, reading useful books and reading answers and articles on Islamic websites that are known to follow correct beliefs and the correct path, this will be sufficient for you as long as you live. How can you waste your life in things that are of no benefit when you have before you a treasure of good books, articles and tapes? That will be evidence against you on the Day of Resurrection if you neglect it. You have no right to say “I am alone and I do not know how to spend my time” when you have in front of you as it were a garden filled with beautiful and fragrant flowers. Make the most of this garden and strive to do good for yourself. Remember that life is short and if a person were to spend it all in worship he would still meet Allaah falling short in his duties, so how about if he wastes his life in idleness and sin?
Usually when many men establish relationships with women, they stay with them until they get what they want from them, then they move on to someone else. This is what Allaah has saved you from, and it is a blessing that cannot be described in terms of worldly wealth. It requires you to be constantly grateful to Allaah. Some men also leave women for others if they despair of having their way with them or if communication between them ceases. Many of them may think that the conversations that took place were not with a woman, and that the picture was not of a particular person but came from a photo shop or from a magazine or newspaper. If you have cut off all contact with them – and this is what Allaah has enabled you to do – then any of these things are possible. There is no need to worry about the picture or try to get it back, if you express the wish to have the picture back, it could be used for extortion, as has happened to many women. So forget about the matter altogether and delegate your affairs to Allaah, may He be exalted, for He is the Concealer who loves concealment, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. He is the One Who has guided you to Islam and to repentance, and He is the One Who has saved you. So do not fall prey to those wolves. Allaah is the One Who will conceal you and make things easy for you by His will, may He be glorified and exalted. There are many more pictures of women other than you with which the internet is filled – Allaah forbid – and none of them will be interested in a picture like that when he has thousands more in front of him.
Beware of telling your husband about what happened, rather you should conceal it with the concealment of Allaah. If you tell him, it may lead to bad consequences. So leave this issue between you and Allaah, and repent to Him, may He be exalted. Ask Him for forgiveness and do a lot of good deeds; strive to get your husband to tell his family about your marriage, and ask him to stay with you so that he can help you to obey Allaah. Do not open any closed doors by telling him what happened, because there is no benefit in telling him, rather that may only lead to something that is not in your interests at all.
Telling people that you are divorced or about to get divorced does not have any effect on the validity of your marriage, so rest assured and do not worry. Words like this may lead to other consequences if they are uttered by the husband, but if the wife says them they do not have any effect on the marriage contract. So do not worry about this matter. There is no ruling that results from your saying this, apart from your having to repent and seek forgiveness for saying something that is not true.
You have not ruined your life, rather you have reformed it, first by becoming Muslim, then by repenting from this sin. Remember that Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful, and that He accepts the repentance of His slaves and changes the bad deeds of those who are sincere in their repentance to good deeds. He may enable you to repent sincerely so that you will be better off and more steadfast after that sincere return to Him. So do not let despair enter your heart. Our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All sons of Adam are prone to sin, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.” You are one of the daughters of Adam, and you have sinned, so be one of the best of those who sin, namely those who repent. We hope that Allaah has enabled you to repent sincerely and that He will accept it from you.
Remember that Allaah will turn your bad deeds into good deeds if you do that. Listen to what our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.
69. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace;
70. Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds; for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
Continue to repent and close the doors to temptation. Strive to do acts of worship and obedience, and to find righteous friends. Do not tell your husband about what happened, and put your trust in Allaah, that He will conceal you if you are sincere in your repentance.
We hope that we have answered all your questions and that you will find this website helpful in sha Allaah. We hope to hear that your situation has changed for the better and that your husband will tell his family about your marriage. We ask Allaah to bless you with beneficial knowledge, good deeds and righteous offspring.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.