Are the Islamic Rulings Regarding Marriage Racist?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

Can I ask my prospective spouse if he is a virgin?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not impermissible to ask your prospective spouse if they are a virgin, but they aren’t obliged, and nor do they have the right, to disclose any past errors. This is because talking about sin is wrong and sinful, and in this specific context, an instance where affirming the sin would be a case of lifting the covering of Allah from above oneself.

Hence, you should concern yourself with matters of clear benefit and harm. The jurists affirmed that a lady who made a mistake would be deemed a virgin, and the same applies to a man. This is contrary to the case where somebody has an active, current and ongoing addiction or problem, whereby they would need to disclose the matter as it could immediately impact the marriage.

What is superior is to hold yourself to the standards of the Sacred Law, to uphold those standards in your seeking of a spouse, and to give the other party the benefit of the doubt. You should certainly ask and investigate regarding those issues which are important to you, and those which are required to uphold an islamic marriage, yet without digging up somebody’s buried past.

Please also see: Informing a Prospective Spouse About Past Non-Marital Relationships and: Is It Permissible to Lie In Order to Conceal Past Sins?

And Allah Most High knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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