Repenting From Adultery

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Brother I don't know what to do, but I have committed a great sin. I know the concept of confession does not exist in our beautiful religion, but I have committed fornication. I am trying to repent, and trying to ask Allah for his forgiveness. As I was reading Surah Noor, I found out that I can't marry a chaste woman, what should I do. Please pray for me so Allah makes his punishments easy on me in the Hell fire.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
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Answer:
Al-hamdu lillaah.

1) Do not despair, for Allaah the Most Exalted and Glorified said (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: Oh my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allaah, for Allaah forgives all sins; for He is oft-forgiving, most merciful." [Surah 39,Verse 53]

2) Let your repentance be truly from your heart, and stay away from all sources of temptations. Also, perform many good deeds, as good deeds abrogate the bad ones.

3) If you repent to Allah, you are no longer described as a fornicator (zaani). Therefore, you can marry a chaste woman.

4) The believer has high hope and aspiration for the best from Allaah. He not only asks Allah for making his punishment easy in hellfire, but he also prays to God the Almighty to save him from Hell and award him with paradise for his repentance and good deeds.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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