Should she refuse marriage to someone who has a bad past?
Most people say they have changed and so forth, but i tend to think, these actions have ramifications in the future.....
Islam is all moderation. Adherence to the teachings of Islam, doing the obligatory duties and avoiding the things that are forbidden are not optional for the Muslim, because these are things that Allaah has enjoined upon him. There is so much confusion nowadays that a person who avoids some haraam things and does some obligatory duties is regarded as being over-strict and stubborn. Undoubtedly this is because the people have deviated from correct understanding of Islam and because they indukge so much in sin and neglect the obligatory duties prescribed in sharee’ah.
We appreciate your keenness to adhere to the teachings of Islam in a society such as the one in which you are living. You should note that what you are doing is an action that is beloved by Allaah and by His believing friends, and that it is something which is hated by the devils among mankind and the jinn.
Your keenness to find a righteous husband is in accordance with teachings of Islam on choosing and marrying a spouse, but you should not reject a person who is known for his good character and religious commitment because of his past. If a person has repented, his past should not be a source of shame and he should not be rejected if he comes seeking marriage. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin at all.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as hasan by al-Albaani. But if he has a past record of sin and it is not known whether he had given it up, in such a case you cannot be sure of his morals or religious commitment, so he cannot be accepted as a marriage partner.
It is not enough for a person to tell his fiancée or her guardians that he has changed and has given up the bad and immoral things that he used to do; his word cannot be accepted and believed until there is the certainty that he is telling the truth or that he has definitely given up those bad things.
Strive to choose a righteous man even if he has a past and do not reject him. Reject everyone who is known to have a bad past and has not given it up, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told men: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5090; Muslim, 1466).
This applies also to women, i.e., a woman should not accept anyone but a man who is religiously committed and of good character. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If there comes to you to marry (your daughter) one who with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1084; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 866.
It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi: The phrase “if there comes to you to marry (your daughter)” means if he comes to ask to marry a woman from among your children or relatives. “One with (whom) … you are pleased” means you think well of him, and are pleased with his religious commitment. “His character” means his attitude and how he deals and interacts with others. “Then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that” means, if you do not marry (your daughter) to one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, and you are only concerned with lineage, beauty and wealth, “there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption” i.e., great corruption, because if you will only marry her to someone who is wealthy or of high status, most of your womenfolk may remain without husbands, and most of your men will remain without wives, so there will be a lot of temptation to commit zina, and perhaps the guardians may feel that their honour has been violated (because of zina), so there will be a lot of tribulation and corruption, which will result in illegitimacy and a lack of righteousness and chastity.
Some of the Sahaabah were mushriks, then they entered Islam and became good Muslims, and they got married, and were not rejected because of what they had done in the past.
What matters is what a man is adhering to now, so long as he has repented from whatever he has done in the past.
We ask Allaah to make it easy for you to find a righteous husband and have righteous children.
Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds.