Relationship With Female Colleague: Must He Marry Her?
Praise be to Allah
We have mentioned in many fatwas (verdicts) that unrestrained mixing, which is not controlled by the guidelines enjoined by shariah (Islamic law) such as proper hijab (dress code for Muslim women) and proper etiquette of interaction, is haram. We have also stated that it is haram to work and study in mixed places. We are saddened by the fact that there are muftis (scho;ars) who take this matter lightly and approve of this chaotic situation in schools and workplaces. It is as if they are living in another world, where they do not see the effects of haram mixing such as heartbreak, loss of sanity and destruction of religious commitment.
This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 1200.
No one is safe from these effects. Chaste women have fallen into the foul swamp of mixing and been affected by its filth, ugliness and stench. The same may be said about righteous young men who used to obey Allah – how they were and what they have become.
Allah has created in men an inclination towards females, and He has created in women an inclination towards men. But Allah has not permitted relationships between those who are not mahrams (those may not marry one another Islamically) to one another, except through marriage. Hence in shariah there are many rulings which block the way to immorality. It is haram to look at a non-mahram woman, and it is haram to shake hands with her, or be alone with her. It is haram for a woman to travel on her own, and there are other rulings which prevent the shaytan (devil) from making the Muslim fall into the sin of zina (fornication/adultery).
You say “there was a haram relationship with her” but we do not know what this means. It may be interpreted in two ways:
1. Zina – Allah forbid.
2. Becoming friends and being alone with her, but without zina.
If the first meaning is what happened, then they have committed a grave sin. Allah has ruled that the unmarried man and woman who commit zina are to be given one hundred lashes, and that those who are married and commit this sin should be stoned to death. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has told us that the zani (fornicator/adulterer) has lost his faith, and in a dream he saw men and women who had committed zina in an oven in the Fire of Hell.
One of the rulings that applies to those who commit zina is that it is haram for the zani to marry the zaniyah, and it is haram for her to marry him, because marriage of the zani and zaniyah is haram, unless they have repented sincerely from the grave sin that they have committed.
If they repent sincerely, and the woman observes an ‘iddah (waiting period) of one menstrual cycle, then it is permissible for them to marry, and we ask Allah to forgive them and bless them.
If the second meaning is what happened – as is usually the case in such relationships, especially when he wants to marry her – then there is no reason why he should not marry her in the sense that the marriage contract will not be invalid, but it may be disallowed because she is not religiously committed or of good character, and she is not qualified to be a wife who will help him to protect his religious commitment and raise his children. But we cannot say this in your son’s case. If she is negligent then he is the same, and every fault that we think is present in her is to be found in him too.
If Islam tells him to look for a pure, righteous woman, then it enjoins her likewise. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Bad statements are for bad people (or bad women for bad men) and bad people for bad statements (or bad men for bad women). Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women).”
“And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid‑servants (female slaves).”
But let us be realistic, and fair. When comparing between them, do not look at how your son used to be, rather look at how he is now.
Then you will see that each of them has become attached to the other and they both want to get married, and the best way to set them straight and put an end to the evil in their relationship, is for them to get married. Ibn Majah (1847) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is nothing like marriage for two who love one another.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh Ibn Majah.
Perhaps this will be a good opportunity to encourage them to repent and set their affairs straight, before they get married.
Getting married with the intention of getting divorced is haram. It is not permissible for a Muslim to have this intention before getting married.
We are with you and we urge you to fear Allah in such matters. If this was your daughter, would you be happy for someone to marry her with this intention?!
Is it befitting for you to think of your son’s interests, and look for what is good for him, even if it is at the expense of other people?
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We were with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on a journey and he said: “Whoever would like to move away from Hell and enter Paradise, let him reach his end when he is believing in Allah and the Last Day, and let him treat people the way he likes to be treated.” Narrated by Muslim, no. 1844.
And Allah knows best.