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Topic initiated on Wednesday, January 14, 2004  -  5:28 AM Reply with quote
Pregnancies outside of marriage


Jazakallah khair for everybody's efforts in this forum.

As you already know from the subject of this message, I need some answers concerning Muslim marriages that have taken place while the wife has already conceived a baby. I understand that this is a sensitive subject but I received an email recently saying that a muslim marriage that has happened after the wife has conceived a baby is considered Zina(unlawful?). Anyways the email went on to advise that all muslim marriages that have happened in these circumstances are void and the couple should separate until the baby has been born and only then can the Nikah be done. Is this true?

If the answer to my question is not known by anybody here can you please direct me to a suitable website where I can get the opinions of the Islamic Jurisprudents about a situation like this.

Jazakallah khair for your efforts.
Razi Allah

Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2004  -  8:40 PM Reply with quote
Waalikum Assalam

Thank you for your appreciation.

Before commenting on the situation you have presented, it would help to understand the general guidelines about dealing with cases of zina.

If two individuals are involved in zina and the case has been taken up by a court of law, the Quranic punishment would be implemented after the due procedure of the court. If, however, the case has not been brought to the court, no ordinary individual can implement the punishment.

The Quranic presciption in a case of Zina is:

    Flogging the individual in public
    If they are married, severing their marriage if the other partner is chaste
    If they are not married, prohibiting their marriage with chaste individuals
    If a woman is pregnant, giving her respite till the birth of the baby

In a case where the individual, rather than being an inveterate, has committed this act, grave though it is, in a moment of sheer weakness Islam would want him/her to hide the faux pas.

It is not clear from your posting if both the husband and wife committed the act themselves before marriage or only the wife was involved. I'll present my understanding of each case:

If both the husband and wife were aggressors, it is good that they married and their is nothing that could make this marriage void. What they should do is to sincerely repent and continually ask for forgiveness from Allah. It is better if it remains concealed and even if it comes to the notice of people, they should forgive. If the state takes it up, the punishment would then be enforced.

If only the wife was involved in this act and her present husband knew about her pregnancy before their marriage, he should have avoided marrying her. Even though the punishment is to be enforced by the state, if she was not apprehended but known to have committed the crime, a chaste man should not have married her. An exception, however, is that the Qur'an has clearly mentioned that all the crimes including fornication and adultery can be forgiven if the offender truly repents and makes a firm commitment for correction. True repentance cleanses a person of all kind of sins. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in entering the folds of marriage with such a person. Again i see no reason for the marriage becoming void unless of course the punishment is implemeted by the state.

If the wife was involved in this act and her present husband was in the dark regarding her pregnancy and has now come to know about the situation, his response could vary. Again if she is apprehended by law, their marriage would be void or abrogated. Otherwise, he could choose to part ways with her but it would be a great virtue to forgive her, if she is repentant. There is no automatic annulment of marriage.

Insofar as the matter of waiting for the baby's birth is concerned, that would be the case when the court decides the matter and respite is given to the woman till the birth of the baby.

I hope this would help.

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