We receive questions and requests for advise from Sisters, through SCG, the Sisters Consultancy Group. Some questions are comming up more often. It is because of this that I felt compelled to address the subject contained in this post. My hope is that by bringing this subject out in the open, Sisters will be better informed and be less likely to end up in difficult situations.
We get questions from Sisters through SCG, where the Sisters say that they are no longer virgins and wish to get married. They have either had secret mutahs or have done zina. Usually it's a secret mutah, that not even the girls family know about. The mutahs are usually not valid, since the girls are very young and under the care of their fathers and usually in the taqlid of a Mujtahid that requires the father's permission. Later the girls inevitably regret what has happened. They want to know if they are required to tell their prospective grooms. We have had some threads on this subject in the Sisters forum as well.
Basically they are not required to tell them, unless it's specified in the contract.
But if it is known for a certainty that the groom expects the bride to be a virgin, even if it's not specified in writing, I advise them that they either have to tell it or not marry the person. I usually advise them not to marry the person, make some excuse for declining the marriage, rather than tell them. If it's known that this is important to the groom, there is no reason to tell him, you' re not the person he wants to marry, so why open yourself up to problems. In most cases the man will tell everyone he knows, and the girl's reputation will be ruined.
Just this week we had a case in our community of this. (This case exemplifies the difficulties faced by young women in this situation.) A young woman got married, she came from another country to marry someone here. They had relatives in common, but didn't really know each other that well. She had made nikah with someone before, but had not had the wedding yet. Later the groom divorced her, before the wedding. It was expected that they had not had relations, but in fact they had. Last Saturday she married a guy here. He did not know that she had had relations with the previous husband.
On the wedding night he suspected that she was not a virgin. He confronted her with it and she admitted it. He became very angry and refused to accept this. At 3 AM, he called the woman's father and told him to come and get his daughter, he told the father she wasn't a virgin and he didn't want her. On Sunday he divorced her.
This man was easy going, and not an angel himself, someone I would never have suspected this behavior from. I was quite shocked at what he did and how he told everyone. Even though I know a lot of men would behave this way, I did not expect it from him. He isn't very religious and neither is his family. I wouldn't have thought it would make that much difference to him.
It's Wednesday now, by now people half way around the world know about the case. It's become a huge scandal, with all sorts of people talking bad about the woman. She and her parents quickly left town humiliated. Most likely she will not have an easy time getting married again.
My reason for writing this is that I want to tell the young girls on the forum about this case. It proves my point that it is better to refuse the marriage, than to inform the man and have him ruin your reputation. Better yet, don't get into this situation in the first place. There are definately double standards among Muslim, insofar as girls being expected to be virgins, while men are not held accountable even for zina. It may not be fair, but it is the reality of the society we live in.
Edited by Hajar, 26 March 2005 - 10:10 PM.