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Effectively A Virgin?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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QUESTION: If a woman was not a virgin before she accepted Islam, and is questioned about her virginity... is it better to be honest or admit her sin? I know that Muslims should not admit their sins, but when I said this to another sister ... she said it would be deceptive to tell someone you were marrying that you were a virgin if you were actually not

ANSWER: Walaikum assalam,

In the Hanafi madhhab, a woman can either actually be a virgin or effectively so.

An ‘actual virgin’ is a woman whose hymen (def: ‘A fold of tissue that partly covers the entrance to the vagina of a virgin’) is still intact.

An ‘effective virgin’ is a woman whom people consider still a virgin, even though she may have had sexual intercourse in the past without this being presently known about her. This is because virginity is something of great social weight in Islamic society, and for a past error (from which the woman has presumably repented) to affect her honor and future would be wrong… [Radd al-Muhtar, Majma` al-Anhur]

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani.

[Source: SunniPath]


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