I committed fornication recently and am going crazy with guilt. I felt I was going to marry this man and now because of this act, I do not want to marry him anymore. I know I made a bad and desperate choice. I have read that once you fornicate, you are no longer a Muslim. But I believe in Allah and the Prophet…I am a Muslim but one who made a very bad decision. What do I do? Do I ask to be lashed? Can I give charity? Will I be forgiven? I have been chaste for 40 years…I became weak…
wa `alaykum salam,
There is not a sin under the sky for which Allah Most High does not accept repentence, and fornication does not make one a non-Muslim. If Allah Most High did not expose you it means He does not wish for you to proclaim your offense and it is enough that you repent sincerely and resolve to stay away from what causes shame and guilt. Marriage will bring you protection and fulfillment, do not dismiss it when Allah Most High made it possible for you.
Hajj Gibril Haddad