Parenting tips for a mother whose daughter committed fornication
Fatwa No: 17120


Please, help me; I have found out the most awful thing a mother can found out about her daughter (she has committed fornication). Is it permissible for me to hide this matter from her father? I do not want to ruin his life as mine is ruined because of this discovery. Please, help me; what should I do?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Having this awful thing already happened, we advise this heartbroken mother to handle this matter with wisdom and  insight. We can summarize the advice in the following points:

1)      You should have a pause for reconsideration and self-reckoning. Were you responsible for what had happened? Many parents neglect their children and do not care much about their whereabouts—where they go and when they come home—and do not care much about their friends and company until one of them falls into the abyss of sin. Then, the neglectful parents regrets this when it is already too late! If you found out that you were lax and neglectful in shouldering your responsibility as a parent, a task that was entrusted to you by Allaah, the Exalted, and fell short in taking care of your children, then you should hasten to repent. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards..." If this is the case, then you should repent to Allaah, the Exalted, and hasten to rectify what can be rectified before things get worse, allowing the problem to aggravate and become unsolvable.

2)      You should spiritually treat your daughter, urging her to fear Allaah, the Exalted, and His punishment. You should make her realize that what she did constitutes a tremendous crime and a huge sin against Allaah, the Exalted, before being a scandal for her family. She should be advised to seek forgiveness of Allaah, the Exalted, turn to Him in repentance, and purify herself from this sin. She must be urged to sincerely repent to Allaah and seek refuge in His protection and pardon. Verily, Allaah, the Exalted, accepts the sinner's repentance.

3)      You should conceal this matter from her father. A Muslim should conceal the flaws and sins of his fellow Muslim as long as this sinner is not known for committing sins or boasts about it; this is obligatory. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "... whoever covers up the fault of a Muslim, Allaah will cover up his fault on the Day of Judgment..." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also said: "...Whoever has committed any of these ugly things, he should cover them up with the veil of Allaah... " [Malik]

It is obligatory on you not to tell her father about this and to conceal her sin. Moreover, if you informed him about what has happened, you would only disturb his life without any reason or need! There is no consequent interest in telling him, especially compared to the evils that will result from this.

Allaah Knows best.

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