Wife Involved in Extra Marital Affairs on Internet

Question and answer details
As-salamu `alaykum. My wife had been involved in extra marital emotional affairs on internet while in marriage. She shared a lot, like sexual lusty e-mail along with her photo in naughty poses to guys. I nicely told her to stop it and tried my best to save my family, but she said many times that she has no feeling for me. We have two boys. She filed divorce and lived for three years separately. Now she wants to patch-up. Should I forgive her for the sake of kids? Because I fear they will lose all Islamic values too. Please, advise me.
Mohammad Qatanani

Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear brother, thank you for your question.

It is not acceptable for a husband or wife to engage in extra marital affairs. This shameful act destroys the family and endangers its stability. However, if a husband or wife committed a mistake and seriously repented, he or she may be pardoned and given a chance to change his or her lifestyle. Allah says in the Qur’an, “…and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (An-Nur 24: 22)

So, you may forgive your wife giving her a chance, especially you are willing to maintain your family and protect your children from any prospective evils.

Responding to you question, Dr. Mohammad Qatanani, Professor at the Islamic American University and Imam of the Islamic Centre of Passaic County in New Jersey, stated,

If the spouse or any person shows repentance and regret for something he or she has done, it is highly recommended to accept and forgive.

The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Every son of Adam is a sinner, and the best of sinners are those who repent." (At-Tirmidhi)

The repentance has some conditions, from which is to resolve not to commit such a sin again. Therefore, it is good to help your wife to get back to the right path, especially when you have a strong desire to protect your family and your children.

So, you have to give her another chance and to fix the problems affected your life; try to get rid of all the former harms through fulfilling her desire. Remember also that there is no way to fix any problem without relying on Allah through du`aa’ and prayers. Help her strengthen her faith (iman) and faith in Allah Almighty.

Also, I advise you to discuss with your wife how to lead your life in the future, and then to agree to build your family on deen, harmony, love, respect and mutual understanding.

Allah Almighty knows best.