The Importance of Keeping the Female Virginity Before Marriage in Islam

Virginity is a very strong sign of chastity in Islam. It cannot be underestimated today no matter what reasons we choose to profer here or elsewhere. The Prophet s.a.w. did recommend marrying virgins. That does not mean only those with intact hymens but those who have never attempted premarital sex till the time of nikah. Meeting the hymen intact or seeing blood stains on the first night is not as important as knowing that no man has touched the lady before getting married for the first time.

The nikah of those married as virgins are not the same with those married after they have lost their virginity through premarital sex because their first partner remains on their mind. Women should strive to keep their virginity till their first night in marriage for their first ever legal husband. That is the joy of it all and that is the culture that Islam treasures a lot and also a practice treasured in so many tribes and cultures of the world.

Virginity may not tell you the state of the heart but it definitely sends a strong message of morality, fidelity, chastity, loyalty and good home training and upbringing. No right thinking man will like to wish away such rare and invaluable precious qualities in a woman. We are not marrying from Hollywood, Bollywood or Nollywood. We are marrying from a pool of well trained muslim sisters from good Islamic homes. That is why Allah says that the fornicator should marry the fornicatress, and the pure and chaste men should also marry the pure and chaste women.

Besides it does not matter or make much difference if a lady has been in jahiliyah or not prior to the time of practising Islam well and getting married. Jahiliyah is different from jahiliyah. There is jahiliyah with good home training and moral upbringing and there is jahiliyah with lack of home training and reckless and immoral upbringing. The fact that a lady grew up without Islam doesn’t mean that she must have grown up loose without morality and chastity. Jahiliyah is not synonymous with reckless and immoral living and engaging in premarital sex and affairs. Most of our pious predecessors including the Prophet s.a.w. married before Islam during jahiliyah (ignorant) period and they married chaste women. In most cultures in the world, both Muslim and non-muslim, virginity and chastity are two inseparable twin qualities of good marriable spinsters.

We are not saying that only virgins are chaste but being virgins at the time of nikah is a sure proof of chastity. Of course there are exceptions but they must remain exceptions because the accepted and recommended norm in Islam is to marry muhsanat which means chaste women either from the never married who are expected to be virgins and previously married chaste women from among the widows and divorcees who must have been married as virgins the first time they got married.

However virgins are given priority over the previously married chaste women in the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Exceptions are chaste women who lost their virginity through rape or exercises when small but they must feel the loss and wish they didn’t lose it physically though they remain chaste because virginity is a virtue and remains a virtue in today’s immoral world though lack of hayah i.e. Islamic shyness and modesty in women is making many to disregard the sanctity and sacredness attached to virginity.

Those who lost their virginity before developing islamic consciousness but later sincerely repented are among the chaste women but they are not equal with those who eventually married as virgins. That is why the Prophet s.a.w. said that paradise is guaranteed for any muslim man who succeeds in raising three, two or even one daughter with sound morals till he marries them out. This is their reward for marrying out their daughters as virgins. And he (s.a.w.) also said that the cuckold men who allow their wives and daughters to go out of the home indiscriminately and live immoral lives will not smell the aroma of paradise and will not enter it.

Our young muslim girls must be taught to value, cherish and jealously guard their virginity till they get married. They must be made to know and understand the implication of carelessly losing their virginity and the importance of keeping it intact till they reach maturity age of getting married so that they are not discriminated against when looking for marriage partners in the future.

Parents too must learn to protect their young girls from possible sexual abuse and rape incidences by never leaving them alone with strange men and grown male relatives who may abuse them. They must also be protected from useless sporting events and exercises that encourages free mixing of sexes and may serve as fertile grounds for immorality. These measures are strictly observed in many non-muslim tribes and cultures of the world where they value and cherish virginity. Why not in the muslim community where it is a sunnah to marry virgins?

Keeping virginity till marriage from time immemorial has been the best proof of chastity and the best way to remove all forms of suspicions of immorality and engagement in promiscuity. There is no way of establishing or differentiating the way of losing a virginity once it is lost. No one can say the difference between a ”one-time offender” , a ”chronic offender” and a completely innocent lady who has lost her virginity so it is better kept intact till the nikah day.

We as Muslims and as good cultured and morally upright people of the world must continue to praise, glorify and recommend it as the Prophet s.a.w. did and taught us to do as a valid and strong sunnah that has come to stay.

May Allah keep us guided. Amin.

Dr. Fuad-deen Olabisi Kekere-ekun writes from Lagos, Nigeria.


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