I am a muslim male. When I was a child a person older than me had anal sex with me several times. When I was a teenager I had oral sex with one of my cousins. Does that make me a fornicator? According to Quran 24:3 A fornicator does not marry except a fornicator. How can I get married?

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You repent and reform your ways. Then you will no longer be considered a fornicator.

التائب من الذنب كمن لا ذنب له

The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin.

Ibn Majah - classed as hassan or sahih based on corroboration

أن رجلا أراد أن يزوج ابنة، فقالت: إني أخشى أن أفضحك، إني قد بغيت، فأتى عمر فقال: أليست قد تابت؟ قال: نعم قال: فزوجها

A man decide to marry off his daughter. She said: I fear I will bring shame to you, for I have committed fornication. He came to Umar.

Umar asked: Has she not repented?

He said: Yes

Umar said: Then marry her off.

Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah

The majority considers it permissible for a fornicator to marry anyone. Especially after repentance. The verse 24:3 is interpreted as follows:

  • The verse is from the time when marriage with non-muslims was permissible. The verse made it forbidden for Muslims to marry non-muslim prostitutes. And later it was made forbidden to marry all non-muslims (2:221, 60:10). The prohibition does not apply to Muslim sinners as they are included in the permission granted by the verses:

    وأنكحوا الأيامى منكم

    And marry the unmarried among you

    Quran 24:32

    وأحل لكم ما وراء ذلكم

    And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these

    Quran 4:24

  • ينكح here means sex (fornication) not marriage. The verse is news rather than a ruling. It is simply says that a fornicator fornicates with a fornicatress or a polytheist. It is a condemnation and prohibition of fornication, not a ruling on legal marriage.

  • Some hold that it forbids marriage by fornicators to anyone, but that restriction is removed by repentance.

  • A minority holds that a person who has been convicted and punished under the Hadd for Zina can only marry another person who too has been convicted and punished.

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