Dr. Salah Sultan, President of the American Center for Islamic Research, Columbus, Ohio, and Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states the following: “The basic rule is that a Muslim marries a chaste woman/man. Allah SWT mentioned the condition of chastity even before faith, saying in surat An-Nisa’: “And the chaste among the believers….” (An-Nisa’ 4: 24) That is why I advise all my brothers living in the western countries who wish to get married to a woman from the People of the Book, to make sure she is chaste and not committing zina.

However, if a man or a woman committed adultery and then repented to Allah, then according to the hadith, “repentance does away with everything that went before it.” That is why the scholars interpreted the verse you quoted to mean it is not allowed for the Muslim to marry an adulterer, male or female, if they are still committing indecency and did not repent.

Some scholars have said that if someone fornicated with a woman, he cannot marry her; however, the opinion of the majority of scholars, which I subscribe to, states that he can marry her if she repented to Allah. And if someone married a woman/man that he/she committed zina and repented sincerely, he/she must forgive each other before marriage and never broach this issue after marriage.”