In fact, Islam is prohibits all ways leading to fornication, adultery, and all forms of sexual perversion. In a practical and matchless approach to prevent the crime of Zina before its occurrence, Islam blocks all ways leading to that which is Haram and unlawful. Stressing this, Allah Almighty says, “And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way.” (Al-Israa’: 32)
Dr. Sabri `Abdul Ra’ouf, professor of Islamic Comparative Jurisprudence, at Al-Azhar University, states the following: “If a man and a woman commits Zina, then truly repent and embark on getting married, then the punishment is dropped as long as the issue does not reach authorities or the ruler of the Muslim State, as he is supposed to put punishments in force. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said, “Anyone who commits a punishable sin should cover himself up as long as he’s being shielded by Allah (i.e. he should not expose himself) because if he divulges his punishable sin, the prescribed punishment becomes due.” (i.e. it should be carried out as he has confessed.)
this makes it clear that if there is a true repentance along with sin concealment, Allah will forgive as He Almighty is the All-Forgiving. Referring to this, He Almighty says: “Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (An-Nisa’: 48)
elaborating more on the issue in point, Dr. Wahbah Az-Zuhayli, head of the Dep. of Islamic Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Shari`ah, Damascus, adds:
“No doubt that Zina is one of the grave sins in Islam. Those who commit Zina are supposed to bear the responsibility for the sin they committed.
However, the dire consequences of Zina maybe mitigated if they seriously determined to marry. Marriage in such cases is a procedure which is usually done by some Shari`ah courts. However, marriage is no more than a concealment that uncovers the sinners.
As far as dropping the legal punishment is concerned, I can say that marriage is not a pretext to drop the applicability of the Hadd, if the issue reached the legal authorities. The punishment for Zina is still applicable as Allah Almighty says: “The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.” (An-Nur: 2)
thus, the applicability of the Hadd can not be waived if the issue reached the legal authorities.
On the other hand, if the issue does not reach the authorities and both the man and the woman want to marry, then they can do so. This is according to Imam Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim and the followers of the Hanabali school of thought, who maintain that ‘There is no legal punishment for the sinner who repents (i.e. before the issue reaches public authorities)”