Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
So let’s say hypothetically speaking, I’m affection craving, but due to my sexuality, I can’t pursue marriage.
Would it be OK if I cuddled/snuggled with a man as long as it didn’t evolve into anything sexual to fill the emotional void within me?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
We pray that Allah grants you the strength and fortitude to overcome this enormous test and that your passing of it be the reason for your salvation in the Hereafter. Engaging in otherwise permissible acts that would probably lead to unlawful feelings and possibly to unlawful actions is unlawful, and Allah knows best.
Divine Command and Wisdom
Muslims (as should Jews and Christians) understand that homosexuality is an enormity in Islam because Allah decreed it. Anyone who stays away from it while being tempted by it will have a magnified reward to compensate for his suffering. Allah sees all and knows all that we do and understands us. He is closer to us than our jugular veins, and our pain is not lost on Him, Most High. Trust that there will be a judgment and that you should prepare for that day in which there will be no shade other than from Allah’s throne. Recognize the strength that you already have.
What to Do
The best thing that I can ask is that you discard the thoughts when they come to you. Immediately make dhikr and seek refuge from the Devil (a‘udhu billahi min ash-Shaytan ar-rajim). Please do not allow the thoughts to grow and develop, for that is the final step before a person actualizes them. It would be wise and better for you to restrict certain types of interaction if it arouses you and keep away from anything that might trigger the desire.
Turn to Allah
Pray to Allah that He helps you reconcile these feelings and makes it easy to subdue them. I have read stories of men who marry the opposite gender, living a life of multiple identities but end up with a divorce or, even worse, committing adultery. Express your pain through prayer, ask Allah to help you, guide you, and give you the very best outcome. Allah is always there to listen and loves to be asked.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When half of the night or two-thirds of it is over. Allah (the Blessed and the Exalted) descends to the lowest heaven and says: ‘Is there any beggar so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues saying it) till it is daybreak.‘“ [Muslim]
May Allah reward you for your sincerity and give you the best in this world and the next. We pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.