Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have a past of masturbation addiction and consuming porn, and I have sent several pictures of myself nude to others. I apologized to the girl I love, and she accepted my apology and said she didn’t want to know any details about my past. However, I can’t stop thinking about what I have done and that my pictures might still be floating around, in addition to the fact that I used her picture for indecency.
I am sure Allah will forgive you for your sincerity and transformation, and I encourage you to look to the future and forget the past.
Your fiance, or bride-to-be, is an intelligent girl. She doesn’t want to know your past and has put it where it belongs, namely, in the past. Don’t bring it up, don’t remind her, and don’t apologize again for something that you have already apologized for. It is sinful to disclose more details, as we can see from this hadith: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
You Lord is al-Ghafur al-Raheem, the Most Forgiving, the Most Compassionate. Take this verse, internalize it, and have no fear: Allah Most High said: “Say: My servants who have wronged yourselves, never despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins: He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Quran. 39:53]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also told us, “Allah, Glorified is He and Most High, said: ‘O son of Adam! Verily as long as you called upon Me and hoped in Me, I forgave you, despite whatever may have occurred from you, and I did not mind. O son of Adam! Were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky, then you sought forgiveness from Me, I would forgive you, and I would not mind. O son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you met Me not associating anything with Me, I would come to you with forgiveness nearly as great as it.’” [Tirmidhi]
Now, the devil is clever, too. He sees that you are overthinking your past, and he wants you to despair, expose more sin, keep apologizing until you are blue in the face, and not work on moving forward and healing from your past. Please don’t listen to him. Ignore him at all costs. When thought about your past comes up, seek refuge from the Shaytan and make dhikr: (A’udhu biLlahi min ash-Shaytan ir-rajeem)
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
Try these sunna formulas of remembrance:
The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.