Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Must I seek forgiveness from those with whom I have had illicit relations before Islam? Does my going to a massage parlor before Islam make me guilty of the sin of participating in sex trafficking?
Since then, I’ve made dua and donated to help stop these places. Also, I’ve signed up to volunteer against these types of things. However, I still feel extremely bad and never meant to ever donate to something so bad.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
I am happy to hear of your embracing Islam and changing your ways. May Allah accept from you and increase you in your faith and sincerity.
Islam Eradicates the Sins Committed before It
By embracing Islam, your previous sins are entirely erased, including your wronging of others.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Did you not know that Islam eradicates that which transpired before it (i.e., sins).” [Muslim]
Your going to the massage parlor was indeed a sinful thing to do. However, your embracing Islam has removed that sin. Also, your going to the massage parlor, even if it may be linked to the sex trade or sex trafficking, your role in that was indirect.
It is a blessed thing to do, to stand against sexual oppression, and you should continue to support such organizations that are against it. However, you are not at fault for it merely due to you going to the massage parlor.
Furthermore, you do not need to seek forgiveness from the woman at the parlor, especially if going back into such an environment or seeing the woman may bring back an inclination to that sin.
Don’t Focus on the Past
Don’t focus on what transpired before you became Muslim, especially past sins. This is one of the ways the Shaytan (Satan) deceives sincere Muslims. By making them hate their pasts and distract them from engaging and flourishing in the moment.
Devote your time to deepening your understanding of the Religion. Continue to stand against oppression and serve your community’s needs as best as you can.
Consider the classes offered here at SeekersGuidance.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.
He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.
In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.