Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
When I was a young boy, a teenage boy living nearby sexually abused me. When I grew up, I too became a bully and an abuser.
Since my college days, I have repented. I have doubts about God and am sometimes angry with Him because of all this. I consider myself a Muslim, but am very weak in following the religion. Do I still have any chance for redemption?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for having the courage to reach out for help.
I am so sorry that you were sexually abused as a child. This gross injustice has wounded you, and I pray that Allah grants you a complete healing.
Please seek out the support of a qualified and culturally-sensitive counsellor, therapist or psychologist. Deep childhood trauma such as yours requires time and effort to work through. I pray that your journey towards healing will be a means for you to attain Jannahtul Firdous.
Unfortunately, some abused children also become abusers as adults. However, it is also very possible to make a sincere repentance, heal from this trauma, and turn your life around. I recommend that you look into the healing work of Hakim Archuletta and Peter Levine, with the support of a compassionate therapist.
Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them”. [Muslim]
The door of repentance for you is still open. Alhamdulilah, you have asked forgiveness from those you have hurt. That is an excellent step forward. Forgive yourself for what you did wrong, and make a plan to move forward.
Narrated `Aisha: The most beloved action to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was that whose doer did it continuously and regularly. [Bukhari]
Plant seeds of goodness in your life, and take it one step at a time. Please connect yourself to life-giving sacred knowledge, at the hands of trustworthy scholars. When registration reopens, I strongly urge you to sign up to one of the introductory courses on SeekersHub. Alongside that, find a way to be of service to your community. Find a worthwhile cause to be part of, and make this a means of improving your character.
Make an honest assessment of your life. Is your income and what you consume halal? What kind of friends do you have? Are you praying your five daily prayers on time? What are some small daily steps you can do to improve your connection to Allah?
Please don’t overwhelm yourself with drastic action. It is better for you to start one good deed and work your way to establishing it firmly in your life, instead of taking on too much and then abandoning everything.
Many believers struggle with some form of doubt. Trust that you are not alone in this, and that Allah still wants goodness for you. It will take work, but you can also recover from this.
Please refer to this link to help you learn how to cope with the doubts in your heart and mind.
Please keep in contact with us. I pray that Allah grants you a complete healing.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.