What Should I Do If I Can’t Stop Myself from Falling into Illicit Relationships?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

In my teenage years, I was involved in a Haram relationship. Because of immaturity and stupidity, some minor sins occurred during this time, such as kissing and hugging. I broke it off and was very happy alhamdulillah, and my life improved.

Three years later, through friendship, I fell in love with my classmate and desperately wanted to be with him. But the thought of being in another haram relationship where no nikah has been performed makes me sick. I’m unsure if my parents would approve because they are conservative. And I can’t stop because we’re classmates and will be in the same class for the next three years. I often feel hopeless; please advise.

Answer

Thank you for your honest question and for reaching out to us. I commend you for trying to do the right thing. May Allah guide you every step of the way.

Making repentance (tawba) from your first relationship is very good. You are mature for realizing your mistake. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “If you were to commit sins until your sins reach the heaven, then you were to repent, your repentance would be accepted.” [Ibn Majah]

Steps

In this second relationship, you have allowed yourself to become emotionally attached to this brother, basically falling in love with him. This is more dangerous than a physical relationship. I recommend that you immediately cease and repent if you have a physical relationship with him. If not, Alhamdulillah, good. The only options you have are to get married to this brother or stop this relationship.

Tell your parents that you have found someone that suits you. Tell them you are already quite fond of him, and he feels the same way. Honesty is the best policy. He should also speak to his parents. The sooner both of you do a nikah, the better. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “O Ali! Do not postpone three things: prayer when it is time for it, the funeral when it is ready, and the marriage of an unmarried woman when a suitable match is found.” [Ibn Majah].

It is an excellent habit to pray istikhara before any decision, especially marriage. Ask Allah for guidance so you can have more blessings (barakah) in your decision and so you know that you are not just following your ego/desires.

If the parents agree, then proceed to marry him. There is no need to move in right away. You can take your time with the rest of the marriage plans. But you will be far from fornication or sin. Prolonged engagements are not the sunna.

If the parents disagree, after you have both spoken to them, and especially if your istikhara prayer comes out negative, you must end it. It will be painful, but it is the best course of action. Put Allah first, and He will take care of you. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “You will never leave something for the sake of Allah, but Allah will give you something better in return.” [Ahmad]

Don’t despair or lose hope. Even if he isn’t the one you end up with, Allah will give you someone better for you and your family. The best defense against this pain is ensuring you don’t get close to another man before marriage. It never works out this way. Always keep a professional distance and remain cordial with men. Or the cycle will repeat. Take a look at this inspirational video by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani:
How Can I Stay Positive and Trust in Allah in Difficult Times? (Video)

May Allah give you both the best in 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 aqidah, 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.