What Should I Do if I Experience Unintentional Incestuous Lust?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I was sitting with my daughter when suddenly she put her hand on my leg. I started feeling lust without any intention because of her hand on my leg. I also had some erection because of the lust. It all happened unintentionally. I didn’t intend any lust towards my daughter. Is my marriage to her mother valid now?


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.

Your marriage is legally valid because nothing transpired that would invalidate it, Allah knows best.

Non-marriageable Kin

Your daughter is your eternally non-marriageable kin (mahram), and therefore interaction with her is permissible under normal circumstances. A sexual encounter with her (not that your encounter was one) would be considered forbidden and tantamount to incest. May Allah protect us. [Misri, Umda Al-Salik]

What to do if Faced with Lustful Thoughts

Anyone who faces an incident, such as the one described, should first try to stop those thoughts/feelings immediately, seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan and one’s base desires (nafs), and if the feelings persist, ask to be excused and leave the company as soon as possible. If this happens frequently, we advise that the afflicted individual seek urgent psychological and spiritual counsel.

He may even need to (temporarily) avoid being alone with her in the future as a precaution. Allah does not burden His servants for fleeting thoughts we may have. But if we entertain those thoughts, we are responsible, and Allah knows best.

Please see the following response from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani regarding this:

Are We Held Accountable for Mere Thoughts of Sinning if We Don’t Act on Our Thoughts?

I 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.