Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I am a Muslim male who had sexual intercourse with the same gender and I decide to repent and ask God for forgiveness because really I would like to change. What should I do?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
There is no prescribed expiation (kaffara) for engaging in sexual intercourse with the same gender, nor for any type of fornication whatsoever, which occurs outside the month of Ramadan.
Nevertheless, engaging in any form of sexual activity outside of a valid marriage is deemed to be a grave sin which requires deep and sincere repentance. True repentance has three conditions: (1) to leave the sin immediately, (2) to remorse over having committed the sin, and (3) to resolve never to return to it. You need to be honest with yourself and take all reasonable means to ensure that you don’t slip up again.
The Sunna Way of Repentance
The Blessed Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There is no servant who commits a sin, performs the ritual ablution (wudu) well, and then prays two cycles (rak‘as) after which he seeks Allah’s forgiveness, save that He is forgiven.” (Abu Dawud) This is a description of the Prayer of Repentance (salat al-tawba), and one may even perform the ritual bath (ghusl) in place of the wudu to indicate one’s complete washing away of the sin from one’s life.
On another occasion, the Noble Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who has no sin.” (Ibn Majah) He (Allah bless him and give him peace) also told us to “follow up a bad deed with a good deed and it will wipe it out.” (Tirmidhi) Though the repentance alone is a good deed, consider also giving some charity (sadaqa) and performing a number of good deeds as a manner of beautifying your repentance and voluntarily expiating for the wrongs committed.
Seeking Professional Help
Further, given the number of times that this major sin has occurred, I’d recommend that you also reach out to a sensitive professional who can help counsel you so you can break free of such behaviour altogether. I’d encourage avoiding living or being alone as much as possible, drastically reducing your accessibility to the internet and to also travel for a period of time, if you’re able.
Finally, Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Sakandari (may Allah sanctify his secret) said, “How often a sin that bequeaths humiliation and neediness is better than worship that bequeaths exultation and haughtiness.” This is a trial from Allah Most High, and by turning back to Him to sincerely change, you’ve opened all kinds of doors of eternal good for yourself. Do everything you can to keep up the impetus in the right direction. “Watch out for Allah, and you will find Him before you.”
(Nawawi, Riyad al-Salihin (33-34))
And Allah Most High knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.