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I Was Sexually Abused as a Child and Have Become an Abuser. Is There Any Redemption for Me?

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.

Abuse

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.

Healing

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.

Redemption

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.

Practical steps

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.

Doubts

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.

Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship

Please keep in contact with us. I pray that Allah grants you a complete healing.

Please see:

A Reader on Anger Management and Good Character>How Do I Break The Habit of Repeatedly Falling Into The Same Sin?

[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.

Is a Father Who Molests His Daughter Still Considered Her Mahram (Unmarriageable Kin)?

Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: What punishment is given to a father who (sexually) molests his own daughter? Is he still considered her mahram?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate,

As salamu alaikum,

All praises are for Allah Most High, the Gently Kind and Loving. I’m very sorry to hear about this. Allah is on the side of the innocent child who has been violated through this abominable crime, and will call the perpetrator to full justice on the Day of Judgment. That will indeed be a day more horrifying for the oppressors than one can imagine. The Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Beware of oppression, for indeed oppression will be waves of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

Someone who has been affected by this should not delay in seeking counseling, through professional channels, as well as a mature scholar in the community. They should make Allah their closest companion through constant supplication and remembrance. Whereas the prayers of so many people have a veil between them and Allah, for this person, Allah has removed all veils for them. The Prophet [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said, “Fear the supplication of the oppressed person, for there is no veil between it and Allah.” [Bukhari]

Punishment for Crimes and the Recompense of those Afflicted

While descriptions of punishments for certain crimes were told to us, this was done to give mankind a glimpse at how terrible the torment of Hellfire is for the wrongdoers; surely there are punishments for other crimes that we do not know of, but that are beyond description and imagination.

In exchange, those who were wronged will be recompensed immensely for what they patiently had to live with in this life, according to the severity of what they went through. As Allah promised His beloved Prophet: “And the Hereafter will indeed be better for you than what came before.” [Quran 94:4]

Is the Father Still Considered a Mahram? What Are the Legal Implications?

As for whether the father is still considered a mahram (unmarriageable relative), he would technically still be a mahram to the daughter. However, it would be obligatory upon the daughter to avoid all situations of seclusion with the father, given his corruption and untrustworthiness.

This would be true of whether something actually occurred, or something like this is feared will happen. Thus, if he is her sole mahram, Hajj would not be obligatory for her, as the father would not be fit to travel alone with her as a guardian. This is what I have learned upon consulting Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, one of the world’s foremost jurists specializing in family issues according to Islamic Sacred Law.

True Healing is Through the Remembrance of Allah

The final thing to remember is that true healing occurs only by completely giving one’s pain and grief up to Allah in devotion, and through that, realizing His never-ending warmth, love and mercy for you. He says, “Lo, by the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest.” [Quran 13:28]

We ask Allah Most High to make it easy for those who have suffered from this and to heal their hearts, and to eradicate this abominable crime from our communities.

Wassalam,

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani