Posts

Porn Is Big Business and Muslims Are Becoming Customers – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Porn is big business and Muslims are far from immune to it. Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Toronto and teacher at SeekersHub Toronto, spends ten minutes reflecting on how he helps young people deal with it.

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Johan Larsson. Our thanks to Quran Speaks for making this video available.

[cwa id=’cta’]

"I’m Married To A Sex Addict" – 5 Tips on Moving Forward

In this guest column for SeekersHub, Danielle Adams from Lifestar Therapy offers advice to couples dealing with pornography and sex addiction.

Pornography and sexual addiction is a complicated issue, especially if you’re married to someone who is struggling with this fixation. You’ve probably felt shocked, angered, depressed, and resentful over your spouse’s problem. That’s normal. However, there are things you can do to help yourself move past the hurt and into a better place emotionally.
Follow these five tips to learn how you can improve your relationship, move toward forgiveness, and start feeling more love for yourself and your marriage.
[cwa id=’cta’]

1. Acknowledge the Addiction

When secrets are kept and problems aren’t acknowledged, distrust and fear will develop within a relationship. Before the healing process can begin, you and your spouse both need to recognize and admit that (a) there is an addiction, and (b) that relational distress is one of the many consequences of that addiction.

2. Get Help

Addiction isn’t something your spouse can just “get over.” Seek answers to your questions and get the support you need from a professional marriage therapist, a spiritual leader or trusted friend, and a support group. They can help you more fully understand how and why sex addiction starts, help you through your emotional trauma, and get you and your spouse on the path to recovery.

3. Invest in Yourself

Resist the urge to dwell on the unfortunate circumstances you now find yourself in. Instead, take this time to invest more fully into yourself. Write down some recovery or spiritual goals to work toward, serve others who are in need of help or support, enjoy healthy eating and exercising, and distract yourself with a new, fun hobby.
By focusing on your own goals, you’ll be distracted from your difficult situation and will give yourself some much-needed, much-deserved positive attention. By having more love for yourself, it’ll be easier to have more love for your spouse.

4. Support One Another

One of the most important things you can do to support one another during this trying time is to have full and open communication. Talk non-aggressively about feelings and struggles, trials and triumphs. Listen with an open heart and allow yourself to feel love and empathy.
You may also want to set clear physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual boundaries regarding your spouse’s behaviors and actions that might make you feel uncomfortable. By setting and keeping these boundaries, your spouse will be able to start earning your trust once again and you will have some control over how the situation affects you and your family.

5. Look Forward

There’s no need to continually dwell on the actions and mistakes of the past. It’s an ugly trap that you don’t want to find yourself residing in, keeping you miserable. By looking forward, together, each day will get a little easier. Recommit to rebuild trust, improve communication, and focus on the bright future of your marriage. Some days will be more difficult than others, but with time and patience, healing can be achieved and you will once again feel whole.

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Johan Larsson

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on Gay Muslims; Scholars Issue Statement

“We, as American Muslims, follow the openhearted and inclusive Islam of Muhammad Ali and completely reject the hatred, provincialism, and intolerance of those who trample upon the rights of others, besmirching and defiling the name of Islam.”

On June 13, 2016, Muslim leaders across North America signed the Orlando Statement. Signatories include, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
You can read the statement, in full, at the Orlando Statement website.

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf gave a brief interview addressing several difficult issues. We reproduce it below with thanks to CNN.

Q: There have been many statements from Muslims condemning terrorism. Why issue another one?
A: Muslims are constantly being accused of not condemning these types of attacks, even though I don’t have any control over what other people do, and they don’t represent me or my faith. Nobody associates all Seventh-day Adventists with David Koresh, who belonged to a splinter sect, or all of Judaism with Meir Kahane. But when these things happen, the whole religion of Islam is besmirched. We’re trapped in this constant cycle of: events, condemnation; events, condemnation. And then people still say, “Why don’t Muslims condemn these things?”
Q: What do you make of Donald Trump’s speech about Islam and terrorism on Monday?
A: He’s playing a dangerous game, and a lot of lives are threatened by that type of saber-rattling. We’re in an extremely volatile situation and social media has introduced an unprecedented element that we don’t fully understand.
Q: Trump and President Obama are arguing over whether to label attacks like the Orlando shooting “radical Islam.”
A: When a man wrote a political screed against the IRS and flew into its building, he was deemed mentally ill, even though it was clearly a political act. There’s a double standard, which is: If his name is Muhammad, it’s automatically terrorism. This man (Omar Mateen) wasn’t a radical Islamist. To drink or go to gay bars, or any kind of bar, is prohibited in Islam. He seemed to be a nominal Muslim. He went to mosques on occasion but I don’t see a lot of devotion there.
Q: What about the gay community and gay Muslims who may feel ostracized from mainstream Islam?
A: As we say in the Orlando statement, we are committed to Abrahamic morality, but it should not to be imposed on others. America is about choices, including those to live certain lifestyles. There’s a statement in the Quran: There should be “absolutely no compulsion in religion.”
Q: What about gay Muslims, though?
A: Look, I don’t have the power to issue papal decrees. We don’t have that type of structure in our tradition. But I have studied the tradition, and the vast majority of Muslims would never accept the lawfulness of an active homosexual lifestyle. I don’t see that happening. But there is also no authority in the tradition for any individual to take things into his own hands and impose their version of the religion on someone else.
Q: Why can’t Muslim teachings on homosexuality change? Is it because the Quran, which is considered the inerrant word of God, condemns it?
A: The Quran is pretty explicit in its condemnation of the act, and we have a long tradition of jurisprudence that defines it as unlawful. But there were also fatwas permitting people who had those attractions to relieve themselves so they wouldn’t fall into active engagement. There’s an awareness that this is a real human urge. I definitely have sympathy for people who are struggling. I’ve met with young Muslims who have told me about their struggles. But I’m not sure they want our sympathies; they want full recognition of their lifestyle, and my religion tells me that I can’t accept that. But I can’t — and won’t — impose my beliefs on others, either verbally or otherwise. I’m not going to judge people.
Q: What do you say when gay Muslims tell you about their struggles?
A: I say that I’m not going to deny your experience but my recommendation is not to actively engage in behavior outside of what is permitted in the religion. I know that people can live celibate lives, I did it myself for many years.
Q: The punishment for homosexuality in some schools of Islamic jurisprudence can be quite harsh.
A: There’s no specific punishment in the books of fiqh (Islamic laws) that relate to homosexuality per se. They apply to any illicit sexual relations, including prohibited heterosexual acts like adultery. And the punishments are strong, but they are legal fictions because they are impossible to prove. You need four witnesses to say they witnessed (sexual) penetration. In what circumstances are you going to find someone to testify to that?
Q: A lot of Muslims have lamented that the feelings of goodwill after Muhammad Ali’s funeral quickly dissipated after the Orlando shooting. You were at Ali’s memorial. What was that like?
A: Dr. Sherman Jackson said it best: Muhammad Ali put an end to the idea that you can’t be an American and a Muslim. We were all feeling that last week. The memorial was all planned by Muhammad Ali himself, and I was impressed by how much his faith was highlighted, even by people of other traditions. The spirit of love that embodied the city of Louisville for two days was overwhelming. Everyone was smiling and hugging. It felt like such a breakthrough for our community … and then, Orlando. We went from the incredible pathos of joy to the bathos of despair. It’s one step forward, two steps back.
[cwa id=’cta’]

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