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My Best Friend Is Non-Muslim and Respects My Islam, but She Is Openly Lesbian. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My best friend is non-Muslim and respects my Islam, but she is openly lesbian. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Honest Conversation

Dear sister, you are in a very challenging situation.

It sounds like your best friend values your friendship, and respects your Islam. As you would with any other sensitive topic, I recommend that you speak honestly with her. Talk to her about how stressed you feel, and how you do not want to lose her as a friend.

I pray that you can both brainstorm solutions together. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to show her the kindness and mercy so in-built in our deen.

Concern for children

It is natural and healthy for you to want to protect your children’s innocence. However, it is impossible to completely shield our children from the outside world. The best protection you can offer your children is a deep, trusting, and loving connection with you, Allah, and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

As your children grow older, they will probably come across same-sex couples and same-sex families with children. It is important for you to lead that conversation about how that displeases Allah, instead of avoiding it, and letting their peers/popular media/social media dictate their beliefs.

LGBTI

“And whoever submits himself to Allah and is good in deeds, he in fact holds on to the strongest ring. Towards Allah is the ultimate end of all matters.” [Qur’an, 31:22]

Whether we like it or not, in the West, your best friend’s life choices are accepted and even aggressively encouraged – this is the flood of our time. Please keep in mind that your friend’s disbelief is a much greater sin than her relationship with a transgender woman.

The reality is that in West and elsewhere, there are many Muslim men and women who are tested with this tribulation. That struggle is their road to Jannah.

Possible outcomes

I see a few options.

1) Explain to your friend that you are struggling, apologize, and grow distant from her.
2) Slowly distance yourself from your friend with no explanation. I do not recommend this, because it would hurt both of you.
3) Continue to be part of her life, hate her sins, but continue to treat her, her partner, and her future children with kindness and respect. Every step of the way, talk to your children about this topic. Use this as a teaching opportunity. This would take tremendous courage, patience, and perseverance on your part. Perhaps your good character with your best friend is what will soften her heart towards Islam. There is no greater good you can offer her.

Protection and prayer

I recommend that you perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward with your friendship.

Please see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

I pray this helps.

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and 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 the University of New South Wales.

How to Repent From an Homosexual Relation

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))

Please also see: Intercourse During the Month of Ramadan and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Wassalam,

[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.

Repentance

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: How do I repent from having boyfriends in the past, and how can I ask Allah to make my current suitor my husband?

Answer: Dear questioner,

Thank you for your valued question. May Allah give you light, knowledge, and practice.

My advice would be to first repent wholeheartedly for your past and completely avoid the people and places that let you to the haram. This is really, really hard, but it is the only way you can really repent.

With regard to your current suitor, you should just come to a decision and get married. If you don’t socialize with your former suitor, or go to places where he or his friends are, he shouldn’t be able to meddle with you.

Repentance

To repent from sin means that you genuinely regret doing it, actually stop doing it, resolve never to do it again, and repay anyone whose rights you have squandered in the process. (Riyadh al-Salihin, Nawawi)

Part and parcel of resolving to never do it again are to completely change your environment and friends. We simply do not have the moral muscle power to withstand the pressure of bad peers and bad places, so we have to vote with our feet, and go somewhere else.

One of the Early Muslims was so shocked by his sins that when he repented he actually walked out of his house (in which he was sinning) barefoot. Thenceforth he was called Bishr the Barefooted-One.

The point is not what is on your feet, but rather the depth and totality with which one turns around.

Emotional pain is also part of the process. Please see: Pain Is an Expiation

The New You and Men

Repentance also means that there is a new way that you interact with men—new shyness, distance, professionalism, what have you.

This will really help you with your current suitor. Just think about how Sayyidna Musa got married; he had just helped two young ladies to water their flocks, and the Qur’an explains the rest:

‘Then one of the two women came to him walking on shyness. She said, “Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us.” So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, “Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.”

‘He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favor] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allah wills, from among the righteous.” ‘ (Qur’an, 28:25, 28:27)

Because she was shy and meek, Allah put baraka in their meeting, and they got married. This is how all Muslim marriages should begin.

This meekness also applies to your husband-to-be, and if you need to meet to discuss your marriage, it should be with a mahram or in a formal setting where you are not alone. It shouldn’t be a social thing, like having a coffee together or anything like that.

And as the scholars say, ‘He whose beginning is bright and shiny, his end will be bright and shiny.’ (al-Hikam al-Ataiyyah)

For more details, please see:

How Should I Interact With Non-Mahram (Marriageable) Males?
Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?
Can We Deny Having Committed Sins After We’ve Repented From Them?

Conclusion

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Allah is more joyful at the repentance of one of His slaves when he repents to Him than one of you would be over his riding mount were it to have escaped from him with all his food and drink [on its back] in the middle of the desert such that he had despaired of ever finding it and had gone to a tree to lie down in its shade, and then it suddenly appeared before him, at which he took it by its reins and then said out of joy, ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Lord!’ getting confused because of his sheer joy.’

InshaAllah, by the baraka of your genuine repentance, your new way of dealing with men in general, and your husband-to-be in particular, Allah will open everything up for you. You and your husband-to-be should just ignore the other man.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

What Should I Do About Apples I Have Stolen During My Childhood?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

When I was a child I took a few apples from private property. I have found out that they did not like it. What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You can send them an envelope containing an apology and the value of the apples taken.

Please see: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager? and: How Can I Repent From Crimes Committed During My Youth?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Will Allah Ever Forgive Me After I Repeatedly Sin?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaikum,

Is there any hope for me to repent to Allah after all of these sins I committed? My sins have increased so much. I’m scared of asking Allah for forgiveness and I’m shy and ashamed.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah make things easier for you.

Hope

“And seek the Forgiveness of Allah, certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 4:106]

There is always hope in Allah’s forgiveness. Feeling ashamed of your sin is a good sign. Focus on Allah’s Mercy and don’t dwell on your sins. Plan to do better next time.

I pray that Allah grants you the ability to make good on your repentance.

Please refer to the following link:

A Reader on Repentance

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Repay Stolen Goods From a Mall?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

My friend stole goods worth $20 from a mall . He has repented. Now he wants to repay his theft. How should he go about it without going to jail?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You should try to get the value of the stolen memory cards to management at the particular shop in a manner which doesn’t cause you greater harm.

And you need to repent for the error in judgement. [see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)]

See also: Returning Stolen Property and: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Will Allah Forgive Me After Stealing Something That Can’t Be Returned?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I stole candy and gum from a store and I can’t return it because I’ve already eaten it. I can’t pay it back because I don’t have a salary as I am 13. Will Allah forgive me?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

Yes, Allah will forgive you for your mistake if you repent because He is All-Forgiving and Ever-Merciful.

However, considering you took from somebody else’s property without paying for it, you need to adequately redress this wrong.

The simplest thing to do would be to save up the value of the items taken, and then return this enveloped to the shop with a message stating what you did and that you are sorry. Strive to do this anonymously so that it doesn’t end up making matters worse.

May Allah bless you and grant you facilitation and success.

Please also see: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance) and: How Do I Repent From the Theft I Committed Many Years Ago When I Was a Teenager? and: Does Sincere Repentance Eradicate Sin?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Regret a Blessing from Allah?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is regret a blessing from Allah?
Does Allah wait for the call of forgiveness when His slave sins?
Is there any Hadith or verse from the Quran regarding these?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, regret is a blessing from Allah as it is a sign of sincere and true repentance. This is the reason Imam Nawawi considered it one of the conditions for a proper repentance.

And we also know that sins aren’t immediately written down by the angels, so people have a chance to repent for their mistakes, and this is from the pure Favour of Allah Most High.

Further, even if the person does not repent right away, the sin and its traces are completely wiped away if he truly repents later.

Abu Hamza Anas ibn Malik al-Ansari, the servant of the Messenger of Allah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is happier about the repentance of one His slaves than one of you would be about finding your camel which had strayed away from you in the middle of the desert.” [Agreed upon]

Please see the following reader for further discussions: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Strengthen My Faith and Truly Repent?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question:1) How can one be firm in faith? What causes faith not to stay firm in the heart?

2) I know we have to repent immediately for sins but my repentance is not sincere as there is no strong remorse, so how can I truly repent? Please help me.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. You have asked a very important question – many of us are concerned about how to make our faith firm in our hearts, and how to truly repent. May Allah bless you manifold for your deep concern about such weighty matters.
Turn to Allah in Sincere Supplication
My first suggestion is for you to turn directly to Allah using this beautiful dua every time you start to feel a dip in your faith, and after each prayer:
Shahr ibn Hawshab (Allah be well-pleased with him) said, “I said to Umm Salama, ‘O Mother of the believers! What was the most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, when he was with you?’ She said, “His most frequent supplication was, ‘O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen!’” [Tirmidhi]

‏يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلبي على دينك‏
Ya muqallibal-qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ala deenika

Faith and Knowledge
Ultimately, it is not knowledge, books, or teachers who can grant you lasting faith, but it is only Allah’s Mercy which descends and makes faith firm in your heart. Make it a point to study at least one book on belief with a qualified teacher (e.g. The Creed of Imam Tahawi) to strengthen your understanding of our belief as Muslims. I recommend the course on Islamic Belief on SeekersGuidance.
Attaining solid faith is a lifelong journey, so be kind and patient with yourself as you strengthen your faith. We live in a time of instant gratification, so remind yourself that attaining lasting faith is a tremendous gift which cannot be attained simply because we want it right now.
Keep your faith on the increase through daily good works using all of your limbs e.g. kindness with your tongue, charity with your wealth, service with your limbs. Link all of your actions to attaining Allah’s pleasure, and inshaAllah, your faith will strengthen. Do your best to avoid sin, because that darkens the heart and is a blow to your faith.
Repentance
Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Verily, Allah is more delighted with the repentance of His slave than a person who lost his camel in a desert land and then finds it (unexpectedly).” [Bukhari and Muslim]
On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) say: Allah the Almighty said: O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it. [Tirmidhi]
Know that Allah loves the repentance of His servants, and it is a sign of His Concern for you that you wish to make good your repentance. Attaining deeper levels of repentance takes continual practice. Please explore this brilliant reader on repentance. I pray it is of benefit to you.
To cultivate your heart, commit to saying “astaghfirullah” a 100 times every day. Pick a time where you can sit, face the qibla, be in a state of wudu, and be truly be present with your Lord. Before or after Fajr, or Isha prayer are often times of quiet. Even if it feels dry on your tongue, persist until it comes alive in your heart, and then all of your limbs will follow. Strive to rise before Fajr prayer, even if it’s for five minutes, to cry out to your Lord.
May Allah bless you and all believers with lasting faith, sincere repentance, and hearts alive with remembrance of Him.
Please refer to these following links:
Doubts About Islam: I Don’t Find Any Observable Effect or Peace in My Worship
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Weak Iman, Misgivings, and Loving the Messenger (Allah Bless Him and Give Him Peace)
I Have Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa) About the Soundness of My Faith and My Marriage
Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Informing a Prospective Spouse About Past Non-Marital Relationships

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question:If my prospective spouse asks me if I had any past relations, am I to deny having committed past sins, and am I to state affirmatively that I am in fact a virgin? Does my fiance have a right to ask me of my past sins/virginity? Does my stating in the affirmative take away the rights of my prospective spouse to obtain a virgin in marriage?
Also, if my prospective spouse suggests to indulge in sexual relations out of marriage just because we would be married anyway, how do I explain to him that this is wrong? He is a very nice person of good character but unfortunately he is not very mindful/informed about many things about religion.
Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, you should not disclose details of past errors, including those related to virginity.
Sincere repentance wipes out the sin and its traces, and from the mercy of this religion is that you are still legally considered to be a virgin. Rejoice in the of the Prophet of mercy sent by the All-Merciful.
As for getting together before marriage, tactfully avoid. Keep contact to a minimum as best you can, and pray two cycles of the prayer of thankfulness and need daily– praying that Allah gives you a beautiful life together and save you from the impermissible before and during marriage. Ibn ‘Ata’illah said, “Whosoever’s beginning is illuminated, their ending is illuminated.”
May Allah bless and facilitate success for both of you in this life and the next.
See also: Is It Permissible to Lie In Order to Conceal Past Sins? and: Can One Lie About Past Sins?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam