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My Brother Committing Zina, What Should I Do?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Nov 13, 2017

Question

My 17-year-old brother is going astray. He is watching pornography, masturbating, having sex and talking to girls. He does not pray and doesn't read the Quran, in Ramadan he only pretends to be fasting and eats when no one is watching. He frequently smokes as well. I have caught him several times doing these things. It has been going on for 2 years. He just will not stop. I tell my mum everything and she gets angry at him and takes his phone away from him, but then after a while, she gives it back. She is desperate and doesn't know what to do with him as he does not listen and does not think he is doing anything wrong. All his friends are Muslims too but they all do the same haram things, they all smoke and pass girls around to each other. My mum has told my dad everything but he is not doing anything. My brother's relationship with my father is not great. I do not know what to do anymore, I cannot sleep, I am constantly worrying about him, I can't even revise for university anymore. I am sad for my mother and the pain she has to endure, I hate that she is going through this.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“You could also ask someone in a position of authority to talk tonight about his actions, such as the local imam. He might be better placed and respected as a man of knowledge to let him know that his behaviour is, in fact, harmful and not ok as he thinks it is. He will be well equipped to warn him of the dangers of his behaviour and the consequences if he continues.”


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

What your brother is going through is an unfortunately common experience for many people his age. As people enter into adulthood, they face the daunting prospect of all the responsibilities that come with being an adult, especially as a young man, he will be aware of the many responsibilities that he will soon have to take on for himself. Some people are well able to manage such thoughts,  whereas others will manage it in more maladaptive ways.

Some will become disobedient and disrespectful to those close to them, where others will turn to other methods such as how your brother is managing himself. Unfortunately, they generally don’t see the detrimental effects that this has on those around them, as you are experiencing.

It can often be helpful to be the company of fellow brothers who can influence them in a positive way, but unfortunately, it seems in your brother’s situation, he is in the company of friends who only encourage this bad attitude and behaviour. One possible way to tackle this could be to have your parents approach the parents of his friends to make them aware of their concerns and their own children’s behaviour as they may not be aware of what is going on, therefore, doing nothing to reprimand them on their unacceptable behaviour, therefore encouraging them to continue.

You could also ask someone in a position of authority to talk tonight about his actions, such as the local imam. He might be better placed and respected as a man of knowledge to let him know that his behaviour is, in fact, harmful and not ok as he thinks it is. He will be well equipped to warn him of the dangers of his behaviour and the consequences if he continues.

Unfortunately, as you say,  he had been taking part in such behaviours for such a long time that such habits will likely be quite difficult to break out of as many of them can be addictive. He will need support from those he loves in overcoming them successfully, so in sha Allah, once he decides to change he will need your support without judgement for the is takes he had made in the past. You can make this easier for him by working with him to do alternative things that he enjoys to manage any difficult emotions he might be facing as a better, more adaptive and acceptable means to manage difficulties.

You can try to alleviate the situation also by openly practicing Islam in the home and calling him to join you. This will encourage you as a family to work together as positive role models to him as well as making things easier for you as you find comfort in the regular remembrance of Allah together.  Make sure that during this time you continue to patiently pray for him, for Allah to guide him to the straight path.

May Allah guide your brother on the straight path to grow to become a pious and respectable member of the community. May He give you and your family strength during this testing time.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.




About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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