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Child Abuse Made Me Suspicious of Proposals

Questioner

A

Reply Date

May 01, 2017

Question

As-Salamu 'Alaikum. May Allah bless you for working for such a noblest of causes, amen. I am in my mid-30s, living in a Western country with my parents and brothers.My issue stems from an early age when I was molested by three men repeatedly on separate occasions. One was my cousin, second was my neighbor, and the third was the man who taught me how to read the Quran. I was not raped, but they went far enough to cause me emotional distress. I was living in a conservative culture at the time where these type of things are never mentioned, so I endured my sufferings quietly.I rejected most of my marriage proposals after finding the suitors unattractive and incompatible. My mother has always been a strict and introverted lady. After a few months of trying, she forced me to marry a guy I didn't find attractive physically, spiritually, or emotionally. She threatened to kill herself if I didn’t agree. On my wedding night, I had a panic attack due to this man’s behavior where upon my in-laws caused an uproar. I came back home untouched. My parents, realizing their mistake, took me to a local imam to grant me an annulment since the marriage was never consummated.Since then I’ve had many proposals, but due to my traumatic past, I believe I can only marry a man whom I would not only find attractive, but who also shows patience towards me concerning physical relationship. Though this type of man is hard to come by, it causes me huge amount of mental stress. My parents, tired of trying, have allowed me to find a spouse for myself. However, I don't mingle with men, and if any one shows interest in me, I rebuff him. I don’t know whether it’s the fear of Allah or my condition, but I don’t want to get involve with someone whose intentions I am not aware of. Allah knows, I want to get married, but physical compatibility between spouses is a major factor in Islam.Mind, I have found myself attracted to certain type of men. They look innocent in appearance, show me respect, and have a gentle demeanor about them. Unfortunately, these men are non-Muslims, and I will never consider having anything to do with them for the sake of Allah. Sometimes this attraction turns into limerence which is extremely painful for me because even though I know I can't have that man, I still can't get him out of my head. Just thinking about this man makes my heart flutter. I keep praying to Allah to grant me this type of Muslim man for a spouse, if not here, then in Jannah, in sha' Allah.Is it wrong for me to make these types of du'aa's? Is it wrong for me to keep rejecting proposals because I find the suitor physically and emotionally unattractive? How can I get over my past traumatic experiences? If I am meant to stay pure and unmarried for the rest of my life, what should I do remove myself from desiring men beyond my reach? JazakAllah.

Counselor

Answer


Child Abuse Made Me Suspicious of Proposals

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for writing. I am truly saddened to hear of all the abuse you went through as a child. I am so sorry. May Allah (swt) heal you, dear sister. Tragically, this is a common problem. In cases where the child (now a woman) doesn’t get help (therapy) to deal with the devastation, which occurs due to being sexually abused, all sorts of problems occur such as depression, inability to trust, nightmares, anxiety, PTSD, and the list goes on.

Dear sister, I advise you to seek out counseling from a professional in your area who can see you on a regular basis. The issues are not going to go away by themselves, and it will take effort on your part as well as the support of your family for you to heal from the abuses you have been through. You are an intelligent, beautiful young woman; however, I am sure when you enter a marriage, you would want to do so healed from all your past trauma, right? Therefore, my advice is to get counseling first before you consider marriage. In sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy may send a brother who is understanding of these issues; however, it is an encumbrance upon us as well to seek out the help we need so we can fully live, love, and trust again.

You are meant to be married in sha’ Allah! Marriage is half our deen and we are made to marry. But you need to heal from your past first in order to be truly happy in a marriage. In sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) will give you a wonderful Muslim husband sister, just take the steps you need to take and trust in Allah (swt).

Going to non-Muslim men is forbidden as you know, and it is possibly feeding into a subconscious thought that maybe only a non-Muslim man would accept you. Allah (swt) has your husband for you dear sister. Perhaps all it will take to trigger your meeting is for you to do your part and begin your healing journey.

I would also suggest that you join a support group for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. You can find groups in your local phone book, social services agency, or through a counselor. You must remember dear sister that Allah (swt) is most compassionate, most merciful. He knows all, and He sees all. No one had the right to abuse you; there is no justification for abuse, and it is NOT your fault.

I want you to focus on healing, taking care of yourself, being good to yourself, nurturing your injured child within, and looking to a brighter future. Keep close to Allah (swt), make du’aa’ that He grants ease. Know that Allah (swt) loves you, and sees all injustices and hurts inflicted upon His servants. You will be blessed dear sister, please just reach out and get the counseling that you need so you can find peace finally and begin a happy secure life.

You are in our prayers.

***

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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