In this counseling answer:
• It is your obligation both morally, ethically and legally to intervene on the child’s behalf. Speak with the child’s parents and inform them of what’s going on.
• Nobody can make somebody stop a behavior, and nobody can make someone sincerely repent to Allah. Only the person can truly want to change, stop haram ways and beg forgiveness from Allah.
• Tell him that when he decides to address his sickness, addictions and make changes to return and fully repent to Allah, you will consider a closer relationship with him.
As Salaam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns. Your main issue is that you want to highlight a 45-year-old man’s addiction to porn and having multiple sex partners. This man is also abusive towards a child. You wish to make him aware of his sins and help him repent to Allah.
Sister, your question, and concerns are very serious, specifically, because there’s a child involved. An addiction to porn and having multiple sex partners is abhorrent and sinful as you know. However, the most critical issue right now is the child.
While you did not say he was sexually abusive towards a child you stated it in the same sentence as describing his porn addiction and having multiple sex partners. Therefore, we can only conclude that the abuse is of a sexual nature.
Intervene on the Child’s Behalf
As you have knowledge of this sister, it is your obligation both morally, ethically and legally to intervene on the child’s behalf. A child is unable to protect him or herself. It is it is up to you to stop this abuse immediately and report it to the authorities or to a child abuse center in your area.
I will kindly suggest that you speak with the child’s parents and inform them of what’s going on. If they are able to make an appropriate and swift intervention to protect their child, fine. If they do not, it is up to you to do so. I understand that this will cause many hard feelings, anger, and confusion in the family, however, the priority is the child. I understand that this hurts you because it appears that you are attached to this man either by marriage or through a family relationship, such as a brother or a father and uncle or whatever. However, the child’s needs come before this relationship.
Inform the Parents
Again, I kindly ask you to inform the parents. I would kindly suggest that you take them away from the home. Perhaps go to the park where it’s quiet, or somewhere else where you will not be bothered or have interference. Explain to the parents what you have seen happen to the child. Insha’Allah, assure the parents that you will be there as a witness should they need support or confirmation of what has happened to their child.
In the case that they do not want to do anything or they are afraid, please do explain to them that since you know, it is your obligation to take every measure necessary to protect their child if they are unable.
Sister, I would kindly suggest that you research the available resources around you regarding child abuse and choose one that you feel would be able to help the family. Again, if the parents are afraid or refuse or don’t believe you, go to a center immediately and ask for help with the situation. There are even hotlines you can call for help.
Do not wait. The therapist and caseworkers can help you (or the parents) contact the authorities if needed and assure that the child will be safe.
At this point, I’m not sure what will happen with the man who abused her or him, but there will probably be legal ramifications depending on where you live.
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This may be a turning point for the whole family in terms of facing the reality of the situation. It is a shame that a child had to be put in a position where they were vulnerable to abuse. This man should have been put in check a long time ago. As he does have a history of addiction to porn, having multiple sex partners that were a big red flag.
However, while many men and some women do get addicted to porn, they don’t go around abusing children. This man has a severe issue and yes, he does need to be aware of his sins and repent to Allah. However, as stated, the safety of this child in the situation comes first.
You Cannot Change Someone’s Behavior
Sister, as I understand it, you and your family have made several attempts to make this man aware of his haram ways, urging him to stop and to repent to Allah. I do not know for how many years this has been going on. It seems that he does not heed the warnings and the advice and now it has come to this wretched situation.
Sister, nobody can make somebody stop a behavior, and nobody can make someone sincerely repent to Allah. Only the person can truly want to change, stop haram ways and beg forgiveness from Allah. It is obvious that he is aware of his sins.
In your previous question, you indicated that he prays 5 times a day and recite the Holy Qur’an. Well, this is all good and fine. The point is, if he is abusing children, and doing nothing about his addiction to porn and having multiple sex partners, he can pray all he wants and he can read Qur’an all he wants, it won’t matter. While praying and reading Qur’an is a way of life and something we should do, our behaviors supersede our prayers and reading of Qur’an.
In other words, you just can’t pray and read Qur’an and think you can go around doing vile and haram things and adapt this is a lifestyle. It is not accepted by Allah. It is deplorable and despicable. And Allah knows best.
I would encourage you to please act now to get this child out of this situation. Insha’allah, please begin accepting who and what this man is currently. I can imagine that when you found out you were shocked and hurt, which is natural. We don’t expect this of people that we love and care about. However, you must face the truth. You can look at the good things that this person has and done in his life and appreciate that, however, you must also acknowledge the vile state of mind he is in now.
If you wish to make it easier on your heart and mind for acceptance, you could look at it as a sickness, for surely it is a sick act. I will kindly suggest insha’Allah, that when you do speak to this person, you just tell him that you love him. However, you cannot condone nor keep quiet anymore about his vile and evil ways especially regarding the child.
I will kindly suggest that you tell him that when he decides to address his sickness, addictions and make changes to return and fully repent to Allah, you will consider a closer relationship with him. But at this point, make it clear that you cannot be close to him due to the nature of his behaviors.
Allah Always Watches
Sister, we will all be accountable for our behaviors interactions. Often times we see even sisters who are fully covered some even wear the niqab, they pray all the time for soft-spoken, they’re very kind they seem to be the most pious. However, some of them do vilest acts.
I point this out to illustrate that from the outside, somebody may appear to be the perfect Muslim. They may appear to be pious, obedient, humble, and fearing of Allah. However, behind closed doors or in secret they may be doing horrendous acts. This is why insha’Allah we have to think back and remember that Allah looks at our heart. He looks at our intentions and what we’re doing when we think no one is watching. Allah is watching.
Make Duaa; Seek Counseling
As you love this man, make duaa to Allah for the man to change his heart and his way. At this point, only this man can change himself. He knows enough about Islam, and he knows what the limitations are. Even if he wasn’t Muslim, he surely knows that abusing a child is haram.
Please, seek counseling for yourself if you feel you are unable to handle all of this. I can imagine it was a huge shock and a very deep pain to hear what this person was has been doing and is still doing. Insha’Allah, draw close to Allah and depend on Him for strength and mercy.
May Allah be with you and Grant mercy and ease. You’re in our prayers, dear sister.
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