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Sexual Abuse, Disorder & an Illegitimate Child

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Apr 14, 2017

Question

Salaam. May Allah reward you for all your help and advice. I come from a broken family; my parents divorced, and I have been raised by my mom. Throughout my childhood, I was abused by a close relative. I was unable to tell my mum, and it affected my married life a lot.Alhamdulillah, my husband is a good man, and I have been blessed with 3 children. But the problem is that I’m very sensitive, and my mood swings a lot. I sought medical help and have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have very conflicting relationship with my hubby for a while. I feel he doesn't take my feelings seriously due to which we have drifted apart.This has affected me greatly to the extent that unfortunately I had an affair with his nephew which I regret so much. May Allah forgive me and conceal my sin. My 3rd child is actually not my husband’s, but he doesn't know about this or my affair. I feel all my life I have been tested by Allah, but I have failed. I have betrayed my husband with his own family member, making him raise a child who is not his. I do not know what to do. May Allah forgive me.I have tried committing suicide twice although I know it is not the right solution. I have already cut off my relationship with that other man, but now I just can’t be intimate with my husband. Maybe Allah is punishing me as we never had a problem with intimacy before, but now I just can’t sleep with him. I don’t know what to do. I only know that I don’t want my children to be separated from their father because of me. Please help me. JazakAllah kahyran.

Counselor

Answer


Sexual Abuse, Disorder & an Illegitimate Child

Answer:

Wa ‘Aleikom Salam dear sister,

I am so sorry to hear of all the pain you have endured, especially the sexual abuse. It must have been very difficult keeping that inside of you all those years. I am glad to hear, however, that you have sought professional help and received a diagnosis. You presented a lot of issues here, so I will do my best to address each one in order of presentation.

First, I am concerned about your suicide attempts. While you did not say how, where, or the outcome, I can only hope there has been some follow-up from a professional. If not, please promise yourself, make a written contract, that you will never attempt suicide again. Give the contract to someone close to you after you sign it. Not only is it a grave sin, but you have children and a husband who need you. Also, please get the number for the suicide hotline in your area and keep it somewhere convenient.

In sha’ Allah sister, you are still in treatment. If you are not, I would highly suggest getting back in treatment. In addition, you may want to suggest to your husband that he participate in a support group for men with mentally ill spouses. Your therapist can provide a resource for this in your area or you can look online or in the phone book. This will help him cope with your illness and understand it better. He would also receive support from the other group members regarding any stress, emotional pain or daily problems he is experiencing due to it.

Sister, you must understand it is not easy living with someone with mental health issues. And, it is not easy living with a husband who you feel doesn’t take your feelings seriously. May Allah (swt) bless you both in your journey of healing your marriage, as you sound like you both love each other very much, despite the confusion and pain that is going on in your marriage. I would also suggest that you both get marriage counseling to address your issues with communication, feelings, and your sexual life.

I can imagine this is all very confusing for your husband as he does not know about your sexual relationship with his nephew and the resulting child which he believes to be his. This brings up another issue dear sister. AboutIslam scholar states: “your child is not your child because you did not give birth to him, nor is your ex-husband his father as he did not father him. Allah (swt) says:

“…He has not made your adopted sons (truly) your sons: these are but (figures of) speech uttered by your mouths — whereas Allah speaks the (absolute) truth: and it is He alone who can show you the right path.” (33:4)

Based on the above teachings, you are not allowed to give an adopted child your own name. If this way is done in the past prior to embracing Islam, you should change this name. Allah (swt) says:

“Call them by their (real) fathers; this is more equitable in the sight of Allah; and if you know not who their fathers were, (call them) your brethren in faith and your friends.” (33: 5)

While your son from your husband’s nephew is not adopted, the above reference is indicative of Islam’s stance that a child’s father is known. Further stated regarding a similar issue is “what he did wrong, however, was to adopt a child that is not his and to claim that he is his own. That is one of the major sins, and it is absolutely forbidden by Shari`ah.” Again sister, while your husband has no knowledge that the child is not his, there are some serious implications in the whole matter which must be resolved. I highly suggest that you submit your question again to our “Ask the Scholars” section or contact your local imam, as I am not an Islamic scholar but do feel you need guidance from one.

Additionally dear sister, I urge you to repent to Allah (swt) and ask for His forgiveness as well as His guidance in this very serious matter. I also ask that in sha ‘Allah you utilize the tools you were given by your therapist to deal with your sensitivities and emotions so this will not happen again. More important is drawing close to Allah (swt) for guidance and protection through prayer, du’aa’, dhkir and Qur’an reading. Surround yourself with uplifting Muslim friends who you can enjoy sisterhood with, and they can also be of support to you. You have many wonderful things to offer dear sister, and yes, Allah (swt) has blessed you with much. However, you do have a lot of things to clear up and make right with Allah (swt), your husband, as well as yourself.

You are in our prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

 

 




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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