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Sexually Harassed While Performing Hajj

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 08, 2018

Question

Salam Aleikom dear counselor.

Last year, I got the opportunity to perform Hajj with my parents, alhamdulillah. I cannot describe how I felt when we finally landed, and when I got to see the Kabah. I was truly overwhelmed by being in Makkah and seeing the masjid of Prophet Muhammad (saw) in Medinah! I literally felt the presence of Allah and felt so close to Him, alhamdulillah. Everyone around me seemed to feel the same way; everyone looked so kind and pure-hearted. We began the rituals of Hajj in this spirit. I felt so secured from the beginning, and I never thought for a moment that anything could destroy such joyful moments - but something actually did. While I was performing tawaf around the Kabah, focusing on Allah and the duas, I felt a hand on my butt for a couple of seconds. I as thought it was just an innocent mistake by someone as the crowd was huge around us. I kept moving.

But a few moments later, I felt it again, and this time the person did not even just touch my butt: he grabbed it! I am sure it was not by mistake! This never happened to me before, ever! I was so shocked that I did not even dare to look around who did it. What I would have done or said anyway...we were making tawaf!! Hajj has come again and although I have wonderful memories, this horrible incident overshadows everything. I cannot forget it. I haven't told about it to anyone, but it really disturbs me and makes me feel disgusted of Muslim men.

How could someone coming for Hajj to purify himself do something like this? Please, help me move on and forget!

Counselor

Answer


Sexually Harassed While Performing Hajj

In this counseling answer:

• I kindly suggest you make du’aa’ to Allah (swt), asking Him (swt) to help you erase this from your mind so you can enjoy the profound blessings and experiences from Hajj.

• You did nothing wrong. He did.  Please, sister, don’t let it tarnish your feelings for all Muslim men. More importantly, do not tarnish your feelings of joy and purity for your own experience of Hajj then or now.


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum my dear sister,

I am so sorry to hear of this terrible thing that a man did to you during Hajj. It is most despicable. However, this person will be dealt with by Allah (swt). A hadith by Bukhari states that

“Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House (Ka`ba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newlyborn child. (Just delivered by his mother).”

The person who did this to you, sister, obviously committed a grave sin and to Allah (swt) he is accountable.

I can understand your disgust and disdain for Muslim men, but you know just because someone is Muslim does not mean they will act accordingly. Sadly, you had an encounter with one such person, but please, sister, don’t let it tarnish your feelings for all Muslim men. More importantly, do not tarnish your feelings of joy and purity for your own experience of Hajj then or now.

You did nothing wrong. The other person did. I kindly suggest you make du’aa’ to Allah (swt), asking Him (swt) to help you erase this from your mind so you can enjoy the profound blessings and experiences from Hajj. In sha’ Allah, do not let the other person’s sinful action become your burden, for it is not.


 

Check out this counseling video:


Dear sister, in sha’ Allah, I encourage you to put this out of your mind and let Allah (swt) deal with it. I encourage you to focus on your wonderful memories of your previous Hajj and look forward to the immense blessings of your next Hajj.

Hajj is a time between you and Allah (swt). Anything that tries to interfere with it, pray to Allah (swt) about it, give it to Him (swt), and continue on your journey. It is the other person’s sin to carry, sister, not yours. Look at it as a test for overcoming a negative and being able to focus on the positive. The benefits and joy you received from your previous Hajj far outweigh that one person’s sin. Give it to Allah (swt) and approach your next Hajj with a fresh perspective, knowing that Allah (swt) sees all and knows your heart. Approach the next Hajj as a newborn child expecting to have a wonderful spiritual experience.

While I am sure others have had similar experiences during Hajj, the point is to not hold on to one bad experience, but focus on your worship and your completion of Hajj.

We wish you the best, sister!

***

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.

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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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