In this counseling answer:
• Begin by asking for Allah’s forgiveness.
• You cannot change what happened, but you can change where you go from here, learning from your mistakes to improve your future.
• Get another sister to talk to her and support her.
As-Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh brother,
Unfortunately, what you present is not an unusual scenario for people to go through in early adulthood. Upon entering college or university, people feel more independent than before. This can often lead them to try things that they haven’t before, seeking pleasure in the haram. They can have friends who don’t stop each other from doing bad things and in fact, encourage it.
It seems this is the scenario that you ended up. It has led to consequences that you have a hard time dealing with now.
A number of ways can help you to ease your situation, in sha Allah.
Help her indirectly
It seems that the primary thing that causes you so much distress right now is the emotional turmoil that she has been going through as a result of what has happened.
Non-mahram men and women should ideally not be alone together as it is easy for Shaytan to intervene in such situations as you have already experienced. Even aside from this, being alone with someone and sharing moments alone together will easily lead to the development of intimate feelings. Therefore, begin by avoiding this situation with her.
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If it helps, remember that much of what she has been experiencing is a result of her family have come to know about the experience of two of you together. Spending any more time like this with her is only going to get her into more trouble. So, if nothing more, consider it like this and refrain from attempting to be alone with her, for the sake of Allah, as well as her respect within the family.
Do not seek to highlight this or make things worse by trying to interact with her all the time. She wants you to leave her alone and you should respect this. Your constant attempts to contact her will also be a continued reminder to her of what has happened which, of course, will make it difficult for her to move on too.
Understandably, this may be difficult as you feel obliged to help and feel that this is the best way to do it. However, there are alternative ways in which you can help her less directly. This way, you will feel like you are doing your bit to ease her own difficulties, but in a way that will less likely lead her into further trouble as well as be a means that is more compatible with Islam and therefore more pleasing to Allah.
The first way to achieve this is to very simply continue to make du’aa’ for her, for Allah to make things easier for her and have trust in Allah that He will come to her aid.
Another way to achieve this is to get another sister to talk to her and support her. Perhaps you have friends with sisters or know someone who knows one of her friends. This way, she will be getting the support that you want to give, but through a means that is acceptable and will not get her into trouble.
Seek Allah’s forgiveness
At the moment, due to the sins committed and the distress that this girl feels, you have a hard time forgiving yourself. This brings your emotions down and makes it hard for you to move on.
To improve this situation, you can begin by asking for Allah’s forgiveness. He is the most forgiving and loves to forgive.
If you can’t forgive, then how you expect Allah to forgive?
After all, it’s His forgiveness that is the most important. Whether He forgives you will be important in the Hereafter, so focus on this as the most important aspect of forgiveness for what has happened.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an, 39:53)
Find comfort in the remembrance of Allah
Alhamdulillah, you have started praying again. This will be a good step in moving forward for you. At the moment you don’t feel it, but with continued practice, you will grow closer to Allah and find comfort in remembering Him. This will bring you a feeling of ease and the help to push through this initial pain and move on successfully.
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah’s hearts are assured.” (Qur’an, 13:28)
Working with your intrusive thoughts
The difficulty you face pushes the thoughts aside. This affects your ability to concentrate and get the benefits from prayer. To improve this, you need to work on attaining a concentration in prayer. You can do this by studying the meaning of what you read rather than just mindlessly reading your prayers without contemplating its meaning.
You could also try allowing yourself to have these thoughts just before you pray to get them out of the way. Often when you try to push thoughts away, they try to enter your mind harder and faster. Instead, you can try the practice of allowing yourself to experience these emotions rather than pushing them away. Then once you enter prayer, they will be less likely to intrude as you have allowed yourself to have the thoughts and you have allowed them to pass.
Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes of some kind or another. We can repent for the sins we commit, but there is nothing that can be done to change what has happened. This may leave you feeling completely helpless that there is nothing you can do. This sense of helplessness is a big contributor to the negative feelings you are experiencing.
However, there is a way to overcome this and that is to take back control of what you can. You cannot change what happened, but you can change where you go from here, learning from your mistakes to improve your future.
For example, now you know the dangers of entering into these relationships. You can make sure you never end up in this situation again by not befriending or even being alone unnecessarily with other women. You also know that being in a bad company can lead you to do things against Islam, so make sure to make friends and be with people who you are confident will be a good influence on you as well as would prevent you from doing bad things.
You have a hard time getting over past sins, especially because this woman faces turmoil. There are some ways that you can help her and yourself to get through this. Stepping back from intervening with her directly and instead of asking Allah and other sisters to support her will be more conducive to her own recovery.
For yourself, seeking comfort with Allah and asking for His Mercy will instill a sense of hope for you. Ultimately, whilst you can’t change what happened, you can you use this experience to change you like for the better by maintaining halal relations and being in good company.
May Allah ease your difficulties as well as the woman in question. May He bring you comfort during this difficult time and guide you on the straight path.
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