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I’m Sexually Attracted to Children; Please Help!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 11, 2017

Question

AsalaamuAlaikum, Please help me and guide me as I am lost and don't know what to do. Basically, I have a sexual attraction to minors. I know I am a disgusting animal and I deserve nothing but jahannam, but I honestly don't know what to do about this attraction. I am almost sixteen years old. I do not feel sexually attracted to the opposite gender, only children. It makes me so depressed and I have gone through stages of panic, depression, anxiety over my sins. I just...can't help it. It has come to the point where I find myself masturbating while thinking these thoughts to prevent myself from acting on my desires...my attraction and urges have gotten so strong I am worried I'll act on them. I can't afford a therapist as my family is going through a financial situation right now. I stay very far away from children and I do not interact with them or even look at pictures of them. I can't see a child without getting these thoughts and then be getting feelings after that (I know this is very haraam and constitutes masturbation, but I always find myself purposely doing these acts to satisfy the urges and desires). I want to kill myself. I have thought of suicide multiple times before....I'm a filthy girl and I do not deserve Allah swt's love and mercy....what can I do? Can I ever get married in the future or not? I want to be a mother inshAllah and start a family, but ever since this attraction started and I lost all attraction to males, I feel despair, and I feel like I cannot do that in the future because of my sickness. Please help me and guide me. I know you are disgusted by me but I honestly have no one I can talk to about this issue. May Allah SWT bless you and reward you.

Counselor

Answer


I’m Sexually Attracted to Children; Please Help!

In this counseling answer:

“You are still in your adolescent years where an individual is learning about their sexuality. The feelings of sexuality are new. Therefore, perhaps, you unconsciously channeled your sexual feelings towards children as you might have found children less intimidating compared to adults or other boys your age.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,

I hope you are doing well. I am sorry about what you are going through. Firstly, you need to stop blaming yourself for being attracted to the minors. It is not something you can control directly. I am going to give you tips to help you avoid such thinking, but on the whole, these thoughts are not your fault. So, please stop torturing yourself over this.

You are still in your adolescent years where an individual is learning about their sexuality. The feelings of sexuality are new. Therefore, perhaps, you unconsciously channeled your sexual feelings towards children as you might have found children less intimidating compared to adults or other boys your age.

Further, such thoughts could be a result that you were abused yourself as a child. Or there could be some chemical brain structure that makes you think this way. All of these are scientific explanations of a condition known as “Pedophilia”. This condition is not uncommon; it is common among teenagers, perhaps because they are unsure how to express their new-found surge of sexual energy.

Taking all this from an Islamic perspective, you are absolutely right that such thoughts are strictly forbidden in Islam. You must be aware of how Allah (swt) has commanded us to lower our gaze when it comes to seeing the opposite gender – only so that we can maintain Taqwah (piety) and not have any sexual thoughts about the other person.

Therefore, one way to shun these thoughts would be to look away from anyone you may fantasize about in a sexual way, when you are having such thoughts. You have already mentioned that you do not look at children or even children’s photos. Although you cannot go on avoiding looking at children forever, this is better for the time being – till you gain more control over how you feel.

Sister, while the thoughts may not be a direct problem, yet acting out on those thoughts can be really harmful. Not only would you be committing a sin, but you would also be playing with a child’s life and future. I absolutely understand that you find it all beyond your control.

To help you control your impulses, try to channel your energy somewhere else. Be consciously aware of the strength of energy that pulls you to such thoughts and actions and places that energy somewhere else. For instance, if you’re athletic, you could channel your energy into sports, badminton, and netball.

Or, you could sit down and make goals for what you want to be ten years from now. Work diligently to achieve your goals. Whatever takes your fancy, just stay strong and make achievable goals. I know this is easier said than done, but this is what you’ll be rewarded for in the Hereafter, In sha’ Allah.

In the Quran, Allah (swt) says,

“By the Nafs and the proportion and order given to it, and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right; truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it.” (91:7-10)

And in another place, Allah (swt) says

“As for him who feared to stand before his Lord and he restrained himself from his desires, then Paradise will be his refuge.” (79:40-41)

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said,

The one who strives in the way of Allah the Exalted is he who strives against his soul.” (Musnad Ahmed)

There are several other pieces of evidence for Jihad An-Nafs, i.e., Jihad against one’s soul.

So, you see, sister that you are not alone. Each and every one of us is in some kind of test in this life, against which we need to struggle to become righteous Muslims and humans. While you have to fight away thoughts of being attracted to minors, maybe there is someone who is 10 years older than you fighting an inclination to an extra-marital affair. Or a man who is torn between having a lavish lifestyle from a haraam income or living hand-to-mouth in his halal income. So, in some way or the other, we are all tested for choosing between the right and the wrong. The choice, as well as the path we choose, is never an easy one. Yet, this is what we need to take care of as Muslims.

You are a brave girl, ma sha’ Allah, because you are not only trying to fight these impulses but are also seeking help to overcome the problem. May Allah (swt) guide you. Try to make out some time to read the Quran with translation. It will help you a lot to overcome these urges and desires.

Sister, you also need to understand that suicide is haram in Islam because only Allah (swt) has the right to give or take a life. If (God Forbid) you think of committing suicide, this is another major sin. Moreover, suicide is not the solution. It would take away your years in life which you could spend in prayer and be doing good deeds that would benefit you in the Hereafter.

Coming back to the topic of addressing your attraction to minors, I’ll advise you to stay away from children, but not flee them altogether because eventually, you’ll meet kids everywhere. So it is important that you learn to be comfortable in their presence. You could do so in a safe environment such as in the presence of an adult. Talk with children, play with them, and teach them tricks or anything as long as it is comfortable and appropriate. Try not to do things which could make you uncomfortable.

You have mentioned that you resort to masturbation to prevent submitting to your urges. However, you must also realize that doing so can reinforce these fantasies and your attraction towards minors. Therefore, if you can help it, it is best to even stop playing the thoughts in your head.

You could try exploring children with certain talents such as those parts of a choir – help engages with children’s capabilities and not having anything sexual to do with them. This could help you overcome associating sexual feelings with children.

I would also recommend you to work on improving your self-esteem. I noticed in your message that you feel worthless about yourself. Just because you have these thoughts and inclinations about sexual attraction to minors, it is not that you are worthless in other aspects of life. You must list down all your positive points and strengths and keep them in mind to have a positive self-worth. Try ways to build your positive points into your strengths which you can be proud of.

If you can, try confiding in a trusted adult. It could be your parent (though in our culture we avoid talking about sexual feelings to our parents, they could be able to help you), an elder sibling or cousin, a teacher or a mentor. Anyone who you feel would be able to help you. You could also try joining some online support groups for teenagers with pedophilic tendencies.

As for your concern about getting married and becoming a mother, you still have a long way to go, In sha’ Allah. By the time you have completed your studies and are ready for marriage, In sha’ Allah, you will be able to manage your thoughts and feelings very well and be able to lead a normal life.

If at any stage you feel that these thoughts overpower you or make you feel secluded, depressed or unable to function in your normal lifestyle, you must seek professional psychological help to help you get back on track, In sha’ Allah.

Take care and live long! 

***

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 Zainab Farrukh

Zainab Farrukh has an MS. in Mental Health & Counseling and has been working as a counselor for over 3 years. She is also a Research Specialist working with Psychology professionals and students internationally. She has recently founded [http://the%20womenetwork/]The WomeNetwork (www.thewomenetwork.com), where her goal is to help women get better at their game.

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