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How to Overcome Homosexuality Through Allah?

20 October, 2016
Q Salam. I have a question to ask you. I hope you do reply. I am a Muslim and I was molested once when I was young, hence I became attracted to males. I committed sodomy 5 to 6 times and even drank, but now I regret what I did and changed back. In Ramadan I asked for forgiveness, what should I do?


Salam Dear Syed,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Above all, I do appreciate the genuine sincerity in your question. May you be duly rewarded for it.

No Need for Salt

I would like to start answering your valued question by first attending to its psychological and emotional background.

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As you genuinely seem to acknowledge the severity of the errors involved, a meritorious trait that many people actively trick themselves out of, I will stay away from them at the beginning, for the sake of attempting to offer a profound and comprehensive answer. After all, there is no need for adding salt to an open wound.

Your mentioning the dreadful incident that happened to you, and what a traumatizing and painful test this is, is a sign of the role that this incident plays in your psychological being.

It is not an easy thing to deal with at all, and you have all my sympathy and sincerest prayers.

On Custom-Designed Burdens

Now, before we go into what you should do, I would like to deal with this issue further. Of the most significant elements of our faith which directly relate to dealing with blows of fate are the following principles.

No matter how painful, how long, how deep or incomprehensible an agitation from a dispensation may be, it is never ever beyond one’s capacity to endure, be psychological, emotional or even spiritual.

No soul carries a burden heavier than what it can bear. Reading things inversely, the fact that Allah, majestic in His praise, allows anything to take place, is in itself  perfect proof that it is not unbearable.

You could think that it is very easy for me to say that, not tasting the bitterness of what happened to you. The truth is that each of us has his or her own particularly calculated and custom-designed trial that no one else can bear.

We all tend to essentialize this suffering, dramatize, capitalize on it, and using it as a pretext to allow ourselves to do things we are not supposed to do and give our life in its entirety a meaning based on how we deal with it, etc.

This kind of suffering — for you, for me, and for every one — is always a reason to predictably relapse, slack, and distract ourselves away from not just repentance from sins, but even worldly and daily obligations. Right? It is in fact a typical leeway for the demonic whisperings of the ever pressing devil.

Coming to Terms

I would like to point out two things here that do not, despite all appearances, contradict each other.

Ultimately, one should deal with such a trauma from the root in a comprehensive and realistic manner, no matter how long and difficult. One should not let the ego, or personal caprice, or the devil, or worldly temptations use such a weakness against one’s spiritual and existential priorities and progress.

Coming to terms with suffering is not easy, and also ultimately not impossible. But it is an indispensable test that one needs to pass in order to live genuinely in a balanced and satisfied manner which allows one to be truthful to one’s Maker, one’s being, needs, dreams, and social surrounding. This is the first point.

Having said all that, and after stressing the importance of insistently pursuing this psychological objective, let’s embark upon the second point. You asked what you should do.

Repentance First

What you should do is what you and I and every human, without exception, even pious people with a rank in the eyes of Allah or even Prophets (peace be upon them all) should never stop pursuing. It is repentance.

One of the most stirring, emotionally vocal, and moving calls in the glorious Quran, which is set in a tenderly and vividly inviting formula, is the following question:

{Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.} (Al-Ma’idah 5:74)

Repentance is an all-inclusive call, even Prophets and people who are close. Our cherished and sinless Prophet is reported to have said as Abu Hurairah reports:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘By Allah, I ask Allah’s forgiveness and turn towards Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” (Al-Bukhari)

Why would that be? It is so since in itself repentance, as Muslim scholars explain, is of three levels: from not abandoning sin and blameworthy acts, from not performing acts obedience, obligatory and supererogatory, and, lastly, trying to perform these in with excellence — as if one sees Allah — in order to become close to Him, majestic in His praise.

I would like to remind you and myself, with all inward and outward shortcomings, with the following.

The first thing that someone who seeks a sustainable repentance should do is to thoroughly understand repentance, its rules, conditions, significance, and imperativeness to become closer to Allah. That is a must.

The best way to go about that is to closely read the chapter on repentance from the precious book of Revival of Religious Sciences by Al-Ghazali.

Beautification of the Heart

The second thing is related to a dual spiritual undertaking that one should do in order to progress on their path to Allah, most High. It is what classical Muslim scholars termed as at-tahliyah ba`da al-takhliyah, or what Sheikh Nuh Keller translates as “beautification after detachment”.

What this means is that one must start with getting rid of the bad traits insistently, instantly, and forever. No matter how many times one falls back, it does not matter; one should get up and try again until one’s death.

But one should not just be satisfied with that. Beautification should also simultaneously take place. Matter of fact, this is why most attempts to repent by many, we are told by insightful scholars, are not sustainable.

A human being is indeed a vessel, a carrier of character, experience, inclinations, mind, heart, and soul. For the wellbeing of this vessel, if it is emptied out of something, it must be substituted or it will cause an imbalance.

So what is the best behavior to fill that vessel with?

Surely, it is following the arch-typical and pinnacle of wisdom, character, benevolences, and authentic living. The best word advice I can give myself and you is to follow the Prophet in every aspect of your life.

And the best way to do that constructively, perpetually, and knowledgeably, is to study the Prophet and all he is. Some of scholars that I had the honor to study with say that the book of Riyad As-Salihin by Imam An-Nawawi depicts Prophetic character and manner so close that it is almost, once fully lived by and with, is ultimately like being with the Prophet, at least in spirit

No wonder that it is the second (or third, as some argue) most scribed and circulated book in the history of Islam after the Quran. It is recommended that you find a scholar with whom you can study it.

Practical Steps

I have a few points to add. Other than the measures I recommended earlier, I highly suggest the following. Simply, do lots of dhikr especially the three following ones: istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) is always needed, but particularly in our case, sending blessings on the Prophet, and la ilah ila Allah, as it is the best type of invocation.

I suggest that you buy a rosary (sibhah) and make sure that you do, let’s say, each of these 100 times a day, with as much humility to Allah as you can muster.

Also, the most important thing with regard to repentance from sins which involve other peoples, crowds, and friends, is to abandon bad company and, equally important, to substitute that with righteous company of pious people.

Think of a pious person you feel you would like to befriend and invite him for dinner, for example. Also, as many religious scholars say, giving away charity gives tremendous blessing to one who either seeks to gain a higher level in his worship or repent. The secrets of that are undisputed.

Finally, and maybe this is directly related to you, if you believe you should seek professional help with the sexual issue, you should see a doctor who is at once well accomplished in his field and also a pious Muslim, preferably.

Otherwise, I am one of the believers in marriage at a young and appropriate age. I believe if someone can get married in their early twenties, they should.

I hope that this can be of assistance. Please keep in touch.